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Sample records for ground-dwelling ant hymenoptera

  1. Density-Dependent Effects of an Invasive Ant on a Ground-Dwelling Arthropod Community.

    PubMed

    Cooling, M; Sim, D A; Lester, P J

    2015-02-01

    It is frequently assumed that an invasive species that is ecologically or economically damaging in one region, will typically be so in other environments. The Argentine ant Linepithema humile (Mayr) is listed among the world's worst invaders. It commonly displaces resident ant species where it occurs at high population densities, and may also reduce densities of other ground-dwelling arthropods. We investigated the effect of varying Argentine ant abundance on resident ant and nonant arthropod species richness and abundance in seven cities across its range in New Zealand. Pitfall traps were used to compare an invaded and uninvaded site in each city. Invaded sites were selected based on natural varying abundance of Argentine ant populations. Argentine ant density had a significant negative effect on epigaeic ant abundance and species richness, but hypogaeic ant abundance and species richness was unaffected. We observed a significant decrease in Diplopoda abundance with increasing Argentine ant abundance, while Coleoptera abundance increased. The effect on Amphipoda and Isopoda depended strongly on climate. The severity of the impact on negatively affected taxa was reduced in areas where Argentine ant densities were low. Surprisingly, Argentine ants had no effect on the abundance of the other arthropod taxa examined. Morphospecies richness for all nonant arthropod taxa was unaffected by Argentine ant abundance. Species that are established as invasive in one location therefore cannot be assumed to be invasive in other locations based on presence alone. Appropriate management decisions should reflect this knowledge. PMID:26308805

  2. Evaluation of three methods for sampling ground-dwelling Ants in the Brazilian Cerrado.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Cauê T; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L

    2008-01-01

    Few studies have evaluated the efficiency of methods for sampling ants, especially in regions with highly variable vegetation physiognomies such as the Cerrado region of central Brazil. Here we compared three methods to collect ground-dwelling ants: pitfall traps, sardine baits, and the Winkler litter extractor. Our aim was to determine which method would be most appropriate to characterize the ant assemblages inhabiting different vegetation types. More species were collected with pitfall traps and with the Winkler extractor than with sardine baits. Pitfall traps collected more species in the cerrado (savanna) physiognomies, particularly in those with a poor litter cover, whereas the Winlker extractor was more efficient in the forest physiognomies, except the one subject to periodic inundations. There was a low similarity in species composition between forest and cerrado physiognomies, and this pattern was detected regardless of the method used to sampling ants. Therefore, even the use of a single, relatively selective method of collection can be enough for studies comparing highly distinct habitats and/or conditions. However, if the purpose of the sampling is to produce a more thoroughly inventory of the ant fauna, we suggest the use of a combination of methods, particularly pitfall traps and the Winkler extractor. Therefore, the Ants of the Leaf-Litter (ALL) Sampling Protocol appear to be an adequate protocol for sampling ants in the highly-threatened Brazilian cerrado biome. PMID:18813741

  3. Effectiveness and biases of Winkler litter extraction and pitfall trapping for collecting ground-dwelling ants in northern temperate forests.

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Kaloyan; Keiper, Joe

    2009-12-01

    The sampling efficiency of pitfall traps and Winkler litter extraction in northern deciduous forests was compared using ants. Both techniques are among the most common methods used to measure the diversity of organisms active on the forest floor. During 2005-2006, 90 Winkler and 180 pitfall trap samples from urban forest fragments in northeastern Ohio obtained 9,203 ants representing 31 species. Winklers captured all 31 species, whereas pitfall traps collected a total of 24 species. Winkler samples accumulated species more rapidly than did pitfall traps and had greater total species richness and higher abundance of ants recorded. Consistent with other studies, Winkler sampling was found to catch a greater number of smaller ants, whereas pitfall trapping caught a greater number of large-bodied ants. According to estimates of expected species richness, the combination of the two sampling techniques allowed for the collection of approximately 90% of the ants expected in the surveyed area. Site variation had little effect on the inherent differences in sampling efficacy between the two methods. Either technique adequately collected samples for broad comparisons and documentation of the more typical and representative ant fauna, but Winkler extraction exhibited the advantage of a more complete inventory. The application of both techniques should be considered if the aims of a study require estimation of community properties, such as relative abundance. PMID:20021769

  4. Comparative ultrastructure of ant spermatozoa (Formicidae: Hymenoptera).

    PubMed

    Wheeler, D E; Crichton, E G; Krutzsch, P H

    1990-12-01

    Mature spermatozoa from spermathecae of founding queens were obtained from 5 species of ants, representing the major subfamilies Myrmicinae (Acromyrmex versicolor, Crematogaster sp.) and Dolichoderinae (Tapinoma sessile, Conomyrma insana, Conomyrma wheeleri). The ultrastructure of ant spermatozoa has many features in common with that of higher insects and is similar to that of other Hymenoptera. Structural similarities to spermatozoa of other Hymenoptera include an acrosome containing an internal rod that extends into the nucleus, two elongate mitochondrial derivatives, a centriolar adjunct, and an axonemal arrangement of 9 + 9 + 2 that includes well-developed coarse, or accessory, tubules. Spermatozoa obtained from A. versicolor, a species that is known to store and utilize viable sperm from this supply for over 10 years, show greater development of the mitochondrial derivatives than do the other species. The most distinctive feature of ant spermatozoa in comparison to other Hymenoptera is the large size of the centriolar adjunct relative to the other organelles. The centriolar adjunct is located posterior to the nucleus, anterior to the mitochondrial derivatives, and opposite the axoneme. PMID:2280410

  5. Rhamnus cathartica (Rosales: Rhamnaceae) Invasion Reduces Ground-Dwelling Insect Abundance and Diversity in Northeast Iowa Forests.

    PubMed

    Schuh, Marissa; Larsen, Kirk J

    2015-06-01

    European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica L.) is an invasive woody shrub in deciduous forests of the Upper Midwest. Studies have suggested buckthorn invasion has negative effects on native plants, soil, and ecosystems, but its impacts on insects are largely unstudied. To test the impact of buckthorn invasion on ground-dwelling insects in forests of northeastern Iowa, pitfall traps were used to sample ground-dwelling insects at five sites four different periods from June to August 2013. Each site had three treatments: areas heavily infested with buckthorn, areas where buckthorn has not established, and areas where buckthorn had been removed within the past 2-10 yr. Most insects were identified to family and quantified; while ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) were identified to species and quantified. In total, 11,576 insects representing eight orders and 46 families were collected. Areas uninvaded by buckthorn had significantly greater insect abundance and taxonomic richness than areas invaded by buckthorn. Of the 948 ground beetles representing 40 species, abundance, species richness, and Shannon diversity indices were significantly lower in areas invaded by buckthorn compared with areas with no buckthorn. The 2,661 ants from 24 species had similar trends, but treatment differences were not significant because of high variability. These results clearly show a negative impact of buckthorn invasion on the abundance and taxonomic richness of ground-dwelling insects. PMID:26313971

  6. Ants, Wasps, and Bees (Hymenoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stinging wasps, bees, and ants are a problem for farm workers, particularly at harvest when these insects are attracted to ripe fruits. Researchers at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, WA, together with personnel at Oral Roberts University compiled available information o...

  7. Canopy vegetation influences ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) communities in headwater stream riparian zones of central Appalachia.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jonathan T; Adkins, Joshua K; Rieske, Lynne K

    2014-01-01

    In the eastern United States, eastern hemlock Tusga canadensis (L.) Carriere forests are threatened by the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae, a pest that is causing widespread hemlock mortality. Eastern hemlock is an essential component of forested communities. Adelgid-induced hemlock mortality is causing a shift in forest composition and structure, altering ecosystem function and thereby influencing the arthropod community. Using pitfall traps at three sites, we monitored ground-dwelling arthropods at 30-d intervals in hemlock-dominated and deciduous-dominated forests in central Appalachia over 2 yr. Here, we focus on the ant community (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) collected in the summer months. Ants form a ubiquitous and integral component of the invertebrate community, functioning at various trophic levels as predators, herbivores, and omnivores, and fulfilling important roles in forest ecosystems. We found no difference in overall ant abundance between hemlock-dominated and deciduous-dominated forests but did detect significant differences in the genera Prenolepis between forest types (P < 0.01) and Aphaenogaster across study locations (P = 0.02). Three genera were unique to deciduous forests; one was unique to hemlock forests. Not surprisingly, total formicids and several genera demonstrated temporal differences in abundance, with greater numbers captured in July than in August. As hemlock woolly adelgid-induced mortality of eastern hemlock becomes more pervasive, changes in forest composition and structure are imminent, accompanied by shifts in hemlock associates. PMID:25528753

  8. Bionomics of Orasema simplex (Hymenoptera: Eucharitidae) a parasitoid of Solenopsis fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Argentina

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological characteristics of the parasitoid Orasema simplex Heraty (Hymenoptera: Eucharitidae), a potential candidate for the biological control of fire ants in the United States were investigated. Female survivorship, fertility and oviposition preferences were studied in the laboratory. Naturally ...

  9. Testing baits to control Argentine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in vineyards.

    PubMed

    Daane, Kent M; Cooper, Monica L; Sime, Karen R; Nelson, Erik H; Battany, Mark C; Rust, Michael K

    2008-06-01

    Liquid baits were evaluated for control of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and associated mealybug and soft scale pests in California vineyards. In 2003, liquid baits with small doses ofimidacloprid, boric acid, or thiamethoxam dissolved in 25% sucrose water resulted in lower ant and mealybug densities and fruit damage, compared with an untreated control. Similar treatments in a soft scale-infested vineyard showed only a reduction of ant density and fruit infestation in only the boric acid and thiamethoxam treatments. In 2004, commercial and noncommercial formulations of liquid baits reduced ant densities in three separate trials, but they had inconsistent effects on mealybug densities and fruit infestation; granular protein bait had no effect. Using large plots and commercial application methodologies, liquid bait deployed in June resulted in lower ant density and fruit infestation, but it had no effect on mealybug density. Across all trials, liquid bait treatments resulted in lower ant density (12 of 14 trials) and fruit damage (11 of 14 sites), presenting the first report of liquid baits applied using commercial methodologies that resulted in a reduction of ants and their associated hemipteran crop damage. For commercialization of liquid baits, we showed that any of the tested insecticides can suppress Argentine ants when properly delivered in the crop system. For imidacloprid, bait dispensers must be protected from sunlight to reduce photodegradation. Results suggest that incomplete ant suppression can suppress mealybug densities. However, after ant populations are suppressed, there may be a longer period before hemipteran populations are effectively suppressed. Therefore, liquid baits should be considered part of a multiseason program rather than a direct, in-season control of hemipteran pest populations. PMID:18613568

  10. The Ground-Dwelling Arthropod Community of Península Valdés in Patagonia, Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Cheli, Germán H.; Corley, J. C.; Bruzzone, O.; del Brío, M.; Martínez, F.; Román, N. Martínez; Ríos, I.

    2010-01-01

    This is the first study based on a planned and intensive sampling effort that describes the community composition and structure of the ground-dwelling arthropod assemblage of Península Valdés (Patagonia). It was carried out using pitfall traps, opened for two weeks during the summers of 2005, 2006 and 2007. A total of 28, 111 individuals were caught. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) dominated this community, followed by beetles (Coleoptera) and spiders (Araneae). The most abundant species were Pheidole bergi Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Blapstinus punctulatus Solier (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Two new species were very recently described as new based on specimens collected during this study: Valdesiana curiosa Carpintero, Dellapé & Cheli (Hemiptera, Miridae) and Anomaloptera patagonica Dellapé & Cheli (Hemiptera, Oxycarenidae). The order Coleoptera was the most diverse taxa. The distribution of abundance data was best described by the logarithmic series model both at the family and species levels, suggesting that ecological relationships in this community could be controlled by a few factors. The community was dominated by predators from a trophic perspective. This suggests that predation acts as an important factor driving the distribution and abundances of surface-dwelling arthropods in this habitat and as such serves as a key element in understanding desert, above-ground community structure. These findings may also be useful for management and conservation purposes in arid Patagonia. PMID:20572783

  11. The ground-dwelling arthropod community of Península Valdés in Patagonia, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Cheli, Germán H; Corley, J C; Bruzzone, O; Brío, M Del; Martínez, F; Román, N Martínez; Ríos, I

    2010-01-01

    This is the first study based on a planned and intensive sampling effort that describes the community composition and structure of the ground-dwelling arthropod assemblage of Península Valdés (Patagonia). It was carried out using pitfall traps, opened for two weeks during the summers of 2005, 2006 and 2007. A total of 28,111 individuals were caught. Ants(Hymenoptera: Formicidae) dominated this community, followed by beetles (Coleoptera) and spiders (Araneae). The most abundant species were Pheidole bergi Mayr (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) and Blapstinus punctulatus Solier (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Two new species were very recently described as new based on specimens collected during this study: Valdesianacuriosa Carpintero, Dellapé & Cheli (Hemiptera, Miridae) and Anomaloptera patagonica Dellapé& Cheli (Hemiptera, Oxycarenidae). The order Coleoptera was the most diverse taxa. The distribution of abundance data was best described by the logarithmic series model both at the family and species levels, suggesting that ecological relationships in this community could be controlled by a few factors. The community was dominated by predators from a trophic perspective. This suggests that predation acts as an important factor driving the distribution and abundances of surface-dwelling arthropods in this habitat and as such serves as a key element in understanding desert, above-ground community structure. These findings may also be useful for management and conservation purposes in arid Patagonia. PMID:20572783

  12. Catalogue of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Bulgaria

    PubMed Central

    Lapeva-Gjonova, Albena; Antonova, Vera; Radchenko, Alexander G.; Atanasova, Maria

    2010-01-01

    Abstract The present catalogue of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Bulgaria is made on a base of critical reconsideration of literature (covering the period from 1892 till 2009 and part of 2010) as well as on examination of the authors‘ and several museum‘s collections. A lot of data were omitted in the previous Bulgarian monograph on ants, lots of new data were recently added and many important additions and alterations were made due to taxonomic revisions of Eurasian Formicidae during the last three decades. Two new species are reported for the country [Temnothorax graecus (Forel, 1911) and Temnothorax cf. korbi (Emery, 1924)]. This catalogue contains a list of 163 ant species belonging to 40 genera of 6 subfamilies now known from Bulgaria. Synonyms and information on the previously reported names in relevant publications are given. Known localities of the species are grouped by geographic regions. Maps with concrete localities or regions for each species were prepared. The conservation status of 13 ant species is given as they are included in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and Bulgarian Biodiversity Act. In comparison with adjacent Balkan regions the ant fauna of Bulgaria is quite rich and its core is composed of South European elements. PMID:21594018

  13. A checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peru.

    PubMed

    Bezděčková, Klára; Bezděčka, Pavel; Machar, Ivo

    2015-01-01

    The article presents a comprehensive list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peru. Distribution data for 592 valid names of species-group taxa in 76 genera and 12 subfamilies were collected through a bibliographical review. The most diverse subfamilies in terms of species richness are Myrmicinae (273 species/subspecies), Formicinae (86 species/subspecies) and Ponerinae (71 species/subspecies). The most diverse genera are Pheidole (86 species/subspecies), Camponotus (73 species/subspecies), and Pseudomyrmex (47 species/subspecies). With respect to geographic divisions, richness is highest in Madre de Dios (245 species/subspecies), followed by Huanuco (109 species/subspecies) and Cusco (104 species/subspecies). Regions in greatest need of additional survey work are Aycucho, Huancavelica, Moquegua and Tacna, from which virtually no information on the ant fauna is available. PMID:26624091

  14. Mitochondrial genome evolution in fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Complete mitochondrial genome sequences have become important tools for the study of genome architecture, phylogeny, and molecular evolution. Despite the rapid increase in available mitogenomes, the taxonomic sampling often poorly reflects phylogenetic diversity and is often also biased to represent deeper (family-level) evolutionary relationships. Results We present the first fully sequenced ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) mitochondrial genomes. We sampled four mitogenomes from three species of fire ants, genus Solenopsis, which represent various evolutionary depths. Overall, ant mitogenomes appear to be typical of hymenopteran mitogenomes, displaying a general A+T-bias. The Solenopsis mitogenomes are slightly more compact than other hymentoperan mitogenomes (~15.5 kb), retaining all protein coding genes, ribosomal, and transfer RNAs. We also present evidence of recombination between the mitogenomes of the two conspecific Solenopsis mitogenomes. Finally, we discuss potential ways to improve the estimation of phylogenies using complete mitochondrial genome sequences. Conclusions The ant mitogenome presents an important addition to the continued efforts in studying hymenopteran mitogenome architecture, evolution, and phylogenetics. We provide further evidence that the sampling across many taxonomic levels (including conspecifics and congeners) is useful and important to gain detailed insights into mitogenome evolution. We also discuss ways that may help improve the use of mitogenomes in phylogenetic analyses by accounting for non-stationary and non-homogeneous evolution among branches. PMID:20929580

  15. First record of the tramp ant Cardiocondyla obscurior (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) for Mississippi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cardiocondyla (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae) is an old world genus of omnivorous ants native to Africa and Asia. The genus Cardiocondyla includes several common tramp species that have spread globally with human commerce. A single alate female C. obscurior Wheeler was collected by J. M. Stro...

  16. Field Control of the Invasive Ant Wasmannia auropunctata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a Tropical Fruit Orchard in Hawaii

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The little fire ant (LFA), Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is an invasive ant that forms supercolonies when it successfully invades new areas. LFA was first reported in Hawaii in 1999 and has since invaded a variety of agricultural sites including nurseries, tropical fruit f...

  17. A Novel delivery Method for Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) toxicants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Described here is a new delivery method for ant toxicants consisting of an inert carrier, an attractant, and a toxicant. Unlike baits, this system does not contain a food source, but uses ant to ant contact rather than trophallaxis as the mechanism for horizontal dispersal of the toxicant through th...

  18. Five new records of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) for Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nemec, Kristine T.; Trager, James C.; Manley, Elizabeth; Allen, Craig R.

    2012-01-01

    Ants are ubiquitous and influential organisms in terrestrial ecosystems. About 1,000 ant species occur in North America, where they are found in nearly every habitat (Fisher and Cover 2007). Ants are critical to ecological processes and structure. Ants affect soils via tunneling activity (Baxter and Hole 1967), disperse plant seeds (Lengyel et al. 2009), prey upon a variety of insects and other invertebrates (Way and Khoo 1992, Folgarait 1998), are often effective primary consumers through their prodigious consumption of floral and especially extrafloral nectar, and honeydew (Tobin 1994), and serve as prey for invertebrates (Gotelli 1996, Gastreich 1999) and vertebrates (Reiss 2001).

  19. Patterns of ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) richness and relative abundance along an aridity gradient in Western Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Sánchez, A J; Lattke, J E; Viloria, A L

    2013-04-01

    In xeric ecosystems, ant diversity response to aridity varies with rainfall magnitude and gradient extension. At a local scale and with low precipitation regimes, increased aridity leads to a reduction of species richness and an increased relative abundance for some ant species. In order to test this pattern in tropical environments, ant richness and relative abundance variation were evaluated along 35 km of an aridity gradient in the Araya Peninsula, state of Sucre, Venezuela. Three sampling stations comprising five transects each were set up. Pitfall traps and direct collecting from vegetation were assessed per transect. Overall, 52 species, 23 genera, and 7 subfamilies of ants were recorded in the peninsula. The total number of species and genera recorded by both sampling stations and transects decreased linearly with increasing aridity. Total relative abundance was highest in the most arid portion of the peninsula, with Crematogaster rochai (Forel) and Camponotus conspicuus zonatus (Emery) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) being the numerically dominant species. Spatial and multivariate analyses revealed significant changes in ant composition every 11 km of distance, and showed a decrease of ant diversity with the increase of harsh conditions in the gradient. Here, we discuss how local geographic and topographic features of Araya originate the aridity gradient and so affect the microhabitat conditions for the ant fauna. PMID:23949745

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

    A novel bait station referred to as a virtual bait station was developed and tested against field populations of the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), at White Beach, Camp Pendleton, in Oceanside, CA. White Beach is a nesting habitat for an endangered seabird, the California least tern (Sterna antillarum browni Mearns). The beach is heavily infested with Argentine ants, one of the threats for the California least tern chicks. Conventional pest control strategies are prohibited because of the existence of the protected bird species and the site's proximity to the ocean. The bait station consisted of a polyvinyl chloride pipe that was treated on the inside with fipronil insecticide at low concentrations to obtain delayed toxicity against ants. The pipe was provisioned with an inverted bottle of 25% sucrose solution, then capped, and buried in the sand. Foraging ants crossed the treated surface to consume the sucrose solution. The delayed toxicity of fipronil deposits allowed the ants to continue foraging on the sucrose solution and to interact with their nestmates, killing them within 3-5 d after exposure. Further modification of the bait station design minimized the accumulation of dead ants in the sucrose solution, significantly improving the longevity and efficacy of the bait station. The virtual bait station exploits the foraging behavior of the ants and provides a low impact approach to control ants in environmentally sensitive habitats. It excluded all insects except ants, required only milligram quantities of toxicant, and eliminated the problem of formulating toxicants into aqueous sugar baits. PMID:21061977

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  2. Spatiotemporal resource distribution and foraging strategies of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Lanan, Michele

    2014-01-01

    The distribution of food resources in space and time is likely to be an important factor governing the type of foraging strategy used by ants. However, no previous systematic attempt has been made to determine whether spatiotemporal resource distribution is in fact correlated with foraging strategy across the ants. In this analysis, I present data compiled from the literature on the foraging strategy and food resource use of 402 species of ants from across the phylogenetic tree. By categorizing the distribution of resources reported in these studies in terms of size relative to colony size, spatial distribution relative to colony foraging range, frequency of occurrence in time relative to worker life span, and depletability (i.e., whether the colony can cause a change in resource frequency), I demonstrate that different foraging strategies are indeed associated with specific spatiotemporal resource attributes. The general patterns I describe here can therefore be used as a framework to inform predictions in future studies of ant foraging behavior. No differences were found between resources collected via short-term recruitment strategies (group recruitment, short-term trails, and volatile recruitment), whereas different resource distributions were associated with solitary foraging, trunk trails, long-term trail networks, group raiding, and raiding. In many cases, ant species use a combination of different foraging strategies to collect diverse resources. It is useful to consider these foraging strategies not as separate options but as modular parts of the total foraging effort of a colony. PMID:25525497

  3. Bait distribution among multiple colonies of Pharaoh ants (hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Oi, D H; Vail, K M; Williams, D F

    2000-08-01

    Pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis (L.), infestations often consist of several colonies located at different nest sites. To achieve control, it is desirable to suppress or eliminate the populations of a majority of these colonies. We compared the trophallactic distribution and efficacy of two ant baits, with different modes of action, among groups of four colonies of Pharaoh ants. Baits contained either the metabolic-inhibiting active ingredient hydramethylnon or the insect growth regulator (IGR) pyriproxyfen. Within 3 wk, the hydramethylnon bait reduced worker and brood populations by at least 80%, and queen reductions ranged between 73 and 100%, when nests were in proximity (within 132 cm) to the bait source. However, these nest sites were reoccupied by ants from other colonies located further from the bait source. The pyriproxyfen bait was distributed more thoroughly to all nest locations with worker populations gradually declining by 73% at all nest sites after 8 wk. Average queen reductions ranged from 31 to 49% for all nest sites throughout the study. Even though some queens survived, brood reductions were rapid in the pyriproxyfen treatment, with reductions of 95% at all locations by week 3. Unlike the metabolic inhibitor, the IGR did not kill adult worker ants quickly, thus, more surviving worker ants were available to distribute the bait to all colonies located at different nest sites. Thus, from a single bait source, the slow-acting bait toxicant provided gradual, but long-term control, whereas the fast-acting bait toxicant provided rapid, localized control for a shorter duration. PMID:10985038

  4. Evaluation of control measures for black carpenter ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Tripp, J M; Suiter, D R; Bennett, G W; Klotz, J H; Reid, B L

    2000-10-01

    Current control methods for the black carpenter ant, Camponotus pennsylvanicus (De Geer), include the use of remedial and preventative residual sprays as well as toxic baits. We evaluated the acceptance of three baits (Maxforce, Niban, and Baygon) to field colonies of the black carpenter ant in the spring and fall. Maxforce bait granules were more readily accepted than either Niban or Baygon bait granules in the spring. A change in food preference from protein to sugar by the black carpenter ant appeared to reduce the number of Maxforce bait granules removed in the fall, resulting in no differences in bait acceptability. The longevity of Dursban 50W and Tempo 20WP were evaluated in the summer and fall on painted wood panels. Panels aged outside for 15 d under prevailing weather conditions exhibited increased LT50 values. For each sampling period, panels aged on the south face (in the sun) exhibited less insecticidal activity (i.e., large LT50 values) than panels on the north face (shaded; small LT50 values). At each sampling period, Tempo 20WP provided smaller LT50 values than Dursban 50W. Because of changing dietary preferences, our data highlight the importance of using various bait types for carpenter ant control. Moreover, the application of residual spays should be made to locations protected from direct sunlight. PMID:11057723

  5. Taxonomy and distribution of the ant Cataglyphis setipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Himender

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Taxonomy and distribution of the ant species Cataglyphis setipes (Forel, 1894) is herewith detailed. C. setipes is redescribed, based on workers, queens, and males. Photomontage images of all castes are provided. Information on the distribution and ecology of this species is also given. A key to the Indian species of Cataglyphis is presented. PMID:25859129

  6. Allomermis solenopsii n. sp. (Mermithidae: Nematoda) parasitizing the fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Argentina

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A new species of mermithid nematode, Allomermis solenopsii, (Mermithidae: Nematoda) is described from the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Argentina. This is the first record of Allomermis from South America and the first host record for members of this genus. Previo...

  7. Ground Ant Diversity (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Iberá Nature Reserve, the Largest Wetland of Argentina

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Iberá Nature Reserve in northeastern Argentina protects one of the largest freshwater wetlands and reservoirs of species in South America. However, key invertebrate groups such as the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) remain almost unknown. The main objective of this work was to study the ground an...

  8. Solenopsis invicta virus (sinv-1) infection and insecticide interactions in the red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Controlling invasive species is a growing concern; however, pesticides can be detrimental for non-target organisms. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren; Hymenoptera: Formicidae) has aggressively invaded approximately 138 million ha in the USA and causes over $6 billion in damage and ...

  9. Inter- and intraspecific aggression in the invasive longlegged ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Chong, Kim-Fung; Lee, Chow-Yang

    2010-10-01

    The longlegged ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes (Fr. Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is a highly invasive species that can aggressively displace other ant species. We conducted laboratory assays to examine interspecies aggression of A. gracilipes versus 15 sympatric ant species found in the urban environment and disturbed habitat in Malaysia: Monomorium pharaonis (L.), Monomorium floricola (Jerdon), Monomorium orientale Mayr, Monomorium destructor (Jerdon), Pheidole parva Mayr, Crematogaster sp., Solenopsis geminata (F.), Tapinoma indicum (Forel), Tapinoma melanocephalum (F.), Technomyrmnex butteli Forel, Dolichoderus thoracicus (Smith), Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle), Oecophylla smaragdina (F), Camponotus sp., and Tetraponera rufonigra (Jerdon). A. gracilipes showed aggressive behavior toward all opponent species, except the smallest M. orientale. Opponent species size (body size, head width, and mandible width) was significantly correlated with A. gracilipes aggression level and mortality rate. We also found a significant positive relationship between A. gracilipes aggression level and the mortality of the opponent species. The results suggest that invasive populations of A. gracilipes would have the greatest impact on larger ant species. In addition, we examined the intraspecific aggression of A. gracilipes. We found that A. gracilipes from different localities in Malaysia showed intraspecific aggression toward one another. This finding differs from the results of studies conducted in Christmas Island earlier. Differences in the genetic variability among populations may explain these differing results. PMID:21061979

  10. Generic revision of the ant subfamily Dorylinae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Borowiec, Marek L.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The generic classification of the ant subfamily Dorylinae is revised, with the aim of facilitating identification of easily-diagnosable monophyletic genera. The new classification is based on recent molecular phylogenetic evidence and a critical reappraisal of doryline morphology. New keys and diagnoses based on workers and males are provided, along with reviews of natural history and phylogenetic relationships, distribution maps, and a list of valid species for each lineage. Twenty-eight genera (27 extant and 1 extinct) are recognized within the subfamily, an increase from 20 in the previous classification scheme. Species classified in the polyphyletic Cerapachys and Sphinctomyrmex prior to this publication are here distributed among 9 and 3 different genera, respectively. Amyrmex and Asphinctanilloides are synonymized under Leptanilloides and the currently recognized subgenera are synonymized for Dorylus. No tribal classification is proposed for the subfamily, but several apparently monophyletic genus-groups are discussed. Valid generic names recognized here include: Acanthostichus (= Ctenopyga), Aenictogiton, Aenictus (= Paraenictus, Typhlatta), Cerapachys (= Ceratopachys), Cheliomyrmex, Chrysapace gen. rev., Cylindromyrmex (= Holcoponera, Hypocylindromyrmex, Metacylindromyrmex), Dorylus (= Alaopone syn. n., Anomma syn. n., Cosmaecetes, Dichthadia syn. n., Rhogmus syn. n., Shuckardia, Sphecomyrmex, Sphegomyrmex, Typhlopone syn. n.), Eburopone gen. n., Eciton (= Camptognatha, Holopone, Mayromyrmex), Eusphinctus gen. rev., Labidus (= Nycteresia, Pseudodichthadia), Leptanilloides (= Amyrmex syn. n., Asphinctanilloides syn. n.), Lioponera gen. rev. (= Neophyracaces syn. n., Phyracaces syn. n.), Lividopone, Neivamyrmex (= Acamatus, Woitkowskia), Neocerapachys gen. n., Nomamyrmex, Ooceraea gen. rev. (= Cysias syn. n.), Parasyscia gen. rev., †Procerapachys, Simopone, Sphinctomyrmex, Syscia gen. rev., Tanipone, Vicinopone, Yunodorylus gen. rev., Zasphinctus

  11. Generic revision of the ant subfamily Dorylinae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Borowiec, Marek L

    2016-01-01

    The generic classification of the ant subfamily Dorylinae is revised, with the aim of facilitating identification of easily-diagnosable monophyletic genera. The new classification is based on recent molecular phylogenetic evidence and a critical reappraisal of doryline morphology. New keys and diagnoses based on workers and males are provided, along with reviews of natural history and phylogenetic relationships, distribution maps, and a list of valid species for each lineage. Twenty-eight genera (27 extant and 1 extinct) are recognized within the subfamily, an increase from 20 in the previous classification scheme. Species classified in the polyphyletic Cerapachys and Sphinctomyrmex prior to this publication are here distributed among 9 and 3 different genera, respectively. Amyrmex and Asphinctanilloides are synonymized under Leptanilloides and the currently recognized subgenera are synonymized for Dorylus. No tribal classification is proposed for the subfamily, but several apparently monophyletic genus-groups are discussed. Valid generic names recognized here include: Acanthostichus (= Ctenopyga), Aenictogiton, Aenictus (= Paraenictus, Typhlatta), Cerapachys (= Ceratopachys), Cheliomyrmex, Chrysapace gen. rev., Cylindromyrmex (= Holcoponera, Hypocylindromyrmex, Metacylindromyrmex), Dorylus (= Alaopone syn. n., Anomma syn. n., Cosmaecetes, Dichthadia syn. n., Rhogmus syn. n., Shuckardia, Sphecomyrmex, Sphegomyrmex, Typhlopone syn. n.), Eburopone gen. n., Eciton (= Camptognatha, Holopone, Mayromyrmex), Eusphinctus gen. rev., Labidus (= Nycteresia, Pseudodichthadia), Leptanilloides (= Amyrmex syn. n., Asphinctanilloides syn. n.), Lioponera gen. rev. (= Neophyracaces syn. n., Phyracaces syn. n.), Lividopone, Neivamyrmex (= Acamatus, Woitkowskia), Neocerapachys gen. n., Nomamyrmex, Ooceraea gen. rev. (= Cysias syn. n.), Parasyscia gen. rev., †Procerapachys, Simopone, Sphinctomyrmex, Syscia gen. rev., Tanipone, Vicinopone, Yunodorylus gen. rev., Zasphinctus gen. rev

  12. Speed of efficacy and delayed toxicity characteristics of fast-acting fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) baits.

    PubMed

    Oi, David H; Oi, Faith M

    2006-10-01

    Efficacy and speed of action of fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) baits that claim fast control of colonies were compared with a standard bait. More than 85% of red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, laboratory colonies provided bait containing the active ingredient indoxacarb died within 3 d, and all colonies were dead in 6 d. Standard bait containing hydramethylnon resulted in death of 60% of the colonies in 9 d. Bait containing spinosad did not cause colony death. Under field conditions, one-half of the areas treated with the indoxacarb bait did not have any active fire ant nests within 3 d, whereas 11 d was needed to reach the same level of control with the hydramethylnon bait. Spinosad had a maximum of 17% of the treated areas without nests after 3 d. The delay in death of S. invicta adults treated in the laboratory with the indoxacarb and spinosad baits was shorter than the standard hydramethylnon bait, which had mortality similar to the traditional delayed toxicity criterion of < 15% mortality after 24 h and > 89% mortality over the test period. Indoxacarb caused mortality of 57% at 24 h and 100% at 48 h; however, visual symptoms of toxicity were not readily observed for at least 8 h before the abrupt increase in death. Spinosad caused 96% mortality by 24 h, and initial mortality became apparent at 4 h. Time required for death of 15% of a treated population (LT15) of spinosad, indoxacarb, and hydramethylnon was 3, 9, and 16 h, respectively. Delayed toxicity characteristics of the fast-acting indoxacarb bait may be useful for the development of other fast-acting ant baits. PMID:17066807

  13. Influence of toxic bait type and starvation on worker and queen mortality in laboratory colonies of Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Mathieson, Melissa; Toft, Richard; Lester, Philip J

    2012-08-01

    The efficacy of toxic baits should be judged by their ability to kill entire ant colonies, including the colony queen or queens. We studied the efficacy of four toxic baits to the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). These baits were Xstinguish that has the toxicant fipronil, Exterm-an-Ant that contains both boric acid and sodium borate, and Advion ant gel and Advion ant bait arena that both have indoxacarb. Experimental nests contained 300 workers and 10 queen ants that were starved for either 24 or 48 h before toxic bait exposure. The efficacy of the toxic baits was strongly influenced by starvation. In no treatment with 24-h starvation did we observe 100% worker death. After 24-h starvation three of the baits did not result in any queen deaths, with only Exterm-an-Ant producing an average of 25% mortality. In contrast, 100% queen and worker mortality was observed in colonies starved for 48 h and given Xstinguish or Exterm-an-Ant. The baits Advion ant gel and Advion ant bait arena were not effective against Argentine ants in these trials, resulting in <60% mortality in all treatments. Because of the strong influence of starvation on bait uptake, control efficacy may be maximized by applying bait when ants are likely to be starved. Our results suggest queen mortality must be assessed in tests for toxic bait efficacy. Our data indicate that of these four baits, Xstinguish and Exterm-an-Ant are the best options for control of Argentine ants in New Zealand. PMID:22928290

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Apiculture in Brazil is quite profitable and has great potential for expansion because of the favorable climate and abundancy of plant diversity. However, the occurrence of pests, diseases, and parasites hinders the growth and profitability of beekeeping. In the interior of the state of São Paulo, apiaries are attacked by ants, especially the species Camponotus atriceps (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), which use the substances produced by Apis mellifera scutellata (Lepeletier) (Hymenoptera: Apidae), like honey, wax, pollen, and offspring as a source of nourishment for the adult and immature ants, and kill or expel the adult bees during the invasion. This study aimed to understand the invasion of C. atriceps in hives of A. m. scutellata. The individuals were classified into castes and subcastes according to morphometric analyses, and their cuticular chemical compounds were identified using Photoacoustic Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS). The morphometric analyses were able to classify the individuals into reproductive castes (queen and gynes), workers (minor and small ants), and the soldier subcaste (medium and major ants). Identification of cuticular hydrocarbons of these individuals revealed that the eight beehives were invaded by only three colonies of C. atriceps; one of the colonies invaded only one beehive, and the other two colonies underwent a process called sociotomy and were responsible for the invasion of the other seven beehives. The lack of preventive measures and the nocturnal behavior of the ants favored the invasion and attack on the bees. PMID:26563402

  15. Evaluation of liquid baits against field populations of the longlegged ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Chong, Kim-Fung; Lee, Chow-Yang

    2009-08-01

    An evaluation of several insecticides, namely, 0.01% fipronil, 0.05% indoxacarb, and 2% boric acid in liquid bait formulations were carried out against field populations of the longlegged ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes (Fr. Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The baits were formulated in brown cane sugar solution (50%, wt:wt) and placed in an experimental bait station. Each bait was evaluated against populations of A. gracilipes at four buildings. Fipronil, indoxacarb, and boric acid were effective against A. gracilipes, with > 90% reduction of workers within 3 d posttreatment. Total reduction (100%) was achieved within 7 d for fipronil, 14 d for indoxacarb, and 56 d for boric acid. The performance of fipronil and indoxacarb baits did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) in all postbaiting sampling intervals. Reduction of A. gracilipes resulted in an increase in other ant species [Monomorium pharaonis (L.), Monomorium floricola (Jerdon), Monomorium orientale Mayr, Monomorium destructor (Jerdon), Tapinoma indicum Forel, Pheidole sp., and Camponotus sp.] at the baited locations. PMID:19736772

  16. Long-term field trial to control the invasive Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with synthetic trail pheromone.

    PubMed

    Nishisue, K; Sunamura, E; Tanaka, Y; Sakamoto, H; Suzuki, S; Fukumoto, T; Terayama, M; Tatsuki, S

    2010-10-01

    Previous short-term experiments showed that trail following behavior of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), can be disrupted by a high concentration of synthetic trail pheromone component (Z)-9-hexadecenal. In this study, a long-term field trial was conducted in 100-m2 plots of house gardens in an urban area of Japan to see whether the control effect on Argentine ants can be obtained by permeating synthetic trail pheromone from dispensers. The dispensers were placed in the experimental plots during the ant's active season (April-November) for 2 yr with monthly renewal. To estimate Argentine ant population density, foraging activity of Argentine ants in the study plots was monitored by monthly bait surveys. Throughout the study period, Argentine ant foraging activity was suppressed in the presence of the dispensers, presumably via trail forming inhibition. In contrast, the level of foraging activity was not different between treatment and no-treatment plots when the dispensers were temporarily removed, suggesting that treatment with pheromone dispensers did not suppress Argentine ant density in the treatment plots. Population decline may be expected with larger-scale treatment that covers a significant portion of the ant colony or with improvement in the potency of the disruptant. PMID:21061980

  17. Thelytokous Parthenogenesis in the Fungus-Gardening Ant Mycocepurus smithii (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Rabeling, Christian; Lino-Neto, José; Cappellari, Simone C.; Dos-Santos, Iracenir A.; Mueller, Ulrich G.; Bacci, Maurício

    2009-01-01

    The general prevalence of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction among organisms testifies to the evolutionary benefits of recombination, such as accelerated adaptation to changing environments and elimination of deleterious mutations. Documented instances of asexual reproduction in groups otherwise dominated by sexual reproduction challenge evolutionary biologists to understand the special circumstances that might confer an advantage to asexual reproductive strategies. Here we report one such instance of asexual reproduction in the ants. We present evidence for obligate thelytoky in the asexual fungus-gardening ant, Mycocepurus smithii, in which queens produce female offspring from unfertilized eggs, workers are sterile, and males appear to be completely absent. Obligate thelytoky is implicated by reproductive physiology of queens, lack of males, absence of mating behavior, and natural history observations. An obligate thelytoky hypothesis is further supported by the absence of evidence indicating sexual reproduction or genetic recombination across the species' extensive distribution range (Mexico-Argentina). Potential conflicting evidence for sexual reproduction in this species derives from three Mycocepurus males reported in the literature, previously regarded as possible males of M. smithii. However, we show here that these specimens represent males of the congeneric species M. obsoletus, and not males of M. smithii. Mycocepurus smithii is unique among ants and among eusocial Hymenoptera, in that males seem to be completely absent and only queens (and not workers) produce diploid offspring via thelytoky. Because colonies consisting only of females can be propagated consecutively in the laboratory, M. smithii could be an adequate study organism a) to test hypotheses of the population-genetic advantages and disadvantages of asexual reproduction in a social organism and b) inform kin conflict theory. For a Portuguese translation of the abstract, please see

  18. Seed handling by primary frugivores differentially influence post-dispersal seed removal of Chinese yew by ground-dwelling animals.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yang; Bai, Bing; Xiong, Tianshi; Shi, Peijian; Lu, Changhu

    2016-05-01

    Seed handling by primary frugivores can influence secondary dispersal and/or predation of post-dispersal seeds by attracting different guilds of ground-dwelling animals. Many studies have focused on seeds embedded in feces of mammals or birds; however, less is known about how ground-dwelling animals treat seeds regurgitated by birds (without pulp and not embedded in feces). To compare the effect of differential seed handling by primary dispersers on secondary seed removal of Chinese yew (Taxus chinensis var. mairei), we conducted a series of exclosure experiments to determine the relative impact of animals on the removal of defecated seeds (handled by masked palm civet), regurgitated seeds (handled by birds) and intact fruits. All types of yew seeds were consistently removed at a higher rate by rodents than by ants. Regurgitated seeds had the highest removal percentage and were only removed by rodents. These seeds were probably eaten in situ without being secondarily dispersed. Defecated seeds were removed by both rodents and ants; only ants might act as secondary dispersers of defecated seeds, whereas rodents ate most of them. We inferred that seeds regurgitated by birds were subjected to the highest rates of predation, whereas those dispersed in the feces of masked palm civets probably had a higher likelihood of secondary dispersal. Seeds from feces attracted ants, which were likely to transport seeds and potentially provided a means by which the seeds could escape predation by rodents. Our study highlighted that primary dispersal by birds might not always facilitate secondary dispersal and establishment of plant populations. PMID:26846724

  19. New host record for Camponotophilus delvarei (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae), a parasitoid of Microdon sp. larvae associated with the ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The host of Camponotophilus delvarei (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae) is newly reported as Microdon sp. (Diptera: Syrphidae), a genus of obligatory myrmecophilous fly that predates ant brood, in this case Camponotus sp. aff. textor, in southern Mexico. The biology of Microdon spp. is reported as is that o...

  20. Effect of two agroecological management strategies on ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) diversity on coffee plantations in southwestern Colombia.

    PubMed

    Urrutia-Escobar, M X; Armbrecht, I

    2013-04-01

    Simplification of agroecosystems because of industrialization of agriculture may cause the loss of associated animal biodiversity of both vertebrates and invertebrates. To measure how the agricultural intensification on coffee plantations affects ant biodiversity, we intensively sampled ants in Caldono (Cauca, Colombia). We surveyed 15 sites classified into three management types: sun coffee plantations, shaded coffee plantations, and forest patches. Fifteen 50-m linear transects, each one consisting of 5 pitfall traps and 5 tuna baits, were set at each sampling location between December of 2009 and February of 2010. We collected 18,186 ants that represent 82 ant species, 34 genera, and 9 subfamilies of Formicidae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The management intensification index showed an increasing intensification gradient along the 15 sampling locations from forest patches to shaded coffee to sun coffee plantations. Shaded coffee plantations harbored the highest number of species (60), followed by forest (56) and sun coffee (33). Ant species composition and plant structure on shaded coffee plantations resembled the forest patches more than the sun coffee plantations. Forest and shaded coffee plantations had a more equitable distribution of ant species, whereas in sun coffee plantations, Linepithema neotropicum (Emery) and Ectatomma ruidum (Roger) typically outnumbered all other ant species. Evidence from functional groups indicated that specific habitat and feeding requirements exist among the species that are found together. Our results confirmed that intensification of agriculture negatively affects ant diversity, despite the fact that farms were located in a heterogeneous landscape, suggesting that agroecological management is a strong determinant in the conservation of wild fauna. PMID:23575008

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-01

    The little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is an invasive ant that forms supercolonies when it successfully invades new areas. W. auropunctata was first reported in Hawaii in 1999, and it has since invaded a variety of agricultural sites, including nurseries, orchards, and pastures. Amdro (hydramethylnon; in bait stations), Esteem (pyriproxyfen; broadcast bait), and Conserve (spinosad; ground spray) were tested for their efficacy against W. auropunctata in a rambutan, Nephelium lappaceum L. and mangosteen, Garcinia mangostana L., orchard by making treatments every 2 wk for 16 wk. Relative estimates of ant numbers in plots was determined by transect sampling using peanut butter-baited sticks. Significant treatment effects were observed on weeks 13-17, with reductions in ant counts occurring in the Amdro and Esteem treatments. During this period, the reduction in ant numbers from pretreatment counts averaged 47.1 and 92.5% in the Amdro and Esteem plots, respectively, whereas ant numbers in the untreated control plots increased by 185.9% compared with pretreatment counts. Conserve did not cause a reduction in ant counts as applied in our experiment. No plots for any of the treatments achieved 100% reduction. Pseudococcidae were counted on branch terminals at 4-wk intervals. The two predominant species, Nipaecoccus nipae (Maskell) and Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead) were significantly lower in the Amdro and Esteem treatments on week 16 compared with controls. Many W. auropunctata were found nesting in protected sites in the orchard trees, which may have compromised the ground-based control methods. Absolute density estimates from shallow core samples taken from the orchard floor indicated the W. auropunctata supercolony exceeded 244 million ants and 22.7 kg wet weight per ha. PMID:18767711

  2. A new ant genus from southern Argentina and southern Chile, Patagonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert A; Moreau, Corrie S

    2016-01-01

    The ant genus Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae) comprises 71 described species that occur in North America, South America, and Hispaniola, and it is the nominal genus in the recently established tribe Pogonomyrmecini. A molecular phylogeny using 3,647 base pairs from fragments of one mitochondrial gene (cytochrome oxidase I) and five nuclear genes (long-wavelength rhodopsin, elongation factor 1α F1, elongation factor 1α F2, wingless, rudimentary) inferred that Pogonomymrex was not monophyletic. The vast majority of species belonged to a monophyletic clade (Pogonomyrmex sensu stricto), whereas species in the Po. angustus-group formed a second lineage outside of Pogonomyrmex and Hylomyrma, the latter being the only other genus in the tribe. To maintain monophyly of Pogonomyrmex, we create the genus Patagonomyrmex gen. n., which consists of the three angustus-group species (Patagonomyrmex angustus comb. n., Patagonomyrmex laevigatus comb. n., and Patagonomyrmex odoratus comb. n.) that are sister to all other pogonomyrmecines. The genus is restricted to southern Argentina and southern and southcentral Chile. Workers are characterized by: (1) poorly-developed psammophore that consists of short to medium-length hairs scattered over the ventral surface of the head, (2) anterior clypeal margin strongly convex in full-face view, (3) clypeus strongly convex in profile, (4) superior and inferior propodeal spines long, (5) dorsal surface of promesonotum smooth and shiny, lacking rugae or if rugae present, then interrugae strongly granulate-punctate, (6) anteroventral margin of peduncle of the petiole with a small, acuminate spine, and (7) palp formula 5,4. We also provide information on biology, distribution maps, and a key to workers, queens, and males in English and Spanish. PMID:27470783

  3. The molecular structure of the silk fibers from Hymenoptera aculeata (bees, wasps, ants).

    PubMed

    Fraser, R D Bruce; Parry, David A D

    2015-12-01

    Silks from the Hymenoptera aculeata (bees, wasps, ants) contain ropes with four α-helical strands, rather than the more usual two strands found, for example, in α-keratin and myosin molecules. Extensive studies of the chemical structure of the silks have shown that each of the four chains in the molecule contains a central coiled-coil rod domain. However, little progress has been made in modeling the three-dimensional structure. X-ray diffraction data on honeybee silk (Apis mellifera), recorded by Rudall and coworkers, has been re-examined in detail and possible structures developed for the various types of filament seen in the silk glands, and for the packing arrangement in the spun fibers. The original X-ray data were re-collected by scanning figures in the original publications, de-screening and averaging perpendicular to the direction of interest, thereby reducing the graininess of the original images. Sufficient numbers of equatorial and meridional reflections were collected to define the axial projection of the base of the unit cell in fibers drawn from the contents of the silk glands, and to suggest that the axial period is different from that suggested by Rudall and coworkers. Models for two types of filament of increasing diameter are developed based on the node-internode packing scheme observed in protein crystals containing four-strand α-helical ropes. The central domains of the four component chains in the molecule are enclosed by N- and C-terminal domains with widely different lengths and compositions. The fibers thus have a composite filament-matrix texture, and possible locations for the matrix are discussed. PMID:26515761

  4. Seed Selection by the Harvester Ant Pogonomyrmex rugosus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Coastal Sage Scrub: Interactions With Invasive Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Briggs, C M; Redak, R A

    2016-08-01

    Harvester ants can be the dominant seed predators on plants by collecting and eating seeds and are known to influence plant communities. Harvester ants are abundant in coastal sage scrub (CSS), and CSS is frequently invaded by several exotic plant species. This study used observations of foraging and cafeteria-style experiments to test for seed species selection by the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex rugosus Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in CSS. Analysis of foraging behavior showed that P. rugosus carried seeds of exotic Erodium cicutarium (L.) and exotic Brassica tournefortii (Gouan) on 85 and 15% of return trips to the nest (respectively), and only a very few ants carried the native seeds found within the study areas. When compared with the availability of seeds in the field, P. rugosus selected exotic E. cicutarium and avoided both native Encelia farinosa (Torrey & A. Gray) and exotic B. tournefortii. Foraging by P. rugosus had no major effect on the seed bank in the field. Cafeteria-style experiments confirmed that P. rugosus selected E. cicutarium over other available seeds. Native Eriogonum fasciculatum (Bentham) seeds were even less selected than E. farinosa and B. tournefortii. PMID:27257121

  5. Natural enemies of Atta vollenweideri (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) leaf-cutter ants negatively affected by synthetic pesticides, chlorpyrifos and fipronil.

    PubMed

    Guillade, Andrea C; Folgarait, Patricia J

    2014-02-01

    In southern South America, Ada vollenweideri Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is a significant pest of several crops and forestry, also considered to reduce the carrying capacity of pastures. The most usual control method used in Latin America is the application of synthetic pesticides, mainly chlorpyrifos and fipronil. However, no studies have assessed the effects of these agrochemicals on natural enemies of ants. We aimed to evaluate the efficiency of these pesticides on leaf-cutter ants' control and to test their effect on phorid fly parasitoids. Chlorpyrifos failed to exert complete control over ant colonies in the field and was gravely detrimental to specific parasitoids, reducing their percentage of parasitism, pupal survivorship, and adult longevity. Fipronil, however, exerted complete control over the treated colonies. Laboratory tests using both pesticides, either on ants from foraging trails or on pupariae, showed that chlorpyrifos and fipronil decreased larval and pupal survivorship, as well as adult longevity of parasitoids, in comparison to controls. In conclusion, these pesticides will likely affect parasitoids with regard to their reproductive capacity, leading to the decreased levels of natural parasitism observed in the field after treatments. We discuss why neither pesticide should be taken into account for integrated pest management programs. PMID:24665691

  6. Notes on spider (Theridiidae, Salticidae) predation of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex salinus Olsen (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae), and a possible parasitoid fly (Chloropidae)

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, W.H. Univ. of Idaho, Moscow ); Blom, P.E. )

    1992-12-01

    Spiders are known predators of ants. Pressure exerted by consistent spider predation can alter the behavior of ant colonies (MacKay 1982) and may be a selective pressure contributing to the seed-harvesting behavior of Pogonomyrmex (MacKay and MacKay 1984). The authors observed the spider Euryopis formosa Banks (Araneae: Theridiidae) capture and transport workers of the harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex salinus Olsen [Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Myrmicinae]) in southeastern Idaho. Additional observations revealed a crab spider of the genus Xysticus preying on P. salinus and the presence of a chloropid fly (Incertella) that may have been parasitizing the moribund prey subdued by the spider.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. Deterrency and Toxicity of Essential Oils to Argentine and Red Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Laboratory assays were conducted to evaluate deterrency and contact toxicity of six essential oils to the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. In choice tests, both Argentine ants and fire ants crossed barriers treated with multiple rates...

  9. Is It an Ant or a Butterfly? Convergent Evolution in the Mitochondrial Gene Order of Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera

    PubMed Central

    Babbucci, Massimiliano; Basso, Andrea; Scupola, Antonio; Patarnello, Tomaso; Negrisolo, Enrico

    2014-01-01

    Insect mitochondrial genomes (mtDNA) are usually double helical and circular molecules containing 37 genes that are encoded on both strands. The arrangement of the genes is not constant for all species, and produces distinct gene orders (GOs) that have proven to be diagnostic in defining clades at different taxonomic levels. In general, it is believed that distinct taxa have a very low chance of sharing identically arranged GOs. However, examples of identical, homoplastic local rearrangements occurring in distinct taxa do exist. In this study, we sequenced the complete mtDNAs of the ants Formica fusca and Myrmica scabrinodis (Formicidae, Hymenoptera) and compared their GOs with those of other Insecta. The GO of F. fusca was found to be identical to the GO of Dytrisia (the largest clade of Lepidoptera). This finding is the first documented case of an identical GO shared by distinct groups of Insecta, and it is the oldest known event of GO convergent evolution in animals. Both Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera acquired this GO early in their evolution. Using a phylogenetic approach combined with new bioinformatic tools, the chronological order of the evolutionary events that produced the diversity of the hymenopteran GOs was determined. Additionally, new local homoplastic rearrangements shared by distinct groups of insects were identified. Our study showed that local and global homoplasies affecting the insect GOs are more widespread than previously thought. Homoplastic GOs can still be useful for characterizing the various clades, provided that they are appropriately considered in a phylogenetic and taxonomic context. PMID:25480682

  10. Defensive chemicals of tawny crazy ants, Nylanderia fulva (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and their toxicity to red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Chen, Jian; Rashid, Tahir; Feng, Guolei; Zhao, Liming; Oi, David; Drees, Bastiaan Bart M

    2013-12-15

    Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) has been reported as being able to displace Solenopsis invicta Buren, one of the most aggressive invasive ants in the world. Like S. invicta, N. fulva use chemical secretions in their defense/offense, which may contribute to their observed superior competition ability. In this study, the defensive chemicals of N. fulva workers and their toxicity against S. invicta workers were investigated. Like other formicine ants, N. fulva workers produce formic acid in their poison glands and 2-ketones and alkanes in Dufour glands. Of these, undecane and 2-tridecanone are two principal compounds in the Dufour gland. Topical LD50 values of 2-tridecanone and undecane against S. invicta workers ranged from 18.51 to 24.67 μg/ant and 40.39 to 84.82 μg/ant, respectively. Undecane and 2-tridecanone had significantly higher contact toxicity than formic acid, whereas formic acid had significantly higher fumigation toxicity than undecane and 2-tridecanone. The combination of 2-tridecanone as a contact toxin and formic acid as a fumigant significantly decreased KT50 values when compared to those of individual compounds. N. fulva does not seem unique in terms of the chemistry of its defensive secretion as compared to other formicine ants. However, this ant contained more than two orders of magnitude of formic acid (wt/wt) than other formicine ants and one order of magnitude of 2-tridecanone than the common crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis (Latreille). The quantity, rather than quality, of the chemical secretion may contribute to the superior competition ability of N. fulva. PMID:24080354

  11. [Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) as vectors for bacteria in two hospitals in the municipality of Divinópolis, State of Minas Gerais].

    PubMed

    Santos, Paula Fernandes dos; Fonseca, Alysson Rodrigo; Sanches, Newton Moreno

    2009-01-01

    The presence of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in hospital environments may constitute a public health problem, especially since they are mechanical vectors for pathogenic organisms. This study aimed to survey the ant populations and analyze the presence of bacteria associated with them in two medium-sized regional hospitals in the municipality of Divinópolis, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Specimens were collected every monthly over a six-month period. The following ant species were found: Pheidole sp1 and sp2, Linepithema humile, Wasmannia auropunctata, Camponotus sp1 and sp2, Odontomachus sp, Solenopsis sp, Acromyrmex sp and Tapinoma melenocephalum. It was observed that these ants mechanically transported Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Escherichia coli and non-pathogenic and pathogenic Staphylococcus. These results show the propensity for occurrences of hospital infections at these sites caused by mechanical transmission of pathogens by ants. PMID:19967241

  12. Effect of Mediterranean ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on California red scale (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) populations in citrus orchards.

    PubMed

    Pekas, A; Tena, A; Aguilar, A; Garcia-Marí, F

    2010-06-01

    We conducted an ant-exclusion experiment in a citrus orchard to evaluate the overall impact of three ant species native in the Mediterranean, Pheidole pallidula (Nylander), Plagiolepis schmitzii Forel, and Lasius grandis (Forel), on populations of Aonidiella aurantii Maskell (California red scale). The ant-exclusion was carried out in four experimental plots from March 2007 to November 2008. Another subset of four plots, adjacent to the ant-excluded plots, was used as control. We measured scale densities and percent parasitism on fruits at harvest in 2007 and 2008. Additionally, we sampled the seasonal trend of the scale on twigs and fruits in both treatments during 2008. California red scale densities in the ant-excluded treatment began to be significantly lower than in the ant-allowed control in May (1 mo after ant activity began), and this difference increased until November. Thus, the effect of the ants on California red scale density seems to be accumulative. At harvest, scale densities on fruits were significantly lower in the ant-excluded treatment. However, percent parasitism on fruits was similar between treatments. Finally, scale densities on the fruits of the ant-allowed plots were positively correlated with the number of ants that climbed to the citrus canopy. These results suggest that increases of scale densities induced by Mediterranean ants depend on the intensity of the ant-activity on citrus canopies. PMID:20550795

  13. Efficient sampling of ground-dwelling arthropods using pitfall traps in arid steppes.

    PubMed

    Cheli, Germán H; Corley, Juan C

    2010-01-01

    Pitfall trapping is probably the most frequently used method for sampling ground-dwelling arthropods. While the capture of specimens in pitfall traps largely depends on the number of individuals in the sampled area, trap design and trapping effort for a given environment, can also affect sampling success. The aim of this study was to determine the best pitfall trapping design for collecting ground-dwelling arthropods in the wind-blown and cold arid steppe areas of Patagonia. We tested four designs of traps, six types of preservative and different times of activation as well as the quantity of traps. Both preservation attributes and sampling efficiency differed between different trap designs and fluids compared. We conclude that in order to obtain reliable data on the structure of a community of ground-dwelling arthropods in Patagonia, at least three pitfall traps per experimental unit are required. In addition, traps should be opened for a minimum of 10 days filled with 300 ml of 30% ethylene glycol. We also suggested the use of a simple trap design (i. e. without funnel or roof). We believe these findings will contribute to more appropriate sampling of the ground dwelling fauna of Patagonia as well as other arid areas, leading to more reliable diversity studies. PMID:21271057

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. Activity of Bifenthrin, Chlorfenapyr, Fipronil, and Thiamethoxam against Red Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bifenthrin, chlorfenapyr, fipronil, and thiamethoxam were evaluated for activity against the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr). Mobility impairment and lethal times were determined following topical treatments. Ants were immobilized most quickly by bifenthrin, followed by chlorfenapyr and thi...

  16. Activity of Bifenthrin, Chlorfenapyr, Fipronil, and Thiamethoxam against Argentine Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bifenthrin, chlorfenapyr, fipronil, and thiamethoxam were evaluated for activity against the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr). Mobility impairment and lethal times were determined following topical treatments. Ants were immobilized most quickly by bifenthrin, followed by chlorfenapyr and th...

  17. CHEMISTRY OF THE FECES OF THE RED IMPORTED FIRE ANTS, SOLENOPSIS INVICTA BUREN (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In an ant colony, feces are not just metabolic waste; they often affect colony functions. Knowledge on the chemistry of the feces may be helpful in understanding their effect on the ant behavior. Feces of workers, larvae, alates and queens of red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, were...

  18. Performance of the species-typical alarm response in young workers of the ant Myrmica sabuleti (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is induced by interactions with mature workers.

    PubMed

    Cammaerts, Marie-Claire

    2014-01-01

    Young workers of the ant Myrmica sabuleti (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Meinert 1861 perceived nestmate alarm pheromone but did not display normal alarm behavior (orientation toward the source of emission, increased running speed). They changed their initial behavior when in the presence of older nestmates exhibiting normal alarm behavior. Four days later, the young ants exhibited an imperfect version of normal alarm behavior. This change of behavior did not occur in young ants, which were not exposed to older ants reacting to alarm pheromone. Queen ants perceived the alarm pheromone and, after a few seconds, moved toward its source. Thus, the ants' ability to sense the alarm pheromone and to identify it as an alarm signal is native, while the adult alarm reaction is acquired over time (= age based polyethism) by young ants. It is possible that the change in behavior observed in young ants could be initiated and/or enhanced (via experience-induced developmental plasticity, learning, and/or other mechanisms) by older ants exhibiting alarm behavior. PMID:25525102

  19. A synoptic review of the ant genera (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the Philippines

    PubMed Central

    General, David M.; Alpert, Gary D.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract An overview of the history of myrmecology in the Philippine archipelago is presented. Keys are provided to the 11 ant subfamilies and the 92 ant genera known from the Philippines. Eleven ant genera (12%), including 3 undescribed genera, are recorded for the first time from the Philippines. The biology and ecology of the 92 genera, illustrated by full-face and profile photo-images, of Philippine ants are summarized in the form of brief generic accounts. A bibliography of significant taxonomic and behavioral papers on Philippine ants and a checklist of valid species and subspecies and their island distributions are provided. PMID:22767999

  20. Influences on the structure of suburban ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) communities and the abundance of Tapinoma sessile.

    PubMed

    Toennisson, T A; Sanders, N J; Klingeman, W E; Vail, K M

    2011-12-01

    Urbanization can alter the organization of ant communities and affect populations of urban pest ants. In this study, we sampled ant communities in urban and suburban yards to understand the habitat factors that shape these communities and influence the abundance of a common pest species, Tapinoma sessile (Say). We used pitfall traps to sample ant communities and a combination of pitfall traps and baiting to collect T. sessile at 24 sites in Knoxville, TN. In total, we collected 46 ant species. Ant species richness ranged from seven to 24 species per yard. Ant species richness tended to be lowest near houses, whereas T. sessile abundance was highest near houses. The best predictors of ant species richness in yards were canopy cover and presence of leaf litter: ant species richness peaked at mid-levels of canopy cover and was negatively correlated with the presence of leaf litter. Tapinoma sessile abundance increased with presence of logs, boards, or landscaping timbers and leaf litter in yards. Our results indicate that ant communities and the abundance of particular pest species in these urban and suburban landscapes are shaped by many of the same factors that structure ant communities in less anthropogenically disturbed environments. PMID:22217754

  1. Do weaver ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) marks affect mango internal quality and storage life?

    PubMed

    Peng, Renkang; Christian, Keith

    2013-02-01

    In implementing the integrated pest management mango (Mangifera indica L.) program using weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina F.) as a major component in the Northern Territory of Australia, we received a number of questions from farmers and extension officers asking whether weaver ant marks reduce internal fruit quality and induce fruit rot, which is economically important. However, this issue has not been investigated. Soluble sugar content in fruits with and without weaver ant marks and observations on the storage of fruits with the ant marks were recorded in 2002 and 2003. The sugar contents were, in general, higher on the side of the fruit with a relatively large area of ant marks than on the side with a smaller area of ant marks, irrespective of whether fruits were exposed to the sun or not. The field experiment showed that sugar content was generally higher in the treatment with weaver ants plus soft chemicals than in the insecticide treatment. For the storage of fruits bearing weaver ant marks, no signs of diffuse rot from any ant marks were observed, but fruit skin without the ant marks developed a considerable number of dark open lenticels, most of which developed to rot marks and patches. These results suggest that weaver ant marks are positively correlated with internal fruit quality, do not induce fruit rot and can be used as an indicator of better fruit quality and safety. PMID:23448044

  2. Performance of the Species-Typical Alarm Response in Young Workers of the Ant Myrmica sabuleti (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Is Induced by Interactions with Mature Workers

    PubMed Central

    Cammaerts, Marie-Claire

    2014-01-01

    Young workers of the ant Myrmica sabuleti (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Meinert 1861 perceived nestmate alarm pheromone but did not display normal alarm behavior (orientation toward the source of emission, increased running speed). They changed their initial behavior when in the presence of older nestmates exhibiting normal alarm behavior. Four days later, the young ants exhibited an imperfect version of normal alarm behavior. This change of behavior did not occur in young ants, which were not exposed to older ants reacting to alarm pheromone. Queen ants perceived the alarm pheromone and, after a few seconds, moved toward its source. Thus, the ants’ ability to sense the alarm pheromone and to identify it as an alarm signal is native, while the adult alarm reaction is acquired over time (= age based polyethism) by young ants. It is possible that the change in behavior observed in young ants could be initiated and/or enhanced (via experience-induced developmental plasticity, learning, and/or other mechanisms) by older ants exhibiting alarm behavior. PMID:25525102

  3. A Diverse Ant Fauna from the Mid-Cretaceous of Myanmar (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24699881

  4. Defensive chemicals of tawny crazy ants, Nylanderia fulva and their toxicity to red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) has been reported as being able to displace Solenopsis invicta Buren, one of the most aggressive invasive ants in the world. Like S. invicta, N. fulva use chemical secretions in their defense/offense, which may contribute to their observed superior competition ability. In t...

  5. Ants (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) of the Savannah River Plant, South Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    Van Pelt, A.; Gentry, J.B.

    1985-03-01

    This report lists each ant species collected on the SRP by habitat and, where determined, the nesting site within a particular habitat. Through the use of baited traps, relative frequencies of foraging ants were determined and listed. A key to the subfamilies and genera of ants occurring on the SRP is included along with illustrations of species representative of the major genera. 10 refs., 32 figs., 2 tabs.

  6. Mechanisms of competitive displacement of native ant fauna by invading Myrmica rubra (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) populations.

    PubMed

    Garnas, Jeffrey; Groden, Eleanor; Drummond, Francis A

    2014-12-01

    Exotic ants have become invasive in many regions around the world, with variable ecological impacts. Postinvasion, native ant communities are often found to be depauperate, though the causes of this apparent lack of coexistence are rarely well known. Myrmica rubra (L.), a Palearctic Myrmecine ant, is currently expanding its range as an invasive in North America. This aggressive ant forms dense, patchy local infestations and appears to aggressively displace native ant fauna. We measured behavioral interactions and rates of recruitment in experimental field assays pitting native foragers against captive colonies of M. rubra at tuna-jelly or aphid baits in uninfested areas of Mt. Desert Island, ME. Behavioral interactions were idiosyncratic with respect to the native opponent, but M. rubra generally showed significantly higher levels of recruitment, aggression, and displacement of native foragers. As with other invasive ant species shown to have broken the "dominance-discovery trade-off," M. rubra was consistently faster to discover baits and disproportionately displaced native foragers, providing a plausible proximate mechanism for native ant exclusion. Finally, we surveyed ant recruitment at baits for 24 h in August 2004 at four sites with varying M. rubra abundance but found little evidence of temporal niche partitioning. Taken together, these results indicate competitive superiority by M. rubra with respect to native ant communities of the northeastern North America and suggest direct aggression and competitive exclusion at food resources can lead to local native displacement. PMID:25268214

  7. Statewide survey of Imported Fire Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) populations in Tennessee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Imported fire ants (Solenopsis spp.) (IFA) now occupy 52 counties (~ 5.4 million hectares) in Tennessee and are continuing their range expansion northward. To better understand the distribution of IFA species in Tennessee, the state was divided into 16.1 ' 16.1 km grids and a single fire ant colony...

  8. The fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) pathogen, Vairimorpha invictae (Microsporidia: Burenellidae), not detected in Florida

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Surveys were conducted to search specifically for the microsporidian pathogen Vairimorpha. invictae in red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, in the U.S. This pathogen is associated with colony decline and reductions in fire ant populations in S. America and is considered to be a promising bio...

  9. Trail pheromone of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Choe, Dong-Hwan; Villafuerte, David B; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2012-01-01

    The Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is recognized as one of the world's most damaging invasive species. One reason for the ecological dominance of introduced Argentine ant populations is their ability to dominate food and habitat resources through the rapid mobilization and recruitment of thousands of workers. More than 30 years ago, studies showed that (Z)-9-hexadecenal strongly attracted Argentine ant workers in a multi-choice olfactometer, suggesting that (Z)-9-hexadecenal might be the trail pheromone, or a component of a trail pheromone mixture. Since then, numerous studies have considered (Z)-9-hexadecenal as the key component of the Argentine ant trails. Here, we report the first chemical analyses of the trails laid by living Argentine ants and find that (Z)-9-hexadecenal is not present in a detectible quantity. Instead, two iridoids, dolichodial and iridomyrmecin, appear to be the primary chemical constituents of the trails. Laboratory choice tests confirmed that Argentine ants were attracted to artificial trails comprised of these two chemicals significantly more often than control trails. Although (Z)-9-hexadecenal was not detected in natural trails, supplementation of artificial dolichodial+iridomyrmecin trails with an extremely low concentraion of (Z)-9-hexadecenal did increase the efficacy of the trail-following behavior. In stark contrast with previous dogma, our study suggests that dolichodial and iridomyrmecin are major components of the Argentine ant trail pheromone. (Z)-9-hexadecenal may act in an additive manner with these iridoids, but it does not occur in detectable quantities in Argentine ant recruitment trails. PMID:23028739

  10. Distribution patterns of imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on a sheep and goat farm in Oklahoma

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Imported fire ant colonies were quantified in 1000 m2 circular subplots spaced about 125 m apart on a sheep and goat farm in Oklahoma. Mound counts and cumulative above-ground mound volume were used as measures of fire ant population density, and were subjected to regression analyses to determine e...

  11. Esterase in imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicata and S. richteri (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): activity, kinetics and variation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Black imported fire ant, Solenopsis richteri, is closely related to the notorious red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Despite being very similar in biology and behavior, S. invicta is a much more successful invader. In contrast to S. invicta that has invaded numberous countries and regions,...

  12. ANT (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE) RESPONSES TO ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSORS IN THE NORTHERN CHIHUAHUAN DESERT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We studied responses of ant communities to shrub removal and intense pulse seasonal grazing by domestic livestock for four consecutive years. Weighted relative abundance and percent of traps in which an ant species occurred were analyzed using randomized, complete block design split in time analysi...

  13. Alkylpyrazines: Alarm pheromone components of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The previous identification of 2,5-dimethyl-3-(3-methylbutyl) pyrazine as the mandibular alarm pheromone of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger), has been found to be incorrect. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) of ant extracts suggested the correct structure to be the reg...

  14. Combining biological and chemical controls for the management of red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two South American natural enemies of imported fire ants were first detected or released in the United States approximately 10 years ago. The fire ant pathogen, Thelohania solenopsae Knell, Allen, and Hazard, was found in the U.S. in 1996 and a parasitic phorid fly from Brazil, Pseudacteon tricuspi...

  15. Consequences of forest clear-cuts for native and nonindigenous ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zettler, J.A.; Taylor, M.D.; Allen, C.R.; Spira, T.P.

    2004-01-01

    Currently, the southern United States produces more timber than any other region in the world. Entire timber stands are removed through a harvesting method called clear-cutting. This common forestry practice may lead to the replacement of native ant communities with invasive, nonindigenous species. In four deciduous forest sites in South Carolina, we monitored the change in ant species richness, diversity, and abundance immediately after forest clearing for a period of 15 mo to 2 yr and determined the incidence of colonization of the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta into these four newly disturbed sites. Each site consisted of an uncut, forested plot and a logged, pine-planted plot. Fire ants were collected in clear-cuts as early as 3 mo postcutting, and by the end of the experiment, they were found in all four treatment sites. Our study is the first to document, through a controlled experiment, that clear-cutting alters ant species assemblages by increasing S. invicta and Pheidole spp. populations and significantly reducing native ant numbers. Long-term studies are needed to assess how replacing native deciduous forests with pine monocultures affects ant assemblages. ?? 2004 Entomological Society of America.

  16. Repellent Effect of Formic Acid Against the Red Imported Fire Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): A Field Study.

    PubMed

    Wang, Cai; Henderson, Gregg

    2016-04-01

    Previous studies showed that the formic acid secreted by tawny crazy ants not only has fumigation toxicity to the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Chen et al. 2013), but also can detoxify fire ant venom (LeBrun et al. 2014). These lead us to a field study to determine if low concentrations of formic acid might be useful in repelling S. invicta. Filter paper discs treated with 1.3% or 5% formic acid (v: v) or distilled water (control) were placed on each of the 46 S. invicta mounds and a disturbance was created. For a minute or less, there were significantly more defending ants on the control discs than that on the paper discs treated with formic acid. After food was added and for the next 40 min, there were significantly more foraging ants on the control discs compared to the treated discs. At 50 min into the test, the number of foraging ants on the control and 1.3% formic acid-treated discs was similar, but both were significantly higher than that on the 5% formic acid-treated discs. In addition, the active foraging (≥10 ants stayed on or around the food) and burying behavior (soil particles were deposited around the food) continued to be inhibited by 5% formic acid. The potential application and ecological significant of this repellent effect is discussed. PMID:26700488

  17. Effects of large-scale wildfire on ground foraging ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matsuda, Tritia; Turschak, Greta; Brehme, Cheryl; Rochester, Carlton; Mitrovich, Milan; Fisher, Robert

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the effect of broad-scale wildfire on ground foraging ants within southern California. In October and November of 2003, two wildfires burned large portions of the wildlands within San Diego County. Between January 2005 and September 2006, we surveyed 63 plots across four sites to measure the effect of the fires on the ant assemblages present in four vegetation types: 1) coastal sage scrub, 2) chaparral, 3) grassland, and 4) woodland riparian. Thirty-six of the 63 plots were sampled before the fires between March 2001 and June 2003. Mixed model regression analyses, accounting for the burn history of each plot and our pre- and postfire sampling efforts, revealed that fire had a negative effect on ant species diversity. Multivariate analyses showed that ant community structure varied significantly among the four vegetation types, and only the ant assemblage associated with coastal sage scrub exhibited a significant difference between burned and unburned samples. The most notable change detected at the individual species level involved Messor andrei (Mayr), which increased from <1% of prefire coastal sage scrub ant samples to 32.1% in burned plots postfire. We theorize that M. andrei responded to the increase of bare ground and postfire seed production, leading to an increase in the detection rate for this species. Collectively, our results suggest that wildfires can have short-term impacts on the diversity and community structure of ground foraging ants in coastal sage scrub. We discuss these findings in relation to management implications and directions for future research.

  18. [Foraging intensity of ants in Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formiciddae) invaded and un-invaded habitats].

    PubMed

    Wu, Bi-Qiu; Lu, Yong-Yue; Zeng, Ling; Song, Zhen-Dong; Liang, Guang-Wen

    2009-10-01

    By the methods of bait (honey, peanut oil, sausage, and mealworm larvae) trap, this paper studied the searching time, recruitment time, and recruitment number of ants in 3 typical habitats invaded and un-invaded by red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) in South China, and analyzed the effects of S. invicta invasion on the foraging intensity of native ants. In S. invicta invaded lawn, the searching time of ants for mealworm larvae and peanut oil was significantly shorter, compared with that in S. invicta un-invaded area. Less difference was observed in the searching time for the 4 baits between S. invicta invaded and un-invaded wasteland, but the recruitment time for peanut oil was significantly longer in invaded than in un-invaded area. The searching time and recruitment time of the ants for the 4 baits had less difference between the invaded and un-invaded litchi orchard. 30 min after setting bait traps, the recruitment number of S. invicta workers on peanut oil, mealworm larvae, and sausage in invaded lawn, and on peanut oil in invaded wasteland was larger than that of native ants, but no significant difference was found in the recruitment number of S. invicta workers and native ants on the baits in invaded litchi orchard. PMID:20077713

  19. Monitoring the Diversity of Hunting Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on a Fragmented and Restored Andean Landscape.

    PubMed

    Herrera-Rangel, J; Jiménez-Carmona, E; Armbrecht, I

    2015-10-01

    Hunting ants are predators of organisms belonging to different trophic levels. Their presence, abundance, and diversity may reflect the diversity of other ants and contribute to evaluate habitat conditions. Between 2003 and 2005 the restoration of seven corridors in an Andean rural landscape of Colombia was performed. The restoration took place in lands that were formerly either forestry plantations or pasturelands. To evaluate restoration progress, hunting ants were intensely sampled for 7 yr, using sifted leaf litter and mini-Winkler, and pitfall traps in 21 plots classified into five vegetation types: forests, riparian forests, two types of restored corridors, and pasturelands. The ant communities were faithful to their habitat over time, and the main differences in ant composition, abundance, and richness were due to differences among land use types. The forests and riparian forests support 45% of the species in the landscape while the restored corridors contain between 8.3-25%. The change from forest to pasturelands represents a loss of 80% of the species. Ant composition in restored corridors was significantly different than in forests but restored corridors of soil of forestry plantations retained 16.7% more species than restored corridors from pasturelands. Ubiquitous hunting ants, Hypoponera opacior (Forel) and Gnamptogenys ca andina were usually associated with pastures and dominate restored corridors. Other cryptic, small, and specialized hunting ants are not present in the restored corridors. Results suggest that the history of land use is important for the biodiversity of hunting ants but also that corridors have not yet effectively contributed toward conservation goals. PMID:26314006

  20. Antimicrobial properties of nest volatiles in red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Elliott, Brad; Jin, Xixuan; Zeng, Ling; Chen, Jian

    2015-12-01

    The antimicrobial property of volatiles produced by red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, against Beauveria bassiana, a common entomopathogenic fungus, was demonstrated. The germination rate of B. bassiana spores was significantly reduced after they were exposed to volatiles within an artificial ant nest. Since the air that contained the same level of O2 and CO2 as that in artificial fire ant nests did not suppress the germination rate of B. bassiana, the observed reduction of germination rate must be caused by the toxicity of nest volatiles. Nest fumigation may be an important component of the social immune system in S. invicta. PMID:26467352

  1. Additions to the checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peru.

    PubMed

    Guénard, Benoit; Economo, Evan P

    2015-01-01

    A recent species checklist of the ants of Peru recorded 592 nominal species and 79 genera on the basis of a literature review. Here we complement the previously published checklist with the addition of 83 nominal species and six genera, including three genera recorded only from morphospecies. This increases the list of ants reported from Peru to at least 679 species and subspecies and 85 genera. We also modify the list of species known as endemic from Peru, discuss the historical importance of the Peruvian ant fauna in myrmecology, and highlight potential research for future studies. PMID:26624662

  2. Antimicrobial properties of nest volatiles in red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (hymenoptera: formicidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lei; Elliott, Brad; Jin, Xixuan; Zeng, Ling; Chen, Jian

    2015-12-01

    The antimicrobial property of volatiles produced by red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, against Beauveria bassiana, a common entomopathogenic fungus, was demonstrated. The germination rate of B. bassiana spores was significantly reduced after they were exposed to volatiles within an artificial ant nest. Since the air that contained the same level of O2 and CO2 as that in artificial fire ant nests did not suppress the germination rate of B. bassiana, the observed reduction of germination rate must be caused by the toxicity of nest volatiles. Nest fumigation may be an important component of the social immune system in S. invicta.

  3. Hyperspectral Remote Sensing of Seasonally-Acquired Imported Fire Ant Mound Features (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Turfgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive mound-building imported fire ants (Solenopsis spp.) impact soil quality and turfgrass nutrient management in sod production, recreational, residential, and commercial settings. Ground-based hyperspectral studies focused on the seasonal monitoring of reflectance characteristics of imported f...

  4. Polyacrylamide hydrogels: an effective tool for delivering liquid baits to pest ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Roper, Elray; Chin, Darren

    2014-04-01

    Ant management in urban and natural areas often relies on toxic baits. Liquid baits are highly attractive to pest ants because they mimic natural food sources such as honeydew and nectar, the principal dietary components of many ants. However, liquid bait use has been limited owing to the lack of bait dispensers that are effective, inexpensive, and easy to service. The current study evaluated the potential of water-storing crystals (polyacrylamide spheres) to effectively deliver liquid thiamethoxam baits to laboratory colonies of Argentine ants, Linepithema humile Mayr. Results of laboratory trials show that bait crystals saturated in 25% sucrose solution containing 0.007% thiamethoxam are highly attractive to Argentine ants and highly effective against all castes and life stages, including workers, queens, and brood. Fresh bait crystals were highly effective and required approximately 2 d to kill all workers and approximately 6 d to achieve complete mortality in queens and brood. Results of bait aging tests show that the crystals lose approximately 70% of moisture in 8 h and the duration of outdoor exposure has a significant effect on moisture loss and subsequently bait acceptance and bait efficacy. A gradual decrease in mortality was observed for all castes and life stages as bait age increased. In general, fresh baits and those aged for < 8 h retained their efficacy and caused substantial mortality. Baits aged longer than 8 h were substantially less attractive and less effective. Horizontal transfer tests examined the transfer of thiamethoxam from live treated donors to live untreated recipients. The results show that donor ants that obtain thiamethoxam by feeding on bait crystals effectively transfer it to untreated recipient ants. The level of secondary mortality depended on the donor:recipient ratio, with approximately 40% recipient worker mortality with the 1:5 ratio and 15% recipient worker mortality with 1:10 or 1:20 ratios. However, no queens died in any

  5. Behavioral responses to the alarm pheromone of the ant Camponotus obscuripes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Fujiwara-Tsujii, Nao; Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Takeda, Takeshi; Mizunami, Makoto; Yamaoka, Ryohei

    2006-04-01

    The alarm pheromone of the ant Camponotus obscuripes (Formicinae) was identified and quantified by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Comparisons between alarm pheromone components and extracts from the major exocrine gland of this ant species revealed that the sources of its alarm pheromone are Dufour's gland and the poison gland. Most components of Dufour's gland were saturated hydrocarbons. n-Undecane comprised more than 90% of all components and in a single Dufour's gland amounted to 19 microg. n-Decane and n-pentadecane were also included in the Dufour's gland secretion. Only formic acid was detected in the poison gland, in amounts ranging from 0.049 to 0.91 microl. This ant species releases a mixture of these substances, each of which has a different volatility and function. When the ants sensed formic acid, they eluded the source of the odor; however, they aggressively approached odors of n-undecane and n-decane, which are highly volatile. In contrast, n-pentadecane, which has the lowest volatility among the identified compounds, was shown to calm the ants. The volatilities of the alarm pheromone components were closely related to their roles in alarm communication. Highly volatile components vaporized rapidly and spread widely, and induced drastic reactions among the ants. As these components became diluted, the less volatile components calmed the excited ants. How the worker ants utilize this alarm communication system for efficient deployment of their nestmates in colony defense is also discussed herein. PMID:16702768

  6. Asymmetrical behavioral response towards two boron toxicants depends on the ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Sola, Francisco; Falibene, Agustina; Josens, Roxana

    2013-04-01

    Urban ants are a worldwide critical household pests, and efforts to control them usually involve the use of alimentary baits containing slow-acting insecticides. A common toxicant used is boron, either as borax or boric acid. However, the presence of these compounds can affect the consumption of baits by reducing their acceptance and ingestion. Moreover, as feeding motivation varies widely, according not only to food properties but also to colony conditions, bait consumption might be diminished further in certain situations. In this study, we compared the feeding response of ants toward two boron toxic baits (boric acid and borax) in low motivation situations that enhance any possible phago-deterrence the baits may produce. Most studies investigating bait ingestion evaluate whole nests or groups of ants; here, we analyzed the individual ingestion behavior and mortality of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and the carpenter ant, Camponotus mus (Roger), for two boron baits, to detect which compound generates a higher rejection in each of these species. Although these two species have similar feeding habits, our results showed that ants under low motivation conditions reduced the acceptance and consumption of the toxic baits asymmetrically. While L. humile mostly rejected the borax, C. mus rejected the boric acid. These results denote the importance of considering the preference of each species when developing a pest management strategy. PMID:23786084

  7. Recovery of ground ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) communities six years after a major environmental disaster.

    PubMed

    Luque, G M; Reyes-López, J; Fernández-Haeger, J

    2007-04-01

    The recovery of ant communities at the Guadiamar River bank (southwest Spain) was studied across 5 yr, after an environmental disaster caused by the spill of toxic sludge over the river caused by a mine accident. Three affected and three control sites were sampled from 2000 to 2004 using pitfall traps. The last year of study, a more exhaustive sampling was conducted at the affected area (eight sampling sites). Additionally, four adjacent study sites not affected by the toxic spill were also studied. Ants showed clear responses to the restoration of the area. Mean ant species richness in spillage affected sites showed a significant increase over the 5 yr. Moreover, multivariate analysis showed distinct changes of ant community composition of the affected area over the years that were not observed in control sites. Six years after the disaster, one half of the species recorded in control sites were also present in the affected area, with only one species exclusive to this area, Cardiocondyla mauritanica Forel (tramp species). However, not only habitat specialist species but also some generalist and conspicuous species within the river basin are not present along the affected area, including species of the genera Camponotus, Messor, Cataglyphis, and Aphaenogaster. This study shows an incipient recovery of ant communities 6 yr after a major environmental disturbance, highlighting the absence of any invasive ant species in the restored area. PMID:17445368

  8. Molecular phylogeny of Crematogaster subgenus Decacrema ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the colonization of Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae) trees.

    PubMed

    Feldhaar, Heike; Fiala, Brigitte; Gadau, Jürgen; Mohamed, Maryati; Maschwitz, Ulrich

    2003-06-01

    To elucidate the evolution of one of the most species-rich ant-plant symbiotic systems, the association between Crematogaster (Myrmicinae) and Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae) in South-East Asia, we conducted a phylogenetic analysis of the ant partners. For the phylogenetic analysis partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I and II were sequenced and Maximum Parsimony analysis was performed. The analyzed Crematogaster of the subgenus Decacrema fell into three distinct clades which are also characterized by specific morphological and ecological traits (queen morphology, host-plants, and colony structure). Our results supported the validity of our currently used morphospecies concept for Peninsula Malaysia. However, on a wider geographic range (including North and North-East Borneo) some morphospecies turned out to be species complexes with genetically quite distinct taxa. Our phylogenetic analysis and host association studies do not indicate strict cocladogenesis between the subgenus Decacrema and their Macaranga host-plants because multiple ant taxa occur on quite distinct host-plants belonging to different clades within in the genus Macaranga. These results support the view that host-shifting or host-expansion is common in the ants colonizing Macaranga. Additionally, the considerable geographic substructuring found in the phylogenetic trees of the ants suggests that allopatric speciation has also played a role in the diversification and the current distribution of the Decacrema ants. PMID:12742749

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    Dead wood decomposition begins immediately after tree death and involves a large array of invertebrates. Ecological successions are still poorly known for saproxylic organisms, particularly in boreal forests. We investigated the use of dead wood as nesting sites for ants along a 60-yr postfire chronosequence in northeastern coniferous forests. We sampled a total of 1,625 pieces of dead wood, in which 263 ant nests were found. Overall, ant abundance increased during the first 30 yr after wildfire, and then declined. Leptothorax cf. canadensis Provancher, the most abundant species in our study, was absent during the first 2 yr postfire, but increased steadily until 30 yr after fire, whereas Myrmica alaskensis Wheeler, second in abundance, was found at all stages of succession in the chronosequence. Six other species were less frequently found, among which Camponotus herculeanus (Linné), Formica neorufibarbis Emery, and Formica aserva Forel were locally abundant, but more scarcely distributed. Dead wood lying on the ground and showing numerous woodborer holes had a higher probability of being colonized by ants. The C:N ratio was lower for dead wood colonized by ants than for noncolonized dead wood, showing that the continuous occupation of dead wood by ants influences the carbon and nitrogen dynamics of dead wood after wildfire in northern boreal forests. PMID:26314011

  10. Fly pupae as attractant carriers for toxic baits for red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Williams, D F; Lofgren, C S; Vander Meer, R K

    1990-02-01

    Eight laboratory-reared ant species were fed baits of house fly, Musca domestica L., pupae treated with hydramethylnon. Two fire ant species, Solenopsis invicta Buren and Solenopsis geminata (F.), and Pheidole morrissi (Forel) were killed; average percentage of mortality of the five other species was less than 20%. In contrast, all species that were fed the commercial fire ant bait containing hydramethylnon (Amdro) died or were adversely affected. In the field, applications of house fly pupae and eye gnat, Hippelates pusio Loew, pupae dipped in acetone solutions of fenoxycarb significantly reduced population indices of the red imported fire ant, S. invicta, compared with commercial formulations of fenoxycarb (Logic) and hydramethylnon (Amdro). Field observations showed that the pupae of either species can be carried or moved by one or two worker ants. The smooth, hard cuticle of the pupae make them easy to handle and apply with application equipment. The current cost of house fly pupae is considerably more than the cost of a granular carrier, pregel defatted corn grits. However, if mass-production methods reduce this price differential, fly pupae could become an effective and more species-specific fire ant bait carrier. PMID:2324379

  11. A formicine in New Jersey Cretaceous amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and early evolution of the ants

    PubMed Central

    Grimaldi, David; Agosti, Donat

    2000-01-01

    A worker ant preserved with microscopic detail has been discovered in Turonian-aged New Jersey amber [ca. 92 mega-annum (Ma)]. The apex of the gaster has an acidopore and, thus, allows definitive assignment of the fossil to the large extant subfamily Formicinae, members of which use a defensive spray of formic acid. This specimen is the only Cretaceous record of the subfamily, and only two other fossil ants are known from the Cretaceous that unequivocally belong to an extant subfamily (Brownimecia and Canapone of the Ponerinae, in New Jersey and Canadian amber, respectively). In lieu of a cladogram of formicine genera, generalized morphology of this fossil suggests a basal position in the subfamily. Formicinae and Ponerinae in the mid Cretaceous indicate divergence of basal lineages of ants near the Albian (ca. 105–110 Ma) when they presumably diverged from the Sphecomyrminae. Sphecomyrmines are the plesiomorphic sister group to all other ants, or they are a paraphyletic stem group ancestral to all other ants—they apparently became extinct in the Late Cretaceous. Ant abundance in major deposits of Cretaceous and Tertiary insects indicates that they did not become common and presumably dominant in terrestrial ecosystems until the Eocene (ca. 45 Ma). It is at this time that modern genera that form very large colonies (at least 10,000 individuals) first appear. During the Cretaceous, eusocial termites, bees, and vespid wasps also first appear—they show a similar pattern of diversification and proliferation in the Tertiary. The Cretaceous ants have further implications for interpreting distributions of modern ants. PMID:11078527

  12. Mating behaviour in a slave-making ant, Rossomyrmex minuchae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruano, Francisca; Tinaut, Alberto

    2005-07-01

    The mating behaviour of the ant Rossomyrmex minuchae, a rare, protected slave-making species in Spain, seems to be significantly affected by its particular life history and patchy habitat. The mating behaviour of the entire genus Rossomyrmex is virtually unknown. We present here the results of a 3-year study of mating behaviour in R. minuchae.

  13. Harvester ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) discriminate among artificial seeds with different protein contents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Workers of colonies of the western harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, were recruited to patches of artificial seed of the same caloric value but different protein content. Rates of forager returns with artificial seeds containing five percent protein were nearly twice those of zero percent pr...

  14. Piperideine Alkaloids from the Poison Gland of the Red Imported Fire Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It is well known that the major chemical components in the venom of the red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, are 2-methyl-6-alkyl or alkenyl piperidines. After isolating the extracts of poison glands and whole worker bodies with a column chromatography, we have obtained fractions conta...

  15. Antimicrobial properties of nest volatiles in red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In social insects, antimicrobial secretions are often used collectively for the benefit of the whole colony, which is an important component in social immunity. Many ant species build nests in which air circulation can be controlled. Volatile antimicrobial agents would be ideal in implementing socia...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The cost-effective detection of incipient invasive ant colonies before their establishment in new ranges is imperative for reducing their global impact and protection of national borders. We examined the sampling efficiency of food-baits, baited and un-baited pitfall traps in detecting isolated red ...

  17. IMPORTED FIRE ANT (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE) MOUND SHAPE CHARACTERISTICS ALONG A NORTH-SOUTH GRADIENT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Imported fire ant mound shape characteristics (south facing slope angle and area, mound height, and basal elongation in the plane of the ground) were quantified in 2005 and 2006 at a number of locations from about 30° 25’ N (Long Beach, Mississippi, USA) to 35° 3’ N (Fayetteville, Tennessee, USA). ...

  18. Honeydew-producing hemipterans in Florida associated with Nylanderia fulva (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), an invasive crazy ant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) (Formicidae) is an invasive pest ant that has been reported in Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Workers tend various honeydew producing hemipterans in Florida landscapes and natural areas. We sought to understand the seasonal foraging activities of N. fulva and its ...

  19. Does Diatomaceous Earth Control Leaf-Cutter Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Eucalyptus Plantations?

    PubMed

    Ferreira-Filho, Pedro J; Wilcken, Carlos F; Neves, Daniela A; Pogetto, Mario H F A D; Carmo, Janaina B; Guerreiro, Julio C; Serrão, José E; Zanuncio, José C

    2015-06-01

    Genus Atta includes some of the most important Formicidae leaf cutter ants which cause extensive damage to the eucalyptus plantations. Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel, one of the chief pests in Brazilian reforestation, can restrict and reduce forest productivity by its intense and constant leaf-cutting activities on plants at all stages. Therefore, the demand for new products to control A. sexdens rubropilosa indicates the study of the utilization of the dry powder formulation of diatomaceous earth (DE) against this pest in the eucalyptus cultivars. The study was conducted using 120 colonies of A. sexdens rubropilosa in Eucalyptus grandis Hill ex. Maiden x Eucalyptus urophylla Blake (Myrtaceae) (urograndis) stand. The randomized block experimental design was used with six treatments (1, 10, 25, and 50 g/m2 of DE, 6.0 g/m2 sulfluramid bait per square meter of loose soil, and the control) with five replications, each with four colonies of this ant. Diatomaceous earth was applied to the active A. sexdens rubropilosa ant holes, and the sulfluramid bait was applied in bulk in a localized manner. The control efficacy of A. sexdens rubropilosa with DE was low, showing values similar to that of the control, and, for this reason, it cannot be used to control this ant. The bait with sulfluramid showed higher efficacy than those of the other treatments. PMID:26470237

  20. An overview of the Red Imported Fire Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Mainland China

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren is a serious invasive insect which is native to South America. Its presence was first reported in mainland China in 2005. To date it has been identified in four provinces in mainland China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Fujian) in a total of 30 counti...

  1. Seasonal Shifts in the Hyperspectral Characterization of Imported Fire Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Mound Features in Turfgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Safe, expedient, and cost-effective field- to landscape-scale treatments of imported fire ant (IFA) infestations require technological developments that exploit the use of remotely-sensed contrasting features to detect cryptic mounds in heavily-managed turfgrass. Ground-based implementation of hyper...

  2. Effects of simulated and natural rainfall on summer mound construction by imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Imported fire ant (Solenopsis richteri x invicta) mounds in northeastern Mississippi were subjected to four treatments from late July through early September, 2006: application of water (7.5 L) and placement of an inverted 19 L bucket on top; application of water only; application of an inverted buc...

  3. SEASONAL SHIFTS IN THE HYPERSPECTRAL CHARACTERIZATION OF IMPORTED FIRE ANT (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE) MOUND FEATURES IN TURFGRASS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Safe, expedient, and cost-effective field- to landscape-scale treatments of imported fire ant (IFA) infestations require technological developments that exploit the use of remotely-sensed contrasting features to detect cryptic mounds in heavily-managed turfgrass. Ground-based implementation of hyper...

  4. The ants of North and Central America: the genus Mycocepurus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Mackay, William P.; Maes, Jean-Michel; Fernández, Patricia Rojas; Luna, Gladys

    2004-01-01

    Abstract We provide a review of the North American ants (north of Colombia) of the ant genus Mycocepurus, including keys to the workers and females, illustrations and distribution maps. The distribution of M. tardus is extended to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The female of M. curvispinosus is described. Resumen Se revisan las especies del género Mycocepurus de Norte América (al norte de Colombia). Se incluyen claves para la identificación de las obreras y las hembras, ilustraciones y mapas de distribución. Se amplia hacia el norte la distribución de M. tardus, incluyendo ahora Nicaragua y Costa Rica y se describe la hembra de M. curvispinosus. PMID:15861242

  5. Pharaoh ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) colony development after consumption of pyriproxyfen baits.

    PubMed

    Vail, K M; Williams, D F

    1995-12-01

    Pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis (L.), colonies were effectively controlled following ingestion of pyriproxyfen formulated in peanut butter oil. Pyriproxyfen, a juvenile hormone analog, reduced egg production in the queens, decreased the amount of brood due to delayed death in the eggs and larvae, caused death of pupae about 3 wk after treatment, and decreased the number of workers due to attrition and toxic effects. Queens, which continued to produce a small amount of eggs, eventually died. Queen death may have been caused by lack of workers required to tend them, old age or toxic effects. At concentrations of 0.25, 0.5 and 1%, pyriproxyfen was more effective than the once commercially available bait, Pharorid (methoprene) for the control of the Pharaoh ant. PMID:8537545

  6. Taxonomic studies on the ant genus Cerapachys Smith (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from India

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Himender; Akbar, Shahid Ali

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The Indianspeciesof the ant genus Cerapachys Smith are keyed. Twelve species are recognized of which 6 are described as new. The species are: Cerapachys aitkenii Forel, Cerapachys alii sp. n., Cerapachys anokha sp. n., Cerapachys besucheti Brown, Cerapachys biroi Forel, Cerapachys indicus Brown, Cerapachys longitarsus (Mayr), Cerapachys nayana sp. n., Cerapachys schoedli sp. n., Cerapachys seema sp. n., Cerapachys sulcinodis Emery and Cerapachys wighti sp. n. Geographic distribution and group affinities of the new species are discussed. A revised key to the Indian species is provided. The rare ergatoid queens of Cerapachys nayana, Cerapachys schoedli and Cerapachys seema are reported. Formed in response to selective pressures these ergatoid queens have a significant role in dispersal strategies and contribute much to our understanding of the biology of these ants. PMID:24146574

  7. Studies on California ants: a review of the genus Temnothorax (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Snelling, Roy R.; Borowiec, Marek L.; Prebus, Matthew M.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The following ten new species of the ant genus Temnothorax are described and illustrated: T. anaphalantus (California, Baja California), T. arboreus (California), T. caguatan (Oregon, California, Baja California), T. morongo (California, Baja California), T. myrmiciformis (California, Baja California), T. nuwuvi (Nevada), T. paiute (California, Nevada), T. pseudandrei (Arizona, California), T. quasimodo (California) and T. wardi (California). A key to workers of the twenty-two Temnothorax species known or expected to occur in California is provided. PMID:24493957

  8. The ant genus Carebara Westwood in the Arabian Peninsula (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Sharaf, Mostafa R.; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The ant genus Carebara of the Arabian Peninsula is revised. Carebara abuhurayri Sharaf & Aldawood, 2011 is synonymized under Carebara arabica Collingwood & van Harten, 2001. Carebara arabica is redescribed and a Neotype is fixed based on a specimen collected from southwestern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A new species, C. fayrouzae sp. n. is described from Saudi Arabia based on queens, major and minor workers. Keys to major and minor workers of the two Arabian Carebara species are given. PMID:24363580

  9. Acrobat ants go global--origin, evolution and systematics of the genus Crematogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Blaimer, Bonnie B

    2012-11-01

    This study unravels the evolution and biogeographic history of the globally distributed ant genus Crematogaster on the basis of a molecular phylogeny, reconstructed from five nuclear protein-coding genes and a total of 3384 bp of sequence data. A particular emphasis is placed on the evolutionary history of these ants in the Malagasy region. Bayesian and likelihood analyses performed on a dataset of 124 Crematogaster ingroup taxa lend strong support for three deeply diverging phylogenetic lineages within the genus: the Orthocrema clade, the Global Crematogaster clade and the Australo-Asian Crematogaster clade. The 15 previous subgenera within Crematogaster are mostly not monophyletic. Divergence dating analyses and ancestral range reconstructions suggest that Crematogaster evolved in South-East Asia in the mid-Eocene (40-45 ma). The three major lineages also originated in this region in the late Oligocene/early Miocene (~24-30 ma). A first dispersal out of S-E Asia by an Orthocrema lineage is supported for 22-30 ma to the Afrotropical region. Successive dispersal events out of S-E Asia began in the early, and continued throughout the late Miocene. The global distribution of Crematogaster was achieved by subsequent colonizations of all major biogeographic regions by the Orthocrema and the Global Crematogaster clade. Molecular dating estimates and ancestral range evolution are discussed in the light of palaeogeographic changes in the S-E Asian region and an evolving ocean circulation system throughout the Eocene, Oligocene and Miocene. Eight dispersal events to/from Madagascar by Crematogaster are supported, with most events occurring in the late Miocene to Pliocene (5.0-9.5 ma). These results suggest that Crematogaster ants possess exceptional dispersal and colonization abilities, and emphasize the need for detailed investigations of traits that have contributed to the global evolutionary success of these ants. PMID:22796480

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    The development of effective baits to control the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), has been problematic because foragers prefer sweet liquids, while many toxicants are insoluble in water and liquid baits are generally difficult to deliver. The incorporation of thiamethoxam and sucrose solutions into a water-absorbing polyacrylamide hydrogel provides a unique and novel carrier and method of application for liquid baits. Formulations of thiamethoxam affected the size of the hydrogels, and sucrose solutions containing 0.0003% technical thiamethoxam provided hydrogels as large as those made with 25% sucrose solution or deionized water. Concentrations of thiamethoxam as low as 0.000075% in the hydrogels provided 50% kill of workers within 3 d in a laboratory setting. In small colony studies, baiting with 0.00015 and 0.000075% thiamethoxam hydrogels provided 100% mortality of workers and queens within 8 d. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay indicated that thiamethoxam was absorbed into the interior of the polyacrylamide matrix. The water loss rates of the hydrogels were dependent upon the relative humidity. Polyacrylamide hydrogels with >50% water loss were less attractive to ants. Field studies in highly infested areas indicated that concentrations of 0.0006 or 0.0018% thiamethoxam were more effective than 0.00015%. Hydrogels may provide a cost-effective alternative to providing aqueous baits to control Argentine ants. PMID:26470250

  11. Distribution patterns of imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on a sheep and goat farm in Oklahoma.

    PubMed

    Vogt, James T; Allen, Margaret L; Wallet, Bradley; Boykin, Debbie; Smith, Wayne A

    2009-06-01

    Imported fire ant colonies were quantified in 1,000-m(2) circular subplots spaced approximately 125 m apart on a sheep and goat farm in Oklahoma. Social form (percent polygyny), mound density, cumulative above-ground mound volume, and average mound volume were subjected to multiple regression analyses to examine trends related to landscape metrics and habitat characteristics. Monogyne populations were spatially autocorrelated, and polygyne mounds tended to be smaller and more numerous. A model incorporating the effects of percent polygyny, canopy cover, and 1-d cumulative incident solar radiation explained 34% of the variation in mound density. Percent polygyny was not significantly related to cumulative mound volume, which provides a better estimate of overall ant biomass. A model incorporating the effects of 1-d cumulative incident solar radiation on the summer solstice, elevation, canopy cover, distance from cisterns, distance from water, and distance from trees explained 42% of the variation in cumulative mound volume. Monogyne mounds in areas that were flat and close to water in low-lying areas were largest. Results indicate that remotely sensed data in combination with publicly available U.S. Geological Survey data may be useful in predicting areas of high and low fire ant abundance at a field scale. PMID:19508763

  12. Pheromone communication and the mushroom body of the ant, Camponotus obscuripes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Fujiwara-Tsujii, Nao; Yamaoka, Ryohei; Mizunami, Makoto

    2005-11-01

    Communication by means of pheromones plays predominant roles in colony integration by social insects. However, almost nothing is known about pheromone processing in the brains of social insects. In this study, we successfully applied intracellular recording and staining techniques to anatomically and physiologically characterize brain neurons of the ant Camponotus obscuripes. We identified 42 protocerebral neurons that responded to undecane and/or formic acid, components of alarm pheromones that evoke attraction or evasive behavior, respectively. Notably, 30 (71%) of these neurons were efferent (output) or feedback neurons of the mushroom body, and many of these exhibited different responses to formic acid and undecane. Eight of the remaining 12 neurons had arborizations in the lateral and/or medial protocerebrum, which receive terminations of efferent neurons of the mushroom body and from which premotor descending neurons originate. The remaining four neurons were bilateral neurons that connect lateral accessory lobes or dorsal protocerebrums of both hemispheres. We suggest that the mushroom body of the ant participates in the processing of alarm pheromones. Seventeen (40%) of 42 neurons exhibited responses to nonpheromonal odors, indicating that the pheromonal and nonpheromonal signals are not fully segregated when they are processed in the protocerebrum. This may be related to modulatory functions of alarm pheromones, i.e., they change alertness of the ant and change responses to a variety of sensory stimuli.

  13. Pheromone communication and the mushroom body of the ant, Camponotus obscuripes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Fujiwara-Tsujii, Nao; Yamaoka, Ryohei; Mizunami, Makoto

    2005-11-01

    Communication by means of pheromones plays predominant roles in colony integration by social insects. However, almost nothing is known about pheromone processing in the brains of social insects. In this study, we successfully applied intracellular recording and staining techniques to anatomically and physiologically characterize brain neurons of the ant Camponotus obscuripes. We identified 42 protocerebral neurons that responded to undecane and/or formic acid, components of alarm pheromones that evoke attraction or evasive behavior, respectively. Notably, 30 (71%) of these neurons were efferent (output) or feedback neurons of the mushroom body, and many of these exhibited different responses to formic acid and undecane. Eight of the remaining 12 neurons had arborizations in the lateral and/or medial protocerebrum, which receive terminations of efferent neurons of the mushroom body and from which premotor descending neurons originate. The remaining four neurons were bilateral neurons that connect lateral accessory lobes or dorsal protocerebrums of both hemispheres. We suggest that the mushroom body of the ant participates in the processing of alarm pheromones. Seventeen (40%) of 42 neurons exhibited responses to nonpheromonal odors, indicating that the pheromonal and nonpheromonal signals are not fully segregated when they are processed in the protocerebrum. This may be related to modulatory functions of alarm pheromones, i.e., they change alertness of the ant and change responses to a variety of sensory stimuli. PMID:16184392

  14. Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) trail pheromone enhances consumption of liquid sucrose solution.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, L; Klotz, J H

    2000-02-01

    We investigated whether the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), trail pheromone, Z9-16:Ald, could enhance recruitment to and consumption of liquid sucrose solutions. All tests were done as paired comparisons with a 10% sucrose solution as food. In the laboratory, mixing 20 microl of a 10-microg/ml solution of the pheromone with 50 microl of the 10% sucrose solution increased the number of ants feeding by >150%. In a field test, we combined the trail pheromone with a 10% sucrose solution in 50-ml vials. These vials were covered with a plastic membrane that has 1.5-mm-diameter holes punched uniformly across its surface. Ants could drink from the holes after the vials were inverted. For half of the vials, 1 microg of the pheromone was put onto the plastic membrane before the vials were filled with a 10% sucrose solution. The remaining vials had no pheromone on the plastic membrane. After 4 h we measured the consumption in each vial. Bait consumption with the pheromone was enhanced by 29%. In a 2nd series of tests, vials were left outside for 24 h. The consumption rate was 33% higher with the pheromone compared with the controls that didn't have pheromone. PMID:14658521

  15. Essential Balm: A Strong Repellent Against Foraging and Defending Red Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Wen, Yuzhen; Ma, Tao; Chen, Xuan; Liu, Zhitao; Zhu, Chengqi; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Strecker, Rachel; Henderson, Gregg; Hooper-Bùi, Linda M; Chen, Xiaoyang; Sun, Zhaohui; Wen, Xiujun; Wang, Cai

    2016-08-01

    In the present study, the repellent effects of essential balm, a traditional medicine product in China, was tested against foraging and defending red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, under laboratory and field conditions. The laboratory study showed that both band- (width = 1 cm) and patch-smearing of essential balm at each concentration (0.5, 1, or 2 μl/cm(2)) significantly decreased the number of S. invicta foragers within the 6-h observation period. Moreover, band-smearing of 2 μl/cm(2) essential balm and patch-smearing of 0.5, 1, and 2 μl/cm(2) essential balm inhibited most S. invicta foraging activity at 3, 6, 6, and 24 h into the experiment, respectively. The field study showed that after a disturbance was created on the S. invicta mound, there were significantly less defending ants on the substance treated (patch-smeared) with 0.5, 1, and 2 μl/cm(2) essential balm than the controls, but the number of ants on the substance of these three concentrations was similar. Our study suggested that essential balm is a strong repellent against foraging and defending S. invicta and could be applied when temporary protection from S. invicta is needed. PMID:27298425

  16. Defensive behaviour and biological activities of the abdominal secretion in the ant Crematogaster scutellaris (Hymenoptera: Myrmicinae).

    PubMed

    Marlier, J F; Quinet, Y; de Biseau, J C

    2004-11-30

    Using bioassays, the defensive behaviour of Crematogaster scutellaris and the biological activities of its abdominal secretion were investigated. Beside classical aggressive behaviours such as grips, C. scutellaris workers performed frequent characteristic gaster flexions during interspecific encounters, sometimes tempting to apply their abdominal secretion topically on the enemy. The toxicity of the venom of C. scutellaris to other ants greatly differed among the species tested, some being killed after the topical application of only three droplets, while others were quite resistant to a dose of 90 droplets. All ant species tested were strongly and immediately repelled by a contact between their antennae or mouthparts with the venom of C. scutellaris. Abdominal secretion was never used during intraspecific interference and workers were resistant to a topical application of the venom of their own species. Intraspecific repellency was significant but moderate compared to interspecific one. Workers of C. scutellaris were never seen using their venom during prey capture. In conclusion, the main biological activity of the abdominal secretion of C. scutellaris seems to be its repellency to other ant species. This is supported by field experiments showing that Pheidole pallidula foragers were efficiently repelled at coexploited baits, allowing the monopolization of most prey by C. scutellaris. PMID:15518992

  17. Acceptance and intake of gel and liquid sucrose compositions by the Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Silverman, J; Roulston, T H

    2001-04-01

    Liquids and gels are common delivery forms used in commercial ant baits, but the relative effectiveness of each is unknown. We compared the feeding responses of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), to liquid and gel compositions of sucrose. In choice assays, more workers were counted on gel than liquid; however, substantially more liquid was consumed. Because workers could stand on the gel, more workers could feed simultaneously on the gel. The feeding bouts of individual workers, however, were much less efficient at extracting sucrose in gel form. Workers fed eightfold longer on the gel, yet removed fivefold less sucrose than workers feeding on liquid. This potential bias should be considered during attraction and palatability studies that use physically different bait compositions. When the toxicant fipronil was added to the compositions, a greater proportion of the colony died after workers had fed on liquid than gel baits. This finding suggests that liquid formulations may provide more effective control of Argentine ants due to the greater speed and abundance in which it is ingested. PMID:11332847

  18. Effects of juvenile hormone analogs on new reproductives and colony growth of Pharaoh ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Lim, S P; Lee, C Y

    2005-12-01

    Two juvenile hormone analogs (JHAs), pyriproxyfen and S-methoprene, were impregnated into dried tuna fish and fed to colonies of Monomorium pharaonis (L.) at very low concentrations (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 microg/ml). Its effects on the production of sexuals and colonial growth were observed. Colonies treated with pyriproxyfen yielded sexuals with physical abnormalities. Both female and male sexuals developed bulbous wings, decreased melanization, and died shortly after emergence. Sexuals emerged from colonies treated with S-methoprene did not possess anomalous characteristics. Both pyriproxyfen and S-methoprene did not have significant effects on colonial growth because of the low concentrations of the baits. A commercial bait containing 0.3% S-methoprene (Bioprene-BM) also was evaluated for its efficacy on Pharaoh's ant colonies. Results showed that Pharaoh's ant colonies succumbed to the lethal effects of S-methoprene. Colony members were reduced significantly. Production of queens also decreased significantly in treated colonies and treated queens were unable to lay eggs. JHAs are slow acting and eliminate ant colonies at a relatively slow rate. At low concentrations, pyriproxyfen recorded baffling results, i.e., bulbous wings and demelanized exoskeleton, and it is vital that further studies are initiated to solidify these findings. PMID:16539147

  19. The Role of Small Woodland Remnants on Ground Dwelling Insect Conservation in Chaco Serrano, Central Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, María Laura; Fernández, María Guadalupe; Molina, Silvia Itati; Valladares, Graciela

    2013-01-01

    Many terrestrial ecosystems are changing due to extensive land use and habitat fragmentation, posing a major threat to biodiversity. In this study, the effects of patch size, isolation, and edge/interior localization on the ground dwelling insect communities in the Chaco Serrano woodland remnants in central Argentina were examined. Sampling was carried out in December 2003 and March 2004 in nine remnants (0.57 to 1000 hectares) using pitfall traps. In total, 7071 individuals representing 12 orders and 79 families were recorded. The taxonomic composition of these communities was linked to remnant size. Insect abundance increased (as did their richness, albeit marginally) as remnant area decreased, with no significant effects of isolation or edge/interior localization on abundance, richness, or diversity. No differential area effects were observed when abundance and richness of predators, scavengers, and herbivores were compared. Thus, ground insect communities in fragmented Chaco Serrano seem to respond mainly to patch level, rather than to within-patch (edge effects) or landscape (isolation) level variables. These results suggest that small Chaco Serrano remnants, by supporting larger ground-dwelling insect assemblages, may play an important role from a conservation viewpoint. PMID:23902409

  20. Thelytokous parthenogenesis by queens in the dacetine ant Pyramica membranifera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Fuminori; Touyama, Yoshifumi; Gotoh, Ayako; Kitahiro, Shungo; Billen, Johan

    2010-08-01

    Thelytokous parthenogenesis in which diploid females are produced from unfertilized eggs, was recently reported for some ant species. Here, we document thelytokous reproduction by queens in the polygynous species Pyramica membranifera. Queens that emerged in the laboratory were kept with or without workers under laboratory conditions. Independent colony founding was successful for a few queens if prey was provided. All artificial colonies, which started with a newly emerged queen and workers produced new workers and some of the colonies also produced female sexuals. Some of the female sexuals shed their wings in the laboratory and started formation of new polygynous colonies. Workers had no ovaries and thus, were obligatorily sterile.

  1. Nylanderia deceptrix sp. n., a new species of obligately socially parasitic formicine ant (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Messer, Steven J.; Cover, Stefan P.; LaPolla, John S.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Obligately socially parasitic ants are social parasites that typically lack the sterile worker caste, and depend on the host species for survival and brood care. The genus Nylanderia has over 130 described species and subspecies, none of which, until this study, were known social parasites. Here we describe the first social parasite known in the genus, Nylanderia deceptrix. Aspects of the biology of the host species, Nylanderia parvula (Mayr 1870), and Nylanderia deceptrix are examined. The data from both the host and the parasite species are combined to better understand the host-parasite relationship. PMID:26865815

  2. Esterase in imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and S. richteri (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): activity, kinetics and variation.

    PubMed

    Chen, J; Rashid, T; Feng, G

    2014-01-01

    Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri are two closely related invasive ants native to South America. Despite their similarity in biology and behavior, S. invicta is a more successful invasive species. Toxic tolerance has been found to be important to the success of some invasive species. Esterases play a crucial role in toxic tolerance of insects. Hence, we hypothesized that the more invasive S. invicta would have a higher esterase activity than S. richteri. Esterase activities were measured for workers and male and female alates of both ant species using α-naphthyl acetate and β-naphthyl acetate as substrates. Esterase activities in S. invicta were always significantly higher than those in S. richteri supporting our hypothesis. In S. invicta, male alates had the highest esterase activities followed by workers then female alates for both substrates. In S. richetri, for α-naphthyl acetate, male alates had the highest activity followed by female alates then workers, while for β-naphthyl acetate, female alates had the highest activity followed by male alates then workers. For workers, S. richteri showed significantly higher levels of variation about the mean esterase activity than S. invicta. However, S. invicta showed significantly higher levels of variation in both female and male alates. PMID:25408118

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

    PubMed Central

    Borowiec, Marek L.; Longino, John T.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract We describe three new species of the Neotropical ant genus Leptanilloides: Leptanilloides gracilis sp. n. based on workers from Mexico and Guatemala, Leptanilloides erinys sp. n. based on workers and a gyne from Ecuador, and Leptanilloides femoralis sp. n. based on workers from Venezuela. The description of Leptanilloides 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. PMID:22140337

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Zeng, Ling; Chen, Jian

    2015-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are commonly used in managing pest insects, including the imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. There is increasing evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides at sublethal concentrations have profound effects on social insects. However, the sublethal effect of neonicotinoids on S. invicta has never been investigated. In this study, the newly mated queens were fed with water containing 0.01 or 0.25 μg/ml imidacloprid. Imidacloprid at both concentrations did not cause any increase in queen mortality during the founding stage; however, it significantly reduced queens' brood tending ability. In the 0.25 μg/ml imidacloprid treatment, the time to larval emergence was significantly delayed and no pupae or adult workers were produced. This study provides clear evidence that imidacloprid at sublethal concentrations has a significant detrimental impact on S. invicta queens and the development of incipient colonies. PMID:26643971

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

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lei; Zeng, Ling; Chen, Jian

    2015-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are commonly used in managing pest insects, including the imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. There is increasing evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides at sublethal concentrations have profound effects on social insects. However, the sublethal effect of neonicotinoids on S. invicta has never been investigated. In this study, the newly mated queens were fed with water containing 0.01 or 0.25 μg/ml imidacloprid. Imidacloprid at both concentrations did not cause any increase in queen mortality during the founding stage; however, it significantly reduced queens’ brood tending ability. In the 0.25 μg/ml imidacloprid treatment, the time to larval emergence was significantly delayed and no pupae or adult workers were produced. This study provides clear evidence that imidacloprid at sublethal concentrations has a significant detrimental impact on S. invicta queens and the development of incipient colonies. PMID:26643971

  6. Mating behaviour in a slave-making ant, Rossomyrmex minuchae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Ruano, Francisca; Tinaut, Alberto

    2005-07-01

    The mating behaviour of the ant Rossomyrmex minuchae, a rare, protected slave-making species in Spain, seems to be significantly affected by its particular life history and patchy habitat. The mating behaviour of the entire genus Rossomyrmex is virtually unknown. We present here the results of a 3-year study of mating behaviour in R. minuchae.Behavioural observations and limited nest excavations revealed that R. minuchae does not produce sexuals every year, the number of sexuals is low, and the sex ratio tends to be female biased. Females typically exhibit two distinct activity periods. The first, the mating period, takes place in early afternoon: the ants "call" near the natal nest, mate and then return to their nest. The second, the dispersal period takes place in late afternoon: the mated females exit their nest and fly in search of a new, non-parasitized Proformica longiseta host nest. Males are highly active during the mating period, but will remain inactive in the dispersal period even if experimentally presented with virgin females. It appears that females are monogamous, while males are polygamous. When males are late arriving at the female calling site, the females will frequently congregate presumably calling in chorus. The low reproductive efficiency exhibited by R. minuchae, coupled with the postulated low genetic variation in the population, as sisters may mate with the same male, could result in a low survival rate and risk of eventual extinction. The observed decrease in nest density we observed during the 2004 season may be indicative of such a process. PMID:15864511

  7. Queens defense by workers in the highly polygynous ant Crematogaster pygmaea (Hymenoptera: Myrmicinae).

    PubMed

    Martins Segundo, Glauco Bezerra; de Biseau, Jean-Christophe; Quinet, Yves

    2012-11-01

    Some aspects of the biology of Crematogaster pygmaea, a highly polydomous and polygynous ant, are more commonly found in monogynous species. One such characteristic is the high attractiveness of its queens. In this study, this attractiveness was assessed under varying experimental conditions to investigate the factors responsible for its expression and variation, and to identify the nature of queen attractiveness. It was shown (1) that C. pygmaea queens are highly attractive to the workers that cluster on and around them (retinue), (2) that the attractiveness of C. pygmaea queens is context-dependent, i.e., it increases with increasing degree of potential danger to the queen, (3) that the attractiveness signal of C. pygmaea queens is chemically based, and (4) that this signal is persistent and apparently not colony-specific. The proposed hypothesis is that the C. pygmaea queens constantly release an attractiveness signal that is "read" by the workers, in a dependent way linked to the context, and that the main function of this attractiveness is to protect queens. This protection would have a high adaptive value in the context of the social structure and the reproductive strategies in C. pygmaea. PMID:23026145

  8. Identification and characterization of Wolbachia in Solenopsis saevissima fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Fernando de Souza, Rodrigo; Daivison Silva Ramalho, João; Santina de Castro Morini, Maria; Wolff, José Luiz Caldas; Araújo, Ronaldo Carvalho; Mascara, Douglas

    2009-03-01

    The genus Solenopsis appears to have evolved and radiated very rapidly in South America and then spread throughout the rest of the continent. As part of the expansion process, distribution patterns and different degrees of geographic isolation among populations of S. saevissima can be observed. We have investigated the presence of Wolbachia in 52 colonies and 1623 individuals in southeastern Brazil. Detection of Wolbachia infection was based on amplification of the 16S rRNA and wsp genes by polymerase chain reactions. Wolbachia was found in only one of the four locations investigated and it was observed that the populations were polymorphic for infection. The infection level observed increased during the period of screening. In particular, double infection (16SWA and B) increased from 44% in 2005 to 90% in 2006. The A-group of Wolbachia from the wsp sequences was determined by sequencing. However, two variant wsp sequences were detected in Wolbachia present in these populations. The alignment of our sequences with those deposited in GenBank indicated significant differences in relation to homologous sequences. Phylogenetic relationships were inferred using parsimony, and confidence intervals were estimated by bootstrapping. Then the divergence of the Wolbachia of S. saevissima in the populations studied with other variants allowed us to verify that wSS1 and dwSS2 formed a distinct clade within the A-group (>75%). These results can be useful in studies on the dynamics of ant populations. PMID:18979132

  9. Seasonal Dynamics of Hyperspectral Reflectance Patterns Influencing Detection of Imported Fire Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Mound Features in Turfgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive mound-building imported fire ants impact soil quality and turfgrass nutrient management affecting an estimated 8.1 million hectares in sod production, recreational, and residential settings in the southeastern U.S. Reflectance characteristics of imported fire ant mound features (i.e., ant m...

  10. Host specificity testing of the Solenopsis fire ant (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) pathogen, Kneallhazia (=Thelohania) solenopsae (Microsporidia:Thelohaniidae), in Florida

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Post-entry host specificity testing was conducted on ants in Florida for the fire ant pathogen Kneallhazia solenopsae to determine transmission potential to native and non-target species. In addition, there was interest to assess the potential of K. solenopsae to control other pest ants. The patho...

  11. Development of a lateral flow immunoassay for rapid field detection of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, is an aggressive, highly invasive pest ant species from South America that has been introduced into North America, Asia and Australia. Quarantine efforts have been imposed in the United States to minimize the spread of the ant. There remains an acute ...

  12. The ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) fauna of the cedar glades and xeric limestone prairies of the Central Basin of Tennessee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ants may be the most thoroughly documented group of insects inhabiting the cedar glades of the Central Basin of Tennessee with two studies conducted in the late 1930s reporting ants found in cedar glades of the region. To compare the ant fauna of modern cedar glades with the lists produced in earlie...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  14. Geographic patterns of ground-dwelling arthropods across an ecoregional transition in the north American Southwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lightfoot, D.C.; Brantley, S.L.; Allen, C.D.

    2008-01-01

    We examined the biogeographic patterns of ground-dwelling arthropod communities across a heterogeneous semiarid region of the Southern Rio Grande Rift Valley of New Mexico. Our 3 sites included portions of 5 ecoregions, with the middle site a transition area where all ecoregions converged. We addressed the following 3 questions: (1) Do the species assemblage patterns for ground arthropods across habitats and sites conform to recognized ecoregions? (2) Are arthropod assemblages in distinct vegetation-defined habitats within an ecoregion more similar to each other or to assemblages in similar vegetation-defined habitats in other ecoregions? (3) Is there a detectable edge effect with increased arthropod diversity in the area of converging ecoregions? We encountered 442 target arthropod species from pitfall traps operating continuously for 7 years over a series of different habitats at each of the 3 sites. We examined geographic distributions of spider and cricket/grasshopper species in detail, and they showed affinities for different ecoregions, respectively. Each habitat within a study site supported a unique overall arthropod assemblage; nevertheless, different habitats at the same site were more similar to each other than they were to similar habitats at other sites. Overall arthropod species richness was greatest in the area where all 5 ecoregions converged. Arthropod species and their geographic distributions are poorly known relative to vascular plants and vertebrate animals. Findings from this research indicate that ecoregional classification is a useful tool for understanding biogeographic patterns among arthropods.

  15. Effect of irradiation on queen survivorship and reproduction in the invasive fire ant Solenopsis invicta,(Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and a generic phytosanitary irradiation dose for ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ants are common hitchhiker pests on traded agricultural commodities that could be controlled by postharvest irradiation treatment. We studied radiation tolerance in queens of the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren to determine the dose sufficient for its control. Virgin or fertile queens...

  16. Molecular comparisons suggest caribbean crazy ant from Florida and rasberry crazy ant from Texas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Nylanderia) are the same species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 2002, a new invasive pest ant in the genus, Nylanderia (formerly Paratrechina), was found in Houston, Texas. This invasive ant has been causing significant economic and ecological damage in infested areas. Due to the morphological and behavioral similarities to N. pubens Forel found in Florida,...

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

    PubMed Central

    Ješovnik, Ana; González, Vanessa L.; Schultz, Ted R.

    2016-01-01

    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 suggests that

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

    PubMed

    Ješovnik, Ana; González, Vanessa L; Schultz, Ted R

    2016-01-01

    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 suggests that the

  19. Density-Dependent Benefits in Ant-Hemipteran Mutualism? The Case of the Ghost Ant Tapinoma melanocephalum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the Invasive Mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae)

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Aiming; Kuang, Beiqing; Gao, Yingrui; Liang, Guangwen

    2015-01-01

    Although density-dependent benefits to hemipterans from ant tending have been measured many times, few studies have focused on integrated effects such as interactions between ant tending, natural enemy density, and hemipteran density. In this study, we tested whether the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis is affected by tending by ghost ants (Tapinoma melanocephalum), the presence of parasitoids, mealybug density, parasitoid density and interactions among these factors. Our results showed that mealybug colony growth rate and percentage parasitism were significantly affected by ant tending, parasitoid presence, and initial mealybug density separately. However, there were no interactions among the independent factors. There were also no significant interactions between ant tending and parasitoid density on either mealybug colony growth rate or percentage parasitism. Mealybug colony growth rate showed a negative linear relationship with initial mealybug density but a positive linear relationship with the level of ant tending. These results suggest that benefits to mealybugs are density-independent and are affected by ant tending level. PMID:25886510

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

    PubMed

    McGlynn, T P; Kirksey, S E

    2000-01-01

    In Neotropical wet forests several species of omnivorous, resource-defending ants, live and forage in close proximity to one another. Although the forest floor is heterogeneous in microhabitat and food quantity, little is known about the impact of microhabitat and food variation upon resource monopoly among ants. We investigated how food type and microhabitat influence food monopoly in resource-defending ants in old-growth tropical wet forest in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica. We measured several microhabitat characteristics at 66 points in a 0.5 hectare plot, and baited each point with two categories of tuna bait. These baits were presented in "split" and "clumped" arrangements. We measured the frequency of bait monopoly by a single species, as well as the number of recruited ant foragers at a bait. Out of five common species, two (Wasmannia auropunctata and Pheidole simonsi) more frequently monopolized one bait type over the other, and one (P. simonsi) recruited more ants to the split baits. We then considered the recruitment response by all ant species in the community. We found that the frequency of monopoly, sharing, and the absence of ants at a given point in the rainforest differed with bait type. The frequency of monopoly was associated with microhabitat type in two out of eight microhabitat variables (leaf litter depth and palms); variation in two other types (canopy tree distance and leafcutter ant trails) was associated with changes in forager number. In at least two ant species, food presentation affected monopoly at baits; among all resource-defending ants, the microhabitats where ants foraged for food and the type of food located determined in part the frequency of monopoly and the number of foragers at the food item. These results suggest that the location and presentation of food items determines in part which ant species will utilize the resource. PMID:11354970

  1. Determining the foraging range and origin of resurgence after treatment of Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in urban areas.

    PubMed

    Vega, S Y; Rust, M K

    2003-06-01

    The foraging range and distribution of Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), colonies in urban areas of southern California extended at least 61 m (200 feet) from feeding stations and structures. Ants were fed at 25% sucrose feeding stations containing 0.01% fluorescent brighter (FB28). Within 14 d, from 77-90% of the ants sampled next to the feeding stations were positive for FB28. The percentage of ants with FB28 declined gradually to approximately 55% 61 m away from the feeding station. The percentage of marked ants in the controls didn't change over the 4-wk-test period. There were approximately 290,000 ants visiting the monitored stations each night before treatments. The 0.0001% fipronil baits and 0.06% fipronil SC sprays provided significant reductions in at least 4 wk. The percentage of ants marked with FB28 decreased significantly in both bait and spray treatments over 4 wk suggesting that the resurgence of ants in treated areas were because of immigration from untreated areas. It is likely that much larger areas will need to be treated to control Argentine ants in urban settings, especially if baits are being used. PMID:12852625

  2. Effect of broadcast baiting on abundance patterns of red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and key local ant genera at long-term monitoring sites in Brisbane, Australia.

    PubMed

    McNaught, Melinda K; Wylie, F Ross; Harris, Evan J; Alston, Clair L; Burwell, Chris J; Jennings, Craig

    2014-08-01

    In 2001, the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) was identified in Brisbane, Australia. An eradication program involving broadcast bait treatment with two insect growth regulators and a metabolic inhibitor began in September of that year and is currently ongoing. To gauge the impacts of these treatments on local ant populations, we examined long-term monitoring data and quantified abundance patterns of S. invicta and common local ant genera using a linear mixed-effects model. For S. invicta, presence in pitfalls reduced over time to zero on every site. Significantly higher numbers of S. invicta workers were collected on high-density polygyne sites, which took longer to disinfest compared with monogyne and low-density polygyne sites. For local ants, nine genus groups of the 10 most common genera analyzed either increased in abundance or showed no significant trend. Five of these genus groups were significantly less abundant at the start of monitoring on high-density polygyne sites compared with monogyne and low-density polygyne sites. The genus Pheidole significantly reduced in abundance over time, suggesting that it was affected by treatment efforts. These results demonstrate that the treatment regime used at the time successfully removed S. invicta from these sites in Brisbane, and that most local ant genera were not seriously impacted by the treatment. These results have important implications for current and future prophylactic treatment efforts, and suggest that native ants remain in treated areas to provide some biological resistance to S. invicta. PMID:25195416

  3. Development of a lateral flow immunoassay for rapid field detection of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Valles, Steven M; Strong, Charles A; Callcott, Anne-Marie A

    2016-07-01

    The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, is an aggressive, highly invasive pest ant species from South America that has been introduced into North America, Asia, and Australia. Quarantine efforts have been imposed in the USA to minimize further spread of the ant. To aid the quarantine efforts, there remains an acute need for a rapid, field portable method for the identification of these ants. In this report, we describe two novel monoclonal antibodies that specifically bind the S. invicta venom protein 2 produced by S. invicta. Using these monoclonal antibodies we developed a lateral flow immunoassay that provides a rapid and portable method for the identification of S. invicta ants. The lateral flow immunoassay was validated against purified S. invicta venom protein 2 and 33 unique ant species (representing 15 % of the total species and 42 % of the Myrmicinae genera found in Florida), and only S. invicta and the S. invicta/richteri hybrid produced a positive result. These monoclonal antibodies were selective to S. invicta venom protein 2 and did not bind to proteins from congeners (i.e., S. geminata or S. richteri) known to produce a S. invicta venom protein 2 ortholog. This S. invicta lateral flow immunoassay provides a new tool for regulatory agencies in the USA to enforce quarantine protocols and limit the spread of this invasive ant. Graphical Abstract Field method to detect and identify the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. PMID:27108280

  4. SEASONAL AND DIURNAL ACTIVITY PATTERNS IN ANT (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE) COMMUNITIES IN A VEGETATION TRANSITION REGION OF SOUTHEASTERN NEW MEXICO

    EPA Science Inventory

    The densities of active ant colonies were estimated in three habitats: creosotebush shrubland, grassland, and shinnery-oak mesquite dunes. Diurnal foraging patterns were studied at bait boards. Species richness of ant communities in this transitional region (8-12 species) was co...

  5. Molecular phylogenetics and diversification of trap-jaw ants in the genera Anochetus and Odontomachus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Larabee, Fredrick J; Fisher, Brian K; Schmidt, Chris A; Matos-Maraví, Pável; Janda, Milan; Suarez, Andrew V

    2016-10-01

    Ants in the genera Anochetus and Odontomachus belong to one of the largest clades in the subfamily Ponerinae, and are one of four lineages of ants possessing spring-loaded "trap-jaws." Here we present results from the first global species-level molecular phylogenetic analysis of these trap-jaw ants, reconstructed from one mitochondrial, one ribosomal RNA, and three nuclear protein-coding genes. Bayesian and likelihood analyses strongly support reciprocal monophyly for the genera Anochetus and Odontomachus. Additionally, we found strong support for seven trap-jaw ant clades (four in Anochetus and three in Odontomachus) mostly concordant with geographic distribution. Ambiguity remains concerning the closest living non-trap-jaw ant relative of the Anochetus+Odontomachus clade, but Bayes factor hypothesis testing strongly suggests that trap-jaw ants evolved from a short mandible ancestor. Ponerine trap-jaw ants originated in the early Eocene (52.5Mya) in either South America or Southeast Asia, where they have radiated rapidly in the last 30million years, and subsequently dispersed multiple times to Africa and Australia. These results will guide future taxonomic work on the group and act as a phylogenetic framework to study the macroevolution of extreme ant mouthpart specialization. PMID:27450781

  6. What can ant diversity-energy relationships tell us about land use and land change (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We identify and review an approach that views ant species diversity as a consequence of energy flux through an ecosystem. In this bottom-up view, energy apportioned to trophic guilds drives ant community responses to mesoscale variation generated by land-use and other processes. We introduce a conce...

  7. Seasonal Changes in Broadband Spectral Reflectance Characteristics of Imported Fire Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Mound Features in Turfgrass Agroecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive mound-building imported fire ants (Solenopsis spp.) disrupt soil quality and turfgrass nutrient management in sod production, recreational, and residential settings. Ground-based implementation of hyperspectral techniques in the detection and seasonal monitoring of imported fire ant col...

  8. Characterization of 24 microsatellite markers in eleven species of fire ants in the genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The inquiline social parasite ant Solenopsis daguerrei infests colonies of several mound-building fire ant species within the S. saevissima species-group. Twenty-four microsatellite markers were isolated from a repeat-enriched genomic library of S. daguerrei. Eleven loci were polymorphic in the inq...

  9. Hymenoptera Genome Database: integrating genome annotations in HymenopteraMine

    PubMed Central

    Elsik, Christine G.; Tayal, Aditi; Diesh, Colin M.; Unni, Deepak R.; Emery, Marianne L.; Nguyen, Hung N.; Hagen, Darren E.

    2016-01-01

    We report an update of the Hymenoptera Genome Database (HGD) (http://HymenopteraGenome.org), a model organism database for insect species of the order Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). HGD maintains genomic data for 9 bee species, 10 ant species and 1 wasp, including the versions of genome and annotation data sets published by the genome sequencing consortiums and those provided by NCBI. A new data-mining warehouse, HymenopteraMine, based on the InterMine data warehousing system, integrates the genome data with data from external sources and facilitates cross-species analyses based on orthology. New genome browsers and annotation tools based on JBrowse/WebApollo provide easy genome navigation, and viewing of high throughput sequence data sets and can be used for collaborative genome annotation. All of the genomes and annotation data sets are combined into a single BLAST server that allows users to select and combine sequence data sets to search. PMID:26578564

  10. Hymenoptera Genome Database: integrating genome annotations in HymenopteraMine.

    PubMed

    Elsik, Christine G; Tayal, Aditi; Diesh, Colin M; Unni, Deepak R; Emery, Marianne L; Nguyen, Hung N; Hagen, Darren E

    2016-01-01

    We report an update of the Hymenoptera Genome Database (HGD) (http://HymenopteraGenome.org), a model organism database for insect species of the order Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). HGD maintains genomic data for 9 bee species, 10 ant species and 1 wasp, including the versions of genome and annotation data sets published by the genome sequencing consortiums and those provided by NCBI. A new data-mining warehouse, HymenopteraMine, based on the InterMine data warehousing system, integrates the genome data with data from external sources and facilitates cross-species analyses based on orthology. New genome browsers and annotation tools based on JBrowse/WebApollo provide easy genome navigation, and viewing of high throughput sequence data sets and can be used for collaborative genome annotation. All of the genomes and annotation data sets are combined into a single BLAST server that allows users to select and combine sequence data sets to search. PMID:26578564

  11. Ultrastructural studies of the mandibular glands of the minima, media and soldier ants of Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Forel 1908) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Pavon, Lorena Favaro; Mathias, Maria Izabel Camargo

    2005-01-01

    The mandibular glands of Hymenoptera are structures associated with the mandibles and constitute part of the salivary glands system. Histological studies in workers of Atta sexdens rubropilosa revealed that this gland contains two portions: a secretory and a storage portion or reservoir. Both portions are connected by means of canaliculi. The object of the present work was the study of the ultratructure of the mandibular glands of minima, media and soldier ant of A. s. rubropilosa by TEM techniques. The glands, in the three castes studied, possess a reservoir, constituted by a simple pavementous epithelium surrounded by the cuticular intima and the secretory portion is constituted by cells of rounded shape. The secretory cells, mainly of minima and soldier, were rich in smooth endoplasmic reticulum. The media worker and soldier presented a large number of mitochondria, of varying shape. Well-developed Golgi complexes were also present in the soldiers. The secretory cells in minima, media and soldier were provided with collecting intracellular canaliculi, which were linked to the reservoir through the extracellular portion. The cytoplasm of the canaliculi-forming cell was poor in organelles. In the individuals of the three castes of A. s. rubropilosa, the presence of lipid secretion granules suggested, beyond the other functions, also a possible pheromonal action. The different roles executed by the different insect castes are directly dependent on the glandular products and, consequently, on the secretory cellular characteristics. PMID:15935305

  12. Toxicity and repellency of compounds from clove (Syzygium aromaticum) to red imported fire ants Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Kafle, Lekhnath; Shih, Cheng Jen

    2013-02-01

    The toxicity and repellency of the bioactive chemicals of clove (Syzygium aromaticum) powder, eugenol, eugenol acetate, and beta-caryophyllene were evaluated against workers of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. Clove powder applied at 3 and 12 mg/cm2 provided 100% ant mortality within 6 h, and repelled 99% within 3 h. Eugenol was the fastest acting compound against red imported fire ant compared with eugenol acetate, beta-caryophyllene, and clove oil. The LT50 values inclined exponentially with the increase in the application rate of the chemical compounds tested. However, repellency did not increase with the increase in the application rate of the chemical compounds tested, but did with the increase in exposure time. Eugenol, eugenol acetate, as well as beta-caryophyllene and clove oil may provide another tool for red imported fire ant integrated pest management, particularly in situations where conventional insecticides are inappropriate. PMID:23448024

  13. Red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) control with a corn grit bait of fenoxycarb without soybean oil.

    PubMed

    Williams, D F; Banks, W A; Vander Meer, R K; Lofgren, C S

    1991-06-01

    The standard fenoxycarb fire ant bait formulation (Logic), composed of pregel defatted corn grits and soybean oil toxicant, was modified by eliminating the soybean oil. This formulation without soybean oil contained greater than 2 times more fenoxycarb and was as effective as the standard bait formulation against laboratory colonies of red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. In field tests, the modified and standard baits were equally effective in controlling fire ants after 6, 12, and 18 wk. Individual worker ants obtained from plots treated with fenoxycarb baits without soybean oil had greater than 47 times less fenoxycarb than did workers from the plots treated with the standard fenoxycarb baits containing soybean oil. PMID:1885843

  14. Retrieval of granular bait by the Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): effect of clumped versus scattered dispersion patterns.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Jules; Roulston, T'ai H

    2003-06-01

    Argentine ants, Linepithema humile (Mayr), use mass recruitment foraging, with clumped prey items being retrieved more efficiently than dispersed prey. However, in prior field experiments, granular baits, whether dispensed in containers or broadly scattered, had a similar impact on Argentine ant populations. In laboratory experiments, granular insecticide bait was encountered faster by Argentine ant workers and more granules were initially returned to the colony when the granules were scattered versus clumped. After 2 h, granules from both dispersion patterns were retrieved equally. Our results suggest that Argentine ant colonies adjust their foraging patterns to resources of different quality (prey versus bait). Also, foraging activity patterns for bait in the laboratory are consistent with prior field results demonstrating no efficacy advantages to discrete granular bait placements. PMID:12852629

  15. Transcriptome Characterisation of the Ant Formica exsecta with New Insights into the Evolution of Desaturase Genes in Social Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Badouin, Hélène; Belkhir, Khalid; Gregson, Emma; Galindo, Juan; Sundström, Liselotte; Martin, Stephen J.; Butlin, Roger K.; Smadja, Carole M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Despite the recent sequencing of seven ant genomes, no genomic data are available for the genus Formica, an important group for the study of eusocial traits. We sequenced the transcriptome of the ant Formica exsecta with the 454 FLX Titanium technology from a pooled sample of workers from 70 Finnish colonies. Results About 1,000,000 reads were obtained from a normalised cDNA library. We compared the assemblers MIRA3.0 and Newbler2.6 and showed that the latter performed better on this dataset due to a new option which is dedicated to improve contig formation in low depth portions of the assemblies. The 29,579 contigs represent 27 Mb. 50% showed similarity with known proteins and 25% could be assigned a category of gene ontology. We found more than 13,000 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms. The Δ9 desaturase gene family is an important multigene family involved in chemical communication in insects. We found six Δ9 desaturases in this Formica exsecta transcriptome dataset that were used to reconstruct a maximum-likelihood phylogeny of insect desaturases and to test for signatures of positive selection in this multigene family in ant lineages. We found differences with previous phylogenies of this gene family in ants, and found two clades potentially under positive selection. Conclusion This first transcriptome reference sequence of Formica exsecta provided sequence and polymorphism data that will allow researchers working on Formica ants to develop studies to tackle the genetic basis of eusocial phenotypes. In addition, this study provided some general guidelines for de novo transcriptome assembly that should be useful for future transcriptome sequencing projects. Finally, we found potential signatures of positive selection in some clades of the Δ9 desaturase gene family in ants, which suggest the potential role of sequence divergence and adaptive evolution in shaping the large diversity of chemical cues in social insects. PMID:23874539

  16. Susceptibility and behavioral response of red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) to selected entomogenous nematodes (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae & Heterorhabditidae).

    PubMed

    Drees, B M; Miller, R W; Vinson, S B; Georgis, R

    1992-04-01

    Pathogenicity of infective juveniles of selected Steinernema spp. and Heterorhabditis spp. toward developing and reproductive stages of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, was tested under laboratory conditions. At 10(3)-10(5) infective juveniles per Petri dish, mortality of reproductive larvae, pupae, and alates ranged from 28 to 100% at higher doses after 96 h at 23-25 degrees C. Steinernema carpocapsae All was the most consistent species tested; this nematode caused mortality of fire ant larvae, pupae, and alates of 82-94, 64-96, and 38-99%, respectively. Although not susceptible to nematode infection, worker ants vigorously preened nematodes from brood, alates, and themselves. In a field study, S. carpocapsae (5 x 10(6) and 2 x 10(6) drench, 2 x 10(6) infective juvenile infection) was applied to active fire ant mounds in 3.8-liter suspensions. Hydramethylnon (75 ml), a water drench, a water injection, and untreated fire ant mounds were marked and treated. Overall activity in mounds treated with nematodes of hydramethylnon ranged from 40 to 48%. Satellite mound activity accounted for 32-44% of overall activity in mounds treated with nematodes 2 wk after treatment. However, 6 wk after treatment, activity in mounds treated with hydramethylnon was 44%; activity of mounds treated with nematodes ranged from 52 to 80%. Satellite mound activity accounted for 0-24% of overall activity. Whereas a soil drench of S. carpocapsae showed potential as a control method for the red imported fire ant, colony relocation after nematode treatment could limit overall efficacy unless application techniques are developed to overcome or take advantage of the movement. PMID:1593012

  17. Ant repellent effect of the sternal gland secretion ofPolistes dominulus (Christ) andP. sulcifer (Zimmermann). (Hymenoptera: Vespidae).

    PubMed

    Dani, F R; Cannoni, S; Turillazzi, S; David Morgan, E

    1996-01-01

    The long-chain carboxylic acids identified in the sternal gland secretion ofPolistes dominulus andP. sulcifer females were tested individually on three species of ants,Crematogaster scutellaris, Formica cunicularia, andLasius sp., in order to verify if they have a repellent effect. The unsaturated acids (palmitoleic, linoleic, and oleic) act as repellents of all three ant species, while the saturated acids (lauric, myristic, palmitic, and stearic) have no effect. The mixture reproducing the secretion of the sternal glands ofP. dominulus maintained its repellency for at least four days. PMID:24226981

  18. Chemical composition and function of metapleural gland secretion of the ant,Crematogaster deformis smith (hymenoptera: Myrmicinae).

    PubMed

    Attygalle, A B; Siegel, B; Vostrowsky, O; Bestmann, H J; Maschwitz, U

    1989-01-01

    The secretion of the hypertrophied metapleural gland of the antCrematogaster deformis contains a mixture of phenols, consisting mainly of 3-propylphenol, 3-pentylphenol, 3,4-dihydro-8-hydroxy-3-methylisocoumarin (mellein), 5-propylresorcinol, and 5-pentylresorcinol. The secretion is released, as a repellent, when the highly vulnerable petiolar-postpetiolar region of the abdomen is attacked by enemy ants. In addition, small amounts of the secretion are released regularly to serve as an antiseptic, which is considered the original function of the gland. The secretion also has some insecticidal properties. PMID:24271446

  19. The Influence of Habitat Manipulations on Beneficial Ground-Dwelling Arthropods in a Southeast US Organic Cropping System.

    PubMed

    Fox, Aaron F; Orr, David B; Cardoza, Yasmin J

    2015-02-01

    Habitat manipulations, intentional provisioning of natural vegetation along crop edges, have been shown to enhance beneficial epigaeic invertebrate activity in many agricultural settings, but little research has been conducted on this practice in the southeast United States. We conducted a field-scale study to determine if habitat manipulations along the field edges of an organic crop rotation increase the activity-density of beneficial ground-dwelling invertebrates. Pitfall traps were used to collect micro and macro ground-dwelling organisms in nine organic crop fields (three each of maize, soybeans, and hay; 2.5-4.0 ha each) surrounded by four experimental habitat manipulations (planted native grass and prairie flowers, planted prairie flowers only, fallow vegetation, or mowed vegetation) during 2009 and 2010 in eastern North Carolina. Beneficial macro and micro invertebrates collected in these pitfall traps consisted primarily of Carabidae, Araneae, Collembola, and mite species. Results show that habitat manipulations had little effect on the activity-density of the dominant epigaeic invertebrates in our study system. Our results suggest that the activity-density of these organisms were instead determined by a combination of in-field characteristics, such as crop type, weed management practices, and within-field resources, along with the diversity of crop type in neighboring fields and the availability of other resources in the area. PMID:26308813

  20. Effect of gland extracts on digging and residing preferences of red imported fire ant workers (Hymenoptera: formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There was evidence that ant-derived chemical stimuli were involved in regulating the digging behavior in Solenopsis invicta Buren. Unfortunately however, the source gland(s) and chemistry of such stimuli have never been revealed. In this study, extracts of mandibular, Dufour, postpharyngeal and po...

  1. Checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the Solomon Islands and a new survey of Makira Island.

    PubMed

    Sarnat, Eli M; Blanchard, Benjamin; Guénard, Benoit; John Fasi; Evan P Economo

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23653494

  2. Checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the Solomon Islands and a new survey of Makira Island

    PubMed Central

    Sarnat, Eli M.; Blanchard, Benjamin; Guénard, Benoit; John Fasi;  Evan P. Economo

    2013-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:23653494

  3. Procedures to mititgate the impact of Solenopsis invicta Virus 3 in fire ant (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) rearing facilities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During the initial characterization of Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3), virus-infected fire ant colonies were retrieved from the field and maintained in the laboratory rearing facility at the USDA, Gainesville, FL. During this time, all S. invicta colonies housed in the facility contracted SINV...

  4. Implementation of Hyperspectral Techniques in the Remote Detection of Imported Fire Ants Mounds (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Cultivated Turfgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Safe, expedient, and cost-effective treatments of imported fire ant (IFA) infestations require technological developments that exploit the use of remotely-sensed contrasting features to detect cryptic mounds in heavily-managed turfgrass. Ground-based implementation of hyperspectral techniques in the...

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

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, Jon; Johansson, Therese

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gibb, Heloise; Andersson, Jon; Johansson, Therese

    2016-01-01

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

  7. An updated checklist of the ants of India with their specific distributions in Indian states (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Himender; Guénard, Benoit; Bharti, Meenakshi; Economo, Evan P.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract As one of the 17 megadiverse countries of the world and with four biodiversity hotspots represented in its borders, India is home to an impressive diversity of life forms. However, much work remains to document and catalogue the species of India and their geographic distributions, especially for diverse invertebrate groups. In the present study, a comprehensive and critical list of Indian ant species is provided with up-to-date state-wise distribution. A total of 828 valid species and subspecies names belonging to 100 genera are listed from India. Potential erroneous data, misidentifications and dubious distributional records that may exist in the literature are also identified. The present exhaustive listing of Indian ants will provide a holistic view about diversity and distribution and will also help to identify major undersampled areas where future sampling and taxonomic efforts should be directed. PMID:26877665

  8. [Ant diversity (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from capões in Brazilian Pantanal: relationship between species richness and structural complexity].

    PubMed

    Corrêa, Michele M; Fernandes, Wedson D; Leal, Inara R

    2006-01-01

    Species richness of epigeic ants was surveyed in forest islands named capões of Brazilian Pantanal and related with their structural complexity. The ants were collected using pitfall traps in 28 capões from Rio Negro Farm, in Aquidauana municipality, Mato-Grosso do Sul state, Brazil. The structural complexity of capões was evaluated by measuring vegetation density and litter quantity near the pit-fall traps. Seventy-one species, distributed in 26 genera and seven sub-families were found. Ectatomma edentatum Roger (Formicidae: Ectatomminae) and one species of Pheidole were the most frequent species. Species richness was positively correlated only with herbaceous vegetation density of capões, supporting the idea that the increase in environmental heterogeneity diminishes species competition, allowing species co-occurrence. PMID:17273701

  9. An updated checklist of the ants of India with their specific distributions in Indian states (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Bharti, Himender; Guénard, Benoit; Bharti, Meenakshi; Economo, Evan P

    2016-01-01

    As one of the 17 megadiverse countries of the world and with four biodiversity hotspots represented in its borders, India is home to an impressive diversity of life forms. However, much work remains to document and catalogue the species of India and their geographic distributions, especially for diverse invertebrate groups. In the present study, a comprehensive and critical list of Indian ant species is provided with up-to-date state-wise distribution. A total of 828 valid species and subspecies names belonging to 100 genera are listed from India. Potential erroneous data, misidentifications and dubious distributional records that may exist in the literature are also identified. The present exhaustive listing of Indian ants will provide a holistic view about diversity and distribution and will also help to identify major undersampled areas where future sampling and taxonomic efforts should be directed. PMID:26877665

  10. New exocrine glands in ants: the hypostomal gland and basitarsal gland in the genus Melissotarsus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hölldobler, Bert; Obermayer, Malu; Plowes, Nicola J. R.; Fisher, Brian L.

    2014-07-01

    Fisher and Robertson (Insect Soc 46: 78-83, 1999) discovered the production of silk-like secretions emerging from slit-shaped openings along the anterior margin of the ventral hypostoma of Melissotarsus ant workers. The current histological study describes a hitherto unknown hypostomal gland from which this silk-like substance originates. In addition, this study describes a new basitarsal gland in the three pairs of legs of Melissotarsus workers.

  11. Taxonomic studies on the ant genus Ponera Latreille, 1804 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), with the description of a new species from India

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Himender; Rilta, Joginder Singh

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Four species of the ant genus Ponera Latreille, 1804, are recorded from India. The present study reports one new species Ponera sikkimensis sp. n., a divergent population of Ponera indica Bharti & Wachkoo, 2012 and one new record, Ponera paedericera Zhou, 2001 from India. An identification key and distributions for the four known Indian species of Ponera based on the worker caste are provided. PMID:26487822

  12. Field evaluation of potential of alarm pheromone compounds to enhance baits for control of grass-cutting ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Hughes, William O H; Howse, Philip E; Vilela, Evaldo F; Knapp, Jenny J; Goulson, Dave

    2002-06-01

    Leaf-cutting ants are important economic pests of the Neotropics, and the most common method of control involves the use of insecticidal baits. Baits that are currently available exhibit low attractiveness to grass-cutting species, thus there is a need to develop improved baits. The potential for using alarm pheromone compounds to enhance the attractiveness and subsequent harvest of baits was examined for two economically important species of grass-cutting ant, Atta bisphaerica (Forel) and Atta capiguara (Goncalves). Compounds of the alarm pheromone were applied to rubber septa that were then sealed inside plastic sachets together with citrus pulp-based bait. The best candidate compound for bait enhancement was 4-methyl-3-heptanone. This compound significantly increased the attractiveness of bait sachets to both species. It also appeared to improve the discovery of nearby unenhanced sachets. However, 4-methyl-3-heptanone resulted in only a slight and non-significant improvement in bait harvest. Enhanced and unenhanced bait sachets were applied at a number of positions to obtain an improvement in harvest, but without success. The possible reasons for the lack of an enhancement of harvest and the potential for using alarm pheromone compounds as leaf-cutting ant bait enhancers are discussed. PMID:12075997

  13. New species and records of Pseudacteon Coquillett, 1907 (Diptera, Phoridae), parasitoids of the fire ant Solenopsis geminata group (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Pereira, Thalles Platiny Lavinscky; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles; Bravo, Freddy

    2015-01-01

    The genus Pseudacteon Coquillett (Diptera, Phoridae) has a worldwide distribution and comprises parasitic myrmecophilous species that decapitate host ants. Seventy one species are known in the genus, 41 of them occur in the Neotropical Region and are 25 from Brazil. In northeastern Brazil, there are only records for two species, Pseudacteon dentiger Borgmeier and Pseudacteon antiguensis Malloch. In this paper, two new species of the genus are described from female specimens, Pseudacteon pesqueroi new spec. and Pseudacteon plowesi new spec., and also, new records of three Pseudacteon species for the Brazilian Northeast are given. PMID:26624156

  14. Effects of a juvenile hormone analogue pyriproxyfen on monogynous and polygynous colonies of the Pharaoh ant Monomorium pharaonis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Tay, J W; Lee, C Y

    2015-09-01

    To evaluate the effects of the juvenile hormone analogue pyriproxyfen on colonies of the Pharaoh ant Monomorium pharaonis (L.), peanut oil containing different concentrations (0.3, 0.6, or 0.9%) of pyriproxyfen was fed to monogynous (1 queen, 500 workers, and 0.1 g of brood) and polygynous (8 queens, 50 workers, and 0.1 g of brood) laboratory colonies of M. pharaonis. Due to its delayed activity, pyriproxyfen at all concentrations resulted in colony elimination. Significant reductions in brood volume were recorded at weeks 3 - 6, and complete brood mortality was observed at week 8 in all treated colonies. Brood mortality was attributed to the disruption of brood development and cessation of egg production by queens. All polygynous colonies exhibited significant reduction in the number of queens present at week 10 compared to week 1. Number of workers was significantly lower in all treated colonies compared to control colonies at week 8 due to old-age attrition of the workers without replacement. At least 98.67 ± 1.33% of workers were dead at week 10 in all treated colonies. Thus, treatment with slow acting pyriproxyfen at concentrations of 0.3 - 0.9% is an effective strategy for eliminating Pharaoh ant colonies. PMID:26695205

  15. Revision and Microtomography of the Pheidole knowlesi Group, an Endemic Ant Radiation in Fiji (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae)Myrmicinae).

    PubMed

    Fischer, Georg; Sarnat, Eli M; Economo, Evan P

    2016-01-01

    The Fijian islands, a remote archipelago in the southwestern Pacific, are home to a number of spectacular endemic radiations of plants and animals. Unlike most Pacific archipelagos, these evolutionary radiations extend to social insects, including ants. One of the most dramatic examples of ant radiation in Fiji has occurred in the hyperdiverse genus Pheidole. Most of the 17 native Fijian Pheidole belong to one of two species groups that descended from a single colonization, yet have evolved dramatically contrasting morphologies: the spinescent P. roosevelti species group, and the more morphologically conservative P. knowlesi species group. Here we revise the knowlesi group, in light of recent phylogenetic results, and enhanced with modern methods of X-ray microtomography. We recognize six species belonging to this group, including two of which we describe as new: Pheidole caldwelli Mann, Pheidole kava sp. n., Pheidole knowlesi Mann, P. ululevu sp. n., P. vatu Mann, and P. wilsoni Mann. Detailed measurements and descriptions, identification keys, and high-resolution images for queens, major and minor workers are provided. In addition, we include highly detailed 3D surface reconstructions for all available castes. PMID:27462877

  16. Uncoupling Flight and Reproduction in Ants: Evolution of Ergatoid Queens in Two Lineages of Megalomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Peeters, Christian; Adams, Rachelle M M

    2016-01-01

    Megalomyrmex Forel (Myrmicinae: Solenopsidini) consists of 44 species with diverse life history strategies. Most species are predatory and may also tend honeydew-producing insects. A morphologically derived group of species are social parasites that consume the brood and fungus garden within fungus-growing ant nests. The reproductive strategies of Megalomyrmex queens are somewhat aligned with these life-style patterns. Predatory species in the leoninus species group are large in body size and have ergatoid (i.e., permanently wingless) queens whereas the social parasitic species are smaller and typically have winged queens. We examined two ergatoid phenotypes of Megalomyrmex foreli Emery and Megalomyrmex wallacei Mann and compared them to winged species, one a social lestobiotic or "thief ant" parasite (Megalomyrmex mondabora Brandão) and the other a predator (Megalomyrmex modestus Emery). Megalomyrmex foreli colonies have a single queen with an enlarged gaster that is morphologically distinct from workers. Megalomyrmex wallacei colonies have several queens that are similar in body size to workers. Queens in both species showed a simplification of the thorax, but there was a dramatic difference in the number of ovarioles. Megalomyrmex foreli had 60-80 ovarioles compared to eight in M. wallacei and M. mondabora and M. modestus had 22-28. Along with flight loss in queens, there is an obligate shift to dependent colony founding (also called budding or fission) consequently influencing dispersal patterns. These constraints in life history traits may help explain the variation in nesting biology among Megalomyrmex species. PMID:27620557

  17. Revision and Microtomography of the Pheidole knowlesi Group, an Endemic Ant Radiation in Fiji (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae)

    PubMed Central

    Sarnat, Eli M.; Economo, Evan P.

    2016-01-01

    The Fijian islands, a remote archipelago in the southwestern Pacific, are home to a number of spectacular endemic radiations of plants and animals. Unlike most Pacific archipelagos, these evolutionary radiations extend to social insects, including ants. One of the most dramatic examples of ant radiation in Fiji has occurred in the hyperdiverse genus Pheidole. Most of the 17 native Fijian Pheidole belong to one of two species groups that descended from a single colonization, yet have evolved dramatically contrasting morphologies: the spinescent P. roosevelti species group, and the more morphologically conservative P. knowlesi species group. Here we revise the knowlesi group, in light of recent phylogenetic results, and enhanced with modern methods of X-ray microtomography. We recognize six species belonging to this group, including two of which we describe as new: Pheidole caldwelli Mann, Pheidole kava sp. n., Pheidole knowlesi Mann, P. ululevu sp. n., P. vatu Mann, and P. wilsoni Mann. Detailed measurements and descriptions, identification keys, and high-resolution images for queens, major and minor workers are provided. In addition, we include highly detailed 3D surface reconstructions for all available castes. PMID:27462877

  18. Social closure, aggressive behavior, and cuticular hydrocarbon profiles in the polydomous antCataglyphis iberica (hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Dahbi, A; Cerdá, X; Hefetz, A; Lenoir, A

    1996-12-01

    Nestmate recognition was studied in the polydomous antCataglyphis iberica (Formicinae) in the laboratory. The study examined six colonies collected from two different populations 600 km apart in the Iberian peninsula (Barcelona and Murcia). Introduction of an alien worker into an allocolonial arena always ended in death to the intruder, demonstrating that in this species societies are extremely closed. Dyadic encounters composed of individuals from different colonies in a neutral arena confirmed the existence of high aggression between allocolonial individuals. We also investigated variability in the composition of the major cuticular hydrocarbons between the colonies used in the behaviorial tests. There were marked quantitative differences between the profiles of ants from the two populations, suggesting that the populations are completely segregated. Cuticular profiles within a population tended to be more similar, but were nevertheless colony specific. The degree of colony closure inC. iberica seemed to be independent of geographic distance since aggression between the colonies was always at its maximum, irrespective of their population origin. PMID:24227295

  19. Effect of gland extracts on digging and residing preferences of red imported fire ant workers (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Chen, Jian; Zhang, Guangmei

    2013-08-01

    There is evidence that ant-derived chemical stimuli are involved in regulating the digging behavior in Solenopsis invicta Buren. However, the source gland(s) and chemistry of such stimuli have never been revealed. In this study, extracts of mandibular, Dufour's, postpharyngeal, and poison glands were evaluated for their effect on ant digging and residing preferences of S. invicta workers from three colonies. In the intracolonial bioassays, workers showed significant digging preferences to mandibular gland extracts in 2 of 3 colonies and significant residing preferences in 1 of 3 colonies; significant digging preferences to Dufour's gland extracts in 1 of 3 colonies and significant residing preferences in 2 of 3 colonies. No digging and residing preferences were found for postpharyngeal and poison gland extracts. In intercolonial bioassays, significant digging and residing preferences were found for mandibular gland extracts in 3 of 6 colony combinations. Significant digging preferences to Dufour's gland extracts were found in 4 of 6 colony combinations and significant residing preferences in all 6 colony combinations. For postpharyngeal gland extracts, significant digging preferences were found only in 1 of 6 colonial combinations and no significant residing preferences were found. For poison gland extracts, no significant digging preferences were found; significant residing preferences were found in 1 of 6 colony combinations. However, a significant residing deterrence (negative residing preference index) was found for 2 of 6 colony combinations. Statistical analyses using data pooled from all colonies showed that mandibular and Dufour's gland extracts caused significant digging and residing preferences in both intracolonial and intercolonial bioassays but not postpharyngeal and poison gland extracts. By analyzing the data pooled from the same three colonies used for gland extract bioassays, it was found that, in no cases, workers showed significant digging and

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

    PubMed

    Choate, Beth; Drummond, Francis A

    2013-04-01

    Assessing the influence of new, reduced-risk insecticides on natural enemies within agroecosystems is essential to developing integrated pest management strategies. Three species of mound-building Formica ants are abundant throughout Maine lowbush blueberry fields (Formica exsectoides Forel, F. glacialis Wheeler, and F. ulkei Emery). All three species have been described in the literature as predaceous, with research demonstrating that F. exsectoides preys on major pest insects of lowbush blueberry. The objectives of this study were to determine the impact of common-use and newly introduced insecticides on Formica sp. ant communities in lowbush blueberry fields. Laboratory assays indicated that the commonly applied insecticide phosmet is toxic to F. exsectoides, even after 8 d of field weathering (P < 0.05). Species comparisons indicated that susceptibility varied with exposure to residues in the field. However, some of the reduced-risk biorational insecticides, such as acetamiprid, had little effect on survival of all three species. Abundance of each species in the field varied with lowbush blueberry pesticide-use strategy and amount of nonblueberry vegetation. Both F. exsectoides and F. glacialis were most abundant in organic fields; however, overall F. glacialis was the most abundant in fields of all management types. Field surveys support laboratory results suggesting that phosmet is highly toxic to these species and influences their spatial pattern. Manipulation of the crop to conserve natural enemies in lowbush blueberry is difficult because the crop is not planted; therefore, we must look closely at the incorporation of low toxicity insecticides with natural enemies to efficiently control pest insects. PMID:23786059

  1. A revision of male ants of the Malagasy Amblyoponinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with resurrections of the genera Stigmatomma and Xymmer.

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, Masashi; Fisher, Brian L

    2012-01-01

    In a male-based revision of ants of the subfamily Amblyoponinae from the Southwest Indian Ocean islands (SWIO: Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion, and Seychelles), we explore and reconsider male morphological characters that distinguish genera within the group. Our investigation redefines Amblyopone Erichson sensu Brown (1960), here referred to as Amblyopone sensu lato, into three genera: Xymmer Santschi stat. rev.,Amblyopone sensu stricto, Stigmatomma Roger stat. rev. All species names under Amblyopone s. l. reassign into Xymmer and Amblyopone s. s., which are small, well-defined genera, and Stigmatomma, a large group with a generic delimitation that still needs further refinement. Based on a study of male mandible characters and our scenario for mandibular evolution of the worker caste within Amblyopone s. l, we conclude that Amblyopone s. s. nests outside of XMAS (Xymmer+Mystrium+Adetomyrma+Stigmatomma) clade. The following names are transferred from Amblyopone s. l. to Xymmer as comb. rev.: muticus. The following names are transferred from Amblyopone s. l. to Stigmatomma as comb. rev.: amblyops, armigerum, bellii, bierigi, bruni, celata, chilense, denticulatum, elongatum, emeryi, feae, impressifrons, luzonicum, minuta, normandi, oregonense, pallipes, quadratum, reclinatum, rothneyi, santschii, saundersi, silvestrii, zwaluwenburgi; as comb. nov.: agostii, annae, besucheti, boltoni, caliginosum, cleae, crenatum, degeneratum, egregium, electrinum, eminia, exiguum, falcatum, ferrugineum, fulvidum, gaetulicum, gingivalis, glauerti, gnoma, gracile, groehni, heraldoi, lucidum, lurilabes, monrosi, mystriops, noonadan, octodentatum, ophthalmicum, orizabanum, papuanum, pertinax, pluto, punctulatum, rubiginoum, sakaii, smithi, trigonignathum, trilobum, wilsoni, zaojun, and testaceum. A male-based key to the genera of Malagasy amblyoponine ants, their diagnoses, and a discussion of the evolution of the morphological character of males in the subfamily are

  2. Occurrence of sexuals of African weaver ant (Oecophylla longinoda Latreille) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) under a bimodal rainfall pattern in eastern Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Rwegasira, R G; Mwatawala, M; Rwegasira, G M; Offenberg, J

    2015-04-01

    The African weaver ant, Oecophylla longinoda, is being utilized as a biocontrol agent and may also be targeted for future protein production. Rearing of mated queens in nurseries for colony production is needed to cater for such demands. Thus, newly mated queens must be collected for use as seed stocks in the nurseries. To collect mated queens efficiently it is important to identify when sexuals occur in mature colonies. We studied the occurrence of sexuals in O. longinoda colonies for 2 years in Tanga, Tanzania, a region characterized by a bimodal rainfall pattern. We found that O. longinoda sexuals occurred almost throughout the year with abundance peaks from January to April. Production of sexuals appeared to be triggered by rainfall, suggesting that populations in areas with long rainy periods may show prolonged mating periods compared to populations experiencing extended dry periods. The bimodal rain pattern may thus cause a low production over a long period. The average yearly production of queens per tree and per colony was estimated to be 449 and 2753, respectively. The average number of queens per nest was 17. Worker abundance declined from January to March with minimum by the end of this period, being inversely proportional to the production of sexuals. In conclusion, mated queens may be collected almost throughout the year, but most efficiently by the onset of the long rainy season when the majority disperse. PMID:25524028

  3. The trap-jaw ant genus Odontomachus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Sumatra, with a new species description.

    PubMed

    Satria, Rijal; Kurushima, Hiroaki; Herwina, Henny; Yamane, Seiki; Eguchi, Katsuyuki

    2015-01-01

    The ant genus Odontomachus Latreille is reviewed for Sumatra, the sixth largest island in the world and located in western Indonesia. Previously three species were recorded from the island: O. simillimus F. Smith, O. rixosus F. Smith, and O. latidens Mayr. We add two species to the fauna, O. procerus Emery stat. nov and Odontomachus minangkabau sp. nov. The new species belongs to O. rixosus species group, and it is morphologically most similar to O. rixosus and O. pararixosus Terayama & Ito. However, it can be separated from the latter two by its large body (HL 3.13-3.55 mm, WL 4.15-4.65 mm), the masticatory margin with 11-14 denticles, and dark-colored body. Odontomachus latidens subsp. sumatranus Emery is newly synonymized with O. procerus. The castes and sexes of the known species are also described, including the first descriptions of the male for O. latidens, O. procerus, and O. rixosus. A key to the Sumatran species based on the worker caste is provided, and the bionomics of each species is summarized. PMID:26624734

  4. Uncoupling Flight and Reproduction in Ants: Evolution of Ergatoid Queens in Two Lineages of Megalomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Peeters, Christian; Adams, Rachelle M. M.

    2016-01-01

    Megalomyrmex Forel (Myrmicinae: Solenopsidini) consists of 44 species with diverse life history strategies. Most species are predatory and may also tend honeydew-producing insects. A morphologically derived group of species are social parasites that consume the brood and fungus garden within fungus-growing ant nests. The reproductive strategies of Megalomyrmex queens are somewhat aligned with these life-style patterns. Predatory species in the leoninus species group are large in body size and have ergatoid (i.e., permanently wingless) queens whereas the social parasitic species are smaller and typically have winged queens. We examined two ergatoid phenotypes of Megalomyrmex foreli Emery and Megalomyrmex wallacei Mann and compared them to winged species, one a social lestobiotic or “thief ant” parasite (Megalomyrmex mondabora Brandão) and the other a predator (Megalomyrmex modestus Emery). Megalomyrmex foreli colonies have a single queen with an enlarged gaster that is morphologically distinct from workers. Megalomyrmex wallacei colonies have several queens that are similar in body size to workers. Queens in both species showed a simplification of the thorax, but there was a dramatic difference in the number of ovarioles. Megalomyrmex foreli had 60–80 ovarioles compared to eight in M. wallacei and M. mondabora and M. modestus had 22–28. Along with flight loss in queens, there is an obligate shift to dependent colony founding (also called budding or fission) consequently influencing dispersal patterns. These constraints in life history traits may help explain the variation in nesting biology among Megalomyrmex species. PMID:27620557

  5. A taxonomic revision of South American species of the seed-harvester ant genus Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Part I.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert A

    2015-01-01

    South American species in the seed-harvester ant genus Pogonomyrmex (subfamily Myrmicinae) are interesting biologically because of their numerous queen phenotypes and life histories. This paper provides a taxonomic revision and reviews the natural history for 21 South American species of Pogonomyrmex so that we can better study their rich and interesting ecology, life history, and evolution. Species treated herein comprise all South American species-groups except for the brevibarbis and rastratus-groups. The following taxa are raised to species: pencosensis Forel 1914 and serpens Santschi 1922. The following new synonomies are proposed: bruchi Forel 1913 is synonomized under coarctatus Mayr 1868 and cunicularius carnivora Santschi 1925 under serpens Santschi 1922. The following new species is described: tinogasta. This paper redescribes workers of all species, and I describe queens and diagnose males for the following species: bispinosus (ergatoid queen, male), inermis (queen, male), laticeps (male), lobatus (queen, male), micans (queen), naegelii (ergatoid queen), pencosensis (ergatoid queen), serpens (ergatoid queen), tinogasta (brachypterous queen), and uruguayensis (queen, male). A neotype was designated for the untraceable or possibly lost type of P. bispinosus, and a holotype or lectotype was designated from syntypes for all other previously described taxa in order to provide a single name-bearing specimen and to facilitate future taxonomic studies. Of the 21 species treated herein, five species have ergatoid (wingless) queens (bispinosus, cunicularius, pencosensis, serpens, mayri), two have brachypterous (short-winged) queens (mendozanus, tinogasta), and two have dimorphic queens (winged and ergatoid in naegelii, brachypterous and ergatoid in laticeps). I also provide keys for workers and queens (in English and Spanish), photographs of all castes, distribution maps, and a summary of known biology. PMID:26624334

  6. Temnothorax crasecundus sp. n. – a cryptic Eurocaucasian ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) discovered by Nest Centroid Clustering

    PubMed Central

    Seifert, Bernhard; Csösz, Sandor

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The paper integrates two independent studies of numeric morphology-based alpha-taxonomy of the cryptic ant species Temnothorax crassispinus (Karavajev, 1926) and Temnothorax crasecundus sp. n. conducted by different investigators, using different equipment, considering different character combinations and evaluating different samples. Samples investigated included 603 individual workers from 203 nests – thereof 104 nest samples measured by Seifert and 99 by Csösz. The material originated from Europe, Asia Minor and Caucasia. There was a very strong interspecific overlap in any of the 29 shape characters recorded and subjective expert determination failed in many cases. Primary classification hypotheses were formed by the exploratory data analysis Nest Centroid (NC) clustering and corrected to final species hypotheses by an iterative linear discriminant analysis algorithm. The evaluation of Seifert’s and Csösz’s data sets arrived at fully congruent conclusions. NC-Ward and NC-K-means clustering disagreed from the final species hypothesis in only 1.9 and 1.9% of the samples in Seifert’s data set and by 1.1 and 2.1% in Csösz’s data set which is a strong argument for heterospecificity. The type series of Temnothorax crassispinus and Temnothorax crasecundus sp. n. were allocated to different clusters with p = 0.9851 and p = 0.9912 respectively. The type series of the junior synonym Temnothorax slavonicus (Seifert, 1995) was allocated to the Temnothorax crassispinus cluster with p = 0.9927. Temnothorax crasecundus sp. n. and Temnothorax crassispinus are parapatric species with a long contact zone stretching from the Peloponnisos peninsula across Bulgaria northeast to the southern Ukraine. There is no indication for occurrence of interspecifically mixed nests or intraspecific polymorphism. However, a significant reduction of interspecific morphological distance at sites with syntopic occurrence of both species indicates local hybridization. The

  7. Revision of the Middle American clade of the ant genus Stenamma Westwood (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae)

    PubMed Central

    Branstetter, Michael G.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Stenamma is a cryptic “leaf-litter” ant genus that occurs in mesic forest habitats throughout the Holarctic region, Central America, and part of northwestern South America (Colombia and Ecuador). The genus was thought to be restricted primarily to the temperate zone, but recent collecting efforts have uncovered a large radiation of Neotropical forms, which rival the Holarctic species in terms of morphological and behavioral diversity. By inferring a broad-scale molecular phylogeny of Stenamma, Branstetter (2012) showed that all Neotropical species belong to a diverse Middle American clade (MAC), and that this clade is sister to an almost completely geographically separated Holarctic clade (HOC). Here, the Middle American clade of Stenamma is revised to recognize 40 species, of which 33 are described as new. Included in the revision are a key to species based on the worker caste, and for each species where possible, descriptions and images of workers and queens, images of males, information on geographic distribution, descriptions of intraspecific variation, and notes on natural history. Several species groups are defined, but the majority of species remain unassigned due to a lack of diagnostic morphological character states for most molecular clades. The following species are redescribed: Stenamma alas Longino, Stenamma diversum Mann, Stenamma expolitum Smith, Stenamma felixi Mann, Stenamma huachucanum Smith, Stenamma manni Wheeler, and Stenamma schmidti Menozzi. The following are described as new: Stenamma andersoni sp. n., Stenamma atribellum sp. n., Stenamma brujita sp. n., Stenamma callipygium sp. n., Stenamma catracho sp. n., Stenamma connectum sp. n., Stenamma crypticum sp. n., Stenamma cusuco sp. n., Stenamma excisum sp. n., Stenamma expolitico sp. n., Stenamma hojarasca sp. n., Stenamma ignotum sp. n., Stenamma lagunum sp. n., Stenamma llama sp. n., Stenamma leptospinum sp. n., Stenamma lobinodus sp. n., Stenamma longinoi sp. n., Stenamma

  8. Do Ground-Dwelling Vertebrates Promote Diversity in a Neotropical Forest? Results from a Long-Term Exclosure Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Kurten, Erin L.; Carson, Walter P.

    2015-01-01

    Using a decade-long exclosure experiment in Panama, we tested the hypothesis that ground-dwelling vertebrate herbivores and seed predators are crucial determinants of tropical tree diversity and abundance within the understory. Our exclosure experiment is a community-level test of the Janzen–Connell hypothesis. Therefore, we predicted that vertebrate exclusion would (a) increase plant densities and (b) lower richness, diversity, and evenness. Excluding vertebrates caused a 38%–46% increase in plant densities, which, in contrast to our predictions, caused species richness to increase by 12%–15%. Because vertebrate exclusion causes plant species richness to increase, not decrease, vertebrates are unlikely to be causal agents of Janzen–Connell effects. We synthesized this and previous studies to explore why plant richness responds differently to defaunation and exclosures in tropical forests worldwide. Likely because of their contrasting effects on mesoconsumers, defaunation and exclosures cause decreases and increases in plant density respectively, which in turn cause corresponding changes in richness. PMID:26955084

  9. Long-term efficacy of two cricket and two liver diets for rearing laboratory fire ant colonies (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Solenopsis Invicta)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Effective diets are necessary for many kinds of laboratory studies of ants. We conducted a year-long study of imported fire ant colonies reared on either chicken liver, beef liver, banded crickets, or domestic crickets all with a sugar water supplement. Fire ant colonies thrived on diets of sugar ...

  10. A Comparison of the Pitfall Trap, Winkler Extractor and Berlese Funnel for Sampling Ground-Dwelling Arthropods in Tropical Montane Cloud Forests

    PubMed Central

    Sabu, Thomas K.; Shiju, Raj T.; Vinod, KV.; Nithya, S.

    2011-01-01

    Little is known about the ground-dwelling arthropod diversity in tropical montane cloud forests (TMCF). Due to unique habitat conditions in TMCFs with continuously wet substrates and a waterlogged forest floor along with the innate biases of the pitfall trap, Berlese funnel and Winkler extractor are certain to make it difficult to choose the most appropriate method to sample the ground-dwelling arthropods in TMCFs. Among the three methods, the Winkler extractor was the most efficient method for quantitative data and pitfall trapping for qualitative data for most groups. Inclusion of floatation method as a complementary method along with the Winkler extractor would enable a comprehensive quantitative survey of ground-dwelling arthropods. Pitfall trapping is essential for both quantitative and qualitative sampling of Diplopoda, Opiliones, Orthoptera, and Diptera. The Winkler extractor was the best quantitative method for Psocoptera, Araneae, Isopoda, and Formicidae; and the Berlese funnel was best for Collembola and Chilopoda. For larval forms of different insect orders and the Acari, all the three methods were equally effective. PMID:21529148

  11. Acute exposure to low dose radiation disrupts reproduction and shortens survival of Wasmannia auropunctata (Hymenoptera Formicidae)queens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Irradiation is a postharvest quarantine treatment option to control ants and other hitchhiker pests on fresh horticultural products exported from Hawaii. The radiotolerance of the invasive little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae), was studied to determine...

  12. Eaten Out of House and Home: Impacts of Grazing on Ground-Dwelling Reptiles in Australian Grasslands and Grassy Woodlands

    PubMed Central

    Howland, Brett; Stojanovic, Dejan; Gordon, Iain J.; Manning, Adrian D.; Fletcher, Don; Lindenmayer, David B.

    2014-01-01

    Large mammalian grazers can alter the biotic and abiotic features of their environment through their impacts on vegetation. Grazing at moderate intensity has been recommended for biodiversity conservation. Few studies, however, have empirically tested the benefits of moderate grazing intensity in systems dominated by native grazers. Here we investigated the relationship between (1) density of native eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, and grass structure, and (2) grass structure and reptiles (i.e. abundance, richness, diversity and occurrence) across 18 grassland and grassy Eucalyptus woodland properties in south-eastern Australia. There was a strong negative relationship between kangaroo density and grass structure after controlling for tree canopy cover. We therefore used grass structure as a surrogate for grazing intensity. Changes in grazing intensity (i.e. grass structure) significantly affected reptile abundance, reptile species richness, reptile species diversity, and the occurrence of several ground-dwelling reptiles. Reptile abundance, species richness and diversity were highest where grazing intensity was low. Importantly, no species of reptile was more likely to occur at high grazing intensities. Legless lizards (Delma impar, D. inornata) were more likely to be detected in areas subject to moderate grazing intensity, whereas one species (Hemiergis talbingoensis) was less likely to be detected in areas subject to intense grazing and three species (Menetia greyii, Morethia boulengeri, and Lampropholis delicata) did not appear to be affected by grazing intensity. Our data indicate that to maximize reptile abundance, species richness, species diversity, and occurrence of several individual species of reptile, managers will need to subject different areas of the landscape to moderate and low grazing intensities and limit the occurrence and extent of high grazing. PMID:25501680

  13. Eaten out of house and home: impacts of grazing on ground-dwelling reptiles in Australian grasslands and grassy woodlands.

    PubMed

    Howland, Brett; Stojanovic, Dejan; Gordon, Iain J; Manning, Adrian D; Fletcher, Don; Lindenmayer, David B

    2014-01-01

    Large mammalian grazers can alter the biotic and abiotic features of their environment through their impacts on vegetation. Grazing at moderate intensity has been recommended for biodiversity conservation. Few studies, however, have empirically tested the benefits of moderate grazing intensity in systems dominated by native grazers. Here we investigated the relationship between (1) density of native eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, and grass structure, and (2) grass structure and reptiles (i.e. abundance, richness, diversity and occurrence) across 18 grassland and grassy Eucalyptus woodland properties in south-eastern Australia. There was a strong negative relationship between kangaroo density and grass structure after controlling for tree canopy cover. We therefore used grass structure as a surrogate for grazing intensity. Changes in grazing intensity (i.e. grass structure) significantly affected reptile abundance, reptile species richness, reptile species diversity, and the occurrence of several ground-dwelling reptiles. Reptile abundance, species richness and diversity were highest where grazing intensity was low. Importantly, no species of reptile was more likely to occur at high grazing intensities. Legless lizards (Delma impar, D. inornata) were more likely to be detected in areas subject to moderate grazing intensity, whereas one species (Hemiergis talbingoensis) was less likely to be detected in areas subject to intense grazing and three species (Menetia greyii, Morethia boulengeri, and Lampropholis delicata) did not appear to be affected by grazing intensity. Our data indicate that to maximize reptile abundance, species richness, species diversity, and occurrence of several individual species of reptile, managers will need to subject different areas of the landscape to moderate and low grazing intensities and limit the occurrence and extent of high grazing. PMID:25501680

  14. Early successional patterns of arthropod recolonization on reclaimed strip mines in southwestern Wyoming: ground-dwelling beetle fauna (coleoptera)

    SciTech Connect

    Parmenter, R.R.; MacMahon, J.A.

    1987-02-01

    The ground-dwelling beetle assemblages of seven reclaimed surface coal mines and an undisturbed area of sagebrush steppe vegetation near Kemmerer, Wyo., were sampled in 1983 using 25 pitfall traps per site. The three oldest sites (1977-79) received no topsoil during reclamation; the other four sites (1980-83) had stored topsoil respread on them before revegetation. The beetle assemblages were characterized by means of data on species richness and diversity, species dominance curves, and trophic-group structure. The authors found that initial recolonization and dominance was achieved by species that were either rare in the adjacent native vegetation, or had immigrated from other disturbed sites. Species richness and diversity showed an increase during the first 3 yr following revegetation, but then declined over the next 3 yr. The magnitude of the observed species richness and diversity trends may have been influenced by the presence or absence of topsoil on the sites. The number of herbivorous beetle species was positively correlated with the number of plant species present on the sites. The trophic structure on reclaimed mine sites was dominated by omnivores, insect-carrion feeders, predators, and fungivores, whereas the undisturbed site's beetle fauna was dominated by omnivores, predators, and herbivores. It seemed that the most successful colonists were omnivores and scavenging species (that used seeds, weedy vegetation, and living and dead insects), and fungivores (that took advantage of fungi growing on dead organic matter in the respread topsoils). In view of the great dissimilarities that exist between undisturbed and reclaimed mine sites, even after 6 yr, the authors conclude that recovery of the mine lands will require a considerable length of time, and, due to the severity of the mining disturbance, may not ever yield a fauna and flora similar to those of the premining era.

  15. Role of social and individual experience in interaction of the meadow ant Formica pratensis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with ladybird imagines and hoverfly larvae.

    PubMed

    Novgorodova, Tatiana A

    2015-03-01

    The ability to recognize aphidophages is one of the key points in the protection ants provide aphids against their natural enemies. Behavior of honeydew collectors from nature ("field," control) and laboratory reared "naive" ants of Formica pratensis Retzius, which had never met either "mature" workers or aphids and aphidophages, was observed during their pairwise interactions with ladybird imagines and hoverfly larvae. The majority of the "naive" ants perceived ladybirds as an enemy at their first encounter attacking them immediately without any prior antennation. Ants seem to have a certain innate "enemy image" that lets them react very quickly to protect aphids. Hoverfly larvae were rarely attacked by both "field" and "naive" ants (>15%). During tests with ladybirds ants from nature attacked them and also demonstrated the most aggressive reactions (series of bites and "death grip") less frequently than the "naive" ants. The percentage of ants avoiding aphidophages after a contact with their chemical defense (reflex bleeding and glue-like saliva) was significantly higher in the control group. Whereas the "naive" ants did not learn to avoid danger, foragers from nature usually tried to avoid negative experience and used tactics of "short bites." Overall, experience has been proved to be unimportant for displaying key behavioral reactions underlying ant-ladybird interaction. However, accumulation of experience has been assumed to play an important role in the formation of behavioral strategy that allows honeydew collectors to drive aphidophages away with lower energy costs and avoid or minimize negative consequences of aphidophages' chemical defense. PMID:24729435

  16. Increased incidence of red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) presence in loggerhead sea turtle (Testudines: Cheloniidae) nests and observations of hatchling mortality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parris, L.B.; Lamont, M.M.; Carthy, R.R.

    2002-01-01

    Hatching sea turtles may be at risk to fire ant predation during egg incubation, and especially at risk once pipped from the egg, prior to hatchling emergence from the nest. In addition to direct mortality, fire ants have the potential to inflict debilitating injuries that may directly affect survival of the young. The increased incidence of red imported fire ant induced mortality and envenomization of loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings on Cape San Blas suggests this invasive ant species may pose a serious threat to the future of this genetically distinct population.

  17. Odorant binding proteins (OBPs) of the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): An example of the problems facing the analysis of widely divergent proteins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We describe the odorant binding proteins (OBPs) of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, obtained from analyses of a single EST library and data generated from separate 454 sequencing runs of two normalized cDNA libraries. We identified a total of 18 OBPs in this ant, which is the smallest ...

  18. First record of the myrmicine ant genus Carebara Westwood, 1840 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Saudi Arabia with description of a new species, C. abuhurayri sp. n.

    PubMed

    Aldawood, Abdulrahman S; Sharaf, Mostafa R; Taylor, Brian

    2011-01-01

    The myrmicine ant genus Carebara is recorded for the first time in Saudi Arabia from the Arabian Peninsula as a whole. A new species Carebara abuhurayrisp. n. is described based on workers collected from Al Bahah region. One of the smallest ant species known to occur in Arabia, Carebara abuhurayri is found in an area inhabited by many ant species including Tetramorium sericeiventre Emery, 1877, Pheidole minuscula Bernard, 1952, Pheidole sp., Monomorium destructor (Jerdon, 1851), Monomorium exiguum (Forel, 1894) and Monomorium sp. and Crematogaster sp. PMID:21594112

  19. Defensive secretion of first-instar larvae of rootstalk borer weevil,Diaprepes abbreviatus L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), to the fire-antSolenopsis geminata (F.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Pavis, C; Malusse, C; Ducrot, P H; Howse, F; Jaffe, K; Descoins, C

    1992-11-01

    Since several species of predatory ants show some kind of repulsion towards the first-instar larvae (FIL) ofDiaprepes abbreviatus L., the predatory behavior ofSolenopsis geminata (F.), a common ant in the citrus groves in Guadeloupe, was studied. Different extracts of larvae were disposed on egg masses ofD. abbreviatus and presented as prey to the ants, both in the field and in the laboratory. The ants are repelled by the FIL extracts. The allelochemicals involved are produced in large amounts, from 5 to 20 ng per larva. Physiochemical analyses have led to the identification of two sesquiterpenes of molecular weight 218 and 234, secreted in the respective proportions of 65 and 35%. PMID:24254783

  20. The first record of a fly of the family Milichiidae (Diptera) interacting with an ant of the genus Polyrhachis Smith, 1857 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Fayle, Tom Maurice

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Flies in the family Milichiidae are often myrmecophilic. We document the first record of a fly from this family interacting with an ant of the genus Polyrhachis. In lowland riparian rainforest in Sabah, Malaysia, we observed a female of the genus Milichia following an ant of the species of P. illaudata, and repeatedly attempting to make close contact. Our observation suggests that the dipteran may have been attempting to feed kleptoparasitically from the Polyrhachis worker, since members of this ant genus often feed on liquid carbohydrate-rich food resources. This is the first time an interaction has been observed between a fly of this family and an ant of this widespread old world tropical genus. PMID:25425942

  1. Pseudacteon calderensis, a new fly species (Diptera:Phoridae) attacking the fire ant Solenopsis interrupta (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) in northwestern Argentina

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A new species of Pseudacteon phorid fly Pseudacteon calderis (Diptera: Phoridae) is described from females attacking worker ants of Solenopsis interrupta Santschi in Salta and Jujuy provinces, northwestern Argentina. Pseudacteon calderis differs from almost all other South American Pseudacteon speci...

  2. Prey Capture Behavior in an Arboreal African Ponerine Ant

    PubMed Central

    Dejean, Alain

    2011-01-01

    I studied the predatory behavior of Platythyrea conradti, an arboreal ponerine ant, whereas most species in this subfamily are ground-dwelling. The workers, which hunt solitarily only around dusk, are able to capture a wide range of prey, including termites and agile, nocturnal insects as well as diurnal insects that are inactive at that moment of the Nyctemeron, resting on tree branches or under leaves. Prey are captured very rapidly, and the antennal palpation used by ground-dwelling ponerine species is reduced to a simple contact; stinging occurs immediately thereafter. The venom has an instant, violent effect as even large prey (up to 30 times the weight of a worker) never struggled after being stung. Only small prey are not stung. Workers retrieve their prey, even large items, singly. To capture termite workers and soldiers defending their nest entrances, ant workers crouch and fold their antennae backward. In their role as guards, the termites face the crouching ants and end up by rolling onto their backs, their legs batting the air. This is likely due to volatile secretions produced by the ants' mandibular gland. The same behavior is used against competing ants, including territorially-dominant arboreal species that retreat further and further away, so that the P. conradti finally drive them from large, sugary food sources. PMID:21589941

  3. Prey capture behavior in an arboreal African ponerine ant.

    PubMed

    Dejean, Alain

    2011-01-01

    I studied the predatory behavior of Platythyrea conradti, an arboreal ponerine ant, whereas most species in this subfamily are ground-dwelling. The workers, which hunt solitarily only around dusk, are able to capture a wide range of prey, including termites and agile, nocturnal insects as well as diurnal insects that are inactive at that moment of the Nyctemeron, resting on tree branches or under leaves. Prey are captured very rapidly, and the antennal palpation used by ground-dwelling ponerine species is reduced to a simple contact; stinging occurs immediately thereafter. The venom has an instant, violent effect as even large prey (up to 30 times the weight of a worker) never struggled after being stung. Only small prey are not stung. Workers retrieve their prey, even large items, singly. To capture termite workers and soldiers defending their nest entrances, ant workers crouch and fold their antennae backward. In their role as guards, the termites face the crouching ants and end up by rolling onto their backs, their legs batting the air. This is likely due to volatile secretions produced by the ants' mandibular gland. The same behavior is used against competing ants, including territorially-dominant arboreal species that retreat further and further away, so that the P. conradti finally drive them from large, sugary food sources. PMID:21589941

  4. Intercontinental chemical variation in the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera Formicidae): a key to the invasive success of a tramp species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Errard, Christine; Delabie, Jacques; Jourdan, Hervé; Hefetz, Abraham

    2005-07-01

    Unicoloniality emerges as a feature that characterizes successful invasive species. Its underlying mechanism is reduced intraspecific aggression while keeping interspecific competitiveness. To that effect, we present here a comparative behavioural and chemical study of the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata in parts of its native and introduced ranges. We tested the hypothesis that introduced populations (New Caledonia archipelago) have reduced intraspecific aggression relative to native populations (e.g., Ilhéus area, Brazil) and that this correlates with reduced variability in cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). As predicted, there was high intraspecific aggression in the Brazilian populations, but no intraspecific aggression among the New Caledonian populations. However, New Caledonian worker W. auropunctata remained highly aggressive towards ants of other invasive species. The chemical data corresponded with the behaviour. While CHCs of ants from the regions of Brazil diverged, the profiles of ants from various localities in New Caledonia showed high uniformity. We suggest that in New Caledonia W. auropunctata appears to behave as a single supercolony, whereas in its native range it acts as a multicolonial species. The uniformity of recognition cues in the New Caledonia ants may reflect a process whereby recognition alleles became fixed in the population, but may also be the consequence of a single introduction event and subsequent aggressive invasion of the ecosystem. Chemical uniformity coupled with low intraspecific but high interspecific aggression, lend credence to the latter hypothesis.

  5. Extreme Morphogenesis and Ecological Specialization among Cretaceous Basal Ants.

    PubMed

    Perrichot, Vincent; Wang, Bo; Engel, Michael S

    2016-06-01

    Ants comprise one lineage of the triumvirate of eusocial insects and experienced their early diversification within the Cretaceous [1-9]. Their ecological success is generally attributed to their remarkable social behavior. Not all ants cooperate in social hunting, however, and some of the most effective predatory ants are solitary hunters with powerful trap jaws [10]. Recent evolutionary studies predict that the early branching lineages of extant ants formed small colonies of ground-dwelling, solitary specialist predators [2, 5, 7, 11, 12], while some Cretaceous fossils suggest group recruitment and socially advanced behavior among stem-group ants [9]. We describe a trap-jaw ant from 99 million-year-old Burmese amber with head structures that presumably functioned as a highly specialized trap for large-bodied prey. These are a cephalic horn resulting from an extreme modification of the clypeus hitherto unseen among living and extinct ants and scythe-like mandibles that extend high above the head, both demonstrating the presence of exaggerated morphogenesis early among stem-group ants. The new ant belongs to the Haidomyrmecini, possibly the earliest ant lineage [9], and together these trap-jaw ants suggest that at least some of the earliest Formicidae were solitary specialist predators. With their peculiar adaptations, haidomyrmecines had a refined ecology shortly following the advent of ants. PMID:27238278

  6. Survival of transplanted nests of the red wood ant Formica aquilonia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): the effects of intraspecific competition and forest clear-cutting.

    PubMed

    Sorvari, Jouni; Huhta, Esa; Hakkarainen, Harri

    2014-08-01

    The fitness and survival of ant colonies depend on the resources near their nests. These resources may be limited due to poor habitat quality or by intra- and interspecific competitions, which in extreme cases may cause the ant colony to perish. We tested the effect of intraspecific competition and habitat degradation (forest clear-cutting) on colony survival by transplanting 26 nests of the red wood ant (Formica aquilonia Yarrow, 1955) in 26 different forest areas that contained 0-11 conspecific alien nests per hectare. F. aquilonia is highly dependent on canopy-dwelling aphids, thus the removal of trees should cause food limitation. During the course of the 4-year experiment, 9 of the forests were partially clear-cut. We found that while forest clear-cutting significantly decreased the colonies' survival, intraspecific competition did not. As a highly polygynous and polydomous species, F. aquilonia seems to tolerate the presence of alien conspecific colonies to a certain extent. PMID:23956057

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

    PubMed

    Freeman, B M; Chaves-Campos, J

    2016-06-01

    Fallen branches are often incorporated into Atta cephalotes (L.) foraging trails to optimize leaf tissue transport rates and economize trail maintenance. Recent studies in lowlands show laden A. cephalotes travel faster across fallen branches than on ground, but more slowly ascending or descending a branch. The latter is likely because (1) it is difficult to travel up or downhill and (2) bottlenecks occur when branches are narrower than preceding trail. Hence, both branch height and width should determine whether branches decrease net travel times, but no study has evaluated it yet. Laden A. cephalotes were timed in relation to branch width and height across segments preceding, accessing, across, and departing a fallen branch in the highlands of Costa Rica. Ants traveled faster on branches than on cleared segments of trunk-trail, but accelerated when ascending or descending the branch-likely because of the absence of bottlenecks during the day in the highlands. Branch size did not affect ant speed in observed branches; the majority of which (22/24) varied from 11 to 120 mm in both height and width (average 66 mm in both cases). To determine whether ants exclude branches outside this range, ants were offered the choice between branches within this range and branches that were taller/wider than 120 mm. Ants strongly preferred the former. Our results indicate that A. cephalotes can adjust their speed to compensate for the difficulty of traveling on branch slopes. More generally, branch size should be considered when studying ant foraging efficiency. PMID:26830434

  8. First description of the male caste of the Himalayan endemic ant Lasius alienoflavus Bingham, 1903 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with re-description of the female and queen castes

    PubMed Central

    Gul, Irfan

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The present paper provides a description of the male caste and re-description of the worker and queen castes of the poorly known ant species Lasius alienoflavus Bingham, 1903. This species has hitherto been reported only from the Himalayas, and the present data are also based on specimens collected in the north-western part of the mountain range. Likewise other Himalayan ants, this species also shows restricted distribution, which suggests a rather high degree of endemism (45%) of this group in the Himalayas. PMID:25197233

  9. Value of Riparian Vegetation Remnants for Leaf-Litter Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a Human-Dominated Landscape in Central Veracruz, Mexico.

    PubMed

    García-Martínez, Miguel Á; Escobar-Sarria, Federico; López-Barrera, Fabiola; Castaño-Meneses, Gabriela; Valenzuela-González, Jorge E

    2015-12-01

    Riparian remnants are linear strips of vegetation immediately adjacent to rivers that may act as refuges for biodiversity, depending on their habitat quality. In this study, we evaluated the role of riparian remnants in contributing to the diversity of leaf-litter ants by determining the relationship between ant diversity and several riparian habitat characteristics within a human-dominated landscape in Veracruz, Mexico. Sampling was carried out in 2012 during both dry and rainy seasons at 12 transects 100 m in length, where 10 leaf-litter samples were collected along each transect and processed with Berlese-Tullgren funnels and Winkler sacks. A total of 8,684 individuals belonging to 53 species, 22 genera, and seven subfamilies were collected. The observed mean alpha diversity accounted for 34.4% of the total species recorded and beta diversity for 65.6%. Species richness and composition were significantly related to litter-layer depth and soil compaction, which could limit the distribution of ant species depending on their nesting, feeding, and foraging habits. Riparian remnants can contribute toward the conservation of ant assemblages and likely other invertebrate communities that are threatened by anthropogenic pressures. In human-dominated landscapes where remnants of riparian vegetation give refuge to a diverse array of myrmecofauna, the protection of the few remaining and well-preserved riparian sites is essential for the long-term maintenance of biodiversity. PMID:26352255

  10. Confirmation of the genome position and mass of the viral protien, VP3, of Solenopsis Invicta Virus 1 (Picornavirales: Dicistroviridae) infecting the Red Imported Fire Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A predicted peptide sequence corresponding to the capsid protein VP3 of SINV-1 was used to prepare a polyclonal antibody preparation and probe SDS-PAGE separated proteins from SINV-1 particles and S. invicta ants. The SINV-1 VP3 antibody preparation recognized a 24 kDa protein from denatured SINV-1...

  11. Thelytokous parthenogenesis in eusocial Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Rabeling, Christian; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2013-01-01

    Female parthenogenesis, or thelytoky, is particularly common in solitary Hymenoptera. Only more recently has it become clear that many eusocial species also regularly reproduce thelytokously, and here we provide a comprehensive overview. Especially in ants, thelytoky underlies a variety of idiosyncratic life histories with unique evolutionary and ecological consequences. In all eusocial species studied, thelytoky probably has a nuclear genetic basis and the underlying cytological mechanism retains high levels of heterozygosity. This is in striking contrast to many solitary wasps, in which thelytoky is often induced by cytoplasmic bacteria and results in an immediate loss of heterozygosity. These differences are likely related to differences in haplodiploid sex determination mechanisms, which in eusocial species usually require heterozygosity for female development. At the same time, haplodiploidy might account for important preadaptations that can help explain the apparent ease with which Hymenoptera transition between sexual and asexual reproduction. PMID:23072461

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ryder Wilkie, Kari T; Mertl, Amy L; Traniello, James F A

    2010-01-01

    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 region of western

  14. Species Diversity and Distribution Patterns of the Ants of Amazonian Ecuador

    PubMed Central

    Ryder Wilkie, Kari T.; Mertl, Amy L.; Traniello, James F. A.

    2010-01-01

    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 region of western

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

    PubMed Central

    Gómez Durán, José-María; van Achterberg, Cornelis

    2011-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:21998538

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    Red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, are adversely affected by phorid flies in the genus Pseudacteon by instigating defensive behaviors in their hosts, and in turn reducing the efficiency of S. invicta foraging. Multiple Pseudacteon species have been released in Texas, and research has been focused on the establishment and spread of these introduced biological control agents. Field experiments were conducted to determine bait particle size selection of S. invicta when exposed to phorid populations. Four different particle sizes of two candidate baits were offered to foragers (one provided by a pesticide manufacturer, and a laboratory-created bait). Foragers selectively were attracted to, and removed more 1-1.4-mm particles than any other bait size. The industry-provided bait is primarily made of particles in the 1.4-2.0 mm size, larger than what was selected by the ants in this study. While there was a preference for foragers to be attracted to and rest on the industry-provided blank bait, S. invicta removed more of the laboratory-created bait from the test vials. There was an abundance of workers with head widths ranging from 0.5-0.75 mm collected from baits. This was dissimilar from a previous study wherein phorid flies were not active and in which large workers were collected in higher abundance at the site. This implies that phorid fly activity caused a shift for red imported fire ant colonies to have fewer large foragers. PMID:26314020

  17. Apoptotic wing degeneration and formation of an altruism-regulating glandular appendage (gemma) in the ponerine ant Diacamma sp. from Japan (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Ponerinae).

    PubMed

    Gotoh, A; Sameshima, S; Tsuji, K; Matsumoto, T; Miura, T

    2005-02-01

    We here show an example of morphological novelties, which have evolved from insect wings into the specific structures controlling social behaviour in an ant species. Most ant colonies consist of winged queen(s) and wingless workers. In the queenless ponerine ant Diacamma sp. from Japan, however, all female workers have a pair of small thoracic appendages, called "gemmae", which are homologous to the forewings and acts as an organ regulating altruism expression. Most workers, whose gemmae are clipped off by other colony members, become nonreproductive helpers, while only a single individual with complete gemmae becomes functionally reproductive. We examined histologically the development of gemmae, and compared it with that of functional wings in males. Female larvae had well-developed wing discs for both fore- and hindwings. At pupation, however, the wing discs started to evaginate and later degenerate. The hindwing discs completely degenerated, while the degeneration of forewing discs was incomplete, leading to the formation of gemmae. The degeneration process involved apoptotic cell death as confirmed by TUNEL assay. In addition, glandular cells differentiated from the epithelial cells of the forewing buds after completion of pupation. The mechanism of developmental transition from wing to gemma can be regarded as an evolutionary gain of new function, which can be seen in insect appendages and vertebrate limbs. PMID:15647944

  18. Spatially Heterogeneous Nest-Clearing Behavior Coincides with Rain Event in the Leaf-Cutting Ant Atta cephalotes (L.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Stephan, J G; Wirth, R; Leal, I R; Meyer, S T

    2015-04-01

    Leaf-cutting ants of the genus Atta construct the probably largest nests among ants and are ecosystem engineers because they alter light and nutrient availability at nest sites. Besides creating canopy gaps in the forest, workers remove all vegetation from atop their nest mounds. Here, we examined the extent and spatial distribution of this nest-clearing behavior by transplanting Licania tomentosa seedlings on Atta cephalotes (Linnaeus) nest mounds in the Atlantic forest in northeast Brazil and documented defoliation patterns by the workers. Within 9 days, workers removed around 53% of the total leaf area planted per colony. All colonies showed a synchronized start of defoliation after a rain event in the fifth night after the seedlings had been transplanted. Defoliation increased with time elapsed since transplanting and with the number of entrances surrounding each seedling. In addition, workers started defoliation on the top of the mound. In contrast, the distance to the next entrance and the size of the seedling did not affect the defoliation pattern. Defoliation was not part of the colony foraging activities but was identified as an element of nest maintenance. Possible cues triggering nest-clearing behavior and the potential link between nest-clearing activities and the control of microclimate of ant nests are discussed. PMID:26013129

  19. Chemical and behavioural studies of the trail-following pheromone in the leaf-cutting ant Atta opaciceps, Borgmeier (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Campos, Rousseau da Silva; Mendonça, Adriana de Lima; Cabral, Cyro Rêgo; Vaníčková, Lucie; Do Nascimento, Ruth Rufino

    2016-03-01

    To understand the significance of the trail pheromone used in chemical communication of the leaf-cutting ants Atta opaciceps we investigated, under laboratory conditions, the trail-following behaviour of different castes. We observed a clear behavioural discrimination of conspecific venom gland extract of foraging ants from those of other species. Additionally, we determined the pheromone composition of A. opaciceps venom gland secretion using a two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Chemical analyses revealed the presence of three nitrogen-containing compounds, identified as 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, 3-ethyl-2,5-dimethylpyrazine and methyl 4-methylpyrrole-2-carboxylate (M4MPC). Four different bioassays performed with workers from different castes of A. opaciceps suggested that the trail pheromone elicits the trail-following behaviour in conspecifics of all castes, but the foragers respond more strongly to their own pheromone than to that of other castes (gardeners, generalists and soldiers). In addition, A. opaciceps foragers follow the trails made with the venom gland extracts of the unrelated Acromyrmex subterraneus subterraneus foragers as well as they follow the trails made with their own venom gland extract. M4MPC was identified to be the most abundant and the most behaviourally active component of the venom gland extract of A. opaciceps foragers. PMID:26718582

  20. Palearctic elements in the old world tropics: a taxonomic revision of the ant genus Temnothorax Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) for the Afrotropical biogeographical region

    PubMed Central

    Prebus, Matthew

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Four new Afrotropical species of the ant genus Temnothorax are described and illustrated, all from Kenya. Based upon high resemblance to taxa known from the North African and Iberian territories of the Mediterranean region, these new tropical elements are placed into known Palaearctic species complexes. Specifically, Temnothorax brevidentis sp. n., Temnothorax mpala sp. n. and Temnothorax rufus sp. n. are placed in the laurae species group, and Temnothorax solidinodus sp. n. is placed in the angustulus species group. Two already known Temnothorax species from the region, Temnothorax cenatus (Bolton, 1982) and Temnothorax megalops (Hamann & Klemm, 1967), are also placed into the laurae species group based on the high number of shared morphological characters. Diagnoses for the African representatives of laurae and angustulus species groups of the Afrotropical biogeographical region are provided. A key to workers of the six Temnothorax species known to occur in the Afrotropical biogeographical region is provided, as well as diagnoses of morphologically similar myrmicine genera. PMID:25755623

  1. Integrating Paleodistribution Models and Phylogeography in the Grass-Cutting Ant Acromyrmex striatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Southern Lowlands of South America.

    PubMed

    Cristiano, Maykon Passos; Clemes Cardoso, Danon; Fernandes-Salomão, Tânia Maria; Heinze, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Past climate changes often have influenced the present distribution and intraspecific genetic diversity of organisms. The objective of this study was to investigate the phylogeography and historical demography of populations of Acromyrmex striatus (Roger, 1863), a leaf-cutting ant species restricted to the open plains of South America. Additionally, we modeled the distribution of this species to predict its contemporary and historic habitat. From the partial sequences of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I of 128 A. striatus workers from 38 locations we estimated genetic diversity and inferred historical demography, divergence time, and population structure. The potential distribution areas of A. striatus for current and quaternary weather conditions were modeled using the maximum entropy algorithm. We identified a total of 58 haplotypes, divided into five main haplogroups. The analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that the largest proportion of genetic variation is found among the groups of populations. Paleodistribution models suggest that the potential habitat of A. striatus may have decreased during the Last Interglacial Period (LIG) and expanded during the Last Maximum Glacial (LGM). Overall, the past potential distribution recovered by the model comprises the current potential distribution of the species. The general structuring pattern observed was consistent with isolation by distance, suggesting a balance between gene flow and drift. Analysis of historical demography showed that populations of A. striatus had remained constant throughout its evolutionary history. Although fluctuations in the area of their potential historic habitat occurred during quaternary climate changes, populations of A. striatus are strongly structured geographically. However, explicit barriers to gene flow have not been identified. These findings closely match those in Mycetophylax simplex, another ant species that in some areas occurs in sympatry with A. striatus

  2. Integrating Paleodistribution Models and Phylogeography in the Grass-Cutting Ant Acromyrmex striatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Southern Lowlands of South America

    PubMed Central

    Cristiano, Maykon Passos; Clemes Cardoso, Danon; Fernandes-Salomão, Tânia Maria; Heinze, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Past climate changes often have influenced the present distribution and intraspecific genetic diversity of organisms. The objective of this study was to investigate the phylogeography and historical demography of populations of Acromyrmex striatus (Roger, 1863), a leaf-cutting ant species restricted to the open plains of South America. Additionally, we modeled the distribution of this species to predict its contemporary and historic habitat. From the partial sequences of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I of 128 A. striatus workers from 38 locations we estimated genetic diversity and inferred historical demography, divergence time, and population structure. The potential distribution areas of A. striatus for current and quaternary weather conditions were modeled using the maximum entropy algorithm. We identified a total of 58 haplotypes, divided into five main haplogroups. The analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that the largest proportion of genetic variation is found among the groups of populations. Paleodistribution models suggest that the potential habitat of A. striatus may have decreased during the Last Interglacial Period (LIG) and expanded during the Last Maximum Glacial (LGM). Overall, the past potential distribution recovered by the model comprises the current potential distribution of the species. The general structuring pattern observed was consistent with isolation by distance, suggesting a balance between gene flow and drift. Analysis of historical demography showed that populations of A. striatus had remained constant throughout its evolutionary history. Although fluctuations in the area of their potential historic habitat occurred during quaternary climate changes, populations of A. striatus are strongly structured geographically. However, explicit barriers to gene flow have not been identified. These findings closely match those in Mycetophylax simplex, another ant species that in some areas occurs in sympatry with A. striatus

  3. Short-Term Responses of Ground-Dwelling Beetles to Ice Storm-Induced Treefall Gaps in a Subtropical Broad-Leaved Forest in Southeastern China.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiao-Dong; Liu, Chong-Ling; Lü, Liang; Luo, Tian-Hong; Zhou, Hong-Zhang

    2016-02-01

    Periodic natural disturbances shape the mosaic character of many landscapes and influence the distribution and abundance of organisms. In this study, we tested the effect of ice storm-induced treefall gaps on ground-dwelling beetle assemblages in different-aged successional stands of subtropical broad-leaved forest in southeastern China. We evaluated the relative importance of gap-phase microhabitat type (within gap, gap edge, and interior shaded) within different stand ages (regenerating stands and mature stands) as determinants of changes in beetle diversity and community structure. At 18 replicate sites sampled during 2009-2010, no significant differences were found in species richness and the abundances of the most common beetle species captured in pitfall traps among the three gap-phase microhabitat types, but the abundances of total beetles, as well as fungivorous and phytophagous species groups, were significantly lower in gap microhabitats than in interior shaded microhabitats in mature stands. Beetle assemblage composition showed no significant differences among the three microhabitat types, and only the fauna of gap plots slightly diverged from those of edge and shaded plots in mature stands. Cover of shrubs and stand age significantly affected beetle assemblage structure. Our results suggest that beetle responses to gap-phase dynamics in early successional forests are generally weak, and that effects are more discernible in the mature stands, perhaps due to the abundance responses of forest-specialist species. PMID:26377249

  4. A phylogeny of the only ground-dwelling radiation of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata, Gekkonidae): diversification of Geckoella across peninsular India and Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Ishan; Karanth, K Praveen

    2015-01-01

    The subgenus Geckoella, the only ground-dwelling radiation within Cyrtodactylus, closely overlaps in distribution with brookii group Hemidactylus in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. Both groups have Oligocene origins, the latter with over thrice as many described species. The striking difference in species richness led us to believe that Geckoella diversity is underestimated, and we sampled for Geckoella across peninsular India. A multi-locus phylogeny reveals Geckoella diversity is hugely underestimated, with at least seven undescribed species, doubling previously known richness. Strikingly, the new species correspond to cryptic lineages within described Indian species (complexes); a number of these endemic lineages from the hills of peninsular India outside the Western Ghats, highlighting the undocumented diversity of the Indian dry zone. The Geckoella phylogeny demonstrates deep splits between the Indian species and Sri Lankan G. triedrus, and between Indian dry and wet zone clades, dating back to the late Oligocene. Geckoella and brookii group Hemidactylus show contrasting diversification patterns. Geckoella shows signals of niche conservatism and appears to have retained its ancestral forest habitat. The late Miocene burst in speciation in Geckoella may be linked to the expansion of rain forests during the mid-Miocene climatic optimum and subsequent fragmentation with increasing late Miocene aridification. PMID:25281922

  5. Tick Paralysis in Spectacled Flying-Foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) in North Queensland, Australia: Impact of a Ground-Dwelling Ectoparasite Finding an Arboreal Host

    PubMed Central

    Buettner, Petra G.; Westcott, David A.; Maclean, Jennefer; Brown, Lawrence; McKeown, Adam; Johnson, Ashleigh; Wilson, Karen; Blair, David; Luly, Jonathan; Skerratt, Lee; Muller, Reinhold; Speare, Richard

    2013-01-01

    When a parasite finds a new wildlife host, impacts can be significant. In the late 1980s populations of Spectacled Flying-foxes (SFF) (Pteropus conspicillatus), a species confined, in Australia, to north Queensland became infected by paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus), resulting in mortality. This Pteropus-tick relationship was new to Australia. Curiously, the relationship was confined to several camps on the Atherton Tableland, north Queensland. It was hypothesised that an introduced plant, wild tobacco (Solanum mauritianum), had facilitated this new host-tick interaction. This study quantifies the impact of tick paralysis on SFF and investigates the relationship with climate. Retrospective analysis was carried out on records from the Tolga Bat Hospital for 1998–2010. Juvenile mortality rates were correlated to climate data using vector auto-regression. Mortality rates due to tick paralysis ranged between 11.6 per 10,000 bats in 2003 and 102.5 in 2009; more female than male adult bats were affected. Juvenile mortality rates were negatively correlated with the total rainfall in January to March and July to September of the same year while a positive correlation of these quarterly total rainfalls existed with the total population. All tick affected camps of SFF were located in the 80% core range of S. mauritianum. This initial analysis justifies further exploration of how an exotic plant might alter the relationship between a formerly ground-dwelling parasite and an arboreal host. PMID:24066028

  6. Cytogenetic data on six leafcutter ants of the genus Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae): insights into chromosome evolution and taxonomic implications.

    PubMed

    Barros, Luísa Antônia Campos; de Aguiar, Hilton Jeferson Alves Cardoso; Mariano, Cléa Dos Santos Ferreira; Andrade-Souza, Vanderly; Costa, Marco Antonio; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles; Pompolo, Silvia das Graças

    2016-01-01

    Cytogenetic data for the genus Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 are available, to date, for a few species from Brazil and Uruguay, which have uniform chromosome numbers (2n = 38). The recent cytogenetic data of Acromyrmex striatus (Roger, 1863), including its banding patterns, showed a distinct karyotype (2n = 22), similar to earlier studied Atta Fabricius, 1804 species. Karyological data are still scarce for the leafcutter ants and many gaps are still present for a proper understanding of this group. Therefore, this study aimed at increasing cytogenetic knowledge of the genus through the characterization of other six species: Acromyrmex balzani (Emery, 1890), Acromyrmex coronatus Fabricius, 1804, Acromyrmex disciger (Mayr, 1887), Acromyrmex echinatior (Forel, 1899), Acromyrmex niger (Smith, 1858) and Acromyrmex rugosus (Smith, 1858), all of which were collected in Minas Gerais - Brazil, except for Acromyrmex echinatior which was collected in Barro Colorado - Panama. The number and morphology of the chromosomes were studied and the following banding techniques were applied: C-banding, fluorochromes CMA3 and DAPI, as well as the detection of 45S rDNA using FISH technique. All the six species had the same chromosome number observed for already studied species, i.e. 2n = 38. Acromyrmex balzani had a different karyotype compared with other species mainly due to the first metacentric pair. The heterochromatin distribution also showed interspecific variation. Nevertheless, all the studied species had a pair of bands in the short arm of the first subtelocentric pair. The fluorochrome CMA3 visualized bands in the short arm of the first subtelocentric pair for all the six species, while Acromyrmex rugosus and Acromyrmex niger also demonstrated in the other chromosomes. The AT-rich regions with differential staining using DAPI were not observed. 45S ribosomal genes were identified by FISH in the short arm of the first subtelocentric pair in Acromyrmex coronatus, Acromyrmex disciger and

  7. Cytogenetic data on six leafcutter ants of the genus Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae): insights into chromosome evolution and taxonomic implications

    PubMed Central

    Barros, Luísa Antônia Campos; de Aguiar, Hilton Jeferson Alves Cardoso; Mariano, Cléa dos Santos Ferreira; Andrade-Souza, Vanderly; Costa, Marco Antonio; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles; Pompolo, Silvia das Graças

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Cytogenetic data for the genus Acromyrmex Mayr, 1865 are available, to date, for a few species from Brazil and Uruguay, which have uniform chromosome numbers (2n = 38). The recent cytogenetic data of Acromyrmex striatus (Roger, 1863), including its banding patterns, showed a distinct karyotype (2n = 22), similar to earlier studied Atta Fabricius, 1804 species. Karyological data are still scarce for the leafcutter ants and many gaps are still present for a proper understanding of this group. Therefore, this study aimed at increasing cytogenetic knowledge of the genus through the characterization of other six species: Acromyrmex balzani (Emery, 1890), Acromyrmex coronatus Fabricius, 1804, Acromyrmex disciger (Mayr, 1887), Acromyrmex echinatior (Forel, 1899), Acromyrmex niger (Smith, 1858) and Acromyrmex rugosus (Smith, 1858), all of which were collected in Minas Gerais – Brazil, except for Acromyrmex echinatior which was collected in Barro Colorado – Panama. The number and morphology of the chromosomes were studied and the following banding techniques were applied: C-banding, fluorochromes CMA3 and DAPI, as well as the detection of 45S rDNA using FISH technique. All the six species had the same chromosome number observed for already studied species, i.e. 2n = 38. Acromyrmex balzani had a different karyotype compared with other species mainly due to the first metacentric pair. The heterochromatin distribution also showed interspecific variation. Nevertheless, all the studied species had a pair of bands in the short arm of the first subtelocentric pair. The fluorochrome CMA3 visualized bands in the short arm of the first subtelocentric pair for all the six species, while Acromyrmex rugosus and Acromyrmex niger also demonstrated in the other chromosomes. The AT-rich regions with differential staining using DAPI were not observed. 45S ribosomal genes were identified by FISH in the short arm of the first subtelocentric pair in Acromyrmex coronatus, Acromyrmex

  8. Geographic spread of Strumigenys silvestrii (Hymenoptera: formicidae: dacetine)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Strumigenys silvestrii is a tiny dacetine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dacetini), apparently from South America, that has spread to the southern US and the West Indies. Strumigenys silvestrii has recently been found for the first time in the Old World, from the island of Madeira, mainland Portugal,...

  9. First record of the ant subfamily Aenictinae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Saudi Arabia, with the description of a new species

    PubMed Central

    Sharaf, Mostafa R.; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S.; El-Hawagry, Magdi S.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The ant subfamily Aenictinae is recorded for the first time from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and for the second time from the Arabian Peninsula. A new species Aenictus arabicus sp. n., is described from the worker caste. Aenictus arabicus belongs to the Aenictus wroughtonii-group and appears to be most closely related to Aenictus rhodiensis Menozzi, but can be easily distinguished from the latter by the following characters: overall smaller size; cephalic index (head width/head length) small; occipital corners in lateral view rounded; antennal scape when laid back surpassing approximately two-thirds of head length; funicular segments 2–8 each at least 2× as long as broad; subpetiolar process well developed; petiole and postpetiole distinctly imbricate; gaster and clypeus entirely yellow, teeth of mandibles reddish- brown. Aenictus arabicus was collected from leaf litter, next to a tree of Psidium guajava L. The new species also is similar to Aenictus sagei and Aenictus wroughtonii. Affinities and a key to related species of the species group are given. PMID:23166469

  10. Identification, expression, and immuno-reactivity of Sol i 2 & Sol i 4 venom proteins of queen red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Lockwood, Stephanie A; Haghipour-Peasley, Jilla; Hoffman, Donald R; Deslippe, Richard J

    2012-10-01

    We report on two low-molecular weight proteins that are stored in the venom of queen red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). Translated amino acid sequences identified one protein to have 74.8% identity with the Sol i 2w worker allergen, and the other protein was found to have 96/97% identity with Sol i 4.01w/4.02w worker allergens. Both Sol i 2 and Sol i 4 queen and worker proteins were expressed using pEXP1-DEST vector in SHuffle™ T7 Express lysY Escherichia coli. Proteins were expressed at significant concentrations, as opposed to the μg/ml amounts by our previous expression methods, enabling further study of these proteins. Sol i 2q protein bound weakly to human IgE, sera pooled from allergic patients, whereas Sol i 2w, Sol i 4.01w, and Sol i 4q proteins bound strongly. Despite Sol i 2w and Sol i 2q proteins having 74.8% identity, the queen protein is less immuno-reactive than the worker allergen. This finding is consistent with allergic individuals being less sensitive to queen than worker venom. PMID:22683679

  11. Monomorium dryhimi sp. n., a new ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of the M. monomorium group from Saudi Arabia, with a key to the Arabian Monomorium monomorium-group

    PubMed Central

    Aldawood, Abdulrahman S.; Sharaf, Mostafa R.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract A new ant species, Monomorium dryhimi, is described based on workers from a single colony collected in Al Bahah, Asir Province, Saudi Arabia. This is the fourth species of the Monomorium monomorium-group collected from Arabian Peninsula, and appears to be closely related to Monomorium holothir Bolton, 1987, from Kenya. It can be distinguished by the following characters: head in profile with a weakly convex dorsal surface and a clearly convex ventral surface; eyes of moderate size with maximum diameter EL 0.19–0.25 × HW and with 6 ommatidia in the longest row; body colour yellow to light brownish yellow. In some individuals, head and gaster slightly but conspicuously darker than rest of body. Second halves of first and second gastral tergites with two characteristic brownish transverse bands. An identification key to the workers of the Arabian species of the Monomorium monomorium-group is presented. Scanning electron micrographs are given to illustrate the new species. PMID:21852921

  12. Insecticidal, fumigant, and repellent activities of sweet wormwood oil and its individual components against red imported fire ant workers (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ning; Tang, Liang; Hu, Wei; Wang, Kun; Zhou, You; Li, Hong; Huang, Congling; Chun, Jiong; Zhang, Zhixiang

    2014-01-01

    In total, 29 compounds from sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua L.) oil were identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The five active components were D-camphor, linalool, cineole, α-terpineol, and L(-)-borneol. The effectiveness of A. annua oil, as well as d-camphor, linalool, cineole, α-terpineol, and L(-)-borneol, as fumigants, contact insecticides, and repellents, were tested on the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren. The results indicated that A. annua oil has no significant topical toxicity; however, the spray contact test revealed that it has strong insecticidal activity and the inhibitory effect is stronger during closed exposure than during open exposure. In the fumigant test, cineole and D-camphor exhibited strong fumigant toxicity on minor and major S. invicta workers. They also caused 100% mortality at 5, 3, 2, and 1 mg/centrifuge tube but not at 0.5 mg/centrifuge tube. The mortality rates of linalool, α-terpineol, and L(-)-borneol exceeded 80% at 5, 3, and 2 mg/centrifuge tube. In the repellent test, cineole and d-camphor showed significant repellency at 100, 10, and 1 mg/kg. However, linalool, α-terpineol, and L(-)-borneol significantly facilitated digging at 10 and 1 mg/kg. PMID:25525106

  13. Ground-Dwelling Arthropod Communities of a Sky Island Mountain Range in Southeastern Arizona, USA: Obtaining a Baseline for Assessing the Effects of Climate Change.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Wallace M; Eble, Jeffrey A; Franklin, Kimberly; McManus, Reilly B; Brantley, Sandra L; Henkel, Jeff; Marek, Paul E; Hall, W Eugene; Olson, Carl A; McInroy, Ryan; Bernal Loaiza, Emmanuel M; Brusca, Richard C; Moore, Wendy

    2015-01-01

    The few studies that have addressed past effects of climate change on species distributions have mostly focused on plants due to the rarity of historical faunal baselines. However, hyperdiverse groups like Arthropoda are vital to monitor in order to understand climate change impacts on biodiversity. This is the first investigation of ground-dwelling arthropod (GDA) assemblages along the full elevation gradient of a mountain range in the Madrean Sky Island Region, establishing a baseline for monitoring future changes in GDA biodiversity. To determine how GDA assemblages relate to elevation, season, abiotic variables, and corresponding biomes, GDA were collected for two weeks in both spring (May) and summer (September) 2011 in the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, using pitfall traps at 66 sites in six distinct upland (non-riparian/non-wet canyon) biomes. Four arthropod taxa: (1) beetles (Coleoptera), (2) spiders (Araneae), (3) grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera), and (4) millipedes and centipedes (Myriapoda) were assessed together and separately to determine if there are similar patterns across taxonomic groups. We collected 335 species of GDA: 192/3793 (species/specimens) Coleoptera, 102/1329 Araneae, 25/523 Orthoptera, and 16/697 Myriapoda. GDA assemblages differed among all biomes and between seasons. Fifty-three percent (178 species) and 76% (254 species) of all GDA species were found in only one biome and during only one season, respectively. While composition of arthropod assemblages is tied to biome and season, individual groups do not show fully concordant patterns. Seventeen percent of the GDA species occurred only in the two highest-elevation biomes (Pine and Mixed Conifer Forests). Because these high elevation biomes are most threatened by climate change and they harbor a large percentage of unique arthropod species (11-25% depending on taxon), significant loss in arthropod diversity is likely in the Santa Catalina Mountains and other isolated

  14. Ground-Dwelling Arthropod Communities of a Sky Island Mountain Range in Southeastern Arizona, USA: Obtaining a Baseline for Assessing the Effects of Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Wallace M.; Eble, Jeffrey A.; Franklin, Kimberly; McManus, Reilly B.; Brantley, Sandra L.; Henkel, Jeff; Marek, Paul E.; Hall, W. Eugene; Olson, Carl A.; McInroy, Ryan; Bernal Loaiza, Emmanuel M.; Brusca, Richard C.; Moore, Wendy

    2015-01-01

    The few studies that have addressed past effects of climate change on species distributions have mostly focused on plants due to the rarity of historical faunal baselines. However, hyperdiverse groups like Arthropoda are vital to monitor in order to understand climate change impacts on biodiversity. This is the first investigation of ground-dwelling arthropod (GDA) assemblages along the full elevation gradient of a mountain range in the Madrean Sky Island Region, establishing a baseline for monitoring future changes in GDA biodiversity. To determine how GDA assemblages relate to elevation, season, abiotic variables, and corresponding biomes, GDA were collected for two weeks in both spring (May) and summer (September) 2011 in the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, using pitfall traps at 66 sites in six distinct upland (non-riparian/non-wet canyon) biomes. Four arthropod taxa: (1) beetles (Coleoptera), (2) spiders (Araneae), (3) grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera), and (4) millipedes and centipedes (Myriapoda) were assessed together and separately to determine if there are similar patterns across taxonomic groups. We collected 335 species of GDA: 192/3793 (species/specimens) Coleoptera, 102/1329 Araneae, 25/523 Orthoptera, and 16/697 Myriapoda. GDA assemblages differed among all biomes and between seasons. Fifty-three percent (178 species) and 76% (254 species) of all GDA species were found in only one biome and during only one season, respectively. While composition of arthropod assemblages is tied to biome and season, individual groups do not show fully concordant patterns. Seventeen percent of the GDA species occurred only in the two highest-elevation biomes (Pine and Mixed Conifer Forests). Because these high elevation biomes are most threatened by climate change and they harbor a large percentage of unique arthropod species (11–25% depending on taxon), significant loss in arthropod diversity is likely in the Santa Catalina Mountains and other isolated

  15. The transfer of (137)Cs, Pu isotopes and (90)Sr to bird, bat and ground-dwelling small mammal species within the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

    PubMed

    Beresford, N A; Gaschak, S; Maksimenko, Andrey; Wood, M D

    2016-03-01

    Protected species are the focus of many radiological environmental assessments. However, the lack of radioecological data for many protected species presents a significant international challenge. Furthermore, there are legislative restrictions on destructive sampling of protected species to obtain such data. Where data are not available, extrapolations are often made from 'similar' species but there has been little attempt to validate this approach. In this paper we present what, to our knowledge, is the first study purposefully designed to test the hypothesis that radioecological data for unprotected species can be used to estimate conservative radioecolgical parameters for protected species; conservatism being necessary to ensure that there is no significant impact. The study was conducted in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Consequently, we are able to present data for Pu isotopes in terrestrial wildlife. There has been limited research on Pu transfer to terrestrial wildlife which contrasts with the need to assess radiation exposure of wildlife to Pu isotopes around many nuclear facilities internationally. Our results provide overall support for the hypothesis that data for unprotected species can be used to adequately assess the impacts for ionising radiation on protected species. This is demonstrated for a range of mammalian and avian species. However, we identify one case, the shrew, for which data from other ground-dwelling small mammals would not lead to an appropriately conservative assessment of radiation impact. This indicates the need to further test our hypothesis across a range of species and ecosystems, and/or ensure adequate conservatism within assessments. The data presented are of value to those trying to more accurately estimate the radiation dose to wildlife in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, helping to reduce the considerable uncertainty in studies reporting dose-effect relationships for wildlife. A video abstract for this paper is available from

  16. Species richness, equitability, and abundance of ants in disturbed landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, J.H.; Krzysik, A.J.; Kovacic, D.A.; Duda, J.J.; Freeman, D.C.; Emlen, J.M.; Zak, J.C.; Long, W.R.; Wallace, M.P.; Chamberlin-Graham, C.; Nutter, J.P.; Balbach, H.E.

    2009-01-01

    Ants are used as indicators of environmental change in disturbed landscapes, often without adequate understanding of their response to disturbance. Ant communities in the southeastern United States displayed a hump-backed species richness curve against an index of landscape disturbance. Forty sites at Fort Benning, in west-central Georgia, covered a spectrum of habitat disturbance (military training and fire) in upland forest. Sites disturbed by military training had fewer trees, less canopy cover, more bare ground, and warmer, more compact soils with shallower A-horizons. We sampled ground-dwelling ants with pitfall traps, and measured 15 habitat variables related to vegetation and soil. Ant species richness was greatest with a relative disturbance of 43%, but equitability was greatest with no disturbance. Ant abundance was greatest with a relative disturbance of 85%. High species richness at intermediate disturbance was associated with greater within-site spatial heterogeneity. Species richness was also associated with intermediate values of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a correlate of net primary productivity (NPP). Available NPP (the product of NDVI and the fraction of days that soil temperature exceeded 25 ??C), however, was positively correlated with species richness, though not with ant abundance. Species richness was unrelated to soil texture, total ground cover, and fire frequency. Ant species richness and equitability are potential state indicators of the soil arthropod community. Moreover, equitability can be used to monitor ecosystem change. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Urban ants and transportation of nosocomial bacteria.

    PubMed

    Rodovalho, Cynara M; Santos, Ana L; Marcolino, Marcus T; Bonetti, Ana M; Brandeburgo, Malcon A M

    2007-01-01

    Many ant species displaying synanthropic behavior that have successfully dispersed in urban areas can cause problems in hospitals by acting as bacterial vectors. In this study, we encountered bacteria on ants collected at the Universidade Federal de Uberlândia hospital, in the campus and at households nearby. The ants were identified as Tapinoma melanocephalum (Fabricius) and Camponotus vittatus (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the bacterial strains found here belong to the group of the coagulase-positive staphylococcus, coagulase-negative staphylococcus and gram negative bacilli, including antimicrobial drug-resistant strains. An investigation of the bacteria found in the ants and in the environment revealed that some ants carried non-isolated bacteria from the same environment and with high levels of resistance, evidencing the transmission potential of these insects. PMID:17710329

  18. Honey Ants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conway, John R.

    1984-01-01

    Provides background information on honey ants. These ants are found in dry or desert regions of North America, Africa, and Australia. Also provides a list of activities using local species of ants. (JN)

  19. Spatio-temporal variability in the distribution of ground-dwelling riparian spiders and their potential role in water-to-land energy transfer along Hong Kong forest streams

    PubMed Central

    Yuen, Elaine Y.L.

    2015-01-01

    Terrestrial predators have been shown to aggregate along stream margins during periods when the emergence of adult aquatic insects is high. Such aggregation may be especially evident when terrestrial surroundings are relatively unproductive, and there are steep productivity gradients across riparia. In tropical forests, however, the productivity of inland terrestrial habitats may decrease the resource gradient across riparia, thus lessening any tendency of terrestrial predators to aggregate along stream margins. We elucidated the spatio-temporal variability in the distribution of ground-dwelling spiders and terrestrial arthropod prey within the riparia of two forest streams in tropical Hong Kong by sampling arthropods along transects at different distances from the streams during the wet and dry seasons. Environmental variables that may have influenced spider distributions were also measured. The vast majority of ground-dwelling predators along all transects at both sites were spiders. Of the three most abundant spiders captured along stream margins, Heteropoda venatoria (Sparassidae) and Draconarius spp. (Agelenidae) were terrestrially inclined and abundant during both seasons. Only Pardosa sumatrana (Lycosidae) showed some degree of aggregation at the stream banks, indicating a potential reliance on aquatic insect prey. Circumstantial evidence supports this notion, as P. sumatrana was virtually absent during the dry season when aquatic insect emergence was low. In general, forest-stream riparia in Hong Kong did not appear to be feeding hotspots for ground-dwelling predators. The lack of aggregation in ground-dwelling spiders in general may be attributed to the low rates of emergence of aquatic insects from the study streams compared to counterpart systems, as well as the potentially high availability of terrestrial insect prey in the surrounding forest. Heteropoda venatoria, the largest of the three spiders maintained a high biomass (up to 28 mg dry weight/m2) in

  20. Ant community composition across a gradient of disturbed military landscapes at Fort Benning, Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, J.H.; Krzysik, A.J.; Kovacic, D.A.; Duda, J.J.; Freeman, D.C.; Emlen, J.M.; Zak, J.C.; Long, W.R.; Wallace, M.P.; Chamberlin-Graham, C.; Nutter, J.P.; Balbach, H.E.

    2008-01-01

    Military training, soil texture, and ground cover influence ant communities at Fort Benning, a military installation in west-central Georgia. We sampled 81,237 ground-dwelling ants (47 species in 20 genera) with pitfall traps at 40 sites on a continuum from nearly pristine forest to highly disturbed training areas. We also measured 15 environmental variables related to vegetation and soil. Sites disturbed by military training had fewer trees, less canopy cover, more bare ground, and more compact soils with shallower A-horizons than comparable undisturbed sites. Pheidole bicarinata, Dorymyrmex smithi, and Pogonomyrmex badius dominated the most highly disturbed sites. Competitively submissive myrmicines, such as Aphaenogaster and Crematogaster, and formicines, such as Camponotus and Formica, were abundant in the undisturbed sites. Solenopsis invicta occurred in all but the least disturbed sites. Ant community composition was a useful indicator of disturbance at Fort Benning.

  1. Multi-trait mimicry of ants by a parasitoid wasp

    PubMed Central

    Malcicka, Miriama; Bezemer, T. Martijn; Visser, Bertanne; Bloemberg, Mark; Snart, Charles J. P.; Hardy, Ian C. W.; Harvey, Jeffrey A.

    2015-01-01

    Many animals avoid attack from predators through toxicity or the emission of repellent chemicals. Defensive mimicry has evolved in many species to deceive shared predators, for instance through colouration and other morphological adaptations, but mimicry hardly ever seems to involve multi-trait similarities. Here we report on a wingless parasitoid wasp that exhibits a full spectrum of traits mimicing ants and affording protection against ground-dwelling predators (wolf spiders). In body size, morphology and movement Gelis agilis (Ichneumonidae) is highly similar to the black garden ant (Lasius niger) that shares the same habitat. When threatened, G. agilis also emits a volatile chemical that is similar to an ant-produced chemical that repels spiders. In bioassays with L. niger, G. agilis, G. areator, Cotesia glomerata and Drosophila melanogaster, ants and G. agilis were virtually immune to spider attack, in contrast the other species were not. Volatile characterisation with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry identified G. agilis emissions as 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, a known insect defence semiochemical that acts as an alarm pheromone in ants. We argue that multi-trait mimicry, as observed in G. agilis, might be much more common among animals than currently realized. PMID:25622726

  2. Multi-trait mimicry of ants by a parasitoid wasp.

    PubMed

    Malcicka, Miriama; Bezemer, T Martijn; Visser, Bertanne; Bloemberg, Mark; Snart, Charles J P; Hardy, Ian C W; Harvey, Jeffrey A

    2015-01-01

    Many animals avoid attack from predators through toxicity or the emission of repellent chemicals. Defensive mimicry has evolved in many species to deceive shared predators, for instance through colouration and other morphological adaptations, but mimicry hardly ever seems to involve multi-trait similarities. Here we report on a wingless parasitoid wasp that exhibits a full spectrum of traits mimicing ants and affording protection against ground-dwelling predators (wolf spiders). In body size, morphology and movement Gelis agilis (Ichneumonidae) is highly similar to the black garden ant (Lasius niger) that shares the same habitat. When threatened, G. agilis also emits a volatile chemical that is similar to an ant-produced chemical that repels spiders. In bioassays with L. niger, G. agilis, G. areator, Cotesia glomerata and Drosophila melanogaster, ants and G. agilis were virtually immune to spider attack, in contrast the other species were not. Volatile characterisation with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry identified G. agilis emissions as 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, a known insect defence semiochemical that acts as an alarm pheromone in ants. We argue that multi-trait mimicry, as observed in G. agilis, might be much more common among animals than currently realized. PMID:25622726

  3. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa

    PubMed Central

    Pearcy, Morgan; Delescaille, Noémie; Lybaert, Pascale; Aron, Serge

    2014-01-01

    In species where females mate promiscuously, competition between ejaculates from different males to fertilize the ova is an important selective force shaping many aspects of male reproductive traits, such as sperm number, sperm length and sperm–sperm interactions. In eusocial Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants), males die shortly after mating and their reproductive success is ultimately limited by the amount of sperm stored in the queen's spermatheca. Multiple mating by queens is expected to impose intense selective pressure on males to optimize the transfer of sperm to the storage organ. Here, we report a remarkable case of cooperation between spermatozoa in the desert ant Cataglyphis savignyi. Males ejaculate bundles of 50–100 spermatozoa. Sperm bundles swim on average 51% faster than solitary sperm cells. Team swimming is expected to increase the amount of sperm stored in the queen spermatheca and, ultimately, enhance male posthumous fitness. PMID:24919705

  4. Laboratory Fire Ant colonies (Solenopsis invicta) fail to grow with Bhatkar Diet and three other artificial diets

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Various artificial diets have been used for rearing imported fire ants; however most of these diets include insect supplements. This study was designed to examine growth of red imported fire ant colonies (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Solenopsis invicta Buren) on four artificial diets: a chemically unde...

  5. Do additional sugar sources affect the degree of attendance of Dysmicoccus brevipes by the fire ant Solenopsis geminata?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mutualistic interactions between ants and Hemiptera are mediated to large extent by the amount and quality of sugar-rich honeydew produced. Throughout the neotropics, the fire ant Solenopsis geminata (F.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is found in association with colonies of the pineapple mealybug Dysmi...

  6. Dinoponera lucida Emery (Formicidae: Ponerinae): the highest number of chromosomes known in Hymenoptera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mariano, C. S. F.; Delabie, J. H. C.; Ramos, L. S.; Lacau, S.; Pompolo, S. G.

    We report the remarkable karyotype of Dinoponera lucida, a Brazilian endemic ponerine ant. Its chromosome number is 2n=106, most of the chromosomes are acrocentric and of very small size, and the karyotype formula is 88A+18M. A chromosome pair of the AMt type is reported. This is the largest number of chromosomes reported for the Hymenoptera order until now.

  7. Developing Methods to Evaluate Reproduction Rates of Pseudacteon curvatus (Diptera: Phoridae) in Solenopsis richteri (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The black imported fire ants Solenopsis richteri Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is a major economic pest that has spread throughout United State. A great deal of interest exists in the potential for augmentative biological control agents in an effort to control its spread and reduce the damage prod...

  8. 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 Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Sharaf, Mostafa R.; Al Dhafer, Hathal M.; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25375104

  9. Yellow jackets may be an underestimated component of an ant-seed mutualism

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bale, M.T.; Zettler, J.A.; Robinson, B.A.; Spira, T.P.; Allen, C.R.

    2003-01-01

    Yellow jackets (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) are attracted to the typically ant-dispersed seeds of trilliums and will take seeds from ants in the genus Aphaenogaster. To determine if yellow jacket, Vespula maculifrons (Buysson), presence interferes with seed foraging by ants, we presented seeds of Trillium discolor Wray to three species (A. texana carolinensis Wheeler, Formica schaufussi Mayr, and Solenopsis invicta Buren) of seed-carrying ants in areas where vespids were present or excluded. We found that interspecific aggression between yellow jackets and ants is species specific. Vespid presence decreased average foraging time and increased foraging efficiency of two of the three ant species studied, a situation that might reflect competition for a limited food source. We also found that yellow jackets removed more seeds than ants, suggestive that vespids are important, albeit underestimated, components of ant-seed mutualisms.

  10. Hymenoptera of Afghanistan and the central command area of operations: assessing the threat to deployed U.S. service members with insect venom hypersensitivity.

    PubMed

    Turbyville, Joseph C; Dunford, James C; Nelson, Michael R

    2013-01-01

    Insect venom hypersensitivity can pose a threat to personnel deployed to a combat zone but the exposure risk in Afghanistan is currently unknown. This study was designed to assess the threat of Hymenoptera stings and associated allergic reactions in Afghanistan. Hymenoptera species were collected during a deployment to southern Afghanistan from June 2010 through January 2011. The literature was also reviewed to determine species of medically important Hymenoptera recorded in the region. The U.S. Army theater electronic medical data system was mined for ICD-9 codes associated with insect stings to determine the number of theater medical clinic encounters addressing insect sting reactions. Three species of flying hymenoptera were commonly encountered during the study period: Vespa orientalis L., Polistes wattii Cameron, and Vespula germanica (F.). A literature review also confirms the presence of honeybees (Apidae), numerous velvet ant (Mutillidae) species, and various ant (Formicidae) species all capable of stinging. No evidence was identified to suggest that fire ants (Solenopsis ssp.) are a threat in the region. Based on electronic medical records from the U.S. Central Command area of operations over a 2-year period, roughly 1 in 500 clinic visits involved a patient with a diagnosis of insect bite or sting. Cross-reactive members of all five flying Hymenoptera species commonly assessed for in Hymenoptera allergy evaluations are present in Afghanistan. The review of in-theater medical records confirms that insect stings pose an environmental threat to deployed service members. PMID:23484895

  11. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) in the West Indies: distribution of natural enemies and a possible test bed for release of self-sustaining biocontrol agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sample collections of Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) were taken from 20 islands of the West Indies and evaluated for the presence of key pathogens and parasites of this invasive pest ant. We hypothesized that bottleneck events during the introduction of this ant species in the West In...

  12. Toxic industrial deposit remediation by ant activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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." PMID:26877084

  14. Ant Abundance along a Productivity Gradient: Addressing Two Conflicting Hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Segev, Udi; Kigel, Jaime; Lubin, Yael; Tielbörger, Katja

    2015-01-01

    The number of individuals within a population or community and their body size can be associated with changes in resource supply. While these relationships may provide a key to better understand the role of abiotic vs. biotic constraints in animal communities, little is known about the way size and abundance of organisms change along resource gradients. Here, we studied this interplay in ants, addressing two hypotheses with opposite predictions regarding variation in population densities along resource gradients- the 'productivity hypothesis' and the 'productivity-based thinning hypothesis'. The hypotheses were tested in two functional groups of ground-dwelling ants that are directly primary consumers feeding on seeds: specialized seed-eaters and generalist species. We examined variations in colony density and foraging activity (a size measurement of the forager caste) in six ant assemblages along a steep productivity gradient in a semi-arid region, where precipitation and plant biomass vary 6-fold over a distance of 250km. An increase in the density or foraging activity of ant colonies along productivity gradients is also likely to affect competitive interactions among colonies, and consequently clinal changes in competition intensity were also examined. Ant foraging activity increased with productivity for both functional groups. However, colony density revealed opposing patterns: it increased with productivity for the specialized seed-eaters, but decreased for the generalist species. Competition intensity, evaluated by spatial partitioning of species at food baits and distribution of colonies, was uncorrelated with productivity in the specialized seed-eaters, but decreased with increasing productivity in the generalists. Our results provide support for two contrasting hypotheses regarding the effect of resource availability on the abundance of colonial organisms- the 'productivity hypothesis' for specialized seed-eaters and the 'productivity-based thinning

  15. Ant Abundance along a Productivity Gradient: Addressing Two Conflicting Hypotheses

    PubMed Central

    Segev, Udi; Kigel, Jaime; Lubin, Yael; Tielbörger, Katja

    2015-01-01

    The number of individuals within a population or community and their body size can be associated with changes in resource supply. While these relationships may provide a key to better understand the role of abiotic vs. biotic constraints in animal communities, little is known about the way size and abundance of organisms change along resource gradients. Here, we studied this interplay in ants, addressing two hypotheses with opposite predictions regarding variation in population densities along resource gradients- the ‘productivity hypothesis’ and the ‘productivity-based thinning hypothesis’. The hypotheses were tested in two functional groups of ground-dwelling ants that are directly primary consumers feeding on seeds: specialized seed-eaters and generalist species. We examined variations in colony density and foraging activity (a size measurement of the forager caste) in six ant assemblages along a steep productivity gradient in a semi-arid region, where precipitation and plant biomass vary 6-fold over a distance of 250km. An increase in the density or foraging activity of ant colonies along productivity gradients is also likely to affect competitive interactions among colonies, and consequently clinal changes in competition intensity were also examined. Ant foraging activity increased with productivity for both functional groups. However, colony density revealed opposing patterns: it increased with productivity for the specialized seed-eaters, but decreased for the generalist species. Competition intensity, evaluated by spatial partitioning of species at food baits and distribution of colonies, was uncorrelated with productivity in the specialized seed-eaters, but decreased with increasing productivity in the generalists. Our results provide support for two contrasting hypotheses regarding the effect of resource availability on the abundance of colonial organisms- the ‘productivity hypothesis’ for specialized seed-eaters and the

  16. Phylogeny of the Ants: Diversification in the Age of Angiosperms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreau, Corrie S.; Bell, Charles D.; Vila, Roger; Archibald, S. Bruce; Pierce, Naomi E.

    2006-04-01

    We present a large-scale molecular phylogeny of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), based on 4.5 kilobases of sequence data from six gene regions extracted from 139 of the 288 described extant genera, representing 19 of the 20 subfamilies. All but two subfamilies are recovered as monophyletic. Divergence time estimates calibrated by minimum age constraints from 43 fossils indicate that most of the subfamilies representing extant ants arose much earlier than previously proposed but only began to diversify during the Late Cretaceous to Early Eocene. This period also witnessed the rise of angiosperms and most herbivorous insects.

  17. The trail pheromone of the venomous samsum ant, Pachycondyla sennaarensis.

    PubMed

    Mashaly, Ashraf Mohamed Ali; Ahmed, Ashraf Mohamed; Al-Abdullah, Mosa Abdullah; Al-Khalifa, Mohamed Saleh

    2011-01-01

    Ant species use branching networks of pheromone trails for orientation between nest and resources. The current study demonstrated that workers of the venomous samsum ant, Pachycondyla sennaarensis (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae), employ recruitment trail pheromones discharged from the Dufour's gland. Secretions of other abdomen complex glands, as well as hindgut gland secretions, did not evoke trail following. The optimum concentration of trail pheromone was found to be 0.1 gland equivalent/40 cm trail. This concentration demonstrated effective longevity for about one hour. This study also showed that P. sennaarensis and Tapinoma simrothi each respond to the trail pheromones of the other species as well as their own. PMID:21529253

  18. Taxonomy of the hyper-diverse ant genus Tetramorium Mayr in the Malagasy region (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) – first record of the T. setigerum species group and additions to the Malagasy species groups with an updated illustrated identification key

    PubMed Central

    Hita Garcia, Francisco; Fisher, Brian L.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In this study we provide an update to the taxonomy of the ant genus Tetramorium Mayr in Madagascar. We report the first record of the Tetramorium setigerum species group in Madagascar and describe the only Malagasy representative as Tetramorium cavernicola sp. n., which is known only from a cave in Ankarana. In addition, we provide an overview of the 19 proposed Malagasy species groups, and discuss their zoogeography and relationships to other groups and larger lineages within the hyper-diverse genus Tetramorium. At present, we recognise a highly unique Malagasy Tetramorium fauna with 113 species endemic to the island of Madagascar out of a total of 125 translating into an endemism rate of 93%. We hypothesise that this fauna is based on one or a few colonisation events from the Afrotropical region, with subsequent adaptive radiation in Madagascar. Furthermore, we present an updated and illustrated identification key to the Tetramorium species groups in the Malagasy region. PMID:26257564

  19. Leptanilla hypodracos sp. n., a new species of the cryptic ant genus Leptanilla (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Singapore, with new distribution data and an updated key to Oriental Leptanilla species

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Mark K. L.; Guénard, Benoit

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A new species of the cryptic and rarely collected ant genus Leptanilla is described. Leptanilla hypodracos sp. n. is the first Leptanilla recorded from Singapore in over a century since Leptanilla havilandi Forel, 1901 and represents the fourth species of Leptanilla known from the Malay Peninsula. An updated key to the Leptanilla of the Oriental region is presented. Taxonomic comparisons between Leptanilla hypodracos sp. n. and four morphologically similar species are provided with particular attention given to Leptanilla clypeata Yamane & Ito, 2001, for which new measurements and indices are presented. The first report is presented for the Leptanillinae subfamily from the southeastern part of China with a worker of the genus Leptanilla collected in Hong Kong. Finally, the potential of subterranean bait to collect Leptanilla species is discussed. PMID:26877667

  20. Leptanilla hypodracos sp. n., a new species of the cryptic ant genus Leptanilla (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Singapore, with new distribution data and an updated key to Oriental Leptanilla species.

    PubMed

    Wong, Mark K L; Guénard, Benoit

    2016-01-01

    A new species of the cryptic and rarely collected ant genus Leptanilla is described. Leptanilla hypodracos sp. n. is the first Leptanilla recorded from Singapore in over a century since Leptanilla havilandi Forel, 1901 and represents the fourth species of Leptanilla known from the Malay Peninsula. An updated key to the Leptanilla of the Oriental region is presented. Taxonomic comparisons between Leptanilla hypodracos sp. n. and four morphologically similar species are provided with particular attention given to Leptanilla clypeata Yamane & Ito, 2001, for which new measurements and indices are presented. The first report is presented for the Leptanillinae subfamily from the southeastern part of China with a worker of the genus Leptanilla collected in Hong Kong. Finally, the potential of subterranean bait to collect Leptanilla species is discussed. PMID:26877667

  1. Ants of Ambon Island – diversity survey and checklist

    PubMed Central

    Latumahina, Fransina; Borovanska, Michaela; Musyafa; Sumardi; Putra, Nugroho Susetya; Janda, Milan

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The present checklist of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Ambon is the first comprehensive overview of ant species recorded on the island during the last 150 years. The species list is based on literature and museum collections’ records combined with data from our field survey in 2010. In total, there are 74 ant species and subspecies representing 34 genera and six subfamilies known from Ambon. Five of the species found in undisturbed forest were exotic and indicate the overall habitat degradation on the island. The largest proportion of Ambon ant fauna are species with affinities to the Oriental region and species of Oriental-Austro-Melanesian origin. At least 20% of the species are regional endemics. In comparison to other islands in the region, the Ambon fauna seems more diverse and better sampled; however it is clear that a large part of it still remains to be described. PMID:25632248

  2. Recombination, chromosome number and eusociality in the Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Ross, L; Blackmon, H; Lorite, P; Gokhman, V E; Hardy, N B

    2015-01-01

    Extraordinarily high rates of recombination have been observed in some eusocial species. The most popular explanation is that increased recombination increases genetic variation among workers, which in turn increases colony performance, for example by increasing parasite resistance. However, support for the generality of higher recombination rates among eusocial organisms remains weak, due to low sample size and a lack of phylogenetic independence of observations. Recombination rate, although difficult to measure directly, is correlated with chromosome number. As predicted, several authors have noted that chromosome numbers are higher among the eusocial species of Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). Here, we present a formal comparative analysis of karyotype data from 1567 species of Hymenoptera. Contrary to earlier studies, we find no evidence for an absolute difference between chromosome number in eusocial and solitary species of Hymenoptera. However, we find support for an increased rate of chromosome number change in eusocial taxa. We show that among eusocial taxa colony size is able to explain some of the variation in chromosome number: intermediate-sized colonies have more chromosomes than those that are either very small or very large. However, we were unable to detect effects of a number of other colony characteristics predicted to affect recombination rate – including colony relatedness and caste number. Taken together, our results support the view that a eusocial lifestyle has led to variable selection pressure for increased recombination rates, but that identifying the factors contributing to this variable selection will require further theoretical and empirical effort. PMID:25382409

  3. Diversity of peptide toxins from stinging ant venoms.

    PubMed

    Aili, Samira R; Touchard, Axel; Escoubas, Pierre; Padula, Matthew P; Orivel, Jérôme; Dejean, Alain; Nicholson, Graham M

    2014-12-15

    Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of arthropods comprising nearly 13,000 extant species. Sixteen ant subfamilies have individuals that possess a stinger and use their venom for purposes such as a defence against predators, competitors and microbial pathogens, for predation, as well as for social communication. They exhibit a range of activities including antimicrobial, haemolytic, cytolytic, paralytic, insecticidal and pain-producing pharmacologies. While ant venoms are known to be rich in alkaloids and hydrocarbons, ant venoms rich in peptides are becoming more common, yet remain understudied. Recent advances in mass spectrometry techniques have begun to reveal the true complexity of ant venom peptide composition. In the few venoms explored thus far, most peptide toxins appear to occur as small polycationic linear toxins, with antibacterial properties and insecticidal activity. Unlike other venomous animals, a number of ant venoms also contain a range of homodimeric and heterodimeric peptides with one or two interchain disulfide bonds possessing pore-forming, allergenic and paralytic actions. However, ant venoms seem to have only a small number of monomeric disulfide-linked peptides. The present review details the structure and pharmacology of known ant venom peptide toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. PMID:25448389

  4. Tracing the Rise of Ants - Out of the Ground

    PubMed Central

    Lucky, Andrea; Trautwein, Michelle D.; Guénard, Benoit S.; Weiser, Michael D.; Dunn, Robert R.

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is increasingly well-understood due to recent phylogenetic analyses, along with estimates of divergence times and diversification rates. Yet, leading hypotheses regarding the ancestral habitat of ants conflict with new findings that early ant lineages are cryptic and subterranean. Where the ants evolved, in respect to habitat, and how habitat shifts took place over time have not been formally tested. Here, we reconstruct the habitat transitions of crown-group ants through time, focusing on where they nest and forage (in the canopy, litter, or soil). Based on ancestral character reconstructions, we show that in contrast to the current consensus based on verbal arguments that ants evolved in tropical leaf litter, the soil is supported as the ancestral stratum of all ants. We also find subsequent movements up into the litter and, in some cases, into the canopy. Given the global importance of ants, because of their diversity, ecological influence and status as the most successful eusocial lineage on Earth, understanding the early evolution of this lineage provides insight into the factors that made this group so successful today. PMID:24386323

  5. Host ranges of gregarious muscoid fly parasitoids: Muscidifurax raptorellus (Kogan and Legner) (Hymenoptera:Pteromalidae), Tachinaephagus zealandicus Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), and Trichopria (Hymenoptera: Diapriidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Attack rates, progeny production, sex ratios and host utilization efficiency of Muscidifurax raptorellus (Kogan and Legner) (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), Tachinaephagus zealandicus Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), and Trichopria nigra (Nees) (Hymenoptera: Diapriidae) were evaluated in laboratory bi...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Chemoreceptor Evolution in Hymenoptera and Its Implications for the Evolution of Eusociality

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Xiaofan; Rokas, Antonis; Berger, Shelley L.; Liebig, Jürgen; Ray, Anandasankar; Zwiebel, Laurence J.

    2015-01-01

    Eusocial insects, mostly Hymenoptera, have evolved unique colonial lifestyles that rely on the perception of social context mainly through pheromones, and chemoreceptors are hypothesized to have played important adaptive roles in the evolution of sociality. However, because chemoreceptor repertoires have been characterized in few social insects and their solitary relatives, a comprehensive examination of this hypothesis has not been possible. Here, we annotate ∼3,000 odorant and gustatory receptors in recently sequenced Hymenoptera genomes and systematically compare >4,000 chemoreceptors from 13 hymenopterans, representing one solitary lineage (wasps) and three independently evolved eusocial lineages (ants and two bees). We observe a strong general tendency for chemoreceptors to expand in Hymenoptera, whereas the specifics of gene gains/losses are highly diverse between lineages. We also find more frequent positive selection on chemoreceptors in a facultative eusocial bee and in the common ancestor of ants compared with solitary wasps. Our results suggest that the frequent expansions of chemoreceptors have facilitated the transition to eusociality. Divergent expression patterns of odorant receptors between honeybee and ants further indicate differential roles of chemoreceptors in parallel trajectories of social evolution. PMID:26272716

  8. Chemoreceptor Evolution in Hymenoptera and Its Implications for the Evolution of Eusociality.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiaofan; Rokas, Antonis; Berger, Shelley L; Liebig, Jürgen; Ray, Anandasankar; Zwiebel, Laurence J

    2015-08-01

    Eusocial insects, mostly Hymenoptera, have evolved unique colonial lifestyles that rely on the perception of social context mainly through pheromones, and chemoreceptors are hypothesized to have played important adaptive roles in the evolution of sociality. However, because chemoreceptor repertoires have been characterized in few social insects and their solitary relatives, a comprehensive examination of this hypothesis has not been possible. Here, we annotate ∼3,000 odorant and gustatory receptors in recently sequenced Hymenoptera genomes and systematically compare >4,000 chemoreceptors from 13 hymenopterans, representing one solitary lineage (wasps) and three independently evolved eusocial lineages (ants and two bees). We observe a strong general tendency for chemoreceptors to expand in Hymenoptera, whereas the specifics of gene gains/losses are highly diverse between lineages. We also find more frequent positive selection on chemoreceptors in a facultative eusocial bee and in the common ancestor of ants compared with solitary wasps. Our results suggest that the frequent expansions of chemoreceptors have facilitated the transition to eusociality. Divergent expression patterns of odorant receptors between honeybee and ants further indicate differential roles of chemoreceptors in parallel trajectories of social evolution. PMID:26272716

  9. Activity patterns and parasitism rates of fire ant decapitating flies (Diptera:Phoridae:Pseudacteon spp.) in their native Argentina

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Technical Abstract: This work describes the annual and daily activity patterns of two parasitoid fly communities of the fire ant S. invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in their native Argentina. Pseudacteon (Diptera: Phoridae) flies were censused monthly for one year at two sites in northwestern Corr...

  10. Pseudacteon spp. (Diptera: Phoridae) biological control agents of Solenopsis spp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Louisiana: statewide distribution and Kneallhazia solenopsae (Microsporidia: Thelohaniidae) prevalence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phorid flies, Pseudacteon spp. (Diptera: Phoridae), have been released in the United States since 1996 as biological control agents for imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, Solenopsis richteri Forel, and their hybrid (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), management. A statewide survey was conducted in ...

  11. A Gross Anatomy Ontology for Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Yoder, Matthew J.; Mikó, István; Seltmann, Katja C.; Bertone, Matthew A.; Deans, Andrew R.

    2010-01-01

    Hymenoptera is an extraordinarily diverse lineage, both in terms of species numbers and morphotypes, that includes sawflies, bees, wasps, and ants. These organisms serve critical roles as herbivores, predators, parasitoids, and pollinators, with several species functioning as models for agricultural, behavioral, and genomic research. The collective anatomical knowledge of these insects, however, has been described or referred to by labels derived from numerous, partially overlapping lexicons. The resulting corpus of information—millions of statements about hymenopteran phenotypes—remains inaccessible due to language discrepancies. The Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology (HAO) was developed to surmount this challenge and to aid future communication related to hymenopteran anatomy. The HAO was built using newly developed interfaces within mx, a Web-based, open source software package, that enables collaborators to simultaneously contribute to an ontology. Over twenty people contributed to the development of this ontology by adding terms, genus differentia, references, images, relationships, and annotations. The database interface returns an Open Biomedical Ontology (OBO) formatted version of the ontology and includes mechanisms for extracting candidate data and for publishing a searchable ontology to the Web. The application tools are subject-agnostic and may be used by others initiating and developing ontologies. The present core HAO data constitute 2,111 concepts, 6,977 terms (labels for concepts), 3,152 relations, 4,361 sensus (links between terms, concepts, and references) and over 6,000 text and graphical annotations. The HAO is rooted with the Common Anatomy Reference Ontology (CARO), in order to facilitate interoperability with and future alignment to other anatomy ontologies, and is available through the OBO Foundry ontology repository and BioPortal. The HAO provides a foundation through which connections between genomic, evolutionary developmental biology

  12. The Ants Have It!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daugherty, Belinda

    2001-01-01

    Uses the GEMS guide, "Ants at Home Underground", to explore the life of ants and teach about them in a classroom setting. The activity applies students' knowledge of ants and students learn about ant colonies, what ants eat, and how they live. (SAH)

  13. Utilizing descriptive statements from the biodiversity heritage library to expand the Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology.

    PubMed

    Seltmann, Katja C; Pénzes, Zsolt; Yoder, Matthew J; Bertone, Matthew A; Deans, Andrew R

    2013-01-01

    Hymenoptera, the insect order that includes sawflies, bees, wasps, and ants, exhibits an incredible diversity of phenotypes, with over 145,000 species described in a corpus of textual knowledge since Carolus Linnaeus. In the absence of specialized training, often spanning decades, however, these articles can be challenging to decipher. Much of the vocabulary is domain-specific (e.g., Hymenoptera biology), historically without a comprehensive glossary, and contains much homonymous and synonymous terminology. The Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology was developed to surmount this challenge and to aid future communication related to hymenopteran anatomy, as well as provide support for domain experts so they may actively benefit from the anatomy ontology development. As part of HAO development, an active learning, dictionary-based, natural language recognition tool was implemented to facilitate Hymenoptera anatomy term discovery in literature. We present this tool, referred to as the 'Proofer', as part of an iterative approach to growing phenotype-relevant ontologies, regardless of domain. The process of ontology development results in a critical mass of terms that is applied as a filter to the source collection of articles in order to reveal term occurrence and biases in natural language species descriptions. Our results indicate that taxonomists use domain-specific terminology that follows taxonomic specialization, particularly at superfamily and family level groupings and that the developed Proofer tool is effective for term discovery, facilitating ontology construction. PMID:23441153

  14. Utilizing Descriptive Statements from the Biodiversity Heritage Library to Expand the Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology

    PubMed Central

    Seltmann, Katja C.; Pénzes, Zsolt; Yoder, Matthew J.; Bertone, Matthew A.; Deans, Andrew R.

    2013-01-01

    Hymenoptera, the insect order that includes sawflies, bees, wasps, and ants, exhibits an incredible diversity of phenotypes, with over 145,000 species described in a corpus of textual knowledge since Carolus Linnaeus. In the absence of specialized training, often spanning decades, however, these articles can be challenging to decipher. Much of the vocabulary is domain-specific (e.g., Hymenoptera biology), historically without a comprehensive glossary, and contains much homonymous and synonymous terminology. The Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology was developed to surmount this challenge and to aid future communication related to hymenopteran anatomy, as well as provide support for domain experts so they may actively benefit from the anatomy ontology development. As part of HAO development, an active learning, dictionary-based, natural language recognition tool was implemented to facilitate Hymenoptera anatomy term discovery in literature. We present this tool, referred to as the ‘Proofer’, as part of an iterative approach to growing phenotype-relevant ontologies, regardless of domain. The process of ontology development results in a critical mass of terms that is applied as a filter to the source collection of articles in order to reveal term occurrence and biases in natural language species descriptions. Our results indicate that taxonomists use domain-specific terminology that follows taxonomic specialization, particularly at superfamily and family level groupings and that the developed Proofer tool is effective for term discovery, facilitating ontology construction. PMID:23441153

  15. Free-living fungal symbionts (Lepiotaceae) of fungus-growing ants (Attini: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Vo, Tanya L; Mueller, Ulrich G; Mikheyev, Alexander S

    2009-01-01

    Surveys of leucocoprinaceous fungi (Lepiotaceae, Agaricales, Basidiomycota) in the rainforests of Panama and Brazil revealed several free-living counterparts of fungi cultivated by primitive attine ants (the lower Attini, Formicidae, Hymenoptera), adding to two such collections identified in a survey by Mueller et al (1998). The accumulated evidence supports the hypothesis that perhaps all fungi of lower attine ants have close free-living relatives. Free-living counterparts of ant-cultivated fungi are collected most readily during the early rainy season; in particular these are free-living mushrooms of fungal counterparts that are cultivated as yeasts in gardens of ants in the Cyphomyrmex rimosus group. Free-living and symbiotic fungi of these yeast-cultivating ant species might represent a promising study system to compare the biology of sympatric, conspecific fungi existing outside versus inside the attine symbiosis. PMID:19397193

  16. Ant nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    A new Hubble Space Telescope image of a celestial object called the Ant Nebula may shed new light on the future demise of our Sun. The image is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/pictures/wfpc .

    The nebula, imaged on July 20, 1997, and June 30, 1998, by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, was observed by Drs. Raghvendra Sahai and John Trauger of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; Bruce Balick of the University of Washington in Seattle; and Vincent Icke of Leiden University in the Netherlands. JPL designed and built the camera.

    The Ant Nebula, whose technical name is Mz3, resembles the head and thorax of an ant when observed with ground-based telescopes. The new Hubble image, with 10 times the resolution revealing 100 times more detail, shows the 'ant's' body as a pair of fiery lobes protruding from a dying, Sun- like star. The Ant Nebula is located between 3,000 and 6,000 light years from Earth in the southern constellation Norma.

    The image challenges old ideas about what happens to dying stars. This observation, along with other pictures of various remnants of dying stars called planetary nebulae, shows that our Sun's fate will probably be much more interesting, complex and dramatic than astronomers previously believed.

    Although the ejection of gas from the dying star in the Ant Nebula is violent, it does not show the chaos one might expect from an ordinary explosion, but instead shows symmetrical patterns. One possibility is that the central star has a closely orbiting companion whose gravitational tidal forces shape the outflowing gas. A second possibility is that as the dying star spins, its strong magnetic fields are wound up into complex shapes like spaghetti in an eggbeater. Electrically charged winds, much like those in our Sun's solar wind but millions of times denser and moving at speeds up to 1,000 kilometers per second (more than 600 miles per second) from the star, follow the twisted field lines on their way

  17. Colony Fusion in a Parthenogenetic Ant, Pristomyrmex punctatus

    PubMed Central

    Satow, Show; Satoh, Toshiyuki; Hirota, Tadao

    2013-01-01

    In the ant Pristomyrmex punctatus Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), all young workers lay a small number of eggs parthenogenetically. Some colonies consist of monoclonal individuals that provide high inclusive fitness, according to the kin selection theory. However, in some populations, a majority of the colonies contain multiple lineages. Intracolonial genetic variation of parthenogenetic ants cannot be explained by the multiple mating of single founderesses or by the foundation of a colony by multiple foundresses, which are the usual causes of genetically diverse colonies in social insects. Here, we hypothesized that the fusion of established colonies might facilitate the formation of multiclonal colonies. Colony fusion decreases indirect benefits because of the reduction in intracolonial relatedness. However, when suitable nesting places for overwintering are scarce, colony fusion provides a strategy for the survival of colonies. Here, ants derived from different colonies were allowed to encounter one another in a container with just one nesting place. Initially, high aggression was observed; however, after several days, no aggression was observed and the ants shared the nest. When the fused colonies were allowed to transfer to two alternative nests, ants from different colonies occupied the same nest. This study highlights the importance of limiting the number of nesting places in order to understand the genetic diversity of parthenogenetic ant colonies. PMID:23895053

  18. Polygyny and polyandry in small ant societies.

    PubMed

    Kellner, K; Trindl, A; Heinze, J; D'Ettorre, P

    2007-06-01

    Social insects, ants in particular, show considerable variation in queen number and mating frequency resulting in a wide range of social structures. The dynamics of reproductive conflicts in insect societies are directly connected to the colony kin structure, thus, the study of relatedness patterns is essential in order to understand the evolutionary resolution of these conflicts. We studied colony kin structure and mating frequencies in two closely related Neotropical ant species Pachycondyla inversa and Pachycondyla villosa. These represent interesting model systems because queens found new colonies cooperatively but, unlike many other ant species, they may still co-exist when the colony becomes mature (primary polygyny). By using five specific and highly variable microsatellite markers, we show that in both species queens usually mate with two or more males and that cofounding queens are always unrelated. Polygynous and polyandrous colonies are characterized by a high genetic diversity, with a mean relatedness coefficient among worker nestmates of 0.27 (+/- 0.03 SE) for P. inversa and 0.31 (+/- 0.05 SE) for P. villosa. However, relatedness among workers of the same matriline is high (0.60 +/- 0.03 in P. inversa, 0.62 +/- 0.08 in P. villosa) since males that mated with the same queen are on average closely related. Hence, we have found a new taxon in social Hymenoptera with high queen-mating frequencies and with intriguing mating and dispersal patterns of the sexuals. PMID:17561897

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25575674

  20. Complete mitochondrial genome of Camponotus atrox (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): a new tRNA arrangement in Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Kim, Min Jee; Hong, Eui Jeong; Kim, Iksoo

    2016-01-01

    We sequenced the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of Camponotus atrox (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), which is only distributed in Korea. The genome was 16 540 bp in size and contained typical sets of genes (13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNAs, and 2 rRNAs). The C. atrox A+T-rich region, at 1402 bp, was the longest of all sequenced ant genomes and was composed of an identical tandem repeat consisting of six 100-bp copies and one 96-bp copy. A total of 315 bp of intergenic spacer sequence was spread over 23 regions. An alignment of the spacer sequences in ants was largely feasible among congeneric species, and there was substantial sequence divergence, indicating their potential use as molecular markers for congeneric species. The A/T contents at the first and second codon positions of protein-coding genes (PCGs) were similar for ant species, including C. atrox (73.9% vs. 72.3%, on average). With increased taxon sampling among hymenopteran superfamilies, differences in the divergence rates (i.e., the non-synonymous substitution rates) between the suborders Symphyta and Apocrita were detected, consistent with previous results. The C. atrox mt genome had a unique gene arrangement, trnI-trnM-trnQ, at the A+T-rich region and ND2 junction (underline indicates inverted gene). This may have originated from a tandem duplication of trnM-trnI, resulting in trnM-trnI-trnM-trnI-trnQ, and the subsequent loss of the first trnM and second trnI, resulting in trnI-trnM-trnQ. PMID:26731510

  1. The molecular clockwork of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

    PubMed

    Ingram, Krista K; Kutowoi, Alexander; Wurm, Yannick; Shoemaker, Dewayne; Meier, Rudolf; Bloch, Guy

    2012-01-01

    The circadian clock is a core molecular mechanism that allows organisms to anticipate daily environmental changes and adapt the timing of behaviors to maximize efficiency. In social insects, the ability to maintain the appropriate temporal order is thought to improve colony efficiency and fitness. We used the newly sequenced fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) genome to characterize the first ant circadian clock. Our results reveal that the fire ant clock is similar to the clock of the honeybee, a social insect with an independent evolutionary origin of sociality. Gene trees for the eight core clock genes, period, cycle, clock, cryptochrome-m, timeout, vrille, par domain protein 1 & clockwork orange, show ant species grouping closely with honeybees and Nasonia wasps as an outgroup to the social Hymenoptera. Expression patterns for these genes suggest that the ant clock functions similar to the honeybee clock, with period and cry-m mRNA levels increasing during the night and cycle and clockwork orange mRNAs cycling approximately anti-phase to period. Gene models for five of these genes also parallel honeybee models. In particular, the single ant cryptochrome is an ortholog of the mammalian-type (cry-m), rather than Drosophila-like protein (cry-d). Additionally, we find a conserved VPIFAL C-tail region in clockwork orange shared by insects but absent in vertebrates. Overall, our characterization of the ant clock demonstrates that two social insect lineages, ants and bees, share a similar, mammalian-like circadian clock. This study represents the first characterization of clock genes in an ant and is a key step towards understanding socially-regulated plasticity in circadian rhythms by facilitating comparative studies on the organization of circadian clockwork. PMID:23152747

  2. Trail pheromone disruption of red imported fire ant.

    PubMed

    Suckling, David M; Stringer, Lloyd D; Bunn, Barry; El-Sayed, Ashraf M; Vander Meer, Robert K

    2010-07-01

    The fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is considered one of the most aggressive and invasive species in the world. Toxic bait systems are used widely for control, but they also affect non-target ant species and cannot be used in sensitive ecosystems such as organic farms and national parks. The fire ant uses recruitment pheromones to organize the retrieval of large food resources back to the colony, with Z,E-alpha-farnesene responsible for the orientation of workers along trails. We prepared Z,E-alpha-farnesene, (91% purity) from extracted E,E-alpha-farnesene and demonstrated disruption of worker trail orientation after presentation of an oversupply of this compound from filter paper point sources (30 microg). Trails were established between queen-right colony cells and food sources in plastic tubs. Trail-following behavior was recorded by overhead webcam, and ants were digitized before and after presentation of the treatment, using two software approaches. The linear regression statistic, r(2) was calculated. Ants initially showed high linear trail integrity (r(2) = 0.75). Within seconds of presentation of the Z,E-alpha-farnesene treatment, the trailing ants showed little or no further evidence of trail following behavior in the vicinity of the pheromone source. These results show that trailing fire ants become disorientated in the presence of large amounts of Z,E-alpha-farnesene. Disrupting fire ant recruitment to resources may have a negative effect on colony size or other effects yet to be determined. This phenomenon was demonstrated recently for the Argentine ant, where trails were disrupted for two weeks by using their formulated trail pheromone, Z-9-hexadecenal. Further research is needed to establish the long term effects and control potential for trail disruption in S. invicta. PMID:20549330

  3. An ant-associated mesostigmatid mite in Baltic amber

    PubMed Central

    Dunlop, Jason A.; Kontschán, Jenő; Walter, David E.; Perrichot, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    Fossil mesostigmatid mites (Acari: Parasitiformes: Mesostigmata) are extremely rare, and specimens from only nine families, including four named species, have been described so far. A new record of Myrmozercon sp. described here from Eocene (ca 44–49 Myr) Baltic amber represents the first—and so far only—fossil example of the derived, extant family Laelapidae. Significantly, modern species of this genus are habitually myrmecophilous and the fossil mite described here is preserved attached to the head of the dolichoderine ant Ctenobethylus goepperti (Mayr, 1868). It thus offers the oldest unequivocal evidence for an ecological association between mesostigmatid mites and social insects in the order Hymenoptera. PMID:25209198

  4. Afrotropical Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera)

    PubMed Central

    van Noort, Simon; Buffington, Matthew L.; Forshage, Mattias

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The Afrotropical Cynipoidea are represented by 306 described species and 54 genera in four families: Cynipidae, Figitidae, Liopteridae and Ibaliidae, the latter represented by a single introduced species. Seven of these genera are only represented by undescribed species in the region. Seven new genus-level synonymies, one genus resurrected from synonymy, 54 new combinations, one combination reinstated, and one new replacement name are presented. We provide identification keys to the families, subfamilies and genera of cynipoid wasps occurring in the Afrotropical region (Africa south of the Sahara, including Madagascar and southern Arabian Peninsula). Online interactive Lucid Phoenix and Lucid matrix keys are available at: http://www.waspweb.org/Cynipoidea/Keys/index.htm. An overview of the biology and checklists of species for each genus are provided. This paper constitutes the first contributory chapter to the book on Afrotropical Hymenoptera. PMID:25878545

  5. New species and a record of myrmecophilous mites of the families Neopygmephoridae and Microdispidae (Acari: Heterostigmatina:
    Pygmephoroidea) associated with Lasius umbratus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Western Siberia, Russia.

    PubMed

    Khaustov, Alexander A

    2016-01-01

    Two new myrmecophilous species of the family Neopygmephoridae (Acari: Pygmephoroidea), Petalomium brevicaudus sp. nov. and P. kurganiensis sp. nov. are described from the ant Lasius umbratus Nylander (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae) in Western Siberia, Russia. Another myrmecophilous species of the family Microdispidae (Acari: Pygmephoroidea), Caesarodispus brevipes Mahunka, 1981, was also collected from the ant L. umbratus in Western Siberia, Russia. It is recorded from Russia for the first time and is redescribed in the present paper. PMID:27470730

  6. Field trapping little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two detection methods for Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger), both employing the pheromone attractant 2,5-dimethyl-3-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine (2-MeBu-diMePy), were compared with peanut butter, the most common current detection method for W. auropunctata in Hawaii. Comparisons of species specificity and d...

  7. Mitochondrial genome evolution in fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Complete mitochondrial genome sequences have become important tools for the study of genome architecture, phylogeny, and molecular evolution. Despite the rapid increase in available mitogenomes, the taxonomic sampling often poorly reflects phylogenetic diversity and is often also biased ...

  8. Relative attractiveness of baits to Paratrechina longicornis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Stanley, Margaret C; Robinson, Wayne A

    2007-04-01

    Exotic ant incursions are becoming more frequent around the globe, and management with toxic baits is a suitable strategy for most species. Crazy ants, (Latreille) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), however, are notoriously difficult to attract to commercial baits, which are generally tailored to the preferences of fire ants. We tested P. longicornis preferences for various food types and commercial ant baits. Baits trialed were commercially available products Amdro, Maxforce, Xstinguish (nontoxic monitoring version), Presto, and tuna (in spring water), sugar water (25%), boric acid (1% in 25% sugar water), and deionized water. Tuna and Xstinguish, along with sugar water and sugar water + boric acid, were the most attractive baits to P. longicornis foragers. The granular baits (Maxforce, Amdro, and Presto) were not as attractive to P. longicornis foragers. A decrease in temperature from summer (30 degrees C) to autumn (23 degrees C) trials did not seem to affect the food preferences of P. longicornis. Although P. longicornis recruitment was substantially lower during trials where there was concurrent high native ant abundance and diversity, P. longicornis still recruited to preferred baits in numbers higher than any other species. Given that tuna is impractical for management programs, the effectiveness of boric acid, sweet liquid baits in eliminating P. longicornis colonies should be compared with that of the toxic version of Xstinguish. If both are effective at eliminating colonies, we recommend sweet liquid baits containing boric acid be used for small-scale incursions (one or two nests), but a more practicable solid bait, such as Xstinguish, be used for larger scale incursions (numerous nests). PMID:17461077

  9. Influence of Leaf Litter Moisture on the Efficiency of the Winkler Method for Extracting Ants

    PubMed Central

    Delsinne, Thibaut D.; Arias-Penna, Tania M.

    2012-01-01

    The Winkler extraction is one of the two fundamental sampling techniques of the standardized “Ants of the Leaf Litter” protocol, which aims to allow qualitative and quantitative comparisons of ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) assemblages. To achieve this objective, it is essential that the standard 48—hour extraction provides a reliable picture of the assemblages under study. Here, we tested to what extent the efficiency of the ant extraction is affected by the initial moisture content of the leaf litter sample. In an Ecuadorian mountain rainforest, the leaf litter present under rainfall—excluded and rainfall—allowed plots was collected, its moisture content measured, and its ant fauna extracted with a mini—Winkler apparatus for a 48—hour and a 96—hour period. The efficiency of the Winkler method to extract ant individuals over a 48—hour period decreased with the moisture content of the leaf litter sample. However, doubling the extraction time did not improve the estimations of the ant species richness, composition, and relative abundance. Although the moisture content of the leaf litter slightly affected the ant sampling, our results indicated that a 48—hour Winkler extraction, as recommended by the “Ants of the Leaf Litter” protocol, is sufficient to allow reliable comparisons of ant assemblages. PMID:22962850

  10. Bacterial community composition and diversity in an ancestral ant fungus symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Kellner, Katrin; Ishak, Heather D; Linksvayer, Timothy A; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2015-07-01

    Fungus-farming ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Attini) exhibit some of the most complex microbial symbioses because both macroscopic partners (ants and fungus) are associated with a rich community of microorganisms. The ant and fungal microbiomes are thought to serve important beneficial nutritional and defensive roles in these symbioses. While most recent research has investigated the bacterial communities in the higher attines (e.g. the leaf-cutter ant genera Atta and Acromyrmex), which are often associated with antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria, very little is known about the microbial communities in basal lineages, labeled as 'lower attines', which retain the ancestral traits of smaller and more simple societies. In this study, we used 16S amplicon pyrosequencing to characterize bacterial communities of the lower attine ant Mycocepurus smithii among seven sampling sites in central Panama. We discovered that ant and fungus garden-associated microbiota were distinct from surrounding soil, but unlike the situation in the derived fungus-gardening ants, which show distinct ant and fungal microbiomes, microbial community structure of the ants and their fungi were similar. Another surprising finding was that the abundance of actinomycete bacteria was low and instead, these symbioses were characterized by an abundance of Lactobacillus and Pantoea bacteria. Furthermore, our data indicate that Lactobacillus strains are acquired from the environment rather than acquired vertically. PMID:26113689

  11. Evaluation of insecticides for the control of Linepithema (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Nondillo, Aline; Chaves, Cindy Correa; Fialho, Flávio Bello; Bueno, Odair Correa; Botton, Marcos

    2014-02-01

    Linepithema micans (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is the main ant species responsible for the spreading of Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Wille) (Hemiptera: Margarodidae), a soil scale that damages grapevine plants in southern Brazil. The effect of contact and ingestion of insecticides on the control of L. micans was evaluated in a greenhouse using grapevines (Vitis spp.) infested by L. micans. The insecticides thiamethoxam (250, 187.5, and 125 g/ha), fipronil (4, 5, and 50 ml/ha), and imidacloprid (650 g/ha) were sprayed on the ground, whereas toxic baits containing boric acid (0.5, 1.0, and 1.2%), pyriproxyfen (0.3 and 0.5%), and hydramethylnon (0.5%) were evaluated in different formulations. Hydramethylnon (toxic bait) and thiamethoxam (chemical barrier) were the most efficient active ingredients for the control of L. micans. PMID:24665704

  12. Sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera support inclusive fitness theory.

    PubMed

    Bourke, A F G

    2015-11-01

    Inclusive fitness theory predicts that sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera are a function of the relatedness asymmetry (relative relatedness to females and males) of the individuals controlling sex allocation. In monogynous ants (with one queen per colony), assuming worker control, the theory therefore predicts female-biased sex investment ratios, as found in natural populations. Recently, E.O. Wilson and M.A. Nowak criticized this explanation and presented an alternative hypothesis. The Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis proposes that, in monogynous ants, there is selection for a 1 : 1 numerical sex ratio to avoid males remaining unmated, which, given queens exceed males in size, results in a female-biased sex investment ratio. The hypothesis also asserts that, contrary to inclusive fitness theory, queens not workers control sex allocation and queen-worker conflict over sex allocation is absent. Here, I argue that the Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis is flawed because it contradicts Fisher's sex ratio theory, which shows that selection on sex ratio does not maximize the number of mated offspring and that the sex ratio proposed by the hypothesis is not an equilibrium for the queen. In addition, the hypothesis is not supported by empirical evidence, as it fails to explain 'split' (bimodal) sex ratios or data showing queen and worker control and ongoing queen-worker conflict. By contrast, these phenomena match predictions of inclusive fitness theory. Hence, the Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis fails both as an alternative hypothesis for sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera and as a critique of inclusive fitness theory. PMID:26238365

  13. Epidermal glands in the abdomen of a basal ant Dinoponera lucida (Formicidae: Ponerinae).

    PubMed

    Serrão, José Eduardo; Castro, Rafael Cunha A; Zanuncio, José Cola; Mariano, Cléa Santos Ferreira; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles

    2009-01-01

    The basal ant Dinoponera (Hymenoptera: Ponerinae) has lost the morphologic queen caste so that all females may be potential reproductive individuals, and the nestmate recognition results from cuticular hydrocarbons cues. However, data about the origin of that substance in Ponerinae ants are scarce. This study reports the occurrence of epidermal glands in the abdomen of the ant Dinoponera lucida. In this ant, the epidermis of the abdominal sternites has tall cells with well-developed nucleus contrasting with flattened and collapsed epidermis in the tergites, suggesting a glandular function in the epidermis of the sternites. The possible role of the glandular epidermis in the synthesis of cuticular hydrocarbons for the nestmate recognition is discussed. PMID:18816599

  14. Leaf beetles are ant-nest beetles: the curious life of the juvenile stages of case-bearers (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Cryptocephalinae).

    PubMed

    Agrain, Federico A; Buffington, Matthew L; Chaboo, Caroline S; Chamorro, Maria L; Schöller, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Although some species of Cryptocephalinae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) have been documented with ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) for almost 200 years, information on this association is fragmentary. This contribution synthesizes extant literature and analysizes the data for biological patterns. Myrmecophily is more common in the tribe Clytrini than in Cryptocephalini, but not documented for Fulcidacini or the closely-related Lamprosomatinae. Myrmecophilous cryptocephalines (34 species in 14 genera) primarily live among formicine and myrmecines ants as hosts. These two ant lineages are putative sister-groups, with their root-node dated to between 77-90 mya. In the New World tropics, the relatively recent radiation of ants from moist forests to more xeric ecosystems might have propelled the association of cryptocephalines and ant nests. Literature records suggest that the defensive behavioral profile or chemical profile (or both) of these ants has been exploited by cryptocephalines. Another pattern appears to be that specialized natural enemies, especially parasitoid Hymenoptera, exploit cryptocephaline beetles inside the ant nests. With the extant data at hand, based on the minimum age of a fossil larva dated to 45 mya, we can infer that the origin of cryptocephaline myrmecophily could have arisen within the Upper Cretaceous or later. It remains unknown how many times myrmecophily has appeared, or how old is the behavior. This uncertainty is compounded by incongruent hypotheses about the origins of Chrysomelidae and angiosperm-associated lineages of cryptocephalines. Living with ants offers multiple advantages that might have aided the colonization of xeric environments by some cryptocephaline species. PMID:26798319

  15. Leaf beetles are ant-nest beetles: the curious life of the juvenile stages of case-bearers (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Cryptocephalinae)

    PubMed Central

    Agrain, Federico A.; Buffington, Matthew L.; Chaboo, Caroline S.; Chamorro, Maria L.; Schöller, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Although some species of Cryptocephalinae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) have been documented with ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) for almost 200 years, information on this association is fragmentary. This contribution synthesizes extant literature and analysizes the data for biological patterns. Myrmecophily is more common in the tribe Clytrini than in Cryptocephalini, but not documented for Fulcidacini or the closely-related Lamprosomatinae. Myrmecophilous cryptocephalines (34 species in 14 genera) primarily live among formicine and myrmecines ants as hosts. These two ant lineages are putative sister-groups, with their root-node dated to between 77–90 mya. In the New World tropics, the relatively recent radiation of ants from moist forests to more xeric ecosystems might have propelled the association of cryptocephalines and ant nests. Literature records suggest that the defensive behavioral profile or chemical profile (or both) of these ants has been exploited by cryptocephalines. Another pattern appears to be that specialized natural enemies, especially parasitoid Hymenoptera, exploit cryptocephaline beetles inside the ant nests. With the extant data at hand, based on the minimum age of a fossil larva dated to 45 mya, we can infer that the origin of cryptocephaline myrmecophily could have arisen within the Upper Cretaceous or later. It remains unknown how many times myrmecophily has appeared, or how old is the behavior. This uncertainty is compounded by incongruent hypotheses about the origins of Chrysomelidae and angiosperm-associated lineages of cryptocephalines. Living with ants offers multiple advantages that might have aided the colonization of xeric environments by some cryptocephaline species. PMID:26798319

  16. Dynamics of sperm transfer in the ant Leptothorax gredleri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oppelt, Angelika; Heinze, Jürgen

    2007-09-01

    Mating tactics differ remarkably between and within species of social Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants) concerning, e.g., mating frequencies, sperm competition, and the degree of male sperm limitation. Although social Hymenoptera might, therefore, potentially be ideal model systems for testing sexual selection theory, the dynamics of mating and sperm transfer have rarely been studied in species other than social bees, and basic information needed to draw conclusions about possible sperm competition and female choice is lacking. We investigated sperm transfer in the ant Leptothorax gredleri, a species in which female sexuals attract males by “female calling.” The analysis of 38 female sexuals fixed immediately or up to 7 days after copulation with a single male each revealed that the sperm is transferred into the female bursa copulatrix embedded in a gelatinous mass, presumably a spermatophore. Sperm cells rapidly start to migrate from the tip of the spermatophore towards the spermatheca, but transfer is drastically slowed down by an extreme constriction of the spermathecal duct, through which sperm cells have to pass virtually one by one. This results in the spermatheca being filled only between one and several hours after mating. During this time, the posterior part of the spermatophore seals the junction between bursa copulatrix and spermathecal duct and prevents sperm loss. The prolonged duration of sperm transfer might allow female sexuals to chose between ejaculates and explain previously reported patterns of single paternity of the offspring of multiply mated queens.

  17. Food preference and foraging activity of ants: recommendations for field applications of low-toxicity baits.

    PubMed

    Nyamukondiwa, Casper; Addison, Pia

    2014-01-01

    Control of ants using baits of low toxicity cannot be effective without knowledge of bait distribution patterns and bait station densities, which are determined by ants' foraging activities. Furthermore, the success of toxic baits also depends upon attractiveness of bait carriers. Here, we assessed ground and vine foraging activity and food preferences for the three ant species ( Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Anoplolepis custodiens (F. Smith) and Crematogaster peringueyi Emery) under field conditions. We found that L. humile's vineyard foraging activity was high and that movement of ant bait by C. peringueyi and A. custodiens in the vineyard was relatively low. Consequently, more bait stations need to be dispensed for more effective control of C. peringueyi and A. custodiens than for L. humile. Different bait densities are discussed for the various ant species. Food preference trials indicated that vineyard foraging ants preferred wet bait attractants over dry ones, making liquids the most ideal carriers for baiting these ants. Linepithema humile was attracted to 25% sugar water, while C. peringueyi was attracted to both 25% sugar water and honey. Anoplolepis custodiens was attracted to tuna but was also attracted to 25% sugar water. Thus, future bait formulations should be tailor made to suit these specific food requirements if baits are to be successful in ant pest management. PMID:25373195

  18. Food Preference and Foraging Activity of Ants: Recommendations for Field Applications of Low-Toxicity Baits

    PubMed Central

    Nyamukondiwa, Casper; Addison, Pia

    2014-01-01

    Control of ants using baits of low toxicity cannot be effective without knowledge of bait distribution patterns and bait station densities, which are determined by ants' foraging activities. Furthermore, the success of toxic baits also depends upon attractiveness of bait carriers. Here, we assessed ground and vine foraging activity and food preferences for the three ant species (Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Anoplolepis custodiens (F. Smith) and Crematogaster peringueyi Emery) under field conditions. We found that L. humile's vineyard foraging activity was high and that movement of ant bait by C. peringueyi and A. custodiens in the vineyard was relatively low. Consequently, more bait stations need to be dispensed for more effective control of C. peringueyi and A. custodiens than for L. humile. Different bait densities are discussed for the various ant species. Food preference trials indicated that vineyard foraging ants preferred wet bait attractants over dry ones, making liquids the most ideal carriers for baiting these ants. Linepithema humile was attracted to 25% sugar water, while C. peringueyi was attracted to both 25% sugar water and honey. Anoplolepis custodiens was attracted to tuna but was also attracted to 25% sugar water. Thus, future bait formulations should be tailor made to suit these specific food requirements if baits are to be successful in ant pest management. PMID:25373195

  19. The ant raft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mlot, Nathan; Hu, David; Equabai, Solomon

    2009-11-01

    To survive floods, fire ants link their arms together to assemble a raft with their own bodies. Because ants are nearly as dense as water, this cooperative behavior requires that a portion of the ant colony must sacrifice itself by remaining underwater to support the colony's weight. Surprisingly, few ants drown during this process due to a striking metamorphosis of the raft: as we show using time-lapse photography, the raft morphs from a spherical to a pancake shape. This pancake configuration--a monolayer of floating ants supporting their dry counterparts--allows all ants to both breathe and remain united as a colony. Data is presented in the form of the dimensions and the rates of formation of the ant raft. We use the statics of small floating bodies to account for the equilibrium raft size as a function of the initial mass and density of the ants.

  20. A new type of exocrine gland and its function in mass recruitment in the ant Cylindromyrmex whymperi (Formicidae, Cerapachyinae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gobin, Bruno; Rüppell, Olav; Hartmann, Annegret; Jungnickel, Harald; Morgan, David; Billen, Johan

    2001-08-01

    Workers of the ant Cylindromyrmex whymperi display mass trail recruitment. Bioassays show that the trail pheromone originates from a unique gland between abdominal sternites 6 and 7. The gland has a hitherto unknown structural organization. Upon leaving the secretory cell, the duct cell widens to form a sclerotized pear-shaped reservoir chamber, lined with multiple duct cells. Each duct thus forms a miniature reservoir for the secretions of each single secretory cell, a novel structural arrangement in exocrine glands of social Hymenoptera.

  1. Fire ant decapitating fly cooperative release programs (1994-2008): Two Pseudacteon species (P. tricuspis, P. curvatus) rapidly expand across imported fire and populations in the southeastern United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Natural enemies of the imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta Buren, S. richteri Forel, and their hybrid; Hymenoptera: Formicidae) include a suite of more than 20 phorid decapitating flies from South America in the genus Pseudacteon. Over the past 12 years, many researchers and associates have coop...

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26280070

  3. Virgin ant queens mate with their own sons to avoid failure at colony foundation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Christine Vanessa; Frohschammer, Sabine; Schrempf, Alexandra; Heinze, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Mother-son mating (oedipal mating) is practically non-existent in social Hymenoptera, as queens typically avoid inbreeding, mate only early in life and do not mate again after having begun to lay eggs. In the ant genus Cardiocondyla mating occurs among sib in the natal nests. Sex ratios are extremely female-biased and young queens face the risk of remaining without mating partners. Here, we show that virgin queens of Cardiocondyla argyrotricha produce sons from their own unfertilized eggs and later mate with them to produce female offspring from fertilized eggs. Oedipal mating may allow C. argyrotricha queens to found new colonies when no mating partners are available and thus maintains their unusual life history combining monogyny, mating in the nest, and low male production. Our result indicates that a trait that sporadically occurs in solitary haplodiploid animals may evolve also in social Hymenoptera under appropriate ecological and social conditions.

  4. Compared morphology of the immatures of males of two urban ant species of Camponotus.

    PubMed

    Solis, Daniel Russ; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Rossi, Mônica Lanzoni; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2012-01-01

    The immatures of males of two species of Camponotus ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are described and compared by light and electron microscopy. The numbers of larval instars were determined: Camponotus rufipes Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) have four instars; and Camponotus vittatus Forel have three. Male larvae of the two species are similar to previously described Camponotus larvae, sharing the following traits: basic shape of body and mandible, presence of 'chiloscleres', 'praesaepium' (some specimens), labial pseudopalps, and ten pairs of spiracles. However, larvae of the two species can be separated by bodily dimensions and based on their hair number and types. Worker larvae of C. vittatus previously described are extensively similar to male larvae, with only a few inconspicuous differences that may result from intraspecific variation or sexual differences. PMID:22934715

  5. Diploid males, diploid sperm production, and triploid females in the ant Tapinoma erraticum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cournault, Laurent; Aron, Serge

    2009-12-01

    Under complementary sex determination (CSD), females of Hymenoptera arise from diploid, fertilized eggs and males from haploid, unfertilized eggs. Incidentally, fertilized eggs that inherit two identical alleles at the CSD locus will develop into diploid males. Diploid males are usually unviable or sterile. In a few species, however, they produce diploid sperm and father a triploid female progeny. Diploid males have been reported in a number of social Hymenoptera, but the occurrence of triploid females has hardly ever been documented. Here, we report the presence of triploid females, diploid males, and diploid sperm (produced by diploid males and stored in queen spermathecae) in the ant Tapinoma erraticum. Moreover, we show variations in the frequency of triploids among female castes: Triploid females are more frequent among workers than virgin queens; they are absent among mated, reproductive queens. The frequency of triploid workers also varies between populations and between nests within populations.

  6. Acoustic communication by ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickling, Robert

    2002-05-01

    Many ant species communicate acoustically by stridulating, i.e., running a scraper over a washboard-like set of ridges. Ants appear to be insensitive to airborne sound. Consequently, myrmecologists have concluded that the stridulatory signals are transmitted through the substrate. This has tended to diminish the importance of acoustic communication, and it is currently believed that ant communication is based almost exclusively on pheromones, with acoustic communication assigned an almost nonexistent role. However, it can be shown that acoustic communication between ants is effective only if the medium is air and not the substrate. How, then, is it possible for ants to appear deaf to airborne sound and yet communicate through the air? An explanation is provided in a paper [R. Hickling and R. L. Brown, ``Analysis of acoustic communication by ants,'' J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1920-1929 (2000)]. Ants are small relative to the wavelengths they generate. Hence, they create a near field, which is characterized by a major increase in sound velocity (particle velocity of sound) in the vicinity of the source. Hair sensilla on the ants' antennae respond to sound velocity. Thus, ants are able to detect near-field sound from other ants and to exclude extraneous airborne sound.

  7. Clonal structure affects the assembling behavior in the Japanese queenless ant Pristomyrmex punctatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishide, Yudai; Satoh, Toshiyuki; Hiraoka, Tuyosi; Obara, Yoshiaki; Iwabuchi, Kikuo

    2007-10-01

    The queenless ant Pristomyrmex punctatus (Hymenoptera: Myrmicinae) has a unique society that differs from those of other typical ants. This species does not have a queen, and the workers lay eggs and produce their clones parthenogenetically. However, a colony of these ants does not always comprise members derived from a single clonal line. In this study, we examined whether P. punctatus changes its “assembling behavior” based on colony genetic structure. We prepared two subcolonies—a larger one comprising 200 individuals and a smaller one comprising 100 individuals; these subcolonies were established from a single stock colony. We investigated whether these subcolonies assemble into a single nest. The genetically monomorphic subcolonies (single clonal line) always fused into a single nest; however, the genetically polymorphic subcolonies (multiple clonal lines) did not tend to form a single colony. The present study is the first to demonstrate that the colony genetic structure significantly affects social viscosity in social insects.

  8. Impact of Two Ant Species on Egg Parasitoids Released as Part of a Biological Control Program

    PubMed Central

    Kergunteuil, Alan; Basso, César; Pintureau, Bernard

    2013-01-01

    Biological control using Trichogramma pretiosum Riley (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae), an egg parasitoid wasp, was tested in Uruguay to reduce populations of lepidopteran pests on soybeans. It was observed that the commercial parasitoid dispensers, which were made of cardboard, were vulnerable to small predators that succeeded in entering and emptying the containers of all the eggs parasitized by T. pretiosum. Observations in a soybean crop showed that the only small, common predators present were two ant species. The species responsible for the above mentioned predation was determined from the results of a laboratory experiment in which the behavior of the two common ants was tested. A modification of the dispensers to prevent introduction of this ant has been proposed and successfully tested in the laboratory and in the field. PMID:24738954

  9. Dirhinus texanus (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae) from Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pech, L.L.; Gates, M.W.; Graham, T.B.

    2011-01-01

    We collected a Dirhinus texanus (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae) in Salt Creek Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, San Juan County, Utah. This is the first record for D. texanus in Utah. Copyright ?? 2011 BioOne All rights reserved.

  10. Field trapping the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata.

    PubMed

    Derstine, Nathan T; Troyer, Elisa J; Suttles, Caitlyn N; Siderhurst, Leigh A; Jang, Eric B; Siderhurst, Matthew S

    2012-01-01

    Two detection methods for the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), both employing the pheromone attractant 2,5-dimethyl-3-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine (2-MeBu-diMePy), were compared with peanut butter based detection, in order to evaluate differences in species specificity and detection reliability. Trapping was conducted using a transect through a macadamia orchard on the island of Hawaii. The transect consisted of a series of three-tree plots, each plot contained a peanut butter coated stick (the most common detection method used for W. auropunctata in Hawaii), a one-way trap treated with 2-MeBu-diMePy, and a piece of double-sided tape treated with 2-MeBu-diMePy. While there were no differences in the number of W. auropunctata counted with each detection method, and no differences in detection reliability (detecting the known presence of W. auropunctata in a plot), the pheromone-incorporating methods showed greater species specificity, retaining W. auropunctata almost exclusively. These results demonstrate the potential of pheromone-detection methods to selectively capture target ant species even when other ants are present and abundant. Combined data from all three detection methods and a previous visual survey along the transect showed a marked difference in the frequency of cohabitation among ant species. Of the 10 ant species collected, W. auropunctata was found as the sole ant species on a given tree at a significantly higher frequency than all other ant species except Pheidole fervens. 94% percent of the trees with W. auropunctata had only W. auropunctata, supporting previous observations that this species tends to displace other ant species. In addition, W. auropunctata microhabitat preferences were investigated using one-way traps containing 2-MeBu-diMePy, which were placed in three arboreal and three non-arboreal locations. While the number of ants captured did not differ by trap placement, when grouped, captures were

  11. Field Trapping the Little Fire Ant, Wasmannia auropunctata

    PubMed Central

    Derstine, Nathan T.; Troyer, Elisa J.; Suttles, Caitlyn N.; Siderhurst, Leigh A.; Jang, Eric B.; Siderhurst, Matthew S.

    2012-01-01

    Two detection methods for the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), both employing the pheromone attractant 2,5-dimethyl-3-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine (2-MeBu-diMePy), were compared with peanut butter based detection, in order to evaluate differences in species specificity and detection reliability. Trapping was conducted using a transect through a macadamia orchard on the island of Hawaii. The transect consisted of a series of three-tree plots, each plot contained a peanut butter coated stick (the most common detection method used for W. auropunctata in Hawaii), a one—way trap treated with 2-MeBu-diMePy, and a piece of double-sided tape treated with 2-MeBu-diMePy. While there were no differences in the number of W. auropunctata counted with each detection method, and no differences in detection reliability (detecting the known presence of W. auropunctata in a plot), the pheromone—incorporating methods showed greater species specificity, retaining W. auropunctata almost exclusively. These results demonstrate the potential of pheromone—detection methods to selectively capture target ant species even when other ants are present and abundant. Combined data from all three detection methods and a previous visual survey along the transect showed a marked difference in the frequency of cohabitation among ant species. Of the 10 ant species collected, W. auropunctata was found as the sole ant species on a given tree at a significantly higher frequency than all other ant species except Pheidole fervens. 94% percent of the trees with W. auropunctata had only W. auropunctata, supporting previous observations that this species tends to displace other ant species. In addition, W. auropunctata microhabitat preferences were investigated using one—way traps containing 2-MeBu-diMePy, which were placed in three arboreal and three non—arboreal locations. While the number of ants captured did not differ by trap placement, when grouped

  12. Evolution of the insect desaturase gene family with an emphasis on social Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Helmkampf, Martin; Cash, Elizabeth; Gadau, Jürgen

    2015-02-01

    Desaturase genes are essential for biological processes, including lipid metabolism, cell signaling, and membrane fluidity regulation. Insect desaturases are particularly interesting for their role in chemical communication, and potential contribution to speciation, symbioses, and sociality. Here, we describe the acyl-CoA desaturase gene families of 15 insects, with a focus on social Hymenoptera. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed that the insect desaturases represent an ancient gene family characterized by eight subfamilies that differ strongly in their degree of conservation and frequency of gene gain and loss. Analyses of genomic organization showed that five of these subfamilies are represented in a highly microsyntenic region conserved across holometabolous insect taxa, indicating an ancestral expansion during early insect evolution. In three subfamilies, ants exhibit particularly large expansions of genes. Despite these expansions, however, selection analyses showed that desaturase genes in all insect lineages are predominantly undergoing strong purifying selection. Finally, for three expanded subfamilies, we show that ants exhibit variation in gene expression between species, and more importantly, between sexes and castes within species. This suggests functional differentiation of these genes and a role in the regulation of reproductive division of labor in ants. The dynamic pattern of gene gain and loss of acyl-CoA desaturases in ants may reflect changes in response to ecological diversification and an increased demand for chemical signal variability. This may provide an example of how gene family expansions can contribute to lineage-specific adaptations through structural and regulatory changes acting in concert to produce new adaptive phenotypes. PMID:25425561

  13. Evolution of the Insect Desaturase Gene Family with an Emphasis on Social Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Helmkampf, Martin; Cash, Elizabeth; Gadau, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Desaturase genes are essential for biological processes, including lipid metabolism, cell signaling, and membrane fluidity regulation. Insect desaturases are particularly interesting for their role in chemical communication, and potential contribution to speciation, symbioses, and sociality. Here, we describe the acyl-CoA desaturase gene families of 15 insects, with a focus on social Hymenoptera. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed that the insect desaturases represent an ancient gene family characterized by eight subfamilies that differ strongly in their degree of conservation and frequency of gene gain and loss. Analyses of genomic organization showed that five of these subfamilies are represented in a highly microsyntenic region conserved across holometabolous insect taxa, indicating an ancestral expansion during early insect evolution. In three subfamilies, ants exhibit particularly large expansions of genes. Despite these expansions, however, selection analyses showed that desaturase genes in all insect lineages are predominantly undergoing strong purifying selection. Finally, for three expanded subfamilies, we show that ants exhibit variation in gene expression between species, and more importantly, between sexes and castes within species. This suggests functional differentiation of these genes and a role in the regulation of reproductive division of labor in ants. The dynamic pattern of gene gain and loss of acyl-CoA desaturases in ants may reflect changes in response to ecological diversification and an increased demand for chemical signal variability. This may provide an example of how gene family expansions can contribute to lineage-specific adaptations through structural and regulatory changes acting in concert to produce new adaptive phenotypes. PMID:25425561

  14. Sequential learning of relative size by the Neotropical ant Gigantiops destructor.

    PubMed

    Beugnon, Guy; Macquart, David

    2016-04-01

    The question of whether insects can perform concept learning or can use the geometry of space as in mammals has been recently addressed in Hymenoptera in an extensive way. We investigate here the ability of the tropical ant Gigantiops destructor to perform sequential learning and to use size relationships during navigation. Ants were trained to solve a dichotomic six-stage linear maze relying on the apparent width of two vertical landmarks. Each individual ant first learnt to associate a given landmark width to the motor decision of turning right or left to avoid dead-ends independently of a motor routine. When confronted for the first time with a new intermediate-sized pattern, for which no supposed snapshot could have been stored, ants made directional choices indicating that bar width judgments were not absolute but rather relative to the familiar visual patterns seen in the previous chambers. This result demonstrates that ants can generalize relationship rules by interpolating the relative width of a novel stimulus according to visual information kept in spatial working memory. In conclusion, ants can perform conditional discriminations reliably not only when stimuli are simultaneous but also when they are sequential. PMID:26879665

  15. The use of alarm pheromones to enhance bait harvest by grass-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Hughes, W O H; Goulson, D

    2002-06-01

    The enhancement of bait for the control of grass-cutting ants was investigated using two species of grass-cutting ant, Atta bisphaerica (Forel) and Atta capiguara (Gonçalves) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bait was applied in loose piles to obtain a direct relationship between ant attraction and bait harvest. Enhancement with alarm pheromone compounds significantly increased the attractiveness and harvest of bait under certain conditions. A large proportion of the ants attracted to the enhanced bait were minor workers. These ants rarely transport bait because of their small size, and so it may be possible to increase the effect of bait enhancement by using smaller bait granules. Foragers of A. capiguara were less inclined to transport citrus-pulp bait than were those of Atta laevigata (Fr. Smith), a species that also harvests dicotyledonous plants. This emphasizes the importance of developing a bait matrix that is more acceptable to grass-cutting species. Nevertheless, the results suggest that alarm pheromone compounds have significant potential to improve the efficacy of baits for the control of grass-cutting ants. PMID:12088538

  16. Suppression of savanna ants alters invertebrate composition and influences key ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Parr, C L; Eggleton, P; Davies, A B; Evans, T A; Holdsworth, S

    2016-06-01

    In almost every ecosystem, ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are the dominant terrestrial invertebrate group. Their functional value was highlighted by Wilson (1987) who famously declared that invertebrates are the "little things that run the world." However, while it is generally accepted that ants fulfil important functions, few studies have tested these assumptions and demonstrated what happens in their absence. We report on a novel large-scale field experiment in undisturbed savanna habitat where we examined how ants influence the abundance of other invertebrate taxa in the system, and affect the key processes of decomposition and herbivory. Our experiment demonstrated that ants suppressed the abundance and activity of beetles, millipedes, and termites, and also influenced decomposition rates and levels of herbivory. Our study is the first to show that top-down control of termites by ants can have important ecosystem consequences. Further studies are needed to elucidate the effects ant communities have on other aspects of the ecosystem (e.g., soils, nutrient cycling, the microbial community) and how their relative importance for ecosystem function varies among ecosystem types (e.g., savanna vs. forest). PMID:27459790

  17. Ocelli contribute to the encoding of celestial compass information in the Australian desert ant Melophorus bagoti.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Sebastian; Albert, Laurence; Wystrach, Antoine; Cheng, Ken

    2011-03-15

    Many animal species, including some social hymenoptera, use the visual system for navigation. Although the insect compound eyes have been well studied, less is known about the second visual system in some insects, the ocelli. Here we demonstrate navigational functions of the ocelli in the visually guided Australian desert ant Melophorus bagoti. These ants are known to rely on both visual landmark learning and path integration. We conducted experiments to reveal the role of ocelli in the perception and use of celestial compass information and landmark guidance. Ants with directional information from their path integration system were tested with covered compound eyes and open ocelli on an unfamiliar test field where only celestial compass cues were available for homing. These full-vector ants, using only their ocelli for visual information, oriented significantly towards the fictive nest on the test field, indicating the use of celestial compass information that is presumably based on polarised skylight, the sun's position or the colour gradient of the sky. Ants without any directional information from their path-integration system (zero-vector) were tested, also with covered compound eyes and open ocelli, on a familiar training field where they have to use the surrounding panorama to home. These ants failed to orient significantly in the homeward direction. Together, our results demonstrated that M. bagoti could perceive and process celestial compass information for directional orientation with their ocelli. In contrast, the ocelli do not seem to contribute to terrestrial landmark-based navigation in M. bagoti. PMID:21346116

  18. Microbiological activity of soils populated by Lasius niger ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golichenkov, M. V.; Neimatov, A. L.; Kiryushin, A. V.

    2009-07-01

    Ants are the most widespread colonial insects assigned to the Hymenoptera order. They actively use soil as a habitat; being numerous, they create a specific microrelief. It is shown that ants affect microbiological processes of the carbon and nitrogen cycles. The carbon content in anthills remains stable throughout the growing season, and the respiration intensity is about three times higher as compared with that in the control soil. The highest methane production (0.08 nmol of CH4/g per day) in the anthill is observed at the beginning of the growing season and exceeds that in the control soil by four times. The most active nitrogen fixation (about 4 nmol of C2H4/g per h) in the anthill takes place in the early growing season, whereas, in the control soil, it is observed in the middle of the growing season. At the same time, the diazotrophic activity is higher in the control soil. The lowest denitrification in the anthill is observed at the beginning and end of the growing season. The dynamics of the denitrification in the anthill are opposite to the dynamics of the diazotrophic activity. We suppose that these regularities of the biological activity in the anthill are related to the ecology of the ants and the changes in their food preferences during the growing season.

  19. Social prophylaxis: group interaction promotes collective immunity in ant colonies.

    PubMed

    Ugelvig, Line V; Cremer, Sylvia

    2007-11-20

    Life in a social group increases the risk of disease transmission. To counteract this threat, social insects have evolved manifold antiparasite defenses, ranging from social exclusion of infected group members to intensive care. It is generally assumed that individuals performing hygienic behaviors risk infecting themselves, suggesting a high direct cost of helping. Our work instead indicates the opposite for garden ants. Social contact with individual workers, which were experimentally exposed to a fungal parasite, provided a clear survival benefit to nontreated, naive group members upon later challenge with the same parasite. This first demonstration of contact immunity in Social Hymenoptera and complementary results from other animal groups and plants suggest its general importance in both antiparasite and antiherbivore defense. In addition to this physiological prophylaxis of adult ants, infection of the brood was prevented in our experiment by behavioral changes of treated and naive workers. Parasite-treated ants stayed away from the brood chamber, whereas their naive nestmates increased brood-care activities. Our findings reveal a direct benefit for individuals to perform hygienic behaviors toward others, and this might explain the widely observed maintenance of social cohesion under parasite attack in insect societies. PMID:17980590

  20. Evolution of Cuticular Hydrocarbons in the Hymenoptera: a Meta-Analysis.

    PubMed

    Kather, Ricarda; Martin, Stephen J

    2015-10-01

    Chemical communication is the oldest form of communication, spreading across all forms of life. In insects, cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC) function as chemical cues for the recognition of mates, species, and nest-mates in social insects. Although much is known about the function of individual hydrocarbons and their biosynthesis, a phylogenetic overview is lacking. Here, we review the CHC profiles of 241 species of Hymenoptera, one of the largest and most important insect orders, which includes the Symphyta (sawflies), the polyphyletic Parasitica (parasitoid wasps), and the Aculeata (wasps, bees, and ants). We investigated whether these taxonomic groups differed in the presence and absence of CHC classes and whether the sociality of a species (solitarily vs. social) had an effect on CHC profile complexity. We found that the main CHC classes (i.e., n-alkanes, alkenes, and methylalkanes) were all present early in the evolutionary history of the Hymenoptera, as evidenced by their presence in ancient Symphyta and primitive Parasitica wasps. Throughout all groups within the Hymenoptera, the more complex a CHC the fewer species that produce it, which may reflect the Occam's razor principle that insects' only biosynthesize the most simple compound that fulfil its needs. Surprisingly, there was no difference in the complexity of CHC profiles between social and solitary species, with some of the most complex CHC profiles belonging to the Parasitica. This profile complexity has been maintained in the ants, but some specialization in biosynthetic pathways has led to a simplification of profiles in the aculeate wasps and bees. The absence of CHC classes in some taxa or species may be due to gene silencing or down-regulation rather than gene loss, as demonstrated by sister species having highly divergent CHC profiles, and cannot be predicted by their phylogenetic history. The presence of highly complex CHC profiles prior to the vast radiation of the social Hymenoptera indicates a

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ottonetti, L.; Tucci, L.; Santini, G.

    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.

  2. Exceptionally high levels of multiple mating in an army ant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denny, A. Jay; Franks, Nigel R.; Powell, Scott; Edwards, Keith J.

    Most species of social insects have singly mated queens, although there are notable exceptions. Competing hypotheses have been proposed to explain the evolution of high levels of multiple mating, but this issue is far from resolved. Here we use microsatellites to investigate mating frequency in the army ant Eciton burchellii and show that queens mate with an exceptionally large number of males, eclipsing all but one other social insect species for which data are available. In addition we present evidence that suggests that mating is serial, continuing throughout the lifetime of the queen. This is the first demonstration of serial mating among social hymenoptera. We propose that high paternity within colonies is most likely to have evolved to increase genetic diversity and to counter high pathogen and parasite loads.

  3. Non-Enzymatic Hydrolysis of RNA in Workers of the Ant Nylanderia pubens

    PubMed Central

    Valles, Steven M.; Strong, Charles A.; Buss, Eileen A.; Oi, David H.

    2012-01-01

    During preparation of total RNA from Nylanderia pubens (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) workers for use in expression library construction, severe RNA degradation consistently occurred. This degradation was masked by spectrophotometric analysis but clearly evident by microfluidic-based assay. Although not specifically identified, the degrading entity was endogenous and localized to the abdomen (terminal abdominal segments) of adult ants. RNA degradation was not observed in preparations of larvae, non-melanized pupae, or eggs. Various RNase and protease inhibitors had no protective effect. However, the metal chelating agent ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid prevented RNA degradation and provides insight into the occurrence. PMID:23461820

  4. The Ecology of a Keystone Seed Disperser, the Ant Rhytidoponera violacea

    PubMed Central

    Lubertazzi, Dave; Aliberti Lubertazzi, Maria A.; McCoy, Neil; Gove, Aaron D.; Majer, Jonathan D.; Dunn, Robert R.

    2010-01-01

    Rhytidoponera violacea (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is a keystone seed disperser in Kwongan heathl and habitats of southwestern Australia. Like many myrmecochorous ants, little is known about the basic biology of this species. In this study various aspects of the biology of R. violacea were examined and the researchers evaluated how these characteristics may influence seed dispersal. R. violacea nesting habits (relatively shallow nests), foraging behavior (scramble competitor and lax food selection criteria), and other life history characteristics complement their role as a mutualist that interacts with the seeds of many plant species. PMID:21067420

  5. Natural history and morphology of the hoverfly Pseudomicrodon biluminiferus and its parasitic relationship with ants nesting in bromeliads.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Volker S; Morales, Mírian N; Marinoni, Luciane; Kamke, Rafael; Steiner, Josefina; Zillikens, Anne

    2014-01-01

    The syrphid subfamily Microdontinae is characterized by myrmecophily of their immature stages, i.e., they develop in ant nests. Data on natural history of microdontines are scarce, especially in the Neotropics. Based on fieldwork in southern Brazil, this study provided new data on development and ecology of the hoverfly Pseudomicrodon biluminiferus (Hull) (Diptera: Syrphidae) as well as the first morphological descriptions of male genitalia, larvae, and pupa. Immature specimens were specifically found in colonies of the ant species Crematogaster limata Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) found in rosettes of the bromeliad species Aechmea lindenii (E. Morren) Baker (Poales: Bromeliaceae) and A. nudicaulis (L.) Grisebach. Third instar larvae were observed preying on ant larvae, revealing the parasitic nature of P. biluminiferus. In this and several other aspects, the natural history of P. biluminiferus is similar to that of Holarctic microdontine species. Exceptions include: (i) indications that adults of P. biluminiferus outlast the winter months (in contrast to 3(rd)instar larvae in Holarctic species) and (ii) P. biluminiferus' relationship with bromeliads. The importance of bromeliads for this host-parasite system is evaluated in this paper. The single occurrence of another, unidentified microdontine species' pupae in a nest of the ant species Camponotus melanoticus Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is reported. PMID:25373185

  6. The effects of fire on ant trophic assemblage and sex allocation

    PubMed Central

    Caut, Stephane; Jowers, Michael J; Arnan, Xavier; Pearce-Duvet, Jessica; Rodrigo, Anselm; Cerda, Xim; Boulay, Raphaël R

    2014-01-01

    Fire plays a key role in ecosystem dynamics worldwide, altering energy flows and species community structure and composition. However, the functional mechanisms underlying these effects are not well understood. Many ground-dwelling animal species can shelter themselves from exposure to heat and therefore rarely suffer direct mortality. However, fire-induced alterations to the environment may change a species' relative trophic level within a food web and its mode of foraging. We assessed how fire could affect ant resource utilization at different scales in a Mediterranean forest. First, we conducted isotopic analyses on entire ant species assemblages and their potential food resources, which included plants and other arthropods, in burned and unburned plots 1 year postfire. Second, we measured the production of males and females by nests of a fire-resilient species, Aphaenogaster gibbosa, and analyzed the differences in isotopic values among workers, males, and females to test whether fire constrained resource allocation. We found that, in spite of major modifications in biotic and abiotic conditions, fire had little impact on the relative trophic position of ant species. The studied assemblage was composed of species with a wide array of diets. They ranged from being mostly herbivorous to completely omnivorous, and a given species' trophic level was the same in burned and unburned plots. In A. gibbosa nests, sexuals had greater δ15N values than workers in both burned and unburned plots, which suggests that the former had a more protein-rich diet than the latter. Fire also appeared to have a major effect on A. gibbosa sex allocation: The proportion of nests that produced male brood was greater on burned zones, as was the mean number of males produced per nest with the same reproductive investment. Our results show that generalist ants with relatively broad diets maintained a constant trophic position, even following a major disturbance like fire. However, the

  7. Field techniques for sampling ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ants occur in most environments and ecologists ask a diverse array of questions involving ants. Thus, a key consideration in ant studies is to match the environment and question (and associated environmental variables) to the ant sampling technique. Since each technique has distinct limitations, usi...

  8. Fire Ant Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... and the patient will develop difficulty breathing in addition to weakness. Patients who develop anaphylaxis and have a significant history of systemic reactions to fire ant stings should be checked for ...

  9. Ant traffic rules.

    PubMed

    Fourcassié, Vincent; Dussutour, Audrey; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis

    2010-07-15

    Many animals take part in flow-like collective movements. In most species, however, the flow is unidirectional. Ants are one of the rare group of organisms in which flow-like movements are predominantly bidirectional. This adds to the difficulty of the task of maintaining a smooth, efficient movement. Yet, ants seem to fare well at this task. Do they really? And if so, how do such simple organisms succeed in maintaining a smooth traffic flow, when even humans experience trouble with this task? How does traffic in ants compare with that in human pedestrians or vehicles? The experimental study of ant traffic is only a few years old but it has already provided interesting insights into traffic organization and regulation in animals, showing in particular that an ant colony as a whole can be considered as a typical self-organized adaptive system. In this review we will show that the study of ant traffic can not only uncover basic principles of behavioral ecology and evolution in social insects but also provide new insights into the study of traffic systems in general. PMID:20581264

  10. Cuticular Hydrocarbon Cues Are Used for Host Acceptance by Pseudacteon spp. Phorid Flies that Attack Azteca sericeasur Ants.

    PubMed

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-04-01

    Parasitoids often use complex cues to identify suitable hosts in their environment. Phorid fly parasitoids that develop on one or a few host species often use multiple cues, ranging from general to highly specific, to home in on an appropriate host. Here, we describe the hierarchy of cues that Pseudacteon phorid flies use to identify Azteca ant hosts. We show, through behavioral observations in the field, that phorid flies are attracted to two cryptic Azteca species, but only attack Azteca sericeasur (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dolichoderinae). To test whether the phorid flies use cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) to distinguish between the two Azteca taxa, we first documented and compared cuticular hydrocarbons of the two Azteca taxa using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Then, using cuticular hydrocarbon-transfer experiments with live ants, we characterized the cuticular hydrocarbons of A. sericeasur as a short-range, host location cue used by P. lasciniosus (Diptera: Phoridae) to locate the ants. PMID:27130489

  11. Ants and ant scent reduce bumblebee pollination of artificial flowers.

    PubMed

    Cembrowski, Adam R; Tan, Marcus G; Thomson, James D; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-01-01

    Ants on flowers can disrupt pollination by consuming rewards or harassing pollinators, but it is difficult to disentangle the effects of these exploitative and interference forms of competition on pollinator behavior. Using highly rewarding and quickly replenishing artificial flowers that simulate male or female function, we allowed bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) to forage (1) on flowers with or without ants (Myrmica rubra) and (2) on flowers with or without ant scent cues. Bumblebees transferred significantly more pollen analogue both to and from ant-free flowers, demonstrating that interference competition with ants is sufficient to modify pollinator foraging behavior. Bees also removed significantly less pollen analogue from ant-scented flowers than from controls, making this the first study to show that bees can use ant scent to avoid harassment at flowers. Ant effects on pollinator behavior, possibly in addition to their effects on pollen viability, may contribute to the evolution of floral traits minimizing ant visitation. PMID:24334742

  12. Seasonal Dynamics of Ant Community Structure in the Moroccan Argan Forest

    PubMed Central

    Keroumi, Abderrahim El; 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. PMID:23421815

  13. Olfactory Detection of Prey by the Termite-Raiding Ant Pachycondyla analis

    PubMed Central

    Yusuf, Abdullahi Ahmed; Crewe, Robin M.; Pirk, Christian W. W.

    2014-01-01

    The African termite-raiding ant Pachycondyla analis Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) organizes group raids on termites of the sub-family Macrotermitinae. Termites and ants occupy and share similar habitats, resulting in a co-evolutionary arms race between termites as prey and ants as predators. The present study explored whether P. analis uses semiochemical signaling cues to detect potential termite prey prior to and during raids. Ants' responses to odors emitted from termites alone, termite gallery soil, and termites inside their galleries were tested using Y-tube olfactometer assays. The results showed that P. analis detected odors of termites and those of their galleries, and odors from termites inside their galleries were more attractive to both minor and major ant workers than odors from termites alone. The composition of these odor sources was identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. While the odors from termite gallery soils were compositionally richer (containing 13 compounds rather than nine from termites alone), those from the termites alone were quantitatively richer, releasing about six times more odors than gallery soil. Most of the compounds in the odor profiles were identified as hydrocarbons. Naphthalene, previously identified as an insect repellent, was also identified as a component of the odors from the gallery soil. These results demonstrate that odors play an important role in prey detection by P. analis. PMID:25373200

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

    PubMed

    Gruber, Christian W; Muttenthaler, Markus

    2012-01-01

    Natural peptides of great number and diversity occur in all organisms, but analyzing their peptidome is often difficult. With natural product drug discovery in mind, we devised a genome-mining approach to identify defense- and neuropeptides in the genomes of social ants from Atta cephalotes (leaf-cutter ant), Camponotus floridanus (carpenter ant) and Harpegnathos saltator (basal genus). Numerous peptide-encoding genes of defense peptides, in particular defensins, and neuropeptides or regulatory peptide hormones, such as allatostatins and tachykinins, were identified and analyzed. Most interestingly we annotated genes that encode oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (inotocins) and their putative receptors. This is the first piece of evidence for the existence of this nonapeptide hormone system in ants (Formicidae) and supports recent findings in Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle) and Nasonia vitripennis (parasitoid wasp), and therefore its confinement to some basal holometabolous insects. By contrast, the absence of the inotocin hormone system in Apis mellifera (honeybee), another closely-related member of the eusocial Hymenoptera clade, establishes the basis for future studies on the molecular evolution and physiological function of oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (vasotocin nonapeptide family) and their receptors in social insects. Particularly the identification of ant inotocin and defensin peptide sequences will provide a basis for future pharmacological characterization in the quest for potent and selective lead compounds of therapeutic value. PMID:22448224

  15. Discovery of Defense- and Neuropeptides in Social Ants by Genome-Mining

    PubMed Central

    Gruber, Christian W.; Muttenthaler, Markus

    2012-01-01

    Natural peptides of great number and diversity occur in all organisms, but analyzing their peptidome is often difficult. With natural product drug discovery in mind, we devised a genome-mining approach to identify defense- and neuropeptides in the genomes of social ants from Atta cephalotes (leaf-cutter ant), Camponotus floridanus (carpenter ant) and Harpegnathos saltator (basal genus). Numerous peptide-encoding genes of defense peptides, in particular defensins, and neuropeptides or regulatory peptide hormones, such as allatostatins and tachykinins, were identified and analyzed. Most interestingly we annotated genes that encode oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (inotocins) and their putative receptors. This is the first piece of evidence for the existence of this nonapeptide hormone system in ants (Formicidae) and supports recent findings in Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle) and Nasonia vitripennis (parasitoid wasp), and therefore its confinement to some basal holometabolous insects. By contrast, the absence of the inotocin hormone system in Apis mellifera (honeybee), another closely-related member of the eusocial Hymenoptera clade, establishes the basis for future studies on the molecular evolution and physiological function of oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (vasotocin nonapeptide family) and their receptors in social insects. Particularly the identification of ant inotocin and defensin peptide sequences will provide a basis for future pharmacological characterization in the quest for potent and selective lead compounds of therapeutic value. PMID:22448224

  16. Olfactory detection of prey by the termite-raiding antPachycondyla analis.

    PubMed

    Yusuf, Abdullahi Ahmed; Crewe, Robin M; Pirk, Christian W W

    2014-01-01

    The African termiteraiding ant Pachycondyla analis Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) organizes group raids on termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae. Termites and ants occupy and share similar habitats, resulting in a co-evolutionary arms race between termites as prey and ants as predators. The present study explored whether P. analis uses semio- chemical signaling cues to detect potential termite prey prior to and during raids. Ants' responses to odors emitted from termites alone, termite gallery soil, and termites inside their galleries were tested using Y-tube olfactometer assays. The results showed that P. analis detected odors of termites and those of their galleries, and odors from termites inside their galleries were more attractive to both minor and major ant workers than odors from termites alone. The composition of these odor sources was identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. While the odors from termite gallery soils were compositionally richer (containing 13 compounds rather than nine from termites alone), those from the termites alone were quantitatively richer, releasing about six times more odors than gallery soil. Most of the compounds in the odor profiles were identified as hydrocarbons. Naphthalene, previously identified as an insect repellent, was also identified as a component of the odors from the gallery soil. These results demonstrate that odors play an important role in prey detection by P. analis. PMID:25373200

  17. The effects of colony structure and resource abundance on food dispersal in Tapinoma sessile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    VanWeelden, M T; Bennett, G; Buczkowski, G

    2015-01-01

    The odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), exhibits a high degree of variation in colony spatial structure which may have direct and indirect effects on foraging. Protein marking and mark-release-recapture techniques were utilized to examine the effect of colony spatial structure on food dispersal. Sucrose water spiked with rabbit IgG protein was presented to colonies with varying spatial configurations in laboratory and field experiments. In monodomous lab colonies, the rate and extent of food dispersal was rapid due to a decrease in foraging area. In polydomous colonies, food dispersal was slower because conspecifics were forced to forage and share food over longer distances. However, over time, food was present in all extremities of the colony. Experiments conducted in the field produced similar results, with nests in close proximity to food yielding higher percentages of workers scoring positive for the marker. However, the percentage of workers possessing the marker decreased over time. Results from this study provide experimental data on mechanisms of food dispersal in monodomous and polydomous colonies of ants, and may be important for increasing the efficacy of management strategies against T. sessile and other pest ant species. PMID:25688088

  18. The Effects of Colony Structure and Resource Abundance on Food Dispersal in Tapinoma sessile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    VanWeelden, M. T.; Bennett, G.; Buczkowski, G.

    2015-01-01

    The odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), exhibits a high degree of variation in colony spatial structure which may have direct and indirect effects on foraging. Protein marking and mark–release–recapture techniques were utilized to examine the effect of colony spatial structure on food dispersal. Sucrose water spiked with rabbit IgG protein was presented to colonies with varying spatial configurations in laboratory and field experiments. In monodomous lab colonies, the rate and extent of food dispersal was rapid due to a decrease in foraging area. In polydomous colonies, food dispersal was slower because conspecifics were forced to forage and share food over longer distances. However, over time, food was present in all extremities of the colony. Experiments conducted in the field produced similar results, with nests in close proximity to food yielding higher percentages of workers scoring positive for the marker. However, the percentage of workers possessing the marker decreased over time. Results from this study provide experimental data on mechanisms of food dispersal in monodomous and polydomous colonies of ants, and may be important for increasing the efficacy of management strategies against T. sessile and other pest ant species. PMID:25688088

  19. The effects of colony structure and resource abundance on food dispersal in Tapinoma sessile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Van Weelden, M T; Bennett, G; Buczkowski, G

    2015-01-01

    The odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), exhibits a high degree of variation in colony spatial structure, which may have direct and indirect effects on foraging. Protein marking and mark-release-recapture techniques were utilized to examine the effect of colony spatial structure on food dispersal. Sucrose water spiked with rabbit IgG protein was presented to colonies with varying spatial configurations in laboratory and field experiments. In monodomous laboratory colonies, the rate and extent of food dispersal was rapid due to a decrease in foraging area. In polydomous colonies, food dispersal was slower because conspecifics were forced to forage and share food over longer distances. However, over time, food was present in all extremities of the colony. Experiments conducted in the field produced similar results, with nests in close proximity to food yielding higher percentages of workers scoring positive for the marker. However, the percentage of workers possessing the marker decreased over time. Results from this study provide experimental data on mechanisms of food dispersal in monodomous and polydomous colonies of ants and may be important for increasing the efficacy of management strategies against T. sessile and other pest ant species. PMID:25881634

  20. Changes in follicular cells architecture during vitellogenin transport in the ovary of social Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Ronnau, Milton; Azevedo, Dihego Oliveira; Fialho, Maria do Carmo Queiroz; Gonçlaves, Wagner Gonzaga; Zanuncio, José Cola; Serrão, José Eduardo

    2016-05-01

    Vitellogenins are the major yolk proteins, synthesized in the fat body, released into the hemolymph and captured by the developing oocytes, but the mechanisms by which these proteins cross the follicular cell layer are still poorly understood. This study describes the actin distribution in follicular cells during vitellogenin transport to the oocyte in social Hymenoptera represented by bees Apis mellifera and Melipona quadrifasciata, the wasp Mischocyttarus cassununga and the ant Pachycondyla curvinodis. In oocytic chambers of vitellogenic follicles, vitellogenin was found within the follicular cells, perivitelline space and oocyte, indicating a transcellular route from the hemolymph to the perivitelline space. The cortical actin cytoskeleton in follicular cells underwent reorganization during transport of vitellogenin across this epithelium suggesting that in the ovary of social hymenopterans, vitellogenin delivery to oocytes requires a dynamic cytoskeletal rearrangement of actin filaments in the follicular cells. PMID:26077636

  1. Alate susceptibility in ants.

    PubMed

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-11-01

    Pathogens are predicted to pose a particular threat to eusocial insects because infections can spread rapidly in colonies with high densities of closely related individuals. In ants, there are two major castes: workers and reproductives. Sterile workers receive no direct benefit from investing in immunity, but can gain indirect fitness benefits if their immunity aids the survival of their fertile siblings. Virgin reproductives (alates), on the other hand, may be able to increase their investment in reproduction, rather than in immunity, because of the protection they receive from workers. Thus, we expect colonies to have highly immune workers, but relatively more susceptible alates. We examined the survival of workers, gynes, and males of nine ant species collected in Peru and Canada when exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. For the seven species in which treatment with B. bassiana increased ant mortality relative to controls, we found workers were significantly less susceptible compared with both alate sexes. Female and male alates did not differ significantly in their immunocompetence. Our results suggest that, as with other nonreproductive tasks in ant colonies like foraging and nest maintenance, workers have primary responsibility for colony immunity, allowing alates to specialize on reproduction. We highlight the importance of colony-level selection on individual immunity in ants and other eusocial organisms. PMID:25540683

  2. Alate susceptibility in ants

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-01-01

    Pathogens are predicted to pose a particular threat to eusocial insects because infections can spread rapidly in colonies with high densities of closely related individuals. In ants, there are two major castes: workers and reproductives. Sterile workers receive no direct benefit from investing in immunity, but can gain indirect fitness benefits if their immunity aids the survival of their fertile siblings. Virgin reproductives (alates), on the other hand, may be able to increase their investment in reproduction, rather than in immunity, because of the protection they receive from workers. Thus, we expect colonies to have highly immune workers, but relatively more susceptible alates. We examined the survival of workers, gynes, and males of nine ant species collected in Peru and Canada when exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. For the seven species in which treatment with B. bassiana increased ant mortality relative to controls, we found workers were significantly less susceptible compared with both alate sexes. Female and male alates did not differ significantly in their immunocompetence. Our results suggest that, as with other nonreproductive tasks in ant colonies like foraging and nest maintenance, workers have primary responsibility for colony immunity, allowing alates to specialize on reproduction. We highlight the importance of colony-level selection on individual immunity in ants and other eusocial organisms. PMID:25540683

  3. Utilization of Anting-Anting (Acalypha indica) Leaves as Antibacterial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batubara, Irmanida; Wahyuni, Wulan Tri; Firdaus, Imam

    2016-01-01

    Anting-anting (Acalypha indica) plants is a species of plant having catkin type of inflorescence. This research aims to utilize anting-anting as antibacterial toward Streptococcus mutans and degradation of biofilm on teeth. Anting-anting leaves were extracted by maceration technique using methanol, chloroform, and n-hexane. Antibacterial and biofilm degradation assays were performed using microdilution technique with 96 well. n-Hexane extracts of anting-anting leaves gave the best antibacterial potency with minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration value of 500 μg/mL and exhibited good biofilm degradation activity. Fraction of F3 obtained from fractionation of n-hexane's extract with column chromatography was a potential for degradation of biofilm with IC50 value of 56.82 μg/mL. Alkaloid was suggested as antibacterial and degradation of biofilm in the active fraction.

  4. Ant-based computing.

    PubMed

    Michael, Loizos

    2009-01-01

    A biologically and physically plausible model for ants and pheromones is proposed. It is argued that the mechanisms described in this model are sufficiently powerful to reproduce the necessary components of universal computation. The claim is supported by illustrating the feasibility of designing arbitrary logic circuits, showing that the interactions of ants and pheromones lead to the expected behavior, and presenting computer simulation results to verify the circuits' working. The conclusions of this study can be taken as evidence that coherent deterministic and centralized computation can emerge from the collective behavior of simple distributed Markovian processes such as those followed by biological ants, but also, more generally, by artificial agents with limited computational and communication abilities. PMID:19239348

  5. The Ants Go Marching Millions by Millions: Invasive Ant Research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive ants are a worldwide problem that is expanding both geographically and in intensity. Population explosions of invasive ants can overrun landscapes and inundate structures. Pest management professionals are often the first responders to complaints about invading ants. This session will fo...

  6. The ants go marching millions by millions: invasive ant research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive ants are a worldwide problem that is expanding both geographically and in intensity. Population explosions of invasive ants can overrun landscapes and inundate structures. Pest management professionals are often the first responders to complaints about invading ants. This session will fo...

  7. Universality in ant behaviour.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Kim; Papavassiliou, Dario; de Figueiredo, Alexandre; Franks, Nigel R; Sendova-Franks, Ana B

    2015-01-01

    Prediction for social systems is a major challenge. Universality at the social level has inspired a unified theory for urban living but individual variation makes predicting relationships within societies difficult. Here, we show that in ant societies individual average speed is higher when event duration is longer. Expressed as a single scaling function, this relationship is universal because for any event duration an ant, on average, moves at the corresponding average speed except for a short acceleration and deceleration at the beginning and end. This establishes cause and effect within a social system and may inform engineering and control of artificial ones. PMID:25411406

  8. Routing Vehicles with Ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Wen Fang; Lee, Lai Soon; Majid, Zanariah Abdul; Seow, Hsin Vonn

    Routing vehicles involve the design of an optimal set of routes for a fleet of vehicles to serve a number of customers with known demands. This research develops an Ant Colony Optimization for the vehicle routing with one central depot and identical vehicles. The procedure simulates the behavior of real ants that always find the shortest path between their nest and a food source through a form of communication, pheromone trail. Finally, preliminary results on the learning of the algorithm testing on benchmark data set will be presented in this paper.

  9. Ants: the supreme soil manipulators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This review focuses on the semiochemical interactions between ants and their soil environment. Ants occupy virtually every ecological niche and have evolved mechanisms to not just cope with, but also manipulate soil organisms. The metapleural gland, specific to ants was thought to be the major sourc...

  10. Ant allergens and hypersensitivity reactions in response to ant stings.

    PubMed

    Potiwat, Rutcharin; Sitcharungsi, Raweerat

    2015-12-01

    Hypersensitivity reactions caused by ant stings are increasingly recognized as an important cause of death by anaphylaxis. Only some species of ants ( e.g. Solenopsis spp., Myrmecia spp., and Pachycondyla spp.) cause allergic reactions. Ant species are identified by evaluating the morphologic structures of worker ants or by molecular techniques. Ant venom contains substances, including acids and alkaloids, that cause toxic reactions, and those from Solenopsis invicta or the imported fire ant have been widely studied. Piperidine alkaloids and low protein contents can cause local reactions (sterile pustules) and systemic reactions (anaphylaxis). Imported fire ant venoms are cross-reactive; for example, the Sol i 1 allergen from S. invicta has cross-reactivity with yellow jacket phospholipase. The Sol i 3 allergen is a member of the antigen 5 family that has amino acid sequence identity with vespid antigen 5. The clinical presentations of ant hypersensitivity are categorized into immediate and delayed reactions: immediate reactions, such as small local reactions, large local reactions, and systemic reactions, occur within 1-4 hours after the ant stings, whereas delayed reactions, such as serum sickness and vasculitis, usually occur more than 4 hours after the stings. Tools for the diagnosis of ant hypersensitivity are skin testing, serum specific IgE, and sting challenge tests. Management of ant hypersensitivity can be divided into immediate (epinephrine, corticosteroids), symptomatic (antihistamines, bronchodilators), supportive (fluid resuscitation, oxygen therapy), and preventive (re-sting avoidance and immunotherapy) treatments. PMID:26708389

  11. Fire Ant Allergy

    MedlinePlus

    ... In extreme cases, a rapid fall in blood pressure may result in shock and loss of consciousness. Symptoms of anaphylaxis require emergency medical treatment. Given the severity of a potential reaction, an accurate diagnosis for fire ant allergy is key to being prepared for ...

  12. Tiny, Powerful, Awesome Ants!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tate, Kathleen

    2007-01-01

    Peering through a thematic science lens--elementary students embarked on a one-week study of ants during a month-long summer school program. This integrated unit addressed reading and writing skills while developing the science-process skills of observation, inferring, and communicating in a motivating and authentic way. Pre- and post-assessments…

  13. Natural History of the Neotropical Arboreal Ant, Odontomachus hastatus: Nest Sites, Foraging Schedule, and Diet

    PubMed Central

    Camargo, Rafael X.; Oliveira, Paulo S.

    2012-01-01

    The ecology of most arboreal ants remains poorly documented because of the difficulty in accessing ant nests and foragers in the forest canopy. This study documents the nesting and foraging ecology of a large (∼13 mm total length) arboreal trap—jaw ant, Odontomachus hastatus (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a sandy plain forest on Cardoso Island, off the coast of Southeast Brazil. The results showed that O. hastatus nested in root clusters of epiphytic bromeliads, most commonly Vriesea procera (70% of nest plants). Mature O. hastatus colonies include one to several queens and about 500 workers. Foraging by O. hastatus is primarily nocturnal year—round, with increased foraging activity during the wet/warm season. The foragers hunt singly in the trees, preying on a variety of canopy—dwelling arthropods, with flies, moths, ants, and spiders accounting for > 60% of the prey captured. Although predators often have impacts on prey populations, the ecological importance of O. hastatus remains to be studied. PMID:22957686

  14. Natural history of the Neotropical arboreal ant, Odontomachus hastatus: nest sites, foraging schedule, and diet.

    PubMed

    Camargo, Rafael X; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2012-01-01

    The ecology of most arboreal ants remains poorly documented because of the difficulty in accessing ant nests and foragers in the forest canopy. This study documents the nesting and foraging ecology of a large (∼13 mm total length) arboreal trap-jaw ant, Odontomachus hastatus (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a sandy plain forest on Cardoso Island, off the coast of Southeast Brazil. The results showed that O. hastatus nested in root clusters of epiphytic bromeliads, most commonly Vriesea procera (70% of nest plants). Mature O. hastatus colonies include one to several queens and about 500 workers. Foraging by O. hastatus is primarily nocturnal year-round, with increased foraging activity during the wet/warm season. The foragers hunt singly in the trees, preying on a variety of canopy-dwelling arthropods, with flies, moths, ants, and spiders accounting for > 60% of the prey captured. Although predators often have impacts on prey populations, the ecological importance of O. hastatus remains to be studied. PMID:22957686

  15. A new species of Aximopsis sensu lato ashmead (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Eurytomidae) parasitic on Euglossa spp. (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aximopsis masneri Gates, new species, (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Eurytomidae) is described and illustrated. This species was reared from field-collected nests of Euglossa sp. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in the Neotropical region with additional label data indicating E. variabilis and E. cybelia as hosts...

  16. The Frugal Cosmic Ant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-09-01

    Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer and its unique ability to see small details, astronomers have uncovered a flat, nearly edge-on disc of silicates in the heart of the magnificent Ant Nebula. The disc seems, however, too 'skinny' to explain how the nebula got its intriguing ant-like shape. ESO PR Photo 42/07 ESO PR Photo 42/07 A Disc in the Ant Nebula The Ant Nebula is one of the most striking planetary nebulae known. Planetary nebulae - whose name arises because most are spherical and looked like planets when they were first discovered through older, less powerful telescopes - are glowing structures of gas cast off by solar-like stars at the ends of their lives. The morphology of the Ant Nebula - a bright core, three nested pairs of bipolar lobes and a ring-like outflow - is so unique that it was nicknamed the 'Chamber of Horrors' of planetary nebulae in the late 1950s. But how can a spherical star produce such complex structures? The answer, many astronomers think, requires understanding of the discs surrounding the central star. By their nature, these discs bear witness to the phenomena that lead to the asymmetrical structures of planetary nebulae. "The challenge is to actually detect these discs," explains team leader Olivier Chesneau, from the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, France. "Most astronomical instruments do not have a sharp enough view to find, let alone study them. The Very Large Telescope Interferometer however, with its exceptionally high spatial resolution, is a powerful disc-hunter." The disc of the Ant Nebula, which cannot be detected with a single 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescope, was uncovered in the interferometric mode where two 8.2-m Unit Telescopes were used to combine light, through the MID-infrared Interferometric instrument (MIDI). The observations reveal a flat, nearly edge-on disc whose major axis is perpendicular to the axis of the bipolar lobes. The disc extends from about 9 times the mean distance between the Earth and the

  17. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants

    PubMed Central

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M.

    2015-01-01

    We propose a distributed model of nestmate recognition, analogous to the one used by the vertebrate immune system, in which colony response results from the diverse reactions of many ants. The model describes how individual behaviour produces colony response to non-nestmates. No single ant knows the odour identity of the colony. Instead, colony identity is defined collectively by all the ants in the colony. Each ant responds to the odour of other ants by reference to its own unique decision boundary, which is a result of its experience of encounters with other ants. Each ant thus recognizes a particular set of chemical profiles as being those of non-nestmates. This model predicts, as experimental results have shown, that the outcome of behavioural assays is likely to be variable, that it depends on the number of ants tested, that response to non-nestmates changes over time and that it changes in response to the experience of individual ants. A distributed system allows a colony to identify non-nestmates without requiring that all individuals have the same complete information and helps to facilitate the tracking of changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, because only a subset of ants must respond to provide an adequate response. PMID:25833853

  18. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants.

    PubMed

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-05-01

    We propose a distributed model of nestmate recognition, analogous to the one used by the vertebrate immune system, in which colony response results from the diverse reactions of many ants. The model describes how individual behaviour produces colony response to non-nestmates. No single ant knows the odour identity of the colony. Instead, colony identity is defined collectively by all the ants in the colony. Each ant responds to the odour of other ants by reference to its own unique decision boundary, which is a result of its experience of encounters with other ants. Each ant thus recognizes a particular set of chemical profiles as being those of non-nestmates. This model predicts, as experimental results have shown, that the outcome of behavioural assays is likely to be variable, that it depends on the number of ants tested, that response to non-nestmates changes over time and that it changes in response to the experience of individual ants. A distributed system allows a colony to identify non-nestmates without requiring that all individuals have the same complete information and helps to facilitate the tracking of changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, because only a subset of ants must respond to provide an adequate response. PMID:25833853

  19. Hymenoptera allergens: from venom to "venome".

    PubMed

    Spillner, Edzard; Blank, Simon; Jakob, Thilo

    2014-01-01

    In Western Europe, Hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA) primarily relates to venoms of the honeybee and the common yellow jacket. In contrast to other allergen sources, only a few major components of Hymenoptera venoms had been characterized until recently. Improved expression systems and proteomic detection strategies have allowed the identification and characterization of a wide range of additional allergens. The field of HVA research has moved rapidly from focusing on venom extract and single major allergens to a molecular understanding of the entire "venome" as a system of unique and characteristic components. An increasing number of such components has been identified, characterized regarding function, and assessed for allergenic potential. Moreover, advanced expression strategies for recombinant production of venom allergens allow selective modification of molecules and provide insight into different types of immunoglobulin E reactivities and sensitization patterns. The obtained information contributes to an increased diagnostic precision in HVA and may serve for monitoring, re-evaluation, and improvement of current therapeutic strategies. PMID:24616722

  20. North American Invasion of the Tawny Crazy Ant (Nylanderia fulva) Is Enabled by Pheromonal Synergism from Two Separate Glands.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qing-He; McDonald, Danny L; Hoover, Doreen R; Aldrich, Jeffrey R; Schneidmiller, Rodney G

    2015-09-01

    A new invader, the "tawny crazy ant", Nylanderia fulva (Hymenoptera: Formicidae; Formicinae), is displacing the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Formicidae: Myrmicinae), in the southern U.S., likely through its superior chemical arsenal and communication. Alone, formic acid is unattractive, but this venom (= poison) acid powerfully synergizes attraction of tawny crazy ants to volatiles from the Dufour's gland secretion of N. fulva workers, including the two major components, undecane and 2-tridecanone. The unexpected pheromonal synergism between the Dufour's gland and the venom gland appears to be another key factor, in addition to previously known defensive and detoxification semiochemical features, for the successful invasion and domination of N. fulva in the southern U.S. This synergism is an efficient mechanism enabling N. fulva workers to outcompete Solenopsis and other ant species for food and territory. From a practical standpoint, judicious point-source release formulation of tawny crazy ant volatiles may be pivotal for enhanced attract-and-kill management of this pest. PMID:26315627

  1. Early Results of Three-Year Monitoring of Red Wood Ants' Behavioral Changes and Their Possible Correlation with Earthquake Events.

    PubMed

    Berberich, Gabriele; Berberich, Martin; Grumpe, Arne; Wöhler, Christian; Schreiber, Ulrich

    2013-01-01

    Short-term earthquake predictions with an advance warning of several hours or days are currently not possible due to both incomplete understanding of the complex tectonic processes and inadequate observations. Abnormal animal behaviors before earthquakes have been reported previously, but create problems in monitoring and reliability. The situation is different with red wood ants (RWA; Formica rufa-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)). They have stationary mounds on tectonically active, gas-bearing fault systems. These faults may be potential earthquake areas. For three years (2009-2012), two red wood ant mounds (Formica rufa-group), located at the seismically active Neuwied Basin (Eifel, Germany), have been monitored 24/7 by high-resolution cameras with both a color and an infrared sensor. Early results show that ants have a well-identifiable standard daily routine. Correlation with local seismic events suggests changes in the ants' behavior hours before the earthquake: the nocturnal rest phase and daily activity are suppressed, and standard daily routine does not resume until the next day. At present, an automated image evaluation routine is being applied to the more than 45,000 hours of video streams. Based on this automated approach, a statistical analysis of the ants' behavior will be carried out. In addition, other parameters (climate, geotectonic and biological), which may influence behavior, will be included in the analysis. PMID:26487310

  2. Control of Linepithema micans (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) in Vineyards Using Toxic Baits.

    PubMed

    Nondillo, Aline; Andzeiewski, Simone; Bello Fialho, Flávio; Bueno, Odair Correa; Botton, Marcos

    2016-08-01

    Linepithema micans (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is the main ant species responsible for dispersal of Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Wille) (Hemiptera: Margarodidae), a root scale that damages grapevines in southern Brazil. The effects of different formulations of toxic baits based on boric acid and hydramethylnon to control L. micans and E. brasiliensis were evaluated. Toxic baits with boric acid (1.0%) mixed in different concentrations of inverted sugar (20%, 30%, and 40%), and hydramethylnon, mixed with sardines (paste), cassava flour and peanut, brown sugar (sucrose), or sardine oil-based gel, were evaluated in a greenhouse and in the field. In the greenhouse experiment, the number of foraging ants was significantly reduced in the pots where the hydramethylnon in sardine paste (Solid S), sardine oil-brown sugar-based gel (GEL SAM), and peanut oil-brown-sugar gel (GEL AM) formulations were applied. The GEL SAM toxic bait effectively reduced the infestation of L. micans, and could be used for indirect control of E. brasiliensis on young grapevines. PMID:27329621

  3. Fauna Europaea: Hymenoptera - Apocrita (excl. Ichneumonoidea).

    PubMed

    Mitroiu, Mircea-Dan; Noyes, John; Cetkovic, Aleksandar; Nonveiller, Guido; Radchenko, Alexander; Polaszek, Andrew; Ronquist, Fredrick; Forshage, Mattias; Pagliano, Guido; Gusenleitner, Josef; Bartalucci, Mario Boni; Olmi, Massimo; Fusu, Lucian; Madl, Michael; Johnson, Norman F; Jansta, Petr; Wahis, Raymond; Soon, Villu; Rosa, Paolo; Osten, Till; Barbier, Yvan; de Jong, Yde

    2015-01-01

    Fauna Europaea provides a public web-service with an index of scientific names (including important synonyms) of all living European land and freshwater animals, their geographical distribution at country level (up to the Urals, excluding the Caucasus region), and some additional information. The Fauna Europaea project covers about 230,000 taxonomic names, including 130,000 accepted species and 14,000 accepted subspecies. This represents a huge effort by more than 400 contributing specialists throughout Europe and is a unique (standard) reference suitable for many users in science, government, industry, nature conservation and education. Hymenoptera is one of the four largest orders of insects, with about 130,000 described species. In the Fauna Europaea database, 'Hymenoptera - Apocrita (excluding Ichneumonoidea)' comprises 13 superfamilies, 52 families, 91 subfamilies, 38 tribes and 13,211 species. The paper includes a complete list of taxa dealt with, the number of species in each and the name of the specialist responsible for data acquisition. As a general conclusion about the European fauna of Hymenoptera, the best known countries in terms of recorded species are those from northwestern Europe, with the least known fauna probably in the more eastern and southeastern parts of Europe. PMID:25859127

  4. Identifying and managing Hymenoptera venom allergy.

    PubMed

    Matron, Patricia Kane; Timms, Victoria; Fitzsimons, Roisin

    2016-05-25

    Hymenoptera venom allergy is an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated hypersensitivity to the venom of insects from the Hymenoptera order and is a common cause of anaphylaxis. A diagnosis of venom allergy is made by taking an accurate medical, family and social history, alongside specific allergy testing. Systemic reactions to Hymenoptera venom occur in a small proportion of the population; these range from mild to life-threatening in severity. Treatment for local reactions involves the use of cold packs, antihistamines, analgesia and topical corticosteroids to help alleviate swelling, pain and pruritus. Venom immunotherapy is the treatment of choice for reducing the incidence of future anaphylactic reactions in individuals who have signs of respiratory obstruction or hypotension. Venom immunotherapy is the most effective treatment in reduction of life-threatening reactions to venom, and can improve quality of life for individuals. Treatment should only be provided by experienced staff who are able to provide emergency care for anaphylaxis and life-threatening episodes. A risk assessment to deliver treatment should be undertaken before treatment is commenced. PMID:27224630

  5. Mechanics of fire ant aggregations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tennenbaum, Michael; Liu, Zhongyang; Hu, David; Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Fire ants link their bodies to form aggregations; these can adopt a variety of structures, they can drip and spread, or withstand applied loads. Here, by using oscillatory rheology, we show that fire ant aggregations are viscoelastic. We find that, at the lowest ant densities probed and in the linear regime, the elastic and viscous moduli are essentially identical over the spanned frequency range, which highlights the absence of a dominant mode of structural relaxation. As ant density increases, the elastic modulus rises, which we interpret by alluding to ant crowding and subsequent jamming. When deformed beyond the linear regime, the aggregation flows, exhibiting shear-thinning behaviour with a stress load that is comparable to the maximum load the aggregation can withstand before individual ants are torn apart. Our findings illustrate the rich, collective mechanical behaviour that can arise in aggregations of active, interacting building blocks.

  6. Mechanics of fire ant aggregations.

    PubMed

    Tennenbaum, Michael; Liu, Zhongyang; Hu, David; Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto

    2016-01-01

    Fire ants link their bodies to form aggregations; these can adopt a variety of structures, they can drip and spread, or withstand applied loads. Here, by using oscillatory rheology, we show that fire ant aggregations are viscoelastic. We find that, at the lowest ant densities probed and in the linear regime, the elastic and viscous moduli are essentially identical over the spanned frequency range, which highlights the absence of a dominant mode of structural relaxation. As ant density increases, the elastic modulus rises, which we interpret by alluding to ant crowding and subsequent jamming. When deformed beyond the linear regime, the aggregation flows, exhibiting shear-thinning behaviour with a stress load that is comparable to the maximum load the aggregation can withstand before individual ants are torn apart. Our findings illustrate the rich, collective mechanical behaviour that can arise in aggregations of active, interacting building blocks. PMID:26501413

  7. Parasitoid secretions provoke ant warfare.

    PubMed

    Thomas, J A; Knapp, J J; Akino, T; Gerty, S; Wakamura, S; Simcox, D J; Wardlaw, J C; Elmes, G W

    2002-05-30

    Insect social parasites are extreme specialists that typically use mimicry or stealth to enter ant colonies to exploit the rich, but fiercely protected, resources within their nests. Here we show how a parasitic wasp (parasitoid) contrives to reach its host, itself an endangered species of social parasite that lives inside the brood chambers of ant nests, by releasing semiochemicals to induce in-fighting between worker ants, locking the colony in combat and leaving it underprotected. Four of these chemicals are new to biology and have the potential to control pest species by inducing different agonistic behaviours in ants. PMID:12037556

  8. Targeted Removal of Ant Colonies in Ecological Experiments, Using Hot Water

    PubMed Central

    Tschinkel, Walter R.; King, Joshua R.

    2007-01-01

    Ecological experiments on fire ants cannot, or should not, use poison baits to eliminate the fire ants because such baits are not specific to fire ants, or even to ants. Hot water is an extremely effective and specific killing agent for fire ant colonies, but producing large amounts of hot water in the field, and making the production apparatus mobile have been problematical. The construction and use of a charcoal-fired kiln made from a 55-gal. oil drum lined with a sand-fireclay mixture is described. An automobile heater fan powered from a 12-v battery provided a draft. Dual bilge pumps pumped water from a large tank through a long coil of copper tubing within the kiln to produce 4 to 5 l. of hot water per min. The hot water was collected in 20 l. buckets and poured into fire ant nests previously opened by piercing with a stick. The entire assembly was transported in and operated from the back of a pickup truck. Five experimental plots containing 32 to 38 colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), were treated with hot water over a period of two years. All colonies on the treatment plots were treated twice with hot water early in 2004, reducing their numbers to zero. However new colonies were formed, and mature colonies expanded into the plots. A third treatment was made in the spring of 2005, after which fire ant populations were suppressed for over a year. Whereas the 5 control plots contained a total of 166 mostly large colonies, the 5 treatment plots contained no live colonies at all. Averaged over a two-year period, a 70% reduction in total number of colonies was achieved (P < 0.001) on the treatment plots, and a 93% reduction of large, mature colonies. Over this same time span, the number of colonies in control plots remained stable. The reduction in colony numbers on the treatment plots was reflected in the pitfall trap samples that recorded a 60% reduction in fire ants. PMID:20233079

  9. Fire ant microsporidia acquired by parasitoid flies of fire ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The microsporidium Kneallhazia (formerly Thelohania) solenopsae and parasitoid flies in the genus Pseudacteon are natural enemies of the invasive fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Pseudacteon flies oviposit into adult fire ants, where maggots that eclose from eggs migrate to the ants’ head, pupate, and...

  10. Evolution of Fire Ant Control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The imported fire ants that entered the United States over 70 years ago have spread within the country to over 129.5 million ha. Efforts to stop the expansion and suppress fire ant populations have resulted in changing methods of control. Initial efforts focused on treating individual nests with h...

  11. Ant navigation: reading geometrical signposts.

    PubMed

    Collett, Thomas S; Waxman, David

    2005-03-01

    Ants often travel along complex pheromone trail systems between their nest and foraging areas. A new and surprising discovery is that Pharaoh's ants can work out from the geometry of individual branch points on the trail whether they are heading towards or away from the nest. PMID:15753029

  12. Dominance Hierarchies in Leptothorax Ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, Blaine J.

    1981-04-01

    The social organization of Leptothorax allardycei is unique among ant species thus far studied. The workers form linear dominance hierarchies characterized by routine displays of dominance, avoidance behavior, and even fighting. The high-ranking ants are favored in liquid food exchange, have greater ovarian development, and produce 20 percent of the eggs.

  13. Temperature: Human Regulating, Ants Conforming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clopton, Joe R.

    2007-01-01

    Biological processes speed up as temperature rises. Procedures for demonstrating this with ants traveling on trails, and data gathered by students on the Argentine ant ("Linepithema humile") are presented. The concepts of temperature regulation and conformity are detailed with a focus on the processes rather than on terms that label the organisms.

  14. Autonomy in ants and humans.

    PubMed

    Carpendale, Jeremy I M; Frayn, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Drawing lessons regarding the consequences of ultrasociality in ants and humans depends crucially on recognizing differences as well as similarities in the way that species are social. We focus on Gowdy & Krall's use of the concept of autonomy to explicate essential differences in the ways in which ants and humans are social. PMID:27562193

  15. Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera) species new to the fauna of Norway

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The present paper contains new distributional records for 61 species of ichneumon wasps (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) previously unknown for Norway, six of them are reported from Scandinavia for the first time. PMID:24855440

  16. Combivena gen.n (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Acaenitinae) from China.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Mao-Ling; Sun, Shu-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Combivena Sheng & Sun, gen.n. and Combivena sulcata Sheng & Sun, sp.n. belonging to Acaenitinae of family Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera), collected from Qinghai Province, China, are described and illustrated. PMID:25347843

  17. Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera) species new to the fauna of Norway.

    PubMed

    Humala, Andrei E; Reshchikov, Alexey

    2014-01-01

    The present paper contains new distributional records for 61 species of ichneumon wasps (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) previously unknown for Norway, six of them are reported from Scandinavia for the first time. PMID:24855440

  18. The Thermoregulatory Function of Thatched Nests in the South American Grass-Cutting Ant, Acromyrmex heyeri

    PubMed Central

    Bollazzi, Martin; Roces, Flavio

    2010-01-01

    The construction of mound-shaped nests by ants is considered as a behavioral adaptation to low environmental temperatures, i.e., colonies achieve higher and more stables temperatures than those of the environment. Besides the well-known nests of boreal Formica wood-ants, several species of South American leaf-cutting ants of the genus Acromyrmex construct thatched nests. Acromyrmex workers import plant fragments as building material, and arrange them so as to form a thatch covering a central chamber, where the fungus garden is located. Thus, the degree of thermoregulation attained by the fungus garden inside the thatched nest largely depends on how the thatch affects the thermal relations between the fungus and the environment. This work was aimed at studying the thermoregulatory function of the thatched nests built by the grass-cutting ant Acromyrmex heyeri Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Nest and environmental temperatures were measured as a function of solar radiation on the long-term. The thermal diffusivity of the nest thatch was measured and compared to that of the surrounding soil, in order to assess the influence of the building material on the nest's thermoregulatory ability. The results showed that the average core temperature of thatched nests was higher than that of the environment, but remained below values harmful for the fungus. This thermoregulation was brought about by the low thermal diffusivity of the nest thatch built by workers with plant fragments, instead of the readily-available soil particles that have a higher thermal diffusivity. The thatch prevented diurnal nest overheating by the incoming solar radiation, and avoided losses of the accumulated daily heat into the cold air during the night. The adaptive value of thatching behavior in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants occurring in the southernmost distribution range is discussed. PMID:20883129

  19. Identifying the transition between single and multiple mating of queens in fungus-growing ants.

    PubMed Central

    Villesen, Palle; Murakami, Takahiro; Schultz, Ted R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2002-01-01

    Obligate mating of females (queens) with multiple males has evolved only rarely in social Hymenoptera (ants, social bees, social wasps) and for reasons that are fundamentally different from those underlying multiple mating in other animals. The monophyletic tribe of ('attine') fungus-growing ants is known to include evolutionarily derived genera with obligate multiple mating (the Acromyrmex and Atta leafcutter ants) as well as phylogenetically basal genera with exclusively single mating (e.g. Apterostigma, Cyphomyrmex, Myrmicocrypta). All attine genera share the unique characteristic of obligate dependence on symbiotic fungus gardens for food, but the sophistication of this symbiosis differs considerably across genera. The lower attine genera generally have small, short-lived colonies and relatively non-specialized fungal symbionts (capable of living independently of their ant hosts), whereas the four evolutionarily derived higher attine genera have highly specialized, long-term clonal symbionts. In this paper, we investigate whether the transition from single to multiple mating occurred relatively recently in the evolution of the attine ants, in conjunction with the novel herbivorous 'leafcutter' niche acquired by the common ancestor of Acromyrmex and Atta, or earlier, at the transition to rearing specialized long-term clonal fungi in the common ancestor of the larger group of higher attines that also includes the genera Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex. We use DNA microsatellite analysis to provide unambiguous evidence for a single, late and abrupt evolutionary transition from exclusively single to obligatory multiple mating. This transition is historically correlated with other evolutionary innovations, including the extensive use of fresh vegetation as substrate for the fungus garden, a massive increase in mature colony size and morphological differentiation of the worker caste. PMID:12184823

  20. Serial Monodomy in the Gypsy Ant, Aphaenogaster araneoides: Does Nest Odor Reduction Influence Colony Relocation?

    PubMed Central

    McGlynn, Terry

    2010-01-01

    Serial monodomy is the nesting behavior in which a colony of animals maintains multiple nests for its exclusive use, occupying one nest at a time. Among serially monodomous ants, the availability of unoccupied nests reduces the probability and costs of army ant attacks. It has been proposed that nest odors mediate serial monodomy in the gypsy ant, Aphaenogaster araneoides Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and that colonies avoid returning to previously occupied nests that harbor colony odors. To evaluate this hypothesis, the odors inside the nests of A. araneoides colonies were experimentally reduced through ventilation; the nest movement behaviors of treatment and control colonies were compared. Odor reduction was found to have increased the frequency of movements into and out of the treated nest, without a change in the total occupation duration in the treated nest. Nests with a more open architecture that permitted natural flow of air were reoccupied more quickly than nests with smaller nest entrances. In summary, the openness of the architecture of A. araneoides nests and the ventilation of air through nests alters the use of these nests. These findings further support the working hypothesis that nest-bound odors mediate the pattern of serial monodomy in A. araneoides. PMID:21268704

  1. Differential field responses of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger), to alarm pheromone enantiomers.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yang; Jang, Eric B; Siderhurst, Matthew S

    2014-12-01

    The little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is an invasive ant with negative impacts on both biodiversity and agriculture throughout the tropics and subtropics. Field experiments were conducted in order to elucidate the relative attractiveness of the enantiomers of the alarm pheromones, 2,5-dimethyl-3-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine and 3-methyl-2-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine. The enantiomers tested were synthesized from commercially available (S)-2-methylbutan-1-ol or kinetically resolved (R)-2-methylbutan-1-ol, prepared using Pseudomonas cepacia lipase (PCL). Bioassays conducted in a macadamia orchard on the island of Hawaii demonstrated that W. auropunctata were preferentially attracted to the (S)-enantiomers of both alkyl pyrazines over the racemic mixtures in all experiments. To our knowledge, this is the first instance of differential attraction of ants to the enantiomers of chiral pyrazine pheromones despite many examples of these compounds in the literature. In addition, using a chiral column it was determined that (S)-2,5-dimethyl-3-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine and (S)-3-methyl-2-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine are the only enantiomers produced by W. auropunctata. PMID:25370918

  2. The Seasonal Natural History of the Ant, Dolichoderus mariae, in Northern Florida

    PubMed Central

    Laskis, Kristina O.; Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2009-01-01

    Dolichoderus mariae Forel, (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is an uncommon, monomorphic but locally abundant, reddish-brown ant of peculiar nesting habits, whose range includes most of the eastern USA. In north Florida the ant excavates soil under wiregrass clumps or other plants with fibrous roots to form a single, large, shallow, conical or ovoid chamber broadly open to the surface around the plant base. Colonies are highly polygyne and, during the warm season, inhabit multiple nests connected only by above ground trails, over which nests exchange workers. Although monomorphic, worker size may differ significantly between colonies. The colony cycle is dominated by strong seasonal polydomy. From one or two over-wintering nests, the colonies expanded to occupy up to 60 nests by late summer, then retract once more to one or two nests by mid-winter. The worker-to-queen ratio changed greatly during this cycle, with over two thousand workers per queen during fall and winter, dropping to a low of about 300 during midsummer. Most of these summer queens probably die during the fall. Colonies reoccupy roughly the same area year to year even though they contract down to one or two nests in winter. Observation of fights in the contact zone between colonies suggested that the colonies are territorial. The ants subsist by tending aphids and scale insects for honeydew and scavenging for dead insects within their territories. PMID:19611227

  3. AntR-mediated bidirectional activation of antA and antR, anthranilate degradative genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Kim, Soo-Kyoung; Im, Su-Jin; Yeom, Doo-Hwan; Lee, Joon-Hee

    2012-08-15

    Bidirectional activation of transcription is a peculiar regulation mode of gene expression. In this study, we show that genes involved in the metabolism of anthranilate, a precursor of biosynthesis of tryptophan and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS) are regulated by this bidirectional activation of transcription. Anthranilate is degraded by anthranilate dioxygenase complex encoded by antABC operon, and AntR, a LysR-type regulator encoded by antR activates the transcription of antABC operon in the presence of anthranilate. In P. aeruginosa, antABC and antR are divergently located and AntR binds to the intergenic region between antA and antR to activate the antABC transcription. In this study, we determined the transcriptional start site of the antA promoter (antA(p)) and AntR-responsive elements (AREs) in P. aeruginosa. The upstream deletion analysis of antA(p) and in vitro gel shift assay with purified AntR showed that there are two AREs at -194 to -148 and -88 to -47 regions. We also found that AntR activates antR promoter (antR(p)) in the opposite direction and both AREs are important in the bidirectional activation of antA(p) and antR(p). Two AREs have different binding affinities to AntR and the strength of transcriptional activation was dramatically asymmetric depending on the direction. We suggest that the different affinities of two AREs may explain the asymmetry of the bidirectional activation by AntR. PMID:22609066

  4. Sex mosaics in a male dimorphic ant Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshizawa, Juri; Mimori, Kohei; Yamauchi, Katsusuke; Tsuchida, Koji

    2009-01-01

    Gynandromorphy, or the development of organisms with a combination of male and female morphological features, is common in Hymenoptera. The underlying mechanism is likely associated with the sex-determination system, and studying this phenomenon should lead to a deeper understanding of both embryonic development and sex determination. The reproductive capabilities of gynandromorphs (hereafter, sex mosaics) remain unclear. We studied gynandromorphy in the Malaysian ant Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi, which has sex mosaics of queens (gynandromorphs; mosaic of queens and winged male) and workers (ergatandromorphs; mosaic of worker and wingless ergatoid male). These sex mosaics were classified into seven morphological categories. Most individuals had more male than female body areas. Behavioral observations revealed that sex mosaics behave more in accordance with the “sex” of their brain than that of the reproductive organs (gaster). Relative DNA quantities showed that both female and male regions contained haploid and diploid nuclei, irrespective of their phenotypic appearance, indicating that external appearance did not reflect internal tissues. Nearly one third of the adults were sex mosaics and they were not infected with Wolbachia. Our results suggest that the production of sex mosaics in this species does not pose a substantial cost to colonies and that the underlying causes are therefore not strongly selected against.

  5. Social and population structure in the ant Cataglyphis emmae.

    PubMed

    Jowers, Michael J; Leniaud, Laurianne; Cerdá, Xim; Alasaad, Samer; Caut, Stephane; Amor, Fernando; Aron, Serge; Boulay, Raphaël R

    2013-01-01

    Dispersal has consequences not only for individual fitness, but also for population dynamics, population genetics and species distribution. Social Hymenoptera show two contrasting colony reproductive strategies, dependent and independent colony foundation modes, and these are often associated to the population structures derived from inter and intra-population gene flow processes conditioned by alternative dispersal strategies. Here we employ microsatellite and mitochondrial markers to investigate the population and social genetic structure and dispersal patterns in the ant Cataglyphis emmae at both, local and regional scales. We find that C. emmae is monogynous and polyandrous. Lack of detection of any population viscosity and population structure with nuclear markers at the local scale suggests efficient dispersal, in agreement with a lack of inbreeding. Contrasting demographic differences before and during the mating seasons suggest that C. emmae workers raise sexuals in peripheric nest chambers to reduce intracolonial conflicts. The high genetic differentiation recovered from the mtDNA haplotypes, together with the significant correlation of such to geographic distance, and presence of new nuclear alleles between areas (valleys) suggest long-term historical isolation between these regions, indicative of limited dispersal at the regional scale. Our findings on the ecological, social and population structure of this species increases our understanding of the patterns and processes involved under independent colony foundation. PMID:24039827

  6. Social and Population Structure in the Ant Cataglyphis emmae

    PubMed Central

    Jowers, Michael J.; Leniaud, Laurianne; Cerdá, Xim; Alasaad, Samer; Caut, Stephane; Amor, Fernando; Aron, Serge; Boulay, Raphaël R.

    2013-01-01

    Dispersal has consequences not only for individual fitness, but also for population dynamics, population genetics and species distribution. Social Hymenoptera show two contrasting colony reproductive strategies, dependent and independent colony foundation modes, and these are often associated to the population structures derived from inter and intra-population gene flow processes conditioned by alternative dispersal strategies. Here we employ microsatellite and mitochondrial markers to investigate the population and social genetic structure and dispersal patterns in the ant Cataglyphis emmae at both, local and regional scales. We find that C. emmae is monogynous and polyandrous. Lack of detection of any population viscosity and population structure with nuclear markers at the local scale suggests efficient dispersal, in agreement with a lack of inbreeding. Contrasting demographic differences before and during the mating seasons suggest that C. emmae workers raise sexuals in peripheric nest chambers to reduce intracolonial conflicts. The high genetic differentiation recovered from the mtDNA haplotypes, together with the significant correlation of such to geographic distance, and presence of new nuclear alleles between areas (valleys) suggest long-term historical isolation between these regions, indicative of limited dispersal at the regional scale. Our findings on the ecological, social and population structure of this species increases our understanding of the patterns and processes involved under independent colony foundation. PMID:24039827

  7. Dynamics of fire ant aggregations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tennenbaum, Michael; Hu, David; Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto

    Fire ant aggregations are an inherently active system. Each ant harvests its own energy and can convert it into motion. The motion of individual ants contributes non-trivially to the bulk material properties of the aggregation. We have measured some of these properties using plate-plate rheology, where the response to an applied external force or deformation is measured. In this talk, we will present data pertaining to the aggregation behavior in the absence of any external force. We quantify the aggregation dynamics by monitoring the rotation of the top plate and by measuring the normal force. We then compare the results with visualizations of 2D aggregations.

  8. MANAGING IMPORTED FIRE ANTS IN URBAN AREAS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The two species of imported fire ants (red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, and black imported fire ant, Solenopsis richteri) and their sexually reproducing hybrid are invasive insects whose stings can cause serious medical problems. Imported fire ants interfere with outdoor activities and ha...

  9. Biological Control of Imported Fire Ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Since 1998, the Alabama Fire Ant Management Program has been releasing natural enemies of imported fire ants. These natural enemies are being studied to determine their impact on fire ants. It is hoped that eventually the overall number of fire ants in Alabama can be reduced through biological cont...

  10. Fire ant alarm pheromone and venom alkaloids act in concert to attract parasitic phorid flies, Pseudacteon spp.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Kavita R; Fadamiro, Henry Y

    2013-11-01

    Pseudacteon tricuspis, Pseudacteon obtusus and Pseudacteon curvatus are three species of parasitic phorid flies (Diptera: Phoridae), which have been introduced as classical biological control agents of imported, Solenopsis fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the southern USA. Previous studies demonstrated the behavioral response of P. tricuspis to the venom alkaloids and alarm pheromone of the fire ant, S. invicta. In the present study, we compared the responses of P. tricuspis, P. obtusus and P. curvatus to Solenopsis invicta alarm pheromone, venom alkaloids, or a mixture of both chemicals in four-choice olfactometer bioassays. The main hypothesis tested was that the fire ant alarm pheromone and venom alkaloids act in concert to attract Pseudacteon phorid flies. Both sexes of all three Pseudacteon species were attracted to low doses of the fire ant alarm pheromone or venom alkaloids (i.e. 1 ant worker equivalent) alone. However, the flies were significantly more attracted to a mixture of both chemicals (i.e., 1:1 mixture of alarm pheromone+alkaloids) than to either chemical. The results suggest an additive rather than a synergistic effect of combining both chemicals. Comparing the fly species, P. tricuspis showed relatively greater attraction to cis alkaloids, whereas the alkaloid mixture (cis+trans) was preferred by P. obtusus and P. curvatus. In general, no key sexual differences were recorded, although females of P. tricuspis and P. obtusus showed slightly higher response than conspecific males to lower doses of the alarm pheromone. The ecological significance of these findings is discussed, and a host location model is proposed for parasitic phorid flies involving the use of fire ant alarm pheromone and venom alkaloids as long range and short range attractants, respectively. PMID:24035750

  11. Neuroretinitis following bull ant sting.

    PubMed

    Ullrich, Katja; Saha, Niladri; Lake, Stewart

    2012-01-01

    Cat scratch disease causes the majority of cases of neuroretinitis. Neuroretinitis is characterised by clinical features of papillitis, macular oedema and macular star. We report a case study of infection with Bartonella henselae most likely transmitted by a bull ant sting. The patient presented with blurred vision and reduced visual acuity after being stung by an ant in her garden some 7 days earlier. Further testing revealed positive serology to B henselae and the patient improved with appropriate treatment. PMID:22865803

  12. The natural history of the arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi.

    PubMed

    Tschinkel, Walter R

    2002-01-01

    The arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is the most dominant arboreal ant in the pine forests of the coastal plain of northern Florida. The majority of pine trees harbor a colony of these ants. The colonies inhabit multiple chambers abandoned by bark-mining caterpillars, especially those of the family Cossidae, in the outer bark of living pines. They also inhabit ground level termite galleries in the bark, often locating the queen in galleries. The density of chambers and ants is highest in the base of the tree and drops sharply with height on the trunk. Because chambers are formed in the inner layer of bark, they gradually move outward as more bark layers are laid down, eventually sloughing off the tree's outer surface. Chambers have a mean lifetime of about 25 yr. The abundant chambers in pine bark are excavated by a small population of caterpillars and accumulate over decades. Ant colonies also inhabit abandoned galleries of woodboring beetles in dead branches in the crowns of pines. Because newly mated queens found colonies in abandoned woodboring beetle galleries in the first dead branches that form on pine saplings, C. ashmeadi is dependent on cavities made by other insects throughout its life cycle, and does little if any excavation of its own. Mature colonies nest preferentially in chambers greater than 10 cm(2) in area, a relatively rare chamber size. In natural pine forests, this does not seem to limit the ant's populations. Founding queens contain about 50% fat and lose about half of their dry weight during the claustral period, converting approximately half of this lost weight into progeny. The claustral period is about 40 to 50 days at 27 degrees C. Mature colonies contain several tens of thousands of workers (est. up to 80,000), and have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. Each colony occupies an entire tree, and sometimes two trees if they are close together. Within a colony, there is a single queen capable of

  13. Measuring activity in ant colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, C.; Fernández, J.; Pérez-Penichet, C.; Altshuler, E.

    2006-12-01

    Ants, as paradigm of social insects, have become a recurrent example of efficient problem solvers via self-organization. In spite of the simple behavior of each individual, the colony as a whole displays "swarm intelligence:" the organization of ant trails for foraging is a typical output of it. But conventional techniques of observation can hardly record the amount of data needed to get a detailed understanding of self-organization of ant swarms in the wild. Here we are presenting a measurement system intended to monitor ant activity in the field comprising massive data acquisition and high sensitivity. A central role is played by an infrared sensor devised specifically to monitor relevant parameters to the activity of ants through the exits of the nest, although other sensors detecting temperature and luminosity are added to the system. We study the characteristics of the activity sensor and its performance in the field. Finally, we present massive data measured at one exit of a nest of Atta insularis, an ant endemic to Cuba, to illustrate the potential of our system.

  14. Trap-mulching Argentine ants.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Jules; Sorenson, Clyde E; Waldvogel, Michael G

    2006-10-01

    Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), management is constrained, in large part, by polydomy where nestmates are distributed extensively across urban landscapes, particularly within mulch. Management with trap-mulching is a novel approach derived from trap-cropping where ants are repelled from a broad domain of nest sites to smaller defined areas, which are subsequently treated with insecticide. This concept was field-tested with mulch surrounding ornamental trees replaced with a narrow band of pine (Pinus spp.) needle mulch (trap) within a much larger patch of repellent aromatic cedar (Juniperus spp.) mulch. After ants reestablished around the trees, the pine needle mulch band was treated with 0.06% fipronil (Termidor). Poor results were obtained when the trap extended from the tree trunk to the edge of the mulched area. When the trap was applied as a circular band around the tree trunk reductions in the number of foraging ants were recorded through 14 d compared with an untreated mulch control, but not for longer periods. Reductions in the number of ant nests within mulch were no different between the trap mulch and any of the other treatments. We conclude that trap-mulching offers limited benefits, and that successful management of Argentine ants will require implementation of complementary or perhaps alternative strategies. PMID:17066809

  15. Ant sperm storage organs do not have phenoloxidase constitutive immune activity.

    PubMed

    Dávila, Francisco; Chérasse, Sarah; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Aron, Serge

    2015-07-01

    The prophenoloxidase system (proPO-AS) is a primordial constituent of insect innate immunity. Its broad action spectrum, rapid response time, and cytotoxic by-products induced by phenoloxidase (PO) production contribute to the effective clearing of invading pathogens. However, such immune reactions may not be optimal for insect organs that evolved to have mutualistic interactions with non-self-cells. Ant queens are long-lived, but only mate early in adult life and store the sperm in a specialized organ, the spermatheca. They never re-mate so their life-time reproductive success is ultimately sperm-limited, which maintains strong selection for high sperm viability before and after storage. The proPO-AS may therefore be inappropriate for the selective clearing of sexually transmitted infections, as it might also target sperm cells that cannot be replaced. We measured PO enzymatic activity in the sperm storage organs of three ant species before and after mating. Our data show that no PO is produced in the sperm storage organs, relative to other somatic tissues as controls, and that these negative results are not due to non-detection in small volumes as non-immune-relevant catalase activity in single spermatheca fluid samples of both virgin and mated queens was significant. The lack of PO activity in sperm storage organs across three different ant species may represent an evolutionarily conserved adaptation to life-long sperm storage by ant queens. We expect that PO activity will be similarly suppressed in queen spermathecae of other eusocial Hymenoptera (bees and wasps) and, more generally, of insect females that store sperm for long periods. PMID:25911976

  16. The Postpharyngeal Gland: Specialized Organ for Lipid Nutrition in Leaf-Cutting Ants

    PubMed Central

    Decio, Pâmela; Vieira, Alexsandro Santana; Dias, Nathalia Baptista; Palma, Mario Sergio; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2016-01-01

    There are several hypotheses about the possible functions of the postpharyngeal gland (PPG) in ants. The proposed functions include roles as cephalic or gastric caeca and diverticulum of the digestive tract, mixing of hydrocarbons, nestmate recognition, feeding larvae, and the accumulation of lipids inside this gland, whose origin is contradictory. The current study aimed to investigate the functions of these glands by examining the protein expression profile of the PPGs of Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Mated females received lipid supplementation and their glands were extracted and analyzed using a proteomic approach. The protocol used combined two-dimensional electrophoresis and shotgun strategies, followed by mass spectrometry. We also detected lipid β-oxidation by immunofluorescent marking of acyl-CoA dehydrogenase. Supplying ants with lipids elicited responses in the glandular cells of the PPG; these included increased expression of proteins related to defense mechanisms and signal transduction and reorganization of the cytoskeleton due to cell expansion. In addition, some proteins in PPG were overexpressed, especially those involved in lipid and energy metabolism. Part of the lipids may be reduced, used for the synthesis of fatty alcohol, transported to the hemolymph, or may be used as substrate for the synthesis of acetyl-CoA, which is oxidized to form molecules that drive oxidative phosphorylation and produce energy for cellular metabolic processes. These findings suggest that this organ is specialized for lipid nutrition of adult leaf-cutting ants and characterized like a of diverticulum foregut, with the ability to absorb, store, metabolize, and mobilize lipids to the hemolymph. However, we do not rule out that the PPG may have other functions in other species of ants. PMID:27149618

  17. The Postpharyngeal Gland: Specialized Organ for Lipid Nutrition in Leaf-Cutting Ants.

    PubMed

    Decio, Pâmela; Vieira, Alexsandro Santana; Dias, Nathalia Baptista; Palma, Mario Sergio; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2016-01-01

    There are several hypotheses about the possible functions of the postpharyngeal gland (PPG) in ants. The proposed functions include roles as cephalic or gastric caeca and diverticulum of the digestive tract, mixing of hydrocarbons, nestmate recognition, feeding larvae, and the accumulation of lipids inside this gland, whose origin is contradictory. The current study aimed to investigate the functions of these glands by examining the protein expression profile of the PPGs of Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Mated females received lipid supplementation and their glands were extracted and analyzed using a proteomic approach. The protocol used combined two-dimensional electrophoresis and shotgun strategies, followed by mass spectrometry. We also detected lipid β-oxidation by immunofluorescent marking of acyl-CoA dehydrogenase. Supplying ants with lipids elicited responses in the glandular cells of the PPG; these included increased expression of proteins related to defense mechanisms and signal transduction and reorganization of the cytoskeleton due to cell expansion. In addition, some proteins in PPG were overexpressed, especially those involved in lipid and energy metabolism. Part of the lipids may be reduced, used for the synthesis of fatty alcohol, transported to the hemolymph, or may be used as substrate for the synthesis of acetyl-CoA, which is oxidized to form molecules that drive oxidative phosphorylation and produce energy for cellular metabolic processes. These findings suggest that this organ is specialized for lipid nutrition of adult leaf-cutting ants and characterized like a of diverticulum foregut, with the ability to absorb, store, metabolize, and mobilize lipids to the hemolymph. However, we do not rule out that the PPG may have other functions in other species of ants. PMID:27149618

  18. Selection and capture of prey in the African ponerine ant Plectroctena minor (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schatz, Bertrand; Suzzoni, Jean-Pierre; Corbara, Bruno; Dejean, Alain

    2001-02-01

    Prey selection by Plectroctena minor workers is two-fold. During cafeteria experiments, the workers always selected millipedes, their essential prey, while alternative prey acceptance varied according to the taxa and the situation. Millipedes were seized by the anterior part of their body, stung, and retrieved by single workers that transported them between their legs. They were rarely snapped at, and never abandoned. When P. minor workers were confronted with alternative prey they behaved like generalist species: prey acceptance was inversely correlated to prey size. This was not the case vis-à-vis millipedes that they selected and captured although larger than compared alternative prey. The semi-specialised diet of P. minor permits the colonies to be easily provisioned by a few foraging workers as millipedes are rarely hunted by other predatory arthropods, while alternative prey abound, resulting in low competition pressure in both cases. Different traits characteristic of an adaptation to hunting millipedes were noted and compared with the capture of alternative prey. We also noted the parsimony of the behavioural phases during their capture compared to the capture of alternative prey.

  19. New synonyms of two Arabian ants of the genus Monomorium Mayr, 1855 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Sharaf, Mostafa R.; Collingwood, Cedric A.; Al Dhafer, Hathal M.; Al mutairi, Mohammed S.; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Synonymy of two Arabian Monomorium Mayr, 1855 species is proposed: Monomorium exiguum Forel, 1894 = Monomorium desertorum Collingwood & Agosti, 1996, syn. n.; Monomorium subopacum Smith, 1858 = Monomorium mintiribe Collingwood & Agosti, 1996, syn. n. A lectotype for Monomorium venustum Smith, 1858 is designated. Information on nesting habits of Monomorium exiguum and Monomorium venustum in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are provided for the first time. Recently collected records for Monomorium exiguum, Monomorium subopacum, and Monomorium venustum from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are listed. PMID:26052238

  20. Solenopsis invicta virus 3: Further host-specificity tests with native Solenopsis ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A thorough understanding of host specificity is essential before pathogens can be used as biopesticides or self-sustaining biocontrol agents. In order to better define the host range of the recently discovered Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3), we collected and exposed colonies of two native fire...

  1. Monoculture of Leafcutter Ant Gardens

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Ulrich G.; Scott, Jarrod J.; Ishak, Heather D.; Cooper, Michael; Rodrigues, Andre

    2010-01-01

    Background Leafcutter ants depend on the cultivation of symbiotic Attamyces fungi for food, which are thought to be grown by the ants in single-strain, clonal monoculture throughout the hundreds to thousands of gardens within a leafcutter nest. Monoculture eliminates cultivar-cultivar competition that would select for competitive fungal traits that are detrimental to the ants, whereas polyculture of several fungi could increase nutritional diversity and disease resistance of genetically variable gardens. Methodology/Principal Findings Using three experimental approaches, we assessed cultivar diversity within nests of Atta leafcutter ants, which are most likely among all fungus-growing ants to cultivate distinct cultivar genotypes per nest because of the nests' enormous sizes (up to 5000 gardens) and extended lifespans (10–20 years). In Atta texana and in A. cephalotes, we resampled nests over a 5-year period to test for persistence of resident cultivar genotypes within each nest, and we tested for genetic differences between fungi from different nest sectors accessed through excavation. In A. texana, we also determined the number of Attamyces cells carried as a starter inoculum by a dispersing queens (minimally several thousand Attamyces cells), and we tested for genetic differences between Attamyces carried by sister queens dispersing from the same nest. Except for mutational variation arising during clonal Attamyces propagation, DNA fingerprinting revealed no evidence for fungal polyculture and no genotype turnover during the 5-year surveys. Conclusions/Significance Atta leafcutter ants can achieve stable, fungal monoculture over many years. Mutational variation emerging within an Attamyces monoculture could provide genetic diversity for symbiont choice (gardening biases of the ants favoring specific mutational variants), an analog of artificial selection. PMID:20844760

  2. Fire Ant Decapitating Fly Cooperative Release Programs (1994–2008): Two Pseudacteon Species, P. tricuspis and P. curvatus, Rapidly Expand Across Imported Fire Ant Populations in the Southeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Callcott, Anne-Marie A.; Porter, Sanford D.; Weeks, Ronald D.; “Fudd” Graham, L. C.; Johnson, Seth J.; Gilbert, Lawrence E.

    2011-01-01

    Natural enemies of the imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren S. richteri Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and their hybrid, include a suite of more than 20 fire ant decapitating phorid flies from South America in the genus Pseudacteon. Over the past 12 years, many researchers and associates have cooperated in introducing several species as classical or self-sustaining biological control agents in the United States. As a result, two species of flies, Pseudacteon tricuspis Borgmeier and P. curvatus Borgmeier (Diptera: Phoridae), are well established across large areas of the southeastern United States. Whereas many researchers have published local and state information about the establishment and spread of these flies, here distribution data from both published and unpublished sources has been compiled for the entire United States with the goal of presenting confirmed and probable distributions as of the fall of 2008. Documented rates of expansion were also used to predict the distribution of these flies three years later in the fall of 2011. In the fall of 2008, eleven years after the first successful release, we estimate that P. tricuspis covered about 50% of the fire ant quarantined area and that it will occur in almost 65% of the quarantine area by 2011. Complete coverage of the fire ant quarantined area will be delayed or limited by this species' slow rate of spread and frequent failure to establish in more northerly portions of the fire ant range and also, perhaps, by its preference for red imported fire ants (S. invicta). Eight years after the first successful release of P. curvatus, two biotypes of this species (one biotype occurring predominantly in the black and hybrid imported fire ants and the other occurring in red imported fire ants) covered almost 60% of the fire ant quarantined area. We estimate these two biotypes will cover almost 90% of the quarantine area by 2011 and 100% by 2012 or 2013. Strategic selection of several distributional gaps

  3. Macroevolutionary assembly of ant/plant symbioses: Pseudomyrmex ants and their ant-housing plants in the Neotropics.

    PubMed

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Ward, Philip S; Renner, Susanne S

    2015-11-22

    Symbioses include some of the clearest cases of coevolution, but their origin, loss or reassembly with different partners can rarely be inferred. Here we use ant/plant symbioses involving three plant clades to investigate the evolution of symbioses. We generated phylogenies for the big-eyed arboreal ants (Pseudomyrmecinae), including 72% of their 286 species, as well as for five of their plant host groups, in each case sampling more than 61% of the species. We show that the ant-housing Vachellia (Mimosoideae) clade and its ants co-diversified for the past 5 Ma, with some species additionally colonized by younger plant-nesting ant species, some parasitic. An apparent co-radiation of ants and Tachigali (Caesalpinioideae) was followed by waves of colonization by the same ant clade, and subsequent occupation by a younger ant group. Wide crown and stem age differences between the ant-housing genus Triplaris (Polygonaceae) and its obligate ant inhabitants, and stochastic trait mapping, indicate that its domatium evolved earlier than the ants now occupying it, suggesting previous symbioses that dissolved. Parasitic ant species evolved from generalists, not from mutualists, and are younger than the mutualistic systems they parasitize. Our study illuminates the macroevolutionary assembly of ant/plant symbioses, which has been highly dynamic, even in very specialized systems. PMID:26582029

  4. Foraging activity rhythms of Dinoponera quadriceps (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in its natural environment.

    PubMed

    Medeiros, Jeniffer; Azevedo, Dina L O; Santana, Melquisedec A D; Lopes, Talita R P; Araújo, Arrilton

    2014-01-01

    This study characterizes the foraging activity of the queenless ant Dinoponera quadriceps (Kempf) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in its natural environment by testing the hypotheses that foraging activity presents both daily and seasonal rhythmic variations, and that these rhythms are related to environmental variables. Four colonies of D. quadriceps were observed in an area of secondary Atlantic forest in northeastern Brazil. Data collection was performed over 72 h every three months during an annual cycle. Both daily and seasonal foraging activity rhythms of D. quadriceps colonies were related to environmental factors, but colony differences also explained part of foraging variations. Foraging activity of D. quadriceps colonies was predominantly diurnal independently of season. In the early dry season, the colonies had two activity peaks, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, with a decrease in foraging at midday; however, during the rest of the year, foraging activity was distributed more evenly throughout the daylight hours. The daily rhythm of foraging activity was likely determined by an endogenous circadian rhythm year-round, but in the dry season, temperature and relative humidity also influenced daily foraging activity, with a negative effect of temperature and a positive effect of relative humidity. On a seasonal scale, foraging activity peaked in the early dry season and suddenly declined at the end of this season, increasing again at the late rainy season. The seasonal rhythm of foraging was negatively related to relative humidity and positively related to prey availability. PMID:25525097

  5. Caste fate conflict in swarm-founding social hymenoptera: an inclusive fitness analysis.

    PubMed

    Wenseleers, T; Ratnieks, F L W; Billen, J

    2003-07-01

    A caste system in which females develop into morphologically distinct queens or workers has evolved independently in ants, wasps and bees. Although such reproductive division of labour may benefit the colony it is also a source of conflict because individual immature females can benefit from developing into a queen in order to gain greater direct reproduction. Here we present a formal inclusive fitness analysis of caste fate conflict appropriate for swarm-founding social Hymenoptera. Three major conclusions are reached: (1) when caste is self-determined, many females should selfishly choose to become queens and the resulting depletion of the workforce can substantially reduce colony productivity; (2) greater relatedness among colony members reduces this excess queen production; (3) if workers can prevent excess queen production at low cost by controlled feeding, a transition to nutritional caste determination should occur. These predictions generalize results derived earlier using an allele-frequency model [Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. (2001) 50: 467] and are supported by observed levels of queen production in various taxa, especially stingless bees, where caste can be either individually or nutritionally controlled. PMID:14632228

  6. A comparative study of the proventricular structure in corbiculate apinae (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

    PubMed

    Serrão, J E

    2001-06-01

    The present study compares the proventricular structure, analyzed under scanning electronic microscope (SEM), among tribes of corbiculate Apinae. Fifty-one species of stingless bees (Meliponini), one species of honeybee (Apini), three species of bumblebees (Bombini) and seven species of orchid bees (Euglossini), were analyzed as in-group, and one species of sphecid wasp (Sphecidae) and two species of Halictidae bees, as out-groups. The proventricular bulb presents a basic morphology pattern similar to that of other Hymenoptera such as ants and wasps, being a symplesiomorphy for bees. The shape of proventricular folds constitutes a synapomorphy for Meliponini and an autapomorphy for Apini. The shape of hair-like projections of the cuticle that lines the proventriculus is a synapomorphy for Meliponini and Apini. These proventricular data corroborate the monophyly of the tribe Meliponini and the hypothesis that recognizes only one tribe for stingless bees. In addition, Meliponini+Apini constitutes a monophyletic group and Bombini+Euglossini another monophyletic group. The results confirm that internal morphology is a character that can be used in studies of the phylogeny in insects and the use of SEM as a powerful tool in these analyses. PMID:11070358

  7. The evolutionary dynamics of major regulators for sexual development among Hymenoptera species

    PubMed Central

    Biewer, Matthias; Schlesinger, Francisca; Hasselmann, Martin

    2015-01-01

    All hymenopteran species, such as bees, wasps and ants, are characterized by the common principle of haplodiploid sex determination in which haploid males arise from unfertilized eggs and females from fertilized eggs. The underlying molecular mechanism has been studied in detail in the western honey bee Apis mellifera, in which the gene complementary sex determiner (csd) acts as primary signal of the sex determining pathway, initiating female development by csd-heterozygotes. Csd arose from gene duplication of the feminizer (fem) gene, a transformer (tra) ortholog, and mediates in conjunction with transformer2 (tra2) sex-specific splicing of fem. Comparative molecular analyses identified fem/tra and its downstream target doublesex (dsx) as conserved unit within the sex determining pathway of holometabolous insects. In this study, we aim to examine evolutionary differences among these key regulators. Our main hypothesis is that sex determining key regulators in Hymenoptera species show signs of coevolution within single phylogenetic lineages. We take advantage of several newly sequenced genomes of bee species to test this hypothesis using bioinformatic approaches. We found evidences that duplications of fem are restricted to certain bee lineages and notable amino acid differences of tra2 between Apis and non-Apis species propose structural changes in Tra2 protein affecting co-regulatory function on target genes. These findings may help to gain deeper insights into the ancestral mode of hymenopteran sex determination and support the common view of the remarkable evolutionary flexibility in this regulatory pathway. PMID:25914717

  8. How Ants Drop Out: Ant Abundance on Tropical Mountains

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25098722

  9. Detrimental effects of highly efficient interference competition: invasive Argentine ants outcompete native ants at toxic baits.

    PubMed

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Bennett, Gary W

    2008-06-01

    The Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is an invasive species that disrupts the balance of natural ecosystems by displacing indigenous ant species throughout its introduced range. Previous studies that examined the mechanisms by which Argentine ants attain ecological dominance showed that superior interference and exploitation competition are key to the successful displacement of native ant species. The objective of this research was to test the hypothesis that effective interference competition by Argentine ants may also be detrimental to the survival of Argentine ant colonies where Argentine ants and native ants compete at toxic baits used to slow the spread of Argentine ants. To study this hypothesis, we examined the competitive interactions between Argentine ants and native odorous house ants, Tapinoma sessile, in the presence and absence of toxic baits. Results showed that Argentine ants aggressively outcompete T. sessile from toxic baits through efficient interference competition and monopolize bait resources. This has severe negative consequences for the survival of Argentine ants as colonies succumb to the toxic effects of the bait. In turn, T. sessile avoid areas occupied by Argentine ants, give up baits, and consequently suffer minimal mortality. Our results provide experimental evidence that highly efficient interference competition may have negative consequences for Argentine ants in areas where toxic baits are used and may provide a basis for designing innovative management programs for Argentine ants. Such programs would have the double benefit of selectively eliminating the invasive species while simultaneously protecting native ants from the toxic effects of baits. PMID:18559180

  10. Hymenoptera Allergy and Mast Cell Activation Syndromes.

    PubMed

    Bonadonna, Patrizia; Bonifacio, Massimiliano; Lombardo, Carla; Zanotti, Roberta

    2016-01-01

    Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) can be diagnosed in patients with recurrent, severe symptoms from mast cell (MC)-derived mediators, which are transiently increased in serum and are attenuated by mediator-targeting drugs. When KIT-mutated, clonal MC are detected in these patients, a diagnosis of primary MCAS can be made. Severe systemic reactions to hymenoptera venom (HV) represent the most common form of anaphylaxis in patients with mastocytosis. Patients with primary MCAS and HV anaphylaxis are predominantly males and do not have skin lesions in the majority of cases, and anaphylaxis is characterized by hypotension and syncope in the absence of urticaria and angioedema. A normal value of tryptase (≤11.4 ng/ml) in these patients does not exclude a diagnosis of mastocytosis. Patients with primary MCAS and HV anaphylaxis have to undergo lifelong venom immunotherapy, in order to prevent further potentially fatal severe reactions. PMID:26714690

  11. Catalogue of the Iranian Microgastrinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae).

    PubMed

    Gadallah, Neveen S; Ghahari, Hassan; Peris-Felipo, Francisco Javier

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, the Iranian Microgastrinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) fauna is summarized. It is based on a detailed study of all available published data and new material collected. In total 99 species belonging to 8 genera are from Iran: Apanteles Förster, 1862 (36 species), Cotesia Cameron, 1891 (34 species), Deuterixys Mason, 1981 (1 species), Diolcogaster Ashmead, 1900 (4 species), Microgaster Latreille, 1804 (4 species), Microplitis Förster, 1862 (11 species), Pholesetor Mason, 1981 (4 species) and Protapanteles Ashmead, 1898 (5 species) in 4 tribes (Apantilini, Cotesiini, Microgastrini and Microplitini). A faunistic list with distribution data, and host records are given. Four species are new records for the fauna of Iran: Apanteles brunnistigma Abdinbekova, 1969, A. ingenuoides Papp, 1971, Microplitis decipiens Prell, 1925 and M. marshallii Kokujev, 1898. PMID:26624699

  12. Subforaminal bridges in Hymenoptera (Insecta), with a focus on Chalcidoidea.

    PubMed

    Burks, R A; Heraty, J M

    2015-03-01

    Variation in structures of the posterior surface of the head in Hymenoptera is compared and interpreted according to theories of head capsule evolution, with focus on understanding previously baffling conditions in the superfamily Chalcidoidea. Features are investigated separately without first classifying subforaminal bridges into subcategories. In Proctotrupomorpha (including Chalcidoidea), Ceraphronoidea and some Ichneumonoidea, there are multiple posterior pits associated with the tentorium. In most examined Hymenoptera with a subforaminal bridge, there was a differentiated median area, typically with highly variable microtrichia. This area is elevated in Cephoidea and Pamphilioidea, but is not elevated in other Hymenoptera. Subforaminal bridges in Apocrita previously classified as hypostomal bridges are discussed in the context of A.P. Rasnitsyn's hypothesis that relative importance of adult feeding drives subforaminal bridge evolution. PMID:25579204

  13. Do aphids actively search for ant partners?

    PubMed

    Fischer, Christophe Y; Vanderplanck, Maryse; Lognay, Georges C; Detrain, Claire; Verheggen, François J

    2015-04-01

    The aphid-ant mutualistic relationships are not necessarily obligate for neither partners but evidence is that such interactions provide them strong advantages in terms of global fitness. While it is largely assumed that ants actively search for their mutualistic partners namely using volatile cues; whether winged aphids (i.e., aphids' most mobile form) are able to select ant-frequented areas had not been investigated so far. Ant-frequented sites would indeed offer several advantages for these aphids including a lower predation pressure through ant presence and enhanced chances of establishing mutuaslistic interactions with neighbor ant colonies. In the field, aphid colonies are often observed in higher densities around ant nests, which is probably linked to a better survival ensured by ants' services. Nevertheless, this could also result from a preferential establishment of winged aphids in ant-frequented areas. We tested this last hypothesis through different ethological assays and show that the facultative myrmecophilous black bean aphid, Aphis fabae L., does not orientate its search for a host plant preferentially toward ant-frequented plants. However, our results suggest that ants reduce the number of winged aphids leaving the newly colonized plant. Thus, ants involved in facultative myrmecophilous interactions with aphids appear to contribute to structure aphid populations in the field by ensuring a better establishment and survival of newly established colonies rather than by inducing a deliberate plant selection by aphid partners based on the proximity of ant colonies. PMID:24659520

  14. Sphingolipids, Transcription Factors, and Conserved Toolkit Genes: Developmental Plasticity in the Ant Cardiocondyla obscurior

    PubMed Central

    Schrader, Lukas; Simola, Daniel F.; Heinze, Jürgen; Oettler, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Developmental plasticity allows for the remarkable morphological specialization of individuals into castes in eusocial species of Hymenoptera. Developmental trajectories that lead to alternative caste fates are typically determined by specific environmental stimuli that induce larvae to express and maintain distinct gene expression patterns. Although most eusocial species express two castes, queens and workers, the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior expresses diphenic females and males; this provides a unique system with four discrete phenotypes to study the genomic basis of developmental plasticity in ants. We sequenced and analyzed the transcriptomes of 28 individual C. obscurior larvae of known developmental trajectory, providing the first in-depth analysis of gene expression in eusocial insect larvae. Clustering and transcription factor binding site analyses revealed that different transcription factors and functionally distinct sets of genes are recruited during larval development to induce the four alternative trajectories. In particular, we found complex patterns of gene regulation pertaining to sphingolipid metabolism, a conserved molecular pathway involved in development, obesity, and aging. PMID:25725431

  15. Multiple Convergent Origins of Workerlessness and Inbreeding in the Socially Parasitic Ant Genus Myrmoxenus

    PubMed Central

    Heinze, Jürgen; Buschinger, Alfred; Poettinger, Theo; Suefuji, Masaki

    2015-01-01

    The socially parasitic ant genus Myrmoxenus varies strongly in fundamental life history traits, such as queen-worker ratio, the timing of sexual production, and mating behavior. Myrmoxenus queens generally take over nests of Temnothorax ants, kill the resident queen by throttling, and force the workers to take care of the social parasite’s brood. Young queens of M. ravouxi and other species produce large numbers of workers, which during “slave-raids” pillage host pupae from neighboring Temnothorax colonies to increase the workforce in their own nests. Other species, such as M. corsicus, have lost caste polyphenism and rear only male and female sexual offspring. Using sequences of the genes CO I / CO II and wingless we reconstruct the phylogeny of Myrmoxenus and document that the worker caste was lost convergently at least three times. Furthermore, mating in the nest and inbreeding obviously also evolved in parallel from ancestors whose sexuals presumably mated during nuptial flights. Myrmoxenus might thus provide a suitable model to investigate caste differentiation and the plasticity of mating behavior in Hymenoptera. PMID:26221735

  16. Effects of the ant Formica fusca on the transmission of microsporidia infecting gypsy moth larvae.

    PubMed

    Goertz, Dörte; Hoch, Gernot

    2013-06-01

    Transmission plays an integral part in the intimate relationship between a host insect and its pathogen that can be altered by abiotic or biotic factors. The latter include other pathogens, parasitoids, or predators. Ants are important species in food webs that act on various levels in a community structure. Their social behavior allows them to prey on and transport larger prey, or they can dismember the prey where it was found. Thereby they can also influence the horizontal transmission of a pathogen in its host's population. We tested the hypothesis that an ant species like Formica fusca L. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) can affect the horizontal transmission of two microsporidian pathogens, Nosema lymantriae Weiser (Microsporidia: Nosematidae) and Vairimorpha disparis (Timofejeva) (Microsporidia: Burenellidae), infecting the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar L. (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Lymantriinae). Observational studies showed that uninfected and infected L. dispar larvae are potential prey items for F. fusca. Laboratory choice experiments led to the conclusion that F. fusca did not prefer L. dispar larvae infected with N. lymantriae and avoided L. dispar larvae infected with V. disparis over uninfected larvae when given the choice. Experiments carried out on small potted oak, Quercus petraea (Mattuschka) Liebl. (Fagaceae), saplings showed that predation of F. fusca on infected larvae did not significantly change the transmission of either microsporidian species to L. dispar test larvae. Microscopic examination indicated that F. fusca workers never became infected with N. lymantriae or V. disparis after feeding on infected prey. PMID:23926361

  17. A reassessment of the mating system characteristics of the army ant Eciton burchellii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronauer, Daniel J. C.; Berghoff, Stefanie M.; Powell, Scott; Denny, A. Jay; Edwards, Keith J.; Franks, Nigel R.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2006-08-01

    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 with queens being inseminated repeatedly throughout their life, which would be exceptional among the social Hymenoptera and contradictory to predictions from kin selection theory. In the present study, we reanalyze these data using new software and supplement them with similar microsatellite data from other 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 is lower than in older queens but suggest that this may be due to initial sperm clumping in the queen’s sperm storage organ, rather than to repeated inseminations. Moreover, we found no evidence for repeated mating by genotyping sequential worker generations produced by a single old queen, showing that she did not obtain new inseminations despite ample opportunities for mating.

  18. Genetic distance and age affect the cuticular chemical profiles of the clonal ant Cerapachys biroi.

    PubMed

    Teseo, Serafino; Lecoutey, Emmanuel; Kronauer, Daniel J C; Hefetz, Abraham; Lenoir, Alain; Jaisson, Pierre; Châline, Nicolas

    2014-05-01

    Although cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) have received much attention from biologists because of their important role in insect communication, few studies have addressed the chemical ecology of clonal species of eusocial insects. In this study we investigated whether and how differences in CHCs relate to the genetics and reproductive dynamics of the parthenogenetic ant Cerapachys biroi. We collected individuals of different ages and subcastes from several colonies belonging to four clonal lineages, and analyzed their cuticular chemical signature. CHCs varied according to colonies and clonal lineages in two independent data sets, and correlations were found between genetic and chemical distances between colonies. This supports the results of previous research showing that C. biroi workers discriminate between nestmates and non-nestmates, especially when they belong to different clonal lineages. In C. biroi, the production of individuals of a morphological subcaste specialized in reproduction is inversely proportional to colony-level fertility. As chemical signatures usually correlate with fertility and reproductive activity in social Hymenoptera, we asked whether CHCs could function as fertility-signaling primer pheromones determining larval subcaste fate in C. biroi. Interestingly, and contrary to findings for several other ant species, fertility and reproductive activity showed no correlation with chemical signatures, suggesting the absence of fertility related CHCs. This implies that other cues are responsible for subcaste differentiation in this species. PMID:24756691

  19. Multiple Convergent Origins of Workerlessness and Inbreeding in the Socially Parasitic Ant Genus Myrmoxenus.

    PubMed

    Heinze, Jürgen; Buschinger, Alfred; Poettinger, Theo; Suefuji, Masaki

    2015-01-01

    The socially parasitic ant genus Myrmoxenus varies strongly in fundamental life history traits, such as queen-worker ratio, the timing of sexual production, and mating behavior. Myrmoxenus queens generally take over nests of Temnothorax ants, kill the resident queen by throttling, and force the workers to take care of the social parasite's brood. Young queens of M. ravouxi and other species produce large numbers of workers, which during "slave-raids" pillage host pupae from neighboring Temnothorax colonies to increase the workforce in their own nests. Other species, such as M. corsicus, have lost caste polyphenism and rear only male and female sexual offspring. Using sequences of the genes CO I/CO II and wingless we reconstruct the phylogeny of Myrmoxenus and document that the worker caste was lost convergently at least three times. Furthermore, mating in the nest and inbreeding obviously also evolved in parallel from ancestors whose sexuals presumably mated during nuptial flights. Myrmoxenus might thus provide a suitable model to investigate caste differentiation and the plasticity of mating behavior in Hymenoptera. PMID:26221735

  20. Description of Cephalotes specularis n. sp. (Formicidae: Myrmicinae)-the mirror turtle ant.

    PubMed

    Brandão, Carlos Roberto F; Feitosa, Rodrigo M; Powell, Scott; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2014-01-01

    We describe here Cephalotes specularis n. sp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Cephalotini) based on minor and major workers, gynes and larvae from Uberlândia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. On morphological and molecular grounds, this new species belongs to the C. fiebrigi + C. bruchi species complex, of which there are 11 previously described species (one in C. bruchi group and 10 in the C. fiebrigi group). All members of these groups are found in, or are limited to the South American "arid diagonal", comprised of the Argentinian Chaco, the Cerrados of central South America, and the Brazilian northeastern caatingas. Workers of C. specularis n. sp. have an extremely shiny gaster which is mirror-like, notwithstanding its sparse covering by minute hairs. This species engages in a form of resource-based social parasitism of the host ant Crematogaster ampla (Myrmicinae: Crematogastrini). Cephalotes specularis foragers move freely in the dense traffic of Crematogaster ampla foraging trails. They exhibit highly atypical body posturing for turtle ants, which makes them hard to distinguish from the Crematogaster foragers. PMID:24870693

  1. The Nest Architecture of Three Species of North Florida Aphaenogaster Ants

    PubMed Central

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2011-01-01

    The architecture of the subterranean nests of Aphaenogaster floridana Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), A. treatae Forel and A. ashmeadi (Emery), was studied from plaster, wax, or metal casts. After structural features were quantified from digital images, the entombed ants were retrieved from the plaster by dissolution or wax casts by melting and counted. Nests of all three species were rather simple, small and vertical, with horizontal chambers connected by vertical shafts. Shafts descending to lower chambers tended to arise from chamber edges, whereas those connecting to a chamber above tended to arise from chamber centers. A. floridana had the largest nests and colonies, and multiple shafts commonly connected upper chambers, a feature lacking in the other two species. In A. floridana nests a higher proportion of chamber area and greater spacing between chambers occurred in the deeper parts of the nest, regardless of nest size. The other two species showed no vertical differentiation of any size-free measure at any nest size. In all three species, nest size increased more slowly than the worker population, so crowding was greater in large colonies than in small, in contrast to the situation in three other ant species for which data were available. An appendix with stereo images of all casts is provided. PMID:22221290

  2. Myrmecotrophy: Plants fed by ants.

    PubMed

    Beattie, A

    1989-06-01

    Two plant genera with tubers specialized for occupation by ants absorb nutrients from waste materials accumulated by the resident colonies. The mineral resources of these host plants are augmented by colony foraging which functions as a second root system. This mutualistic interaction has become known as myrmecotrophy. Many other kinds of plant structure are apparent adaptations to accommodate ant colonies; these include pouches on leaves or petioles and hollow twigs, stems or thorns. Sometimes the ant species residing in these structures are aggressive towards enemies of the host plant and are important for plant defence. Recent research provides some evidence that myrmecotrophy may have a wider role in plant nutrition, at least when subsidizing the costs of plant defence. PMID:21227344

  3. The Wing Apparatus and Flapping Behavior of Hymenoptera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudo, Seiichi; Tsuyuki, Koji; Ito, Yoshiyasu; Tani, Junji

    The wing apparatus of Hymenoptera was observed with a scanning electron microscope, and the structure and function of insect wings were studied. The measurements of displacement of extrinsic skeleton vibration produced by wing flapping of a wasp were made by an optical displacement detector system. The free flight of the wasp was analyzed by a three dimensional motion analysis system. The results of a series of measurements revealed the flight characteristics of Hymenoptera, such as the wing tip velocity, wing path, wave form of extrinsic skeleton vibration, and so forth.

  4. Presence of the fire ant pathogen Kneallhazia solenopsae in fire ant decapitating phorid flies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pathogens and parasites from South America are being evaluated for the biological control of imported fire ants in the U.S. Fire ant decapitating flies that developed in fire ants infected with the fire ant pathogen Kneallhazia (formerly Thelohania) solenopsae also acquired the pathogen. K. soleno...

  5. Raves & rants about invasive crazy ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crazy ants” is a name that refers to various species of ants that are characterized by erratic, scurrying, or running, behavior when disturbed. Two of these species, the yellow crazy ant and the Caribbean or Rasberry [sic] crazy ant, are invasive with extremely large populations that inundate lands...

  6. Biological control of red imported fire ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two species of Imported Fire Ants (IFA), the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and the Black Imported Fire Ant, S. richteri Forel, were introduced into the United States in the early 1900s and currently inhabit over 320 million acres in the southern United States and Puerto Rico. Red ...

  7. Using Ants To Investigate the Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hagevik, Rita A.

    2003-01-01

    Describes three inquiry-based activities designed for students to begin to understand complex environmental relationships in their own backyard. Includes investigations of ants, which allow students to establish a baseline survey of ant fauna, test the importance of ants in nutrient cycling and soil structure maintenances, and increase student…

  8. Using Ants to Investigate the Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hagevik, Rita A.

    2005-01-01

    The best place for students to begin to understand complex environmental relationships is in their own back yards. Doing investigations of ants allows students to establish a baseline survey of ant fauna, test the importance of ants in nutrient cycling and soil structure maintenance, and increase their understanding of the environment and their…

  9. Natural history of interaction between Meteorus sp. Haliday, 1835 (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and its hyperparasitoid Toxeumella albipes Girault, 1913 (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae).

    PubMed

    Sobczak, J F; Maia, D P; Moura, J C M S; Costa, V A; Vasconcellos-Neto, J

    2012-02-01

    Some parasitoids build a cocoon mass that hangs in the host body until the adults emergence, which is an advantage against attack by predators who troll the vegetation in search of prey. However, such behaviour is not effective against the hyperparasitoid attacks. This study reports the interaction between the caterpillar Manduca sexta Linnaeus, 1763 (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae) parasitised by Meteorus sp. (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) larvae and its hyperparasitoid Toxeumella albipes (Hymenoptera, Pteromalidae). This is the first description of the attack and oviposition of T. albipes. PMID:22437404

  10. The First Cytogenetic Data on Strumigenys louisianae Roger, 1863 (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Dacetini): The Lowest Chromosome Number in the Hymenoptera of the Neotropical Region

    PubMed Central

    Alves-Silva, Ana Paula; Barros, Luísa Antônia Campos; Chaul, Júlio Cézar Mário; Pompolo, Silvia das Graças

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, the first cytogenetic data was obtained for the ant species Strumigenys louisianae, from a genus possessing no previous cytogenetic data for the Neotropical region. The chromosome number observed was 2n = 4, all possessing metacentric morphology. Blocks rich in GC base pairs were observed in the interstitial region of the short arm of the largest chromosome pair, which may indicate that this region corresponds to the NORs. The referred species presented the lowest chromosome number observed for the subfamily Myrmicinae and for the Hymenoptera found in the Neotropical region. Observation of a low chromosome number karyotype has been described in Myrmecia croslandi, in which the occurrence of tandem fusions accounts for the most probable rearrangement for its formation. The accumulation of cytogenetic data may carry crucial information to ensure deeper understanding of the systematics of the tribe Dacetini. PMID:25379715

  11. Ant Ecdysteroid Extraction and Radioimmunoassay

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecdysteroids are a group of steroid compounds present in many plant and invertebrate species. In arthropods, they function primarily as hormones involved in the regulation of molting. This protocol describes how to extract ecdysteroid hormones from ant specimens and subsequently quantify circulating...

  12. Target enrichment of ultraconserved elements from arthropods provides a genomic perspective on relationships among Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Faircloth, Brant C; Branstetter, Michael G; White, Noor D; Brady, Seán G

    2015-01-01

    Gaining a genomic perspective on phylogeny requires the collection of data from many putatively independent loci across the genome. Among insects, an increasingly common approach to collecting this class of data involves transcriptome sequencing, because few insects have high-quality genome sequences available; assembling new genomes remains a limiting factor; the transcribed portion of the genome is a reasonable, reduced subset of the genome to target; and the data collected from transcribed portions of the genome are similar in composition to the types of data with which biologists have traditionally worked (e.g. exons). However, molecular techniques requiring RNA as a template, including transcriptome sequencing, are limited to using very high-quality source materials, which are often unavailable from a large proportion of biologically important insect samples. Recent research suggests that DNA-based target enrichment of conserved genomic elements offers another path to collecting phylogenomic data across insect taxa, provided that conserved elements are present in and can be collected from insect genomes. Here, we identify a large set (n = 1510) of ultraconserved elements (UCEs) shared among the insect order Hymenoptera. We used in silico analyses to show that these loci accurately reconstruct relationships among genome-enabled hymenoptera, and we designed a set of RNA baits (n = 2749) for enriching these loci that researchers can use with DNA templates extracted from a variety of sources. We used our UCE bait set to enrich an average of 721 UCE loci from 30 hymenopteran taxa, and we used these UCE loci to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships spanning very old (≥220 Ma) to very young (≤1 Ma) divergences among hymenopteran lineages. In contrast to a recent study addressing hymenopteran phylogeny using transcriptome data, we found ants to be sister to all remaining aculeate lineages with complete support, although this result could be explained by

  13. Evolutional Ant Colony Method Using PSO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morii, Nobuto; Aiyoshi, Eitarou

    The ant colony method is one of heuristic methods capable of solving the traveling salesman problem (TSP), in which a good tour is generated by the artificial ant's probabilistic behavior. However, the generated tour length depends on the parameter describing the ant's behavior, and the best parameters corresponding to the problem to be solved is unknown. In this technical note, the evolutional strategy is presented to find the best parameter of the ant colony by using Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) in the parameter space. Numerical simulations for benchmarks demonstrate effectiveness of the evolutional ant colony method.

  14. Tournaments and slavery in a desert ant.

    PubMed

    Hölldobler, B

    1976-05-28

    Many species of ants engage in physical fighting when territorial borders are challenged. In contrast, colonies of the honeypot ant species Myrmecocystus mimicus conduct ritualized tournaments, in which hundreds of ants perform highly stereotyped display fights. Opposing colonies summon their worker forces to the tournament area by means of an alarm-recruitment system. When one colony is considerably stronger than the other, the tournament quickly ends, and the weaker colony is raided and its ants "enslaved." This is the first example of intraspecific slavery recorded in ants. PMID:17817765

  15. Methods for Casting Subterranean Ant Nests

    PubMed Central

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2010-01-01

    The study of subterranean ant nests has been impeded by the difficulty of rendering their structures in visible form. Here, several different casting materials are shown to make perfect casts of the underground nests of ants. Each material (dental plaster, paraffin wax, aluminum, zinc) has advantages and limitations, which are discussed. Some of the materials allow the recovery of the ants entombed in the casts, allowing a census of the ants to be connected with features of their nest architecture. The necessary equipment and procedures are described in the hope that more researchers will study this very important aspect of ant natural history. PMID:20673073

  16. A phylogenetic analysis of the megadiverse Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera) are extremely diverse with an estimated 500,000 species. We present the first phylogenetic analysis of the superfamily based on a cladistic analysis of both morphological and molecular data. A total of 233 morphological characters were scored for 300 taxa and 265 genera, a...

  17. Thermoperiodism synchronizes emergence in the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa seed production in the northwestern United States and western Canada is heavily dependent upon the pollinating services of M. rotundata (F.) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Megachile rotundata females nest in cavities either naturally occurring or in artificial nesting blocks. Because of the ph...

  18. A review of Trachusoides Michener and Griswold (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although Megachile (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) are well-known for their diverse nesting habits, records of the genus nesting in live plants are rare and unknown in the North America. Here, we report the widespread Megachile (Megachile) montivaga Cresson, 1878 nesting in live thistle (Cirsium neomexi...

  19. Cardiochilinae and Ichneutinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) of Konza Prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The results of a survey of Cardiochilinae and Ichneutinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) at Konza Prairie near Manhattan, Kansas are reported. Eleven sites representing prairie and woodland/wetland areas, including gallery forest, were sampled in 2001 and 2005 using Malaise traps and a canopy trap. Selec...

  20. New records of Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera) for the Italian fauna.

    PubMed

    Di Giovanni, Filippo; Reshchikov, Alexey; Riedel, Matthias; Diller, Erich; Schwarz, Martin

    2015-01-01

    New distributional records on 55 ichneumonids (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) from Italy are provided. Of these, 47 species are new for Italy, including representatives of the subfamily Diacritinae and of the tribes Zimmeriini (Ichneumoninae) and Pseudorhyssini (Poemeniinae); six species are new for Sardinia, one for Sicily and one for the Italian mainland. The hitherto unknown female of Baranisobashibericus Heinrich, 1972 (Ichneumoninae) is described. PMID:26175609

  1. Quantifying Ant Activity Using Vibration Measurements

    PubMed Central

    Oberst, Sebastian; Baro, Enrique Nava; Lai, Joseph C. S.; Evans, Theodore A.

    2014-01-01

    Ant behaviour is of great interest due to their sociality. Ant behaviour is typically observed visually, however there are many circumstances where visual observation is not possible. It may be possible to assess ant behaviour using vibration signals produced by their physical movement. We demonstrate through a series of bioassays with different stimuli that the level of activity of meat ants (Iridomyrmex purpureus) can be quantified using vibrations, corresponding to observations with video. We found that ants exposed to physical shaking produced the highest average vibration amplitudes followed by ants with stones to drag, then ants with neighbours, illuminated ants and ants in darkness. In addition, we devised a novel method based on wavelet decomposition to separate the vibration signal owing to the initial ant behaviour from the substrate response, which will allow signals recorded from different substrates to be compared directly. Our results indicate the potential to use vibration signals to classify some ant behaviours in situations where visual observation could be difficult. PMID:24658467

  2. Aphanogmus sp. (Hymenoptera: Ceraphronidae): a hyperparasitoid of the coffee berry borer parasitoid Prorops nasuta (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) in Kenya

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This is the first report of a hyperparasitod of the primary parasitoid of the coffee berry borer Prorops nasuta Waterston (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae). Aphanogmus sp is a gregarious ectoparasitoid of larval and pupal stages of P. nasuta, which was found in coffee berry samples collected on the ground o...

  3. Brain plasticity in Diptera and Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Groh, Claudia; Meinertzhagen, Ian A.

    2010-01-01

    To mediate different types of behaviour, nervous systems must coordinate the proper operation of their neural circuits as well as short- and long-term alterations that occur within those circuits. The latter ultimately devolve upon specific changes in neuronal structures, membrane properties and synaptic connections that are all examples of plasticity. This reorganization of the adult nervous system is shaped by internal and external influences both during development and adult maturation. In adults, behavioural experience is a major driving force of neuronal plasticity studied particularly in sensory systems. The range of adaptation depends on features that are important to a particular species, so that learning is essential for foraging in honeybees, while regenerative capacities are important in hemimetabolous insects with long appendages. Experience is usually effective during a critical period in early adult life, when neural function becomes tuned to future conditions in an insect's life. Changes occur at all levels, in synaptic circuits, neuropile volumes, and behaviour. There are many examples, and this review incorporates only a select few, mainly those from Diptera and Hymenoptera. PMID:20036946

  4. A Molecular Phylogeny of the Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera)

    PubMed Central

    Munro, James B.; Heraty, John M.; Burks, Roger A.; Hawks, David; Mottern, Jason; Cruaud, Astrid; Rasplus, Jean-Yves; Jansta, Petr

    2011-01-01

    Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera) are extremely diverse with more than 23,000 species described and over 500,000 species estimated to exist. This is the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the superfamily based on a molecular analysis of 18S and 28S ribosomal gene regions for 19 families, 72 subfamilies, 343 genera and 649 species. The 56 outgroups are comprised of Ceraphronoidea and most proctotrupomorph families, including Mymarommatidae. Data alignment and the impact of ambiguous regions are explored using a secondary structure analysis and automated (MAFFT) alignments of the core and pairing regions and regions of ambiguous alignment. Both likelihood and parsimony approaches are used to analyze the data. Overall there is no impact of alignment method, and few but substantial differences between likelihood and parsimony approaches. Monophyly of Chalcidoidea and a sister group relationship between Mymaridae and the remaining Chalcidoidea is strongly supported in all analyses. Either Mymarommatoidea or Diaprioidea are the sister group of Chalcidoidea depending on the analysis. Likelihood analyses place Rotoitidae as the sister group of the remaining Chalcidoidea after Mymaridae, whereas parsimony nests them within Chalcidoidea. Some traditional family groups are supported as monophyletic (Agaonidae, Eucharitidae, Encyrtidae, Eulophidae, Leucospidae, Mymaridae, Ormyridae, Signiphoridae, Tanaostigmatidae and Trichogrammatidae). Several other families are paraphyletic (Perilampidae) or polyphyletic (Aphelinidae, Chalcididae, Eupelmidae, Eurytomidae, Pteromalidae, Tetracampidae and Torymidae). Evolutionary scenarios discussed for Chalcidoidea include the evolution of phytophagy, egg parasitism, sternorrhynchan parasitism, hypermetamorphic development and heteronomy. PMID:22087244

  5. Power over reproduction in social hymenoptera.

    PubMed Central

    Beekman, Madeleine; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2003-01-01

    Inclusive fitness theory has been very successful in predicting and explaining much of the observed variation in the reproductive characteristics of insect societies. For example, the theory correctly predicts sex-ratio biasing by workers in relation to the queen's mating frequency. However, within an insect society there are typically multiple reproductive optima, each corresponding to the interest of different individual(s) or parties of interest. When multiple optima occur, which party's interests prevail? Presumably, the interests of the party with the greatest 'power'; the ability to do or act. This article focuses on factors that influence power over colony reproduction. In particular, we seek to identify the principles that may cause different parties of interest to have greater or lesser power. In doing this, we discuss power from two different angles. On the one hand, we discuss general factors based upon non-idiosyncratic biological features (e.g. information, access to and ability to process food) that are likely to be important to all social Hymenoptera. On the other hand, we discuss idiosyncratic factors that depend upon the biology of a taxon at any hierarchical level. We propose that a better understanding of the diversity of reproductive characteristics of insect societies will come from combining inclusive fitness theory with a wide range of other factors that affect relative power in a conflict situation. PMID:14561330

  6. A hymenopterist’s guide to the Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology: utility, clarification, and future directions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hymenoptera exhibit an incredible diversity of phenotypes, the result of ~240 million years of evolution and the primary subject of more than 250 years of research. Here we describe the history, development, and utility of the Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology (HAO) and its associated applications. These...

  7. Revolutionizing Remote Exploration with ANTS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-05-01

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

  8. Fire ant-detecting canines: a complementary method in detecting red imported fire ants.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hui-Min; Chi, Wei-Lien; Lin, Chung-Chi; Tseng, Yu-Ching; Chen, Wang-Ting; Kung, Yu-Ling; Lien, Yi-Yang; Chen, Yang-Yuan

    2011-02-01

    In this investigation, detection dogs are trained and used in identifying red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and their nests. The methodology could assist in reducing the frequency and scope of chemical treatments for red imported fire ant management and thus reduce labor costs and chemical use as well as improve control and quarantine efficiency. Three dogs previously trained for customs quarantine were retrained to detect the scents of red imported fire ants. After passing tests involving different numbers of live red imported fire ants and three other ant species--Crematogaster rogenhoferi Mayr, Paratrechina longicornis Latreille, and Pheidole megacephala F.--placed in containers, ajoint field survey for red imported fire ant nests by detection dogs and bait traps was conducted to demonstrate their use as a supplement to conventional detection methods. The most significant findings in this report are (1) with 10 or more red imported fire ants in scent containers, the dogs had >98% chance in tracing the red imported fire ant. Upon the introduction of other ant species, the dogs still achieved on average, a 93% correct red imported fire ant indication rate. Moreover, the dogs demonstrated great competence in pinpointing emerging and smaller red imported fire ant nests in red imported fire ant-infested areas that had been previously confirmed by bait trap stations. (2) Along with the bait trap method, we also discovered that approximately 90% of red imported fire ants foraged within a distance of 14 m away from their nests. The results prove detection dogs to be most effective for red imported fire ant control in areas that have been previously treated with pesticides and therefore containing a low density of remaining red imported fire ant nests. Furthermore, as a complement to other red imported fire ant monitoring methods, this strategy will significantly increase the efficacy of red imported fire ant control in cases of individual mount treatment

  9. Usefulness of fire ant genetics in insecticide efficacy trials

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mature fire ant colonies contain an average of 80,000 worker ants. For this study, eight fire ant workers were randomly sampled from each colony. DNA fingerprints for each individual ant were generated using 21 simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers that were developed from fire ant DNA by other lab...

  10. Blind and myopic ants in heterogeneous networks.

    PubMed

    Hwang, S; Lee, D-S; Kahng, B

    2014-11-01

    The diffusion processes on complex networks may be described by different Laplacian matrices due to heterogeneous connectivity. Here we investigate the random walks of blind ants and myopic ants on heterogeneous networks: While a myopic ant hops to a neighbor node every step, a blind ant may stay or hop with probabilities that depend on node connectivity. By analyzing the trajectories of blind ants, we show that the asymptotic behaviors of both random walks are related by rescaling time and probability with node connectivity. Using this result, we show how the small eigenvalues of the Laplacian matrices generating the two random walks are related. As an application, we show how the return-to-origin probability of a myopic ant can be used to compute the scaling behaviors of the Edwards-Wilkinson model, a representative model of load balancing on networks. PMID:25493841

  11. Blind and myopic ants in heterogeneous networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, S.; Lee, D.-S.; Kahng, B.

    2014-11-01

    The diffusion processes on complex networks may be described by different Laplacian matrices due to heterogeneous connectivity. Here we investigate the random walks of blind ants and myopic ants on heterogeneous networks: While a myopic ant hops to a neighbor node every step, a blind ant may stay or hop with probabilities that depend on node connectivity. By analyzing the trajectories of blind ants, we show that the asymptotic behaviors of both random walks are related by rescaling time and probability with node connectivity. Using this result, we show how the small eigenvalues of the Laplacian matrices generating the two random walks are related. As an application, we show how the return-to-origin probability of a myopic ant can be used to compute the scaling behaviors of the Edwards-Wilkinson model, a representative model of load balancing on networks.

  12. Symbiont recruitment versus ant-symbiont co-evolution in the attine ant-microbe symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Ulrich G

    2012-06-01

    The symbiosis between fungus-farming ants (Attini, Formicidae), their cultivated fungi, garden-infecting Escovopsis pathogens, and Pseudonocardia bacteria on the ant integument has been popularized as an example of ant-Escovopsis-Pseudonocardia co-evolution. Recent research could not verify earlier conclusions regarding antibiotic-secreting, integumental Pseudonocardia that co-evolve to specifically suppress Escovopsis disease in an ancient co-evolutionary arms-race. Rather than long-term association with a single, co-evolving Pseudonocardia strain, attine ants accumulate complex, dynamic biofilms on their integument and in their gardens. Emerging views are that the integumental biofilms protect the ants primarily against ant diseases, whereas garden biofilms protect primarily against garden diseases; attine ants selectively recruit ('screen in') microbes into their biofilms; and the biofilms of ants and gardens serve diverse functions beyond disease-suppression. PMID:22445196

  13. An Efficient Ant-Based Edge Detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aydın, Doğan

    An efficient ant-based edge detector is presented. It is based on the distribution of ants on an image, ants try to find possible edges by using a state transition function based on 5x5 edge structures. Visual comparisons show that the proposed method gives finer details and thinner edges at lesser computational times when compared to earlier ant-based approaches. When compared to standard edge detectors, it shows robustness to Gaussian and Salt & Pepper noise and provides finer details than others with same parameter set in both clear and noisy images.

  14. Major evolutionary transitions in ant agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Schultz, Ted R.; Brady, Seán G.

    2008-01-01

    Agriculture is a specialized form of symbiosis that is known to have evolved in only four animal groups: humans, bark beetles, termites, and ants. Here, we reconstruct the major evolutionary transitions that produced the five distinct agricultural systems of the fungus-growing ants, the most well studied of the nonhuman agriculturalists. We do so with reference to the first fossil-calibrated, multiple-gene, molecular phylogeny that incorporates the full range of taxonomic diversity within the fungus-growing ant tribe Attini. Our analyses indicate that the original form of ant agriculture, the cultivation of a diverse subset of fungal species in the tribe Leucocoprineae, evolved ≈50 million years ago in the Neotropics, coincident with the early Eocene climatic optimum. During the past 30 million years, three known ant agricultural systems, each involving a phylogenetically distinct set of derived fungal cultivars, have separately arisen from the original agricultural system. One of these derived systems subsequently gave rise to the fifth known system of agriculture, in which a single fungal species is cultivated by leaf-cutter ants. Leaf-cutter ants evolved remarkably recently (≈8–12 million years ago) to become the dominant herbivores of the New World tropics. Our analyses identify relict, extant attine ant species that occupy phylogenetic positions that are transitional between the agricultural systems. Intensive study of those species holds particular promise for clarifying the sequential accretion of ecological and behavioral characters that produced each of the major ant agricultural systems. PMID:18362345

  15. Plants in Your Ants: Using Ant Mounds to Test Basic Ecological Principles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zettler, Jennifer A.; Collier, Alexander; Leidersdorf, Bil; Sanou, Missa Patrick

    2010-01-01

    Urban students often have limited access to field sites for ecological studies. Ubiquitous ants and their mounds can be used to study and test ecology-based questions. We describe how soil collected from ant mounds can be used to investigate how biotic factors (ants) can affect abiotic factors in the soil that can, in turn, influence plant growth.

  16. Allometric ecological distributions in a local community of Hymenoptera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulrich, Werner

    2004-05-01

    The present paper describes basic ecological distributions in a community of beech forest Hymenoptera. It shows that the species diversity-body weight and the density-body weight distributions give rise to a new distribution that relates total community biomass to species diversity. For Hymenoptera this distribution follows a power function with a slope of 1.3. Combining this relation with the species-area and the individuals-area relations resulted in two other distributions that relate community biomass to area and individual numbers. It appeared that population densities decrease when computed over larger areas. The biomass-species diversity relation offers a new and simple way to estimate total community biomass from samples. The possible implications of this distribution to the productivity-diversity debate are discussed.

  17. New records of Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera) for the Italian fauna

    PubMed Central

    Riedel, Matthias; Diller, Erich; Schwarz, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Abstract New distributional records on 55 ichneumonids (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) from Italy are provided. Of these, 47 species are new for Italy, including representatives of the subfamily Diacritinae and of the tribes Zimmeriini (Ichneumoninae) and Pseudorhyssini (Poemeniinae); six species are new for Sardinia, one for Sicily and one for the Italian mainland. The hitherto unknown female of Baranisobas hibericus Heinrich, 1972 (Ichneumoninae) is described. PMID:26175609

  18. ANT2-defective fibroblasts exhibit normal mitochondrial bioenergetics

    PubMed Central

    Prabhu, Dolly; Goldstein, Amy C.; El-Khoury, Riyad; Rak, Malgorzata; Edmunds, Lia; Rustin, Pierre; Vockley, Jerry; Schiff, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Adenine nucleotide translocase 2 (ANT2) transports glycolytic ATP across the inner mitochondrial membrane. Patients with ANT2 deletion were recently reported. We aimed at characterizing mitochondrial functions in ANT2-defective fibroblasts. In spite of ANT2 expression in fibroblasts, we observed no difference between ANT2-defective and control fibroblasts for mitochondrial respiration, respiratory chain activities, mitochondrial membrane potential and intracellular ATP levels. This indicates that ANT2 insufficiency does not alter fibroblast basal mitochondrial bioenergetics. PMID:26000237

  19. Evolution of a soldier caste specialized to lay unfertilized eggs in the ant genus Crematogaster (subgenus Orthocrema).

    PubMed

    Peeters, Christian; Lin, Chung-Chi; Quinet, Yves; Martins Segundo, Glauco; Billen, Johan

    2013-05-01

    Among social Hymenoptera, only some ant genera have more than one morphological kind of non-reproductive adults. Individuals that are bigger than ordinary workers can function for defence and/or food storage. In Crematogaster (Orthocrema) smithi from Arizona, a third caste exists in addition to winged queens and workers; it is intermediate in size, weight and morphology, and individuals lay many unfertilized eggs that are mostly eaten by larvae (Heinze et al., 1995, 1999). We studied another three species belonging to the subgenus Orthocrema: Crematogaster pygmaea from Brazil, Crematogaster biroi and Crematogaster schimmeri from Taiwan. Using scanning electron microscopy and ovarian dissections, we show that 'intermediates' are a patchwork of queen-like and worker-like traits, just as in C. smithi; importantly the combinations differ across species. 'Intermediates' are numerically few in the colonies, and in C. pygmaea they are produced seasonally. Using histology we confirmed the lack of a spermatheca, thus they are not ergatoid queens. Based on the similarity of their mosaic phenotypes with those in other ant lineages, we suggest that Orthocrema 'intermediates' are a soldier caste with a specialized trophic function. This soldier caste has been reported in other Orthocrema species from Madagascar, Guinea and Costa Rica, suggesting that it is widespread in this subgenus. PMID:23459016

  20. Cytogenetic analysis of three species of Pseudacteon (Diptera, Phoridae) parasitoids of the fire ants using standard and molecular techniques

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Pseudacteon flies, parasitoids of worker ants, are being intensively studied as potentially effective agents in the biological control of the invasive pest fire ant genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). This is the first attempt to describe the karyotype of P. curvatus Borgmeier, P. nocens Borgmeier and P. tricuspis Borgmeier. The three species possess 2n = 6; chromosomes I and II were metacentric in the three species, but chromosome pair III was subtelocentric in P. curvatus and P. tricuspis, and telocentric in P. nocens. All three species possess a C positive band in chromosome II, lack C positive heterochromatin on chromosome I, and are mostly differentiated with respect to chromosome III. P. curvatus and P. tricuspis possess a C positive band, but at different locations, whereas this band is absent in P. nocens. Heterochromatic bands are neither AT nor GC rich as revealed by fluorescent banding. In situ hybridization with an 18S rDNA probe revealed a signal on chromosome II in a similar location to the C positive band in the three species. The apparent lack of morphologically distinct sex chromosomes is consistent with proposals of environmental sex determination in the genus. Small differences detected in chromosome length and morphology suggests that chromosomes have been highly conserved during the evolutionary radiation of Pseudacteon. Possible mechanisms of karyotype evolution in the three species are suggested. PMID:21637448

  1. Foraging activity and seasonal food preference of Linepithema micans (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), a species associated with the spread of Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Hemiptera: Margarodidae).

    PubMed

    Nondillo, Aline; Ferrari, Leonardo; Lerin, Sabrina; Bueno, Odair Correa; Bottona, Marcos

    2014-08-01

    Linepithema micans (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is the main ant species responsible for the spread of Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Wille) (Hemiptera: Margarodidae), a soil scale that damages vine plants in southern Brazil. The daily foraging activity of L. micans and its seasonal preference for protein- and carbohydrate-based foods were evaluated. The study was carried out in a greenhouse using seedlings of the Paulsen 1103 rootstock (Vitis berlandieri x Vitis rupestris) planted individually in pots and infested with colonies of L. micans. To determine the daily foraging activity and seasonal preference, a cricket (Gryllus sp.) and a 70% solution of inverted sugar and water were offered once a month for 12 mo. The ants foraging on each food source were counted hourly for 24 h. L. micans foraged from dusk until the end of the next morning, with higher intensity in the spring and summer. Workers of L. micans showed changes in food preference during the year, with a predominance of protein-based food during winter and spring and carbohydrate-based food during autumn. The implications of this behavior for control of the species with the use of toxic baits are discussed. PMID:25195426

  2. Effects of colony composition and food type on nutrient distribution in colonies of Monomorium orientale (Hymenoptera: formicidae).

    PubMed

    Loke, Pooi-Yen; Lee, Chow-Yang

    2006-02-01

    Monomorium orientale Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is a common structure- and food-infesting ant in Asia. There is only limited information on the biology and habits of this species, especially on the preferred foods and distribution of nutrients in colonies. We conducted a laboratory study on the distribution of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids, which were represented by respective food sources, in M. orientale colonies. Three colony conditions were applied: normal, with a balanced ratio of castes, queenless (only workers and brood), and broodless (only queens and workers). Food sources were stained to track the flow of the respective food in the colonies. Results revealed that carbohydrates had rapid distribution, with > 60% of the colony indicated in 24 h, in all colony conditions. Queens in all colonies did not feed on protein. Protein showed a more delayed distribution in the brood in all colony conditions; < 10% of the colony fed on protein by 24 h. Only queens in broodless colonies showed signs of feeding on lipid, with < 10% indicated in 24 h. Workers in all colonies fed on lipid as soon as it was delivered, whereas the brood only began to reveal feeding response after 24 h. PMID:16573333

  3. Management of hymenoptera sting anaphylaxis: a preventive medicine survey.

    PubMed

    McDougle, L; Klein, G L; Hoehler, F K

    1995-01-01

    The evaluation of aftercare instructions given to patients suffering from hymenoptera sting anaphylaxis was the objective of the study. Part of this evaluation included asking the physicians questions to examine the knowledge on which they based their aftercare instructions. Survey questionnaires were completed by 124 of 174 (71%) physicians who worked in an emergency department or urgent care center. Fifty-eight percent of the physicians never provided written avoidance instructions, 24% provided or prescribed anaphylaxis ID bracelets, 44% referred all of their patients to an allergist for further evaluation, and 73% reported prescribing an Epi-pen or Ana-kit to all hymenoptera sting anaphylaxis victims. Twenty-four percent of physicians did not know where to obtain anaphylaxis identification bracelets. This survey demonstrates that a substantial number of physicians practicing emergency medicine are not providing appropriate aftercare instructions to patients, and substantiates the need for educational efforts to increase the awareness of physicians concerning the implications of hymenoptera allergy and the value of proper preventive measures. PMID:7782631

  4. Prevalence of allergic reactions to Hymenoptera stings in northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Incorvaia, C; Senna, G; Mauro, M; Bonadonna, P; Marconi, I; Asero, R; Nitti, F

    2004-12-01

    The epidemiology of Hymenoptera venom allergy in Europe showed prevalence of systemic reactions of about 3%, but is scantly investigated in Italy. We studied two samples of the general and an at risk population, i.e. the foresters, in northern Italy. A standardized questionnaire dealing with allergic reactions to Hymenoptera stings was submitted to the subjects included in the study, who were factory workers in Milan and Verona and foresters in Lombardy. An overall number of 574 subjects participated to the study, 462 (299 males and 163 females, mean age 40.1 yrs, range 20-63 yrs) were factory workers and 112 (all males, mean age 38.8 yrs, range 24-59 yrs) were foresters. Among factory workers, 302 (65.4%) were stung by Hymenoptera, 49 (10.6%) had had large local reactions, and 13 (2.8%) systemic reactions. Among foresters, 76 (67.8%) were stung, 11 (9.8%) had had large local reactions, and 5 (4.5%) systemic reactions. The systemic reactions were life-threatening in 3 (0.6%) industrial workers and 2 (1.8%) foresters. The prevalence of systemic reaction of 2.8% in the general population agrees with the data reported from a number of countries with temperate climate. The prevalence of 4.5% in foresters attributed to this population a risk only slightly increased. PMID:15662965

  5. Facing Hymenoptera Venom Allergy: From Natural to Recombinant Allergens

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Riverol, Amilcar; Justo-Jacomini, Débora Lais; Zollner, Ricardo de Lima; Brochetto-Braga, Márcia Regina

    2015-01-01

    Along with food and drug allergic reactions, a Hymenoptera insect Sting (Apoidea, Vespidae, Formicidae) is one of the most common causes of anaphylaxis worldwide. Diagnoses of Hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA) and specific immunotherapy (SIT) have been based on the use of crude venom extracts. However, the incidence of cross-reactivity and low levels of sensibility during diagnosis, as well as the occurrence of nonspecific sensitization and undesired side effects during SIT, encourage the search for novel allergenic materials. Recombinant allergens are an interesting approach to improve allergy diagnosis and SIT because they circumvent major problems associated with the use of crude venom. Production of recombinant allergens depends on the profound molecular characterization of the natural counterpart by combining some “omics” approaches with high-throughput screening techniques and the selection of an appropriate system for heterologous expression. To date, several clinically relevant allergens and novel venom toxins have been identified, cloned and characterized, enabling a better understanding of the whole allergenic and envenoming processes. Here, we review recent findings on identification, molecular characterization and recombinant expression of Hymenoptera venom allergens and on the evaluation of these heterologous proteins as valuable tools for tackling remaining pitfalls on HVA diagnosis and immunotherapy. PMID:26184309

  6. Ant-seed mutualisms: Can red imported fire ants sour the relationship?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zettler, J.A.; Spira, T.P.; Allen, C.R.

    2001-01-01

    Invasion by the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, has had negative impacts on individual animal and plant species, but little is known about how S. invicta affects complex mutualistic relationships. In some eastern forests of North America, 30% of herbaceous species have ant-dispersed seeds. We conducted experiments to determine if fire ants are attracted to seeds of these plant species and assessed the amount of scarification or damage that results from handling by fire ants. Fire ants removed nearly 100% of seeds of the ant-dispersed plants Trillium undulatum, T. discolor, T. catesbaei, Viola rotundifolia, and Sanguinaria canadensis. In recovered seeds fed to ant colonies, fire ants scarified 80% of S. canadensis seeds and destroyed 86% of V. rotundifolia seeds. Our study is the first to document that red imported fire ants are attracted to and remove seeds of species adapted for ant dispersal. Moreover, fire ants might damage these seeds and discard them in sites unfavorable for germination and seedling establishment. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. CONTROL FIRE ANTS BY USING DECAPITATING FLIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Researchers with the USDA, ARS Biological Control of Pests Research Unit are rearing Pseudacteon curvatus, a tiny fly in the family Phoridae that parasitizes and kills imported fire ants. The flies only attack fire ants, and are not attracted to vegetables (12 kinds), fruit (13 kinds), raw meat (7 ...

  10. Ants cushion applied stress by active rearrangements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhongyang; Hyatt, John; Mlot, Nathan; Gerov, Michael; Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto; Hu, David

    2013-11-01

    Fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, link their bodies together to form waterproof rafts, which in turn drip, spread, and coagulate, demonstrating properties of an active material that can change state from a liquid to a solid. This soft-matter phase transition is important when the raft interacts with environmental forces such as raindrops and crashing waves. We study this active behavior through plate-on-plate rheology on the ants, extracting the active components by comparison with the rheological behavior of a collection of dead ants. In controlled shear tests, both and live and dead ants show properties of a non-Newtonian fluid, specifically, shear-thinning behavior. In oscillatory tests, live ants exhibit a rare behavior in which their storage modulus (G') and loss modulus (G'') have approximately the same value over three orders magnitudes of frequency and two orders of magnitude of strain, indicating the ants are neither fluid nor solid. In comparison, dead ants are more solid-like, with a storage modulus twice as large as their loss modulus. This striking active behavior arises from rearrangement of their bodies and storage and dissipation of energy with the ants' muscles.

  11. Urban Pest Management of Ants in California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Keeping pace with the dynamic and evolving landscape of invasive ants in California presents a formidable challenge to the pest management industry. Pest management professionals (PMPs) are on the frontlines when it comes to battling these exotic ant pests, and are often the first ones to intercept ...

  12. The Complexity of Fire Ant Nestmate Recognition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fire ants, Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri, were inadvertently introduced into the United States in the early 1900s and currently inhabit over 129 million hectares in Puerto Rico and twelve southern states from Texas to Virginia. Imported fire ants have also become established in isolated...

  13. Area-wide Suppression of Fire Ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fire ants, Solenopsis richteri and Solenopsis invicta, infest over 129.5 million ha in the USA. Fire ants, with their tremendous reproduction, mobility, and ability to occupy a wide range of habitats make their eradication very difficult. In the USA, rapid and extensive spread of these stinging an...

  14. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Interactions mediated by extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing plants that reward ants with a sweet liquid secretion are well documented in temperate and tropical habitats. However, their distribution and abundance in deserts are poorly known. In this study, we test the predictions that biotic interactions between EFN plants and ants are abundant and common also in arid communities and that EFNs are only functional when new vegetative and reproductive structures are developing. In a seasonal desert of northwestern Argentina, we surveyed the richness and phenology of EFN plants and their associated ants and examined the patterns in ant-plant interaction networks. We found that 25 ant species and 11 EFN-bearing plant species were linked together through 96 pairs of associations. Plants bearing EFNs were abundant, representing ca. 19 % of the species encountered in transects and 24 % of the plant cover. Most ant species sampled (ca. 77 %) fed on EF nectar. Interactions showed a marked seasonal pattern: EFN secretion was directly related to plant phenology and correlated with the time of highest ant ground activity. Our results reveal that EFN-mediated interactions are ecologically relevant components of deserts, and that EFN-bearing plants are crucial for the survival of desert ant communities. PMID:25381258

  15. Spectacular Batesian mimicry in ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Fuminori; Hashim, Rosli; Huei, Yek Sze; Kaufmann, Eva; Akino, Toshiharu; Billen, Johan

    2004-10-01

    The mechanism by which palatable species take advantage of their similarity in appearance to those that are unpalatable, in order to avoid predation, is called Batesian mimicry. Several arthropods are thought to be Batesian mimics of social insects; however, social insects that are Batesian mimics among themselves are rare. In Malaysia we found a possible Batesian mimic in an arboreal ant species, Camponotus sp., which was exclusively observed on foraging trails of the myrmicine ant Crematogaster inflata. The bright yellow and black colouring pattern, as well as the walking behaviour, were very similar in both species. We observed general interactions between the two species, and tested their palatability and the significance of the remarkably similar visual colour patterns for predator avoidance. Prey offered to C. inflata was also eaten by Camponotus workers in spite of their being attacked by C. inflata, indicating that Camponotus sp. is a commensal of C. inflata. An experiment with chicks as potential predators suggests that Camponotus sp. is palatable whereas C. inflata is unpalatable. After tasting C. inflata, the chicks no longer attacked Camponotus sp., indicating that Camponotus sp. is a Batesian mimic of Crematogaster inflata.

  16. Spectacular Batesian mimicry in ants.

    PubMed

    Ito, Fuminori; Hashim, Rosli; Huei, Yek Sze; Kaufmann, Eva; Akino, Toshiharu; Billen, Johan

    2004-10-01

    The mechanism by which palatable species take advantage of their similarity in appearance to those that are unpalatable, in order to avoid predation, is called Batesian mimicry. Several arthropods are thought to be Batesian mimics of social insects; however, social insects that are Batesian mimics among themselves are rare. In Malaysia we found a possible Batesian mimic in an arboreal ant species, Camponotus sp., which was exclusively observed on foraging trails of the myrmicine ant Crematogaster inflata. The bright yellow and black colouring pattern, as well as the walking behaviour, were very similar in both species. We observed general interactions between the two species, and tested their palatability and the significance of the remarkably similar visual colour patterns for predator avoidance. Prey offered to C. inflata was also eaten by Camponotus workers in spite of their being attacked by C. inflata, indicating that Camponotus sp. is a commensal of C. inflata. An experiment with chicks as potential predators suggests that Camponotus sp. is palatable whereas C. inflata is unpalatable. After tasting C. inflata, the chicks no longer attacked Camponotus sp., indicating that Camponotus sp. is a Batesian mimic of Crematogaster inflata. PMID:15729761

  17. Microtubules viewed as molecular ant colonies.

    PubMed

    Tabony, James

    2006-10-01

    Populations of ants and other social insects self-organize and develop 'emergent' properties through stigmergy in which individual ants communicate with one another via chemical trails of pheromones that attract or repulse other ants. In this way, sophisticated properties and functions develop. Under appropriate conditions, in vitro microtubule preparations, initially comprised of only tubulin and GTP, behave in a similar manner. They self-organize and develop other higher-level emergent phenomena by a process where individual microtubules are coupled together by the chemical trails they produce by their own reactive growing and shrinking. This behaviour is described and compared with the behaviour of ant colonies. Viewing microtubules as populations of molecular ants may provide new insights as to how the cytoskeleton may spontaneously develop high-level functions. It is plausible that such processes occur during the early stages of embryogenesis and in cells. PMID:16968217

  18. Uncovering the complexity of ant foraging trails.

    PubMed

    Czaczkes, Tomer J; Grüter, Christoph; Jones, Sam M; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2012-01-01

    The common garden ant Lasius niger use both trail pheromones and memory of past visits to navigate to and from food sources. In a recent paper we demonstrated a synergistic effect between route memory and trail pheromones: the presence of trail pheromones results in experienced ants walking straighter and faster. We also found that experienced ants leaving a pheromone trail deposit less pheromone. Here we focus on another finding of the experiment: the presence of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), which are used as home range markers by ants, also affects pheromone deposition behavior. When walking on a trail on which CHCs are present but trail pheromones are not, experienced foragers deposit less pheromone on the outward journey than on the return journey. The regulatory mechanisms ants use during foraging and recruitment behavior is subtle and complex, affected by multiple interacting factors such as route memory, travel direction and the presence trail pheromone and home-range markings. PMID:22482017

  19. Spatiotemporal chemotactic model for ant foraging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramakrishnan, Subramanian; Laurent, Thomas; Kumar, Manish; Bertozzi, Andrea L.

    2014-12-01

    In this paper, we present a generic theoretical chemotactic model that accounts for certain emergent behaviors observed in ant foraging. The model does not have many of the constraints and limitations of existing models for ants colony dynamics and takes into account the distinctly different behaviors exhibited in nature by ant foragers in search of food and food ferrying ants. Numerical simulations based on the model show trail formation in foraging ant colonies to be an emergent phenomenon and, in particular, replicate behavior observed in experiments involving the species P. megacephala. The results have broader implications for the study of randomness in chemotactic models. Potential applications include the developments of novel algorithms for stochastic search in engineered complex systems such as robotic swarms.

  20. Ants defend aphids against lethal disease.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-23

    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

  1. Cryptococcus neoformans carried by Odontomachus bauri ants.

    PubMed

    Jesus, Mariana Santos de; Rodrigues, William Costa; Barbosa, Glaucia; Trilles, Luciana; Wanke, Bodo; Lazéra, Márcia dos Santos; Silva, Manuela da

    2012-06-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is the most common causative agent of cryptococcosis worldwide. Although this fungus has been isolated from a variety of organic substrates, several studies suggest that hollow trees constitute an important natural niche for C. neoformans. A previously surveyed hollow of a living pink shower tree (Cassia grandis) positive for C. neoformans in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was chosen for further investigation. Odontomachus bauri ants (trap-jaw ants) found inside the hollow were collected for evaluation as possible carriers of Cryptococcus spp. Two out of 10 ants were found to carry phenoloxidase-positive colonies identified as C. neoformans molecular types VNI and VNII. The ants may have acted as a mechanical vector of C. neoformans and possibly contributed to the dispersal of the fungi from one substrate to another. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the association of C. neoformans with ants of the genus Odontomachus. PMID:22666855

  2. [The ants: a strategy of population concentration].

    PubMed

    Zakharov, A A

    2011-01-01

    Ants are provided with a balanced system of reactions either to the original paucity of socia or to their secondary depopulation. This system can be defined as a strategy of population concentration. Both a successful reproduction of workers and queen fertilization are necessary conditions for ant communities' survival and development. Thus, the anthills must be large enough to ensure optimal conditions for reproduction. It is the strategy of population concentration that is directed to an accelerated attainment (or rehabilitation) by a socium of a state of stable development by way of concentrating the existent ant staff in an accessible number of viable nests. This strategy is realized throughout the life of ant communities by way of (a) fusing the starting family cells left by founder females, (b) fusing small anthills during artificial ant migrations, (c) uniting smaller socia or their joining other anthills, (d) reintegrating the secondary anthills (fragmentants) after an exogenous fragmentation of formicaries. Pooling and the attraction of deficient demographic resources from outside form the most efficient and quickest ways of reaching or restoring the threshold density levels. By realizing this strategy, the ants solve their paramount problems of anthill or settlement conservation at any particular time, as well as of providing some prospects for ant existence in the future. These problems are so vital for ant socia that they appear to hold priority over such other characteristics of utmost importance as genetic kinship or even species identity. The priority of social basics over genetic ones is unequivocally supported through mixed formicaries. A necessary condition for the realization of the strategy of population concentration is tolerance of highly developed social systems to the diversity of forms and to deviations from the norm. The use of one and the same mechanism at all stages of the life both of an individual socium and large ant settlements is

  3. Aggressions and size-related fecundity of queenless workers in the ant Cataglyphis cursor.

    PubMed

    Clémencet, Johanna; Rome, Quentin; Fédérici, Pierre; Doums, Claudie

    2008-02-01

    In social hymenoptera, the reproductive division of labor is often linked to differences in individual body size with the reproductive caste (the queen) being larger than the workers. Likewise, the reproductive potential may vary with size within the worker caste and could affect the evolution of worker size in social insects. Here, we tested the relationship between worker size and reproductive potential in the facultative parthenogenetic ant Cataglyphis cursor. Colonies are headed by a multiply mated queen, but workers can produce gynes (virgin queens) and workers by thelytokous parthenogenesis after the queen's death. We observed the behaviour of workers (n = 357) until the production of gynes (212 h over 3 months) in an orphaned colony (mated queen not present). The size of workers was measured, and their paternal lineage determined using six microsatellite markers, to control for an effect of patriline. Larger workers were more likely to reproduce and lay more eggs indicating that individual level selection could take place. However, paternal lineage had no effect on the reproductive potential and worker size. From the behavioural and genetic data, we also show for the first time in this species, evidence of aggressive interactions among workers and a potential for nepotism to occur in orphaned colonies, as the five gynes produced belonged to a single paternal lineage. PMID:17912494

  4. Aggressions and size-related fecundity of queenless workers in the ant Cataglyphis cursor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clémencet, Johanna; Rome, Quentin; Fédérici, Pierre; Doums, Claudie

    2008-02-01

    In social hymenoptera, the reproductive division of labor is often linked to differences in individual body size with the reproductive caste (the queen) being larger than the workers. Likewise, the reproductive potential may vary with size within the worker caste and could affect the evolution of worker size in social insects. Here, we tested the relationship between worker size and reproductive potential in the facultative parthenogenetic ant Cataglyphis cursor. Colonies are headed by a multiply mated queen, but workers can produce gynes (virgin queens) and workers by thelytokous parthenogenesis after the queen’s death. We observed the behaviour of workers ( n = 357) until the production of gynes (212 h over 3 months) in an orphaned colony (mated queen not present). The size of workers was measured, and their paternal lineage determined using six microsatellite markers, to control for an effect of patriline. Larger workers were more likely to reproduce and lay more eggs indicating that individual level selection could take place. However, paternal lineage had no effect on the reproductive potential and worker size. From the behavioural and genetic data, we also show for the first time in this species, evidence of aggressive interactions among workers and a potential for nepotism to occur in orphaned colonies, as the five gynes produced belonged to a single paternal lineage.

  5. Effect of Temperature on the Development and Survival of the Argentine Ant, Linepithema humile

    PubMed Central

    Abril, Silvia; Oliveras, Jordi; Gómez, Crisanto

    2010-01-01

    The influence of temperature on the developmental times and survival of insects can largely determine their distribution. For invasive species, like the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), these data are essential for predicting their potential range based on mechanistic models. In the case of this species, such data are too scarce and incomplete to make accurate predictions based on its physiological needs. This research provides comprehensive new data about brood survival and developmental times at a wide range of temperatures under laboratory conditions. Temperature affected both the complete brood development from egg to adult worker and each of the immature stages separately. The higher the temperature, the shorter the development times. Brood survival from egg to adult was low, with the maximum survival rate being only 16% at 26° C. Temperature also affected survival of each of the immature stages differently: eggs were negatively affected by high temperatures, while larvae were negatively affected by low temperatures, and the survival of pupae was apparently independent of environmental temperature. At 32° C no eggs survived, while at 18° C less than 2% of the eggs hatched into larva. The data from the present study are essential for developing prediction models about the distribution range of this tramp species based on its physiological needs in relation to temperature. PMID:20673121

  6. Biological and Enzymatic Characterization of Proteases from Crude Venom of the Ant Odontomachus bauri

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Mariana Ferreira; Mota, Caroline Martins; Miranda, Vanessa dos Santos; de Oliveira Cunha, Amanda; Silva, Maraísa Cristina; Naves, Karinne Spirandelli Carvalho; de Oliveira, Fábio; Silva, Deise Aparecida de Oliveira; Mineo, Tiago Wilson Patriarca; Santiago, Fernanda Maria

    2015-01-01

    Hymenoptera venoms constitute an interesting source of natural toxins that may lead to the development of novel therapeutic agents. The present study investigated the enzymatic and biological characteristics of the crude venom of the ant Odontomachus bauri. Its crude venom presents several protein bands, with higher staining for six proteins with gelatinolytic activity (17, 20, 26, 29, 43 and 48 kDa). The crude venom showed high proteolytic activity on azocasein at optimal pH 8.0 and 37 °C. In the presence of protease inhibitors as aprotinin, leupeptin and EDTA, the azocaseinolytic activity was reduced by 45%, 29% and 9%, respectively, suggesting that the enzymes present in the crude venom belong to the three classes of proteases, with the serine proteases in greater intensity. The crude venom degraded the fibrinogen α-chain faster than the β-chain, while the fibrinogen γ-chain remained unchanged. In biological assays, O. bauri venom showed hemolytic and coagulant activity in vitro, and defibrinating activity in vivo. In addition, the venom showed antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli as well as antiparasitic activity on Toxoplasma gondii infection in vitro. In that sense, this study sheds perspectives for pharmacological applications of O. bauri venom enzymes. PMID:26633501

  7. Analysis of Insect toxicity and repellent activity of Phytochemicals from "Skimmia laureola, Nair" against "Black garden ant, Lasius niger" of Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Mehmood, Ferhat; Khan, Zaheer-ud-Din; Manzoor, Farkhanda; Jamil, Muhammad

    2016-05-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate the toxicity and repellency of essential oils from root, stem and leaves of Nazar panra, Skimmia laureola (DC.) Zucc. Ex Walp. of family (Sapindales: Rutaceae) ver. Nair of Pakistan. The oils were tested at three concentrations i.e. 1, 5 and 10%. Black garden ant, Lasius niger L. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Pakistan were selected and exposed to essential oils at room temperature. All essential oils showed Insecticidal activity with LC(50)=10.15, while dose dependant effect was significant with R(2)=0.98. It can be concluded that the three Essential oils in this study have both Insecticidal as well as repellent effect. PMID:27166549

  8. First Results of 3 Year Monitoring of Red Wood Ants' Behavioural Changes and Their Possible Correlation with Earthquake Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berberich, Gabriele; Berberich, Martin; Grumpe, Arne; Wöhler, Christian; Schreiber, Ulrich

    2013-04-01

    Short-term earthquake predictions with an advance warning of several hours or days can currently not be performed reliably and remain limited to only a few minutes before the event. Abnormal animal behaviours prior to earthquakes have been reported previously but their detection creates problems in monitoring and reliability. A different situation is encountered for red wood ants (RWA; Formica rufa-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). They have stationary nest sites on tectonically active, gas-bearing fault systems. These faults may be potential earthquake areas and are simultaneously information channels deeply reaching into the crust. A particular advantage of monitoring RWA is their high sensitivity to environmental changes. Besides an evolutionarily developed extremely strong temperature sensitivity of 0.25 K, they have chemoreceptors for the detection of CO2 concentrations and a sensitivity for electromagnetic fields. Changes of the electromagnetic field are discussed or short-lived "thermal anomalies" are reported as trigger mechanisms for bioanomalies of impending earthquakes. For 3 years, we have monitored two Red Wood Ant mounds (Formica rufa-group), located at the seismically active Neuwied Basin (Eifel, Germany), 24/7 by high-resolution cameras equipped with a colour and infrared sensor. In the Neuwied Basin, an average of about 100 earthquakes per year with magnitudes up to M 3.9 occur located on different tectonic fault regimes (strike-slip faults and/or normal or thrust faults). The RWA mounds are located on two different fault regimes approximately 30 km apart. First results show that the ants have a well-identifiable standard daily routine. Correlation with local seismic events suggests changes in the ants' behaviour hours before the earthquake event: The nocturnal rest phase and daily activity are suppressed, and standard daily routine is continued not before the next day. Additional parameters that might have an effect on the ants' daily routine

  9. FDTD-ANT User Manual

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimmerman, Martin L.

    1995-01-01

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

  10. Ant-Based Cyber Security

    SciTech Connect

    Haack, Jereme N.; Fink, Glenn A.; Maiden, Wendy M.; McKinnon, Archibald D.; Templeton, Steven J.; Fulp, Errin W.

    2011-07-12

    We describe a swarming-agent-based, mixed-initiative approach to infrastructure defense where teams of humans and software agents defend cooperating organizations in tandem by sharing insights and solutions without violating proprietary boundaries. The system places human administrators at the appropriate level where they provide system guidance while lower-level agents carry out tasks humans are unable to perform quickly enough to mitigate today’s security threats. Cooperative Infrastructure Defense (CID) uses our ant-based approach to enable dialogue between humans and agents to foster a collaborative problem-solving environment, increase human situational awareness and influence using visualization and shared control. We discuss theoretical implementation characteristics along with results from recent proof-of-concept implementations.

  11. Spatial patterns in ant colonies.

    PubMed

    Theraulaz, Guy; Bonabeau, Eric; Nicolis, Stamatios C; Solé, Ricard V; Fourcassié, Vincent; Blanco, Stéphane; Fournier, Richard; Joly, Jean-Louis; Fernández, Pau; Grimal, Anne; Dalle, Patrice; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis

    2002-07-23

    The origins of large-scale spatial patterns in biology have been an important source of theoretical speculation since the pioneering work by Turing (1952) on the chemical basis of morphogenesis. Knowing how these patterns emerge and their functional role is important to our understanding of the evolution of biocomplexity and the role played by self organization. However, so far, conclusive evidence for local activation-long-range inhibition mechanisms in real biological systems has been elusive. Here a well-defined experimental and theoretical analysis of the pattern formation dynamics exhibited by clustering behavior in ant colonies is presented. These experiments and a simple mathematical model show that these colonies do indeed use this type of mechanism. All microscopic variables have been measured and provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, for this type of self-organized behavior in complex biological systems, supporting early conjectures about its role in the organization of insect societies. PMID:12114538

  12. Modeling the dynamics of ant colony optimization.

    PubMed

    Merkle, Daniel; Middendorf, Martin

    2002-01-01

    The dynamics of Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithms is studied using a deterministic model that assumes an average expected behavior of the algorithms. The ACO optimization metaheuristic is an iterative approach, where in every iteration, artificial ants construct solutions randomly but guided by pheromone information stemming from former ants that found good solutions. The behavior of ACO algorithms and the ACO model are analyzed for certain types of permutation problems. It is shown analytically that the decisions of an ant are influenced in an intriguing way by the use of the pheromone information and the properties of the pheromone matrix. This explains why ACO algorithms can show a complex dynamic behavior even when there is only one ant per iteration and no competition occurs. The ACO model is used to describe the algorithm behavior as a combination of situations with different degrees of competition between the ants. This helps to better understand the dynamics of the algorithm when there are several ants per iteration as is always the case when using ACO algorithms for optimization. Simulations are done to compare the behavior of the ACO model with the ACO algorithm. Results show that the deterministic model describes essential features of the dynamics of ACO algorithms quite accurately, while other aspects of the algorithms behavior cannot be found in the model. PMID:12227995

  13. Extensional Rheology of Fire Ant Aggregates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franklin, Scott; Kern, Matthew; Phonekeo, Sulisay; Hu, David

    We explore the extensional rheology and self-healing of fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) aggregations, mechanically entangled ensembles used to form rafts, bivouacs or bridges. Macroscopic experiments create quasi-two dimensional piles and measure the force required to impose a constant end-velocity. This force fluctuates, reminiscent of similar experiments on geometrically cohesive granular materials. Heterogeneous chains develop, with isolated ants often the sole link between top and bottom. Finally, the maximum pile strength scales sub-linearly with the number of ants, with the maximum force per ant decreasing as the pile grows. We reproduce these behaviors with a simple model that represents ants feet as discs connected by a spring (the ''leg''). Discs move randomly, and stick to one another when in contact. Discs in contact un-stick at random with a probability that decreases as the spring (leg) is stretched, modeling an ant's tendency to hold on longer when stretched. Simulations qualitatively reproduces the fluctuating force, chain formation and sublinear scaling of maximum force with particle number and give insight into underlying mechanisms that govern the ants' behaviors. Funded in part by NSF DMR #1133722.

  14. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Interactions mediated by extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing plants that reward ants with a sweet liquid secretion are well documented in temperate and tropical habitats. However, their distribution and abundance in deserts are poorly known. In this study, we test the predictions that biotic interactions between EFN plants and ants are abundant and common also in arid communities and that EFNs are only functional when new vegetative and reproductive structures are developing. In a seasonal desert of northwestern Argentina, we surveyed the richness and phenology of EFN plants and their associated ants and examined the patterns in ant–plant interaction networks. We found that 25 ant species and 11 EFN-bearing plant species were linked together through 96 pairs of associations. Plants bearing EFNs were abundant, representing ca. 19 % of the species encountered in transects and 24 % of the plant cover. Most ant species sampled (ca. 77 %) fed on EF nectar. Interactions showed a marked seasonal pattern: EFN secretion was directly related to plant phenology and correlated with the time of highest ant ground activity. Our results reveal that EFN-mediated interactions are ecologically relevant components of deserts, and that EFN-bearing plants are crucial for the survival of desert ant communities. PMID:25381258

  15. The agricultural pathology of ant fungus gardens

    PubMed Central

    Currie, Cameron R.; Mueller, Ulrich G.; Malloch, David

    1999-01-01

    Gardens of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae: Attini) traditionally have been thought to be free of microbial parasites, with the fungal mutualist maintained in nearly pure “monocultures.” We conducted extensive isolations of “alien” (nonmutualistic) fungi from ant gardens of a phylogenetically representative collection of attine ants. Contrary to the long-standing assumption that gardens are maintained free of microbial pathogens and parasites, they are in fact host to specialized parasites that are only known from attine gardens and that are found in most attine nests. These specialized garden parasites, belonging to the microfungus genus Escovopsis (Ascomycota: anamorphic Hypocreales), are horizontally transmitted between colonies. Consistent with theory of virulence evolution under this mode of pathogen transmission, Escovopsis is highly virulent and has the potential for rapid devastation of ant gardens, leading to colony mortality. The specialized parasite Escovopsis is more prevalent in gardens of the more derived ant lineages than in gardens of the more “primitive” (basal) ant lineages. Because fungal cultivars of derived attine lineages are asexual clones of apparently ancient origin whereas cultivars of primitive ant lineages were domesticated relatively recently from free-living sexual stocks, the increased virulence of pathogens associated with ancient asexual cultivars suggests an evolutionary cost to cultivar clonality, perhaps resulting from slower evolutionary rates of cultivars in the coevolutionary race with their pathogens. PMID:10393936

  16. How to be an ant on figs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bain, Anthony; Harrison, Rhett D.; Schatz, Bertrand

    2014-05-01

    Mutualistic interactions are open to exploitation by one or other of the partners and a diversity of other organisms, and hence are best understood as being embedded in a complex network of biotic interactions. Figs participate in an obligate mutualism in that figs are dependent on agaonid fig wasps for pollination and the wasps are dependent on fig ovules for brood sites. Ants are common insect predators and abundant in tropical forests. Ants have been recorded on approximately 11% of fig species, including all six subgenera, and often affect the fig-fig pollinator interaction through their predation of either pollinating and parasitic wasps. On monoecious figs, ants are often associated with hemipterans, whereas in dioecious figs ants predominantly prey on fig wasps. A few fig species are true myrmecophytes, with domatia or food rewards for ants, and in at least one species this is linked to predation of parasitic fig wasps. Ants also play a role in dispersal of fig seeds and may be particularly important for hemi-epiphytic species, which require high quality establishment microsites in the canopy. The intersection between the fig-fig pollinator and ant-plant systems promises to provide fertile ground for understanding mutualistic interactions within the context of complex interaction networks.

  17. A NEW SPECIES OF INVASIVE GALL WASP (HYMENOPTERA: EULOPHIDAE: TETRASTICHINAE) ON BLUE GUM (EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS) IN CALIFORNIA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The blue gum gall wasp, Selitrichodes globulus La Salle & Gates (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae), is described as an invasive gall inducer on blue gum, Eucalyptus globulus (Myrtaceae), in California....

  18. Yet More “Weeds” in the Garden: Fungal Novelties from Nests of Leaf-Cutting Ants

    PubMed Central

    Augustin, Juliana O.; Groenewald, Johannes Z.; Nascimento, Robson J.; Mizubuti, Eduardo S. G.; Barreto, Robert W.; Elliot, Simon L.; Evans, Harry C.

    2013-01-01

    Background Symbiotic relationships modulate the evolution of living organisms in all levels of biological organization. A notable example of symbiosis is that of attine ants (Attini; Formicidae: Hymenoptera) and their fungal cultivars (Lepiotaceae and Pterulaceae; Agaricales: Basidiomycota). In recent years, this mutualism has emerged as a model system for studying coevolution, speciation, and multitrophic interactions. Ubiquitous in this ant-fungal symbiosis is the “weedy” fungus Escovopsis (Hypocreales: Ascomycota), known only as a mycoparasite of attine fungal gardens. Despite interest in its biology, ecology and molecular phylogeny—noting, especially, the high genetic diversity encountered—which has led to a steady flow of publications over the past decade, only two species of Escovopsis have formally been described. Methods and Results We sampled from fungal gardens and garden waste (middens) of nests of the leaf-cutting ant genus Acromyrmex in a remnant of subtropical Atlantic rainforest in Minas Gerais, Brazil. In culture, distinct morphotypes of Escovopsis sensu lato were recognized. Using both morphological and molecular analyses, three new species of Escovopsis were identified. These are described and illustrated herein—E. lentecrescens, E. microspora, and E. moelleri—together with a re-description of the genus and the type species, E. weberi. The new genus Escovopsioides is erected for a fourth morphotype. We identify, for the first time, a mechanism for horizontal transmission via middens. Conclusions The present study makes a start at assigning names and formal descriptions to these specific fungal parasites of attine nests. Based on the results of this exploratory and geographically-restricted survey, we expect there to be many more species of the genus Escovopsis and its relatives associated with nests of both the lower and higher Attini throughout their neotropical range, as suggested in previous studies. PMID:24376525

  19. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Suckling, D.M.; Peck, R.W.; Manning, L.M.; Stringer, L.D.; Cappadonna, J.; El-Sayed, A. M.

    2008-01-01

    Disruption of Argentine ant trail following and reduced ability to forage (measured by bait location success) was achieved after presentation of an oversupply of trail pheromone, (Z)-9-hexadecenal. Experiments tested single pheromone point sources and dispersion of a formulation in small field plots. Ant walking behavior was recorded and digitized by using video tracking, before and after presentation of trail pheromone. Ants showed changes in three parameters within seconds of treatment: (1) Ants on trails normally showed a unimodal frequency distribution of walking track angles, but this pattern disappeared after presentation of the trail pheromone; (2) ants showed initial high trail integrity on a range of untreated substrates from painted walls to wooden or concrete floors, but this was significantly reduced following presentation of a point source of pheromone; (3) the number of ants in the pheromone-treated area increased over time, as recruitment apparently exceeded departures. To test trail disruption in small outdoor plots, the trail pheromone was formulated with carnuba wax-coated quartz laboratory sand (1 g quartz sand/0.2 g wax/1 mg pheromone). The pheromone formulation, with a half-life of 30 h, was applied by rotary spreader at four rates (0, 2.5, 7.5, and 25 mg pheromone/m2) to 1- and 4-m2 plots in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. Ant counts at bait cards in treated plots were significantly reduced compared to controls on the day of treatment, and there was a significant reduction in ant foraging for 2 days. These results show that trail pheromone disruption of Argentine ants is possible, but a much more durable formulation is needed before nest-level impacts can be expected. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  20. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity.

    PubMed

    Suckling, D M; Peck, R W; Manning, L M; Stringer, L D; Cappadonna, J; El-Sayed, A M

    2008-12-01

    Disruption of Argentine ant trail following and reduced ability to forage (measured by bait location success) was achieved after presentation of an oversupply of trail pheromone, (Z)-9-hexadecenal. Experiments tested single pheromone point sources and dispersion of a formulation in small field plots. Ant walking behavior was recorded and digitized by using video tracking, before and after presentation of trail pheromone. Ants showed changes in three parameters within seconds of treatment: (1) Ants on trails normally showed a unimodal frequency distribution of walking track angles, but this pattern disappeared after presentation of the trail pheromone; (2) ants showed initial high trail integrity on a range of untreated substrates from painted walls to wooden or concrete floors, but this was significantly reduced following presentation of a point source of pheromone; (3) the number of ants in the pheromone-treated area increased over time, as recruitment apparently exceeded departures. To test trail disruption in small outdoor plots, the trail pheromone was formulated with carnuba wax-coated quartz laboratory sand (1 g quartz sand/0.2 g wax/1 mg pheromone). The pheromone formulation, with a half-life of 30 h, was applied by rotary spreader at four rates (0, 2.5, 7.5, and 25 mg pheromone/m(2)) to 1- and 4-m(2) plots in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. Ant counts at bait cards in treated plots were significantly reduced compared to controls on the day of treatment, and there was a significant reduction in ant foraging for 2 days. These results show that trail pheromone disruption of Argentine ants is possible, but a much more durable formulation is needed before nest-level impacts can be expected. PMID:19034574