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Sample records for problematic ant taxon

  1. Species delimitation: A case study in a problematic ant taxon

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Species delimitation has been invigorated as a discipline in systematics by an influx of new character sets, analytical methods, and conceptual advances. We use genetic data from 68 markers, combined with distributional, bioclimatic, and coloration information, to distinguish evolutionarily indepe...

  2. Large-scale phylogenomic analysis reveals the phylogenetic position of the problematic taxon Protocruzia and unravels the deep phylogenetic affinities of the ciliate lineages.

    PubMed

    Gentekaki, E; Kolisko, M; Boscaro, V; Bright, K J; Dini, F; Di Giuseppe, G; Gong, Y; Miceli, C; Modeo, L; Molestina, R E; Petroni, G; Pucciarelli, S; Roger, A J; Strom, S L; Lynn, D H

    2014-09-01

    The Ciliophora is one of the most studied protist lineages because of its important ecological role in the microbial loop. While there is an abundance of molecular data for many ciliate groups, it is commonly limited to the 18S ribosomal RNA locus. There is a paucity of data when it comes to availability of protein-coding genes especially for taxa that do not belong to the class Oligohymenophorea. To address this gap, we have sequenced EST libraries for 11 ciliate species. A supermatrix was constructed for phylogenomic analysis based on 158 genes and 42,158 characters and included 16 ciliates, four dinoflagellates and nine apicomplexans. This is the first multigene-based analysis focusing on the phylum Ciliophora. Our analyses reveal two robust superclades within the Intramacronucleata; one composed of the classes Spirotrichea, Armophorea and Litostomatea (SAL) and another with Colpodea and Oligohymenophorea. Furthermore, we provide corroborative evidence for removing the ambiguous taxon Protocruzia from the class Spirotrichea and placing it as incertae sedis in the phylum Ciliophora. PMID:24814356

  3. Policy Problematization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Webb, P. Taylor

    2014-01-01

    This article places Michel Foucault's concept of "problematization" in relation to educational policy research. My goal is to examine a key assumption of policy related to "solving problems" through such technologies. I discuss the potential problematization has to alter conceptions of policy research; and, through this…

  4. 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)

  5. Cross-taxon congruence and environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Diversity patterns of different taxa typically covary in space, a phenomenon called cross-taxon congruence. This pattern has been explained by the effect of one taxon diversity on taxon diversity, shared biogeographic histories of different taxa, and/or common responses to environmental conditions. A meta-analysis of the association between environment and diversity patterns found that in 83 out of 85 studies, more than 60% of the spatial variability in species richness was related to variables representing energy, water or their interaction. The role of the environment determining taxa diversity patterns leads us to hypothesize that this would explain the observed cross-taxon congruence. However, recent analyses reported the persistence of cross-taxon congruence when environmental effect was statistically removed. Here we evaluate this hypothesis, analyzing the cross-taxon congruence between birds and mammals in the Brazilian Cerrado, and assess the environmental role on the spatial covariation in diversity patterns. Results We found a positive association between avian and mammal richness and a positive latitudinal trend for both groups in the Brazilian Cerrado. Regression analyses indicated an effect of latitude, PET, and mean temperature over both biological groups. In addition, we show that NDVI was only associated with avian diversity; while the annual relative humidity, was only correlated with mammal diversity. We determined the environmental effects on diversity in a path analysis that accounted for 73% and 76% of the spatial variation in avian and mammal richness. However, an association between avian and mammal diversity remains significant. Indeed, the importance of this link between bird and mammal diversity was also supported by a significant association between birds and mammal spatial autoregressive model residuals. Conclusion Our study corroborates the main role of environmental conditions on diversity patterns, but suggests that other

  6. Oxymonads are closely related to the excavate taxon Trimastix.

    PubMed

    Dacks, J B; Silberman, J D; Simpson, A G; Moriya, S; Kudo, T; Ohkuma, M; Redfield, R J

    2001-06-01

    Despite intensive study in recent years, large-scale eukaryote phylogeny remains poorly resolved. This is particularly problematic among the groups considered to be potential early branches. In many recent systematic schemes for early eukaryotic evolution, the amitochondriate protists oxymonads and Trimastix have figured prominently, having been suggested as members of many of the putative deep-branching higher taxa. However, they have never before been proposed as close relatives of each other. We amplified, cloned, and sequenced small-subunit ribosomal RNA genes from the oxymonad Pyrsonympha and from several Trimastix isolates. Rigorous phylogenetic analyses indicate that these two protist groups are sister taxa and are not clearly related to any currently established eukaryotic lineages. This surprising result has important implications for our understanding of cellular evolution and high-level eukaryotic phylogeny. Given that Trimastix contains small, electron-dense bodies strongly suspected to be derived mitochondria, this study constitutes the best evidence to date that oxymonads are not primitively amitochondriate. Instead, Trimastix and oxymonads may be useful organisms for investigations into the evolution of the secondary amitochondriate condition. All higher taxa involving either oxymonads or Trimastix may require modification or abandonment. Affected groups include four contemporary taxa given the rank of phylum (Metamonada, Loukozoa, Trichozoa, Percolozoa), and the informal excavate taxa. A new "phylum-level" taxon may be warranted for oxymonads and Trimastix. PMID:11371592

  7. Foundational issues concerning taxa and taxon names.

    PubMed

    Ereshefsky, Marc

    2007-04-01

    In a series of articles, Rieppel (2005, Biol. Philos. 20:465-487; 2006a, Cladistics 22:186-197; 2006b, Systematist 26:5-9), Keller et al. (2003, Bot. Rev. 69:93-110), and Nixon and Carpenter (2000, Cladistics 16:298-318) criticize the philosophical foundations of the PhyloCode. They argue that species and higher taxa are not individuals, and they reject the view that taxon names are rigid designators. Furthermore, they charge supporters of the individuality thesis and rigid designator theory with assuming essentialism, committing logical inconsistencies, and offering proposals that render taxonomy untestable. These charges are unsound. Such charges turn on confusions over rigid designator theory and the distinction between kinds and individuals. In addition, Rieppel's, Keller et al.'s, and Nixon and Carpenter's proposed alternatives are no better and have their own problems. The individuality thesis and rigid designator theory should not be quickly abandoned. PMID:17464884

  8. Interaction between Locale and Taxon Strategies in Human Spatial Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redhead, Edward S.; Hamilton, Derek A.

    2007-01-01

    Three computer-based experiments which tested human participants in a non-immersive virtual watermaze task sought to determine factors which dictate whether the presence of a visual platform disrupts locale learning and taxon learning. In Experiment 1, the visible platform disrupted locale but not taxon learning based on viewpoint-independent and…

  9. 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)

  10. Gamergates in the Australian ant subfamily Myrmeciinae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietemann, Vincent; Peeters, Christian; Hölldobler, Bert

    2004-09-01

    Ant workers can mate and reproduce in a few hundreds of species belonging to the phylogenetically basal poneromorph subfamilies (sensu Bolton 2003). We report the first occurrence of gamergates (i.e. mated reproductive workers) in a myrmeciomorph subfamily. In a colony of Myrmecia pyriformis that was collected without a queen, workers continued to be produced over a period of 3 years in the laboratory. Behavioural observations and ovarian dissections indicated that three workers were mated and produced the diploid offspring. The Myrmeciinae are thus another taxon in which the selective benefits of sexual reproduction by workers can be investigated.

  11. 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

  12. Improved phylogenomic taxon sampling noticeably affects nonbilaterian relationships.

    PubMed

    Pick, K S; Philippe, H; Schreiber, F; Erpenbeck, D; Jackson, D J; Wrede, P; Wiens, M; Alié, A; Morgenstern, B; Manuel, M; Wörheide, G

    2010-09-01

    Despite expanding data sets and advances in phylogenomic methods, deep-level metazoan relationships remain highly controversial. Recent phylogenomic analyses depart from classical concepts in recovering ctenophores as the earliest branching metazoan taxon and propose a sister-group relationship between sponges and cnidarians (e.g., Dunn CW, Hejnol A, Matus DQ, et al. (18 co-authors). 2008. Broad phylogenomic sampling improves resolution of the animal tree of life. Nature 452:745-749). Here, we argue that these results are artifacts stemming from insufficient taxon sampling and long-branch attraction (LBA). By increasing taxon sampling from previously unsampled nonbilaterians and using an identical gene set to that reported by Dunn et al., we recover monophyletic Porifera as the sister group to all other Metazoa. This suggests that the basal position of the fast-evolving Ctenophora proposed by Dunn et al. was due to LBA and that broad taxon sampling is of fundamental importance to metazoan phylogenomic analyses. Additionally, saturation in the Dunn et al. character set is comparatively high, possibly contributing to the poor support for some nonbilaterian nodes. PMID:20378579

  13. Improved Phylogenomic Taxon Sampling Noticeably Affects Nonbilaterian Relationships

    PubMed Central

    Pick, K.S.; Philippe, H.; Schreiber, F.; Erpenbeck, D.; Jackson, D.J.; Wrede, P.; Wiens, M.; Alié, A.; Morgenstern, B.; Manuel, M.; Wörheide, G.

    2010-01-01

    Despite expanding data sets and advances in phylogenomic methods, deep-level metazoan relationships remain highly controversial. Recent phylogenomic analyses depart from classical concepts in recovering ctenophores as the earliest branching metazoan taxon and propose a sister-group relationship between sponges and cnidarians (e.g., Dunn CW, Hejnol A, Matus DQ, et al. (18 co-authors). 2008. Broad phylogenomic sampling improves resolution of the animal tree of life. Nature 452:745–749). Here, we argue that these results are artifacts stemming from insufficient taxon sampling and long-branch attraction (LBA). By increasing taxon sampling from previously unsampled nonbilaterians and using an identical gene set to that reported by Dunn et al., we recover monophyletic Porifera as the sister group to all other Metazoa. This suggests that the basal position of the fast-evolving Ctenophora proposed by Dunn et al. was due to LBA and that broad taxon sampling is of fundamental importance to metazoan phylogenomic analyses. Additionally, saturation in the Dunn et al. character set is comparatively high, possibly contributing to the poor support for some nonbilaterian nodes. PMID:20378579

  14. Taxonicity of anxiety sensitivity: an empirical test among youth.

    PubMed

    Bernstein, Amit; Zvolensky, Michael J; Weems, Carl; Stickle, Timothy; Leen-Feldner, Ellen W

    2005-09-01

    Taxometric coherent cut kinetic analyses were used to test the latent structure of anxiety sensitivity (AS) among 371 youth. Anxiety sensitivity was indexed by the 18-item Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index (CASI; Silverman et al., J. Clin. Child Psychol. (1991), 20, 162-168). Two sets of manifest indicators of AS were constructed using the CASI: (1) three item-parcel manifest indicators: disease concerns, unsteady concerns, and mental illness concerns; and (2) nine single-item indicators representing each of these three facets of AS. Results from standard and short-scale MAXCOV procedures, internal consistency tests, analyses of simulated Monte Carlo data, and MAMBAC external consistency tests indicated that the latent structure of anxiety sensitivity among youth was taxonic. Estimated base rate of the observed AS taxon ranged between 13.6 and 16.5%. The present findings are discussed in terms of theoretical implications for the study of AS and vulnerability for anxiety psychopathology. PMID:16005702

  15. Psychopathological factors associated with problematic alcohol and problematic Internet use in a sample of adolescents in Germany.

    PubMed

    Wartberg, Lutz; Brunner, Romuald; Kriston, Levente; Durkee, Tony; Parzer, Peter; Fischer-Waldschmidt, Gloria; Resch, Franz; Sarchiapone, Marco; Wasserman, Camilla; Hoven, Christina W; Carli, Vladimir; Wasserman, Danuta; Thomasius, Rainer; Kaess, Michael

    2016-06-30

    In Germany, high prevalence rates for problematic alcohol use and problematic Internet use in adolescents were reported. The objective of the present study was to identify psychopathological factors associated with these two behavior patterns. To our knowledge, this is the first investigation assessing psychopathological factors for both problematic alcohol and problematic Internet use in the same sample of adolescents. We surveyed a sample of 1444 adolescents in Germany regarding problematic alcohol use, problematic Internet use, psychopathology and psychological well-being. We conducted binary logistic regression analyses. 5.6% of the sample showed problematic alcohol use, 4.8% problematic Internet use, and 0.8% both problematic alcohol and problematic Internet use. Problematic alcohol use was higher in adolescents with problematic Internet use compared to those without problematic Internet use. Conduct problems and depressive symptoms were statistically significant associated with both problematic alcohol and problematic Internet use. Prosocial behavior was related to problematic Internet use. Male gender and less peer problems were associated with problematic alcohol use. For the first time associations between adolescent problematic alcohol and problematic Internet use due to common psychopathological factors were identified. However, in addition to shared factors, we found also specific psychopathological correlates associated with these two behavior patterns. PMID:27138817

  16. Forensic evaluation of problematic Internet use.

    PubMed

    Recupero, Patricia R

    2008-01-01

    Problematic Internet use appears to be a growing concern in many criminal and civil legal proceedings. Problems range from inappropriate personal use of the Internet in the workplace and excessive use of online games, pornography, and gambling, to cyberbullying among children and adolescents and numerous forms of criminal activity. Forensic psychiatric evaluations may help courts or other agencies to understand individual cases and to discern whether a psychiatric disability may be involved. Furthermore, the forensic psychiatrist may be asked to formulate a prognosis or to suggest which treatments may be helpful. Among the multiple underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms that explain problematic Internet use are: addiction, compulsion, impulse-control problems, and mood disorders. There is no definitive or standard treatment protocol for evaluation or treatment of problematic Internet use per se. A comprehensive evaluation should address the underlying psychopathology or personal problems that prompt or contribute to the problematic Internet use. This article suggests approaches that may help forensic psychiatrists to conduct a thorough evaluation with reasonable treatment recommendations. Different formulations of the problem and a discussion of DSM-IV factors are offered to provide starting points for the evaluation and to help psychiatrists to understand how problematic Internet use may relate to Axis I disorders or other factors. PMID:19092069

  17. Problematic Internet Usage and Immune Function.

    PubMed

    Reed, Phil; Vile, Rebecca; Osborne, Lisa A; Romano, Michela; Truzoli, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Problematic internet use has been associated with a variety of psychological comorbidities, but it relationship with physical illness has not received the same degree of investigation. The current study surveyed 505 participants online, and asked about their levels of problematic internet usage (Internet Addiction Test), depression and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales), social isolation (UCLA Loneliness Questionnaire), sleep problems (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), and their current health - General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), and the Immune Function Questionnaire. The results demonstrated that around 30% of the sample displayed mild or worse levels of internet addiction, as measured by the IAT. Although there were differences in the purposes for which males and females used the internet, there were no differences in terms of levels of problematic usage between genders. The internet problems were strongly related to all of the other psychological variables such as depression, anxiety, social-isolation, and sleep problems. Internet addiction was also associated with reduced self-reported immune function, but not with the measure of general health (GHQ-28). This relationship between problematic internet use and reduced immune function was found to be independent of the impact of the co-morbidities. It is suggested that the negative relationship between level of problematic internet use and immune function may be mediated by levels of stress produced by such internet use, and subsequent sympathetic nervous activity, which related to immune-supressants, such as cortisol. PMID:26244339

  18. Problematic Internet Usage and Immune Function

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Phil; Vile, Rebecca; Osborne, Lisa A.; Romano, Michela; Truzoli, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Problematic internet use has been associated with a variety of psychological comorbidities, but it relationship with physical illness has not received the same degree of investigation. The current study surveyed 505 participants online, and asked about their levels of problematic internet usage (Internet Addiction Test), depression and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales), social isolation (UCLA Loneliness Questionnaire), sleep problems (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), and their current health – General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), and the Immune Function Questionnaire. The results demonstrated that around 30% of the sample displayed mild or worse levels of internet addiction, as measured by the IAT. Although there were differences in the purposes for which males and females used the internet, there were no differences in terms of levels of problematic usage between genders. The internet problems were strongly related to all of the other psychological variables such as depression, anxiety, social-isolation, and sleep problems. Internet addiction was also associated with reduced self-reported immune function, but not with the measure of general health (GHQ-28). This relationship between problematic internet use and reduced immune function was found to be independent of the impact of the co-morbidities. It is suggested that the negative relationship between level of problematic internet use and immune function may be mediated by levels of stress produced by such internet use, and subsequent sympathetic nervous activity, which related to immune-supressants, such as cortisol. PMID:26244339

  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. Developing terrestrial, multi-taxon indices of biological integrity: An example from coastal sage scrub

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Diffendorfer, J.E.; Fleming, G.M.; Duggan, J.M.; Chapman, R.E.; Rahn, M.E.; Mitrovich, M.J.; Fisher, R.N.

    2007-01-01

    We screened 351 species or genera for their response to disturbance in coastal sage scrub (CSS) to develop a 15-metric, 5-taxon Index of Biological Integrity (IBI). We collected data on ants, birds, herpetofauna, small mammals, and plants for two years on 46 sites established across a gradient of disturbance in three reserves. The gradient spanned relatively intact CSS with thick stands of shrubs, to former CSS stands type-converted to exotic grasses. ANOVAs and clustering analyses indicated the IBI could distinguish four levels of disturbance in CSS. General measures of community structure, such as richness, did not show changes across the gradient for most taxa, and responses of taxa across the gradient were varied and rarely correlated. However, turnover in species or genera across the gradient was common across all taxa as shrub-obligate life forms were replaced by those favoring grassy or disturbed habitats. Our data indicate index-based approaches based on data collected across disturbance gradients may outperform more traditional community level metrics when responses to anthropogenic influences are complex and vary across species. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. Problematic Internet use and physical health.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Kevin J; Gruber, Elon M

    2013-06-01

    Background and aims A considerable body of literature has emerged over the past two decades assessing the relationship between problematic or addictive use of the Internet and various indices of psychological well-being. Conversely, comparatively little research has assessed the relationship between problematic or addictive use of the Internet and one's physical health. Method The current study assesses this relationship using a sample of college students (N = 133) who responded online to two questionnaires: the Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire (PIUQ; Demetrovics, Szeredi&Rózsa, 2008) and the SF-36v2 Health Survey (Ware et al., 2008). Results The findings indicate that problematic Internet use is associated with poorer physical health. These results are consistent with other data that assessed the relationship between these two variables. Furthermore, this relationship supersedes the influence of the number of hours spent online per day. Conclusions The findings are discussed in terms of the limitations of the study design and conclusions that can be drawn from this preliminary empirical effort. PMID:26165930

  3. Problematic Internet Use: Perceptions of Addiction Counsellors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Acier, Didier; Kern, Laurence

    2011-01-01

    Despite a growing number of publications on problematic Internet use (PIU), there is no consensus on the nature of the phenomenon, its constituent criteria, and its clinical threshold. This qualitative study examines the perceptions of addiction counsellors who have managed individuals with PIU in Quebec (Canada). Four focus groups were conducted…

  4. Detecting Problematic Observer Offsets in Sparse Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calderwood, T.

    2014-06-01

    A heuristic method, based upon histogram analysis, is presented for detecting offsets pervasive enough to be symptoms of problematic observing technique or calibration. This method is illustrated by a study of scatter in AAVSO photoelectric photometry (PEP) for five well-observed variable stars.

  5. Detecting Problematic Observer Offsets in Sparse Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calderwood, Tom

    2014-05-01

    A heuristic method, based upon histogram analysis, is presented for detecting offsets pervasive enough to be symptoms of problematic observing technique or calibration. This method is illustrated by a study of scatter in AAVSO photoelectric photometry (PEP) for five well-observed variable stars.

  6. Persistence of Problematic Sexual Behaviors in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levesque, Mireille; Bigras, Marc; Pauze, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify personal and family predictors and correlates of persistence of problematic sexual behaviors (PSB) in children. Participants were the families of 49 children (ages 4-11 years) referred by Child Protective Services in 4 administrative districts of Quebec. Caregivers completed interviews and questionnaires…

  7. Relaxation/Covert Rehearsal for Problematic Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fling, Sheila; McKenzie, Patricia

    A study was conducted to determine whether group relaxation training combined with guided fantasy as a method of covert cognitive rehearsal would be more effective than story-listening or no special treatment in enabling "problematic" children to decrease muscle tension, activity level, and behavior problems and to increase academic performance…

  8. Lexical Choice: Towards Writing Problematic Word Lists.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zughoul, Muhammad Raji

    1991-01-01

    Quantitative and qualitative analysis of lexical choice errors made by native Arabic-speaking learners of English in written compositions indicated that first-language interference is a major variable in lexical choice. Results lend support to the development of problematic word lists to help learners adopt practical strategies for improving…

  9. Some 'ant'swers: Application of a layered barcode approach to problems in ant taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Paknia, Omid; Bergmann, Tjard; Hadrys, Heike

    2015-11-01

    DNA barcoding has emerged as a routine tool in modern taxonomy. Although straightforward, this approach faces new challenges, when applied to difficult situation such as defining cryptic biodiversity. Ants are prime examples for high degrees of cryptic biodiversity due to complex population differentiation, hybridization and speciation processes. Here, we test the DNA barcoding region, cytochrome c oxidase 1 and two supplementary markers, 28S ribosomal DNA and long-wavelength rhodopsin, commonly used in ant taxonomy, for their potential in a layered, character-based barcoding approach across different taxonomic levels. Furthermore, we assess performance of the character-based barcoding approach to determine cryptic species diversity in ants. We found (i) that the barcode potential of a specific genetic marker varied widely among taxonomic levels in ants; (ii) that application of a layered, character-based barcode for identification of specimens can be a solution to taxonomical challenging groups; (iii) that the character-based barcoding approach allows us to differentiate specimens even within locations based on pure characters. In summary, (layered) character-based barcoding offers a reliable alternative for problematic species identification in ants and can be used as a fast and cost-efficient approach to estimate presence, absence or frequency of cryptic species. PMID:25712507

  10. Taxonicity of anxiety sensitivity: a multi-national analysis.

    PubMed

    Bernstein, Amit; Zvolensky, Michael J; Kotov, Roman; Arrindell, Willem A; Taylor, Steven; Sandin, Bonifacio; Cox, Brian J; Stewart, Sherry H; Bouvard, Martine; Cardenas, Samuel Jurado; Eifert, Georg H; Schmidt, Norman B

    2006-01-01

    Taxometric coherent cut kinetic analyses were used to test the latent structure of anxiety sensitivity in samples from North America (Canada and United States of America), France, Mexico, Spain, and The Netherlands (total n = 2741). Anxiety sensitivity was indexed by the 36-item Anxiety Sensitivity Index--Revised (ASI-R; [J. Anxiety Disord. 12(5) (1998) 463]). Four manifest indicators of anxiety sensitivity were constructed using the ASI-R: fear of cardiovascular symptoms, fear of respiratory symptoms, fear of publicly observable anxiety reactions, and fear of mental incapacitation. Results from MAXCOV-HITMAX, internal consistency tests, analyses of simulated Monte Carlo data, and a MAMBAC external consistency test indicated that the latent structure of anxiety sensitivity was taxonic in each of the samples. The estimated base rate of the anxiety sensitivity taxon differed slightly between nations, ranging from 11.5 to 21.5%. In general, the four ASI-R based manifest indicators showed high levels of validity. Results are discussed in relation to the conceptual understanding of anxiety sensitivity, with specific emphasis on theoretical refinement of the construct. PMID:16325111

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Assessing the Value of DNA Barcodes for Molecular Phylogenetics: Effect of Increased Taxon Sampling in Lepidoptera

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, John James

    2011-01-01

    Background A common perception is that DNA barcode datamatrices have limited phylogenetic signal due to the small number of characters available per taxon. However, another school of thought suggests that the massively increased taxon sampling afforded through the use of DNA barcodes may considerably increase the phylogenetic signal present in a datamatrix. Here I test this hypothesis using a large dataset of macrolepidopteran DNA barcodes. Methodology/Principal Findings Taxon sampling was systematically increased in datamatrices containing macrolepidopteran DNA barcodes. Sixteen family groups were designated as concordance groups and two quantitative measures; the taxon consistency index and the taxon retention index, were used to assess any changes in phylogenetic signal as a result of the increase in taxon sampling. DNA barcodes alone, even with maximal taxon sampling (500 species per family), were not sufficient to reconstruct monophyly of families and increased taxon sampling generally increased the number of clades formed per family. However, the scores indicated a similar level of taxon retention (species from a family clustering together) in the cladograms as the number of species included in the datamatrix was increased, suggesting substantial phylogenetic signal below the ‘family’ branch. Conclusions/Significance The development of supermatrix, supertree or constrained tree approaches could enable the exploitation of the massive taxon sampling afforded through DNA barcodes for phylogenetics, connecting the twigs resolved by barcodes to the deep branches resolved through phylogenomics. PMID:21931848

  14. A Standardized Reference Data Set for Vertebrate Taxon Name Resolution

    PubMed Central

    Zermoglio, Paula F.; Guralnick, Robert P.; Wieczorek, John R.

    2016-01-01

    Taxonomic names associated with digitized biocollections labels have flooded into repositories such as GBIF, iDigBio and VertNet. The names on these labels are often misspelled, out of date, or present other problems, as they were often captured only once during accessioning of specimens, or have a history of label changes without clear provenance. Before records are reliably usable in research, it is critical that these issues be addressed. However, still missing is an assessment of the scope of the problem, the effort needed to solve it, and a way to improve effectiveness of tools developed to aid the process. We present a carefully human-vetted analysis of 1000 verbatim scientific names taken at random from those published via the data aggregator VertNet, providing the first rigorously reviewed, reference validation data set. In addition to characterizing formatting problems, human vetting focused on detecting misspelling, synonymy, and the incorrect use of Darwin Core. Our results reveal a sobering view of the challenge ahead, as less than 47% of name strings were found to be currently valid. More optimistically, nearly 97% of name combinations could be resolved to a currently valid name, suggesting that computer-aided approaches may provide feasible means to improve digitized content. Finally, we associated names back to biocollections records and fit logistic models to test potential drivers of issues. A set of candidate variables (geographic region, year collected, higher-level clade, and the institutional digitally accessible data volume) and their 2-way interactions all predict the probability of records having taxon name issues, based on model selection approaches. We strongly encourage further experiments to use this reference data set as a means to compare automated or computer-aided taxon name tools for their ability to resolve and improve the existing wealth of legacy data. PMID:26760296

  15. A Standardized Reference Data Set for Vertebrate Taxon Name Resolution.

    PubMed

    Zermoglio, Paula F; Guralnick, Robert P; Wieczorek, John R

    2016-01-01

    Taxonomic names associated with digitized biocollections labels have flooded into repositories such as GBIF, iDigBio and VertNet. The names on these labels are often misspelled, out of date, or present other problems, as they were often captured only once during accessioning of specimens, or have a history of label changes without clear provenance. Before records are reliably usable in research, it is critical that these issues be addressed. However, still missing is an assessment of the scope of the problem, the effort needed to solve it, and a way to improve effectiveness of tools developed to aid the process. We present a carefully human-vetted analysis of 1000 verbatim scientific names taken at random from those published via the data aggregator VertNet, providing the first rigorously reviewed, reference validation data set. In addition to characterizing formatting problems, human vetting focused on detecting misspelling, synonymy, and the incorrect use of Darwin Core. Our results reveal a sobering view of the challenge ahead, as less than 47% of name strings were found to be currently valid. More optimistically, nearly 97% of name combinations could be resolved to a currently valid name, suggesting that computer-aided approaches may provide feasible means to improve digitized content. Finally, we associated names back to biocollections records and fit logistic models to test potential drivers of issues. A set of candidate variables (geographic region, year collected, higher-level clade, and the institutional digitally accessible data volume) and their 2-way interactions all predict the probability of records having taxon name issues, based on model selection approaches. We strongly encourage further experiments to use this reference data set as a means to compare automated or computer-aided taxon name tools for their ability to resolve and improve the existing wealth of legacy data. PMID:26760296

  16. Myrmecomorba nylanderiae gen. et sp. nov., a microsporidian parasite of the tawny crazy ant Nylanderia fulva.

    PubMed

    Plowes, Robert M; Becnel, James J; LeBrun, Edward G; Oi, David H; Valles, Steven M; Jones, Nathan T; Gilbert, Lawrence E

    2015-07-01

    A new microsporidian genus and species, Myrmecomorba nylanderiae, is described from North American populations of the tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva. This new species was found to be heterosporous producing several types of binucleate spores in both larval and adult stages and an abortive octosporoblastic sporogony in adult ants. While microsporidia are widespread arthropod parasites, this description represents only the fifth species described from an ant host. Molecular analysis indicated that this new taxon is phylogenetically closely allied to the microsporidian family Caudosporidae, a group known to parasitize aquatic black fly larvae. We report the presence of 3 spore types (Type 1 DK, Type 2 DK, and octospores) with infections found in all stages of host development and reproductive castes. This report documents the first pathogen infecting N. fulva, an invasive ant of considerable economic and ecological consequence. PMID:26031565

  17. Convergent coevolution in the domestication of coral mushrooms by fungus-growing ants.

    PubMed Central

    Munkacsi, A. B.; Pan, J. J.; Villesen, P.; Mueller, U. G.; Blackwell, M.; McLaughlin, D. J.

    2004-01-01

    Comparisons of phylogenetic patterns between coevolving symbionts can reveal rich details about the evolutionary history of symbioses. The ancient symbiosis between fungus-growing ants, their fungal cultivars, antibiotic-producing bacteria and cultivar-infecting parasites is dominated by a pattern of parallel coevolution, where the symbionts of each functional group are members of monophyletic groups. However, there is one outstanding exception in the fungus-growing ant system, the unidentified cultivar grown only by ants in the Apterostigma pilosum group. We classify this cultivar in the coral-mushroom family Pterulaceae using phylogenetic reconstructions based on broad taxon sampling, including the first mushroom collected from the garden of an ant species in the A. pilosum group. The domestication of the pterulaceous cultivar is independent from the domestication of the gilled mushrooms cultivated by all other fungus-growing ants. Yet it has the same overall assemblage of coevolved ant-cultivar-parasite-bacterium interactions as the other ant-grown fungal cultivars. This indicates a pattern of convergent coevolution in the fungus-growing ant system, where symbionts with both similar and very different evolutionary histories converge to functionally identical interactions. PMID:15315892

  18. 7 CFR 360.500 - Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list. 360... PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NOXIOUS WEED REGULATIONS § 360.500 Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list. A person may petition the Administrator to have a...

  19. 7 CFR 360.500 - Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list. 360... PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NOXIOUS WEED REGULATIONS § 360.500 Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list. A person may petition the Administrator to have a...

  20. 7 CFR 360.500 - Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list. 360... PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NOXIOUS WEED REGULATIONS § 360.500 Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list. A person may petition the Administrator to have a...

  1. 7 CFR 360.501 - Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed lists.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed...) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NOXIOUS WEED REGULATIONS § 360.501 Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed lists. A person may petition the Administrator to remove...

  2. 7 CFR 360.501 - Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed lists.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed...) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NOXIOUS WEED REGULATIONS § 360.501 Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed lists. A person may petition the Administrator to remove...

  3. 7 CFR 360.501 - Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed lists.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed...) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NOXIOUS WEED REGULATIONS § 360.501 Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed lists. A person may petition the Administrator to remove...

  4. 7 CFR 360.501 - Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed lists.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed...) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NOXIOUS WEED REGULATIONS § 360.501 Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed lists. A person may petition the Administrator to remove...

  5. 7 CFR 360.500 - Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list. 360... PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NOXIOUS WEED REGULATIONS § 360.500 Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list. A person may petition the Administrator to have a...

  6. Problematic use of energy drinks by adolescents.

    PubMed

    Kaminer, Yifrah

    2010-07-01

    Energy drinks (EDs) are caffeine-based beverages that commonly contain large doses of sugar, carbohydrates, and a variety of legal stimulants and supplements, such as guarana, taurine, ginseng, and vitamin B complex. These drinks are marketed for young people as natural alternatives that increase fun and improve physical and cognitive performance such as concentration, attention, and alertness. There are commonly held false perceptions that the consumption of EDs can reverse alcohol-related impairment, including motor coordination and visual reaction time, which are crucial for driving safety. This article reviews the literature on EDs and examines problematic use and potential negative consequences in young people. Special emphasis is devoted to safety concerns following combination of EDs with alcohol, which gives the user a false sense of control. PMID:20682226

  7. Two issues in archaeological phylogenetics: taxon construction and outgroup selection.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Michael J; Lyman, R Lee; Saab, Youssef; Saab, Elias; Darwent, John; Glover, Daniel S

    2002-03-21

    Cladistics is widely used in biology and paleobiology to construct phylogenetic hypotheses, but rarely has it been applied outside those disciplines. There is, however, no reason to suppose that cladistics is not applicable to anything that evolves by cladogenesis and produces a nested hierarchy of taxa. This includes cultural phenomena such as languages and tools recovered from archaeological contexts. Two methodological issues assume primacy in attempts to extend cladistics to archaeological materials: the construction of analytical taxa and the selection of appropriate outgroups. In biology the species is the primary taxonomic unit used, irrespective of the debates that have arisen in phylogenetic theory over the nature of species. Also in biology the phylogenetic history of a group of taxa usually is well enough known that an appropriate taxon can be selected as an outgroup. No analytical unit parallel to the species exists in archaeology, and thus taxa have to be constructed specifically for phylogenetic analysis. One method of constructing taxa is paradigmatic classification, which defines classes (taxa) on the basis of co-occurring, unweighted character states. Once classes have been created, a form of occurrence seriation-an archaeological method based on the theory of cultural transmission and heritability-offers an objective basis for selecting an outgroup. PMID:12051970

  8. 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...

  9. Confocal microscopy refines generic concept of a problematic taxon: rediagnosis of the genus Neoprothrix and remarks on female anatomy of eriophyoids (Acari: Eriophyoidea).

    PubMed

    Chetverikov, Philipp E; Desnitskiy, Alexey G; Navia, Denise

    2015-01-01

    Due to the higher resolution, confocal microscopy (CLSM) can be applied to refine the origin of tiny structures of the autofluorescent exoskeletons of microarthropods (mites in particular) which are hard to visualize using traditional differential interference contract light microscopy (DIC LM) and phase contrast light microscopy (PC LM). Three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of the prodorsal shield topography of eriophyoid mites using Neoprothrix hibiscus Reis and Navia as a model, suggest that the structures originally treated as paired setae vi are two internal rod-like apodemes. Based on this, the genus Neoprothrix is excluded from the subfamily Prothricinae Amrine and transferred to the subfamily Sierraphytoptinae Keifer. Observations on partially cleared specimens of N. hibiscus showed that remnants of the central nervous system, paired glands and developing oocytes can be visualized using DIC LM and CLSM methods. New high quality microscope images are provided of recently described "flower-shaped" structures and two main components of yolk inclusions of the mature eggs inside the oviduct. PMID:25781123

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Psychometric development of the Problematic Pornography Use Scale.

    PubMed

    Kor, Ariel; Zilcha-Mano, Sigal; Fogel, Yehuda A; Mikulincer, Mario; Reid, Rory C; Potenza, Marc N

    2014-05-01

    Despite the increased social acceptance and widespread use of pornography over the past few decades, reliable and valid instruments assessing problematic use of pornography are lacking. This paper reports the findings of three studies aimed at developing and validating a new scale measuring problematic pornography use. The Problematic Pornography Use Scale (PPUS) items showed high internal consistency, convergent validity, and construct validity. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses revealed four core factors relating to proposed domains of problematic pornography use. High PPUS scores were positively correlated with measures of psychopathology, low self-esteem and poor attachment. Although PPUS scores were related to other behavioral addictions, problematic pornography use as operationalized in the current paper appears to be uniquely distinguished from features of behavioral addictions relating to gambling and Internet use. Findings highlight the potential use of the PPUS for future research and possible clinical applications by defining problematic pornography use as a behavioral addiction. PMID:24583276

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The impact of taxon sampling on phylogenetic inference: a review of two decades of controversy

    PubMed Central

    Nabhan, Ahmed Ragab

    2012-01-01

    Over the past two decades, there has been a long-standing debate about the impact of taxon sampling on phylogenetic inference. Studies have been based on both real and simulated data sets, within actual and theoretical contexts, and using different inference methods, to study the impact of taxon sampling. In some cases, conflicting conclusions have been drawn for the same data set. The main questions explored in studies to date have been about the effects of using sparse data, adding new taxa, including more characters from genome sequences and using different (or concatenated) locus regions. These questions can be reduced to more fundamental ones about the assessment of data quality and the design guidelines of taxon sampling in phylogenetic inference experiments. This review summarizes progress to date in understanding the impact of taxon sampling on the accuracy of phylogenetic analysis. PMID:21436145

  18. Organizational Theory, Organizational Communication, Organizational Knowledge, and Problematic Integration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McPhee, Robert D.; Zaug, Pamela

    2001-01-01

    Argues that three traditions of theory about organizational communication have special relevance to the ideas of problematic integration theory. Indicates the implications of theoretic currents and notes that the main implication is that problematic integration looks very different in the context of a complex communication system. (SG)

  19. An Examination of Predictor Variables for Problematic Internet Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bulut Serin, Nerguz

    2011-01-01

    This study examines problematic Internet use among university students in terms of gender, while also gauging the impact of personality traits, life satisfaction and loneliness variables on problematic Internet use. A total of 411 university students studying Education in North Cyprus participated in the study. The participants were selected using…

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Fungus-growing "attine" ants forage diverse substrates to grow fungi for food. In addition to the mutualistic fungal partner, the colonies of these insects harbor a rich microbiome composed of bacteria, filamentous fungi and yeasts. Previous work reported some Trichoderma species in the fungus gardens of leafcutter ants. However, no studies systematically addressed the putative association of Trichoderma with attine ants, especially in non-leafcutter ants. Here, a total of 62 strains of Trichoderma were analyzed using three molecular markers (ITS, tef1 and rpb2). In addition, 30 out of 62 strains were also morphologically examined. The strains studied correspond to the largest sampling carried out so far for Trichoderma in the attine ant environment. Our results revealed the richness of Trichoderma in this environment, since we found 20 Trichoderma species, including three new taxa described in the present work (Trichoderma attinorum, Trichoderma texanum and Trichoderma longifialidicum spp. nov.) as well as a new phylogenetic taxon (LESF 545). Moreover, we show that all 62 strains grouped within different clades across the Trichoderma phylogeny, which are identical or closely related to strains derived from several other environments. This evidence supports the transient nature of the genus Trichoderma in the attine ant colonies. The discovery of three new species suggests that the dynamic foraging behavior of these insects might be responsible for accumulation of transient fungi into their colonies, which might hold additional fungal taxa still unknown to science. PMID:26885975

  7. 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

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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…

  10. Patient-reported problematic symptoms in an ALS treatment trial.

    PubMed

    Raheja, Divisha; Stephens, Helen E; Lehman, Erik; Walsh, Susan; Yang, Chengwu; Simmons, Zachary

    2016-01-01

    This study was undertaken to determine which symptoms are perceived to be most problematic for patients with ALS and how their severity changes over time. A retrospective study was performed of data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of ceftriaxone in ALS. Participants completed the ALS Specific Quality of Life Instrument (ALSSQoL) at baseline and at intervals up to 96 weeks. Ten ALSSQoL items ask participants to rate how problematic symptoms are (the subjective feeling of burden of these symptoms), ranging from 0 (no problem) to 10 (tremendous problem). Six are non-bulbar (pain, fatigue, breathing, strength and ability to move, sleep, and bowel and bladder) and four are bulbar (eating, speaking, excessive saliva, and mucus). Results revealed that there were 82 subjects (56% males, mean age 53 ± 10.3 years) with ALSSQoL data for weeks 0 and 96. All 10 symptoms became more problematic over time. For non-bulbar symptoms, strength/ability to move and fatigue were the most problematic. Speaking was the most problematic bulbar symptom. In conclusion, although all the symptoms in the ALSSQoL were acknowledged as problematic, some had greater impact than others. All became more problematic over time. This should help prioritize research into symptom management, and assist individual clinicians in their approach to patient care. PMID:26824413

  11. Is problematic mobile phone use explained by chronotype and personality?

    PubMed

    Demirhan, Eda; Randler, Christoph; Horzum, Mehmet Barış

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the relationships among problematic mobile phone use, age, gender, personality and chronotype of Turkish university students were examined. The study included 902 university students (73% female, 27% male) and their participation in the study was anonymous and voluntary. Data were collected from each participant by assessing a demographic questionnaire, Composite Scale of Morningness (CSM) as a measure of chronotype, the Big Five Inventory (BIG-5) for personality assessment and Mobile Phone Problem Usage Scale (MPPUS). The most important result was that CSM scores were the best predictor for problematic mobile phone usage, and as a consequence, evening-oriented university students scored higher on the MPPUS. This result remained, even when compared with the most influential personality predictor, conscientiousness. In addition, while extraversion positively predicted, emotional stable and chronotype negatively predicted problematic mobile phone use. Lastly, age and gender were not predictors of problematic mobile phone use. PMID:27128819

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Problematic internet use: proposed classification and diagnostic criteria.

    PubMed

    Shapira, Nathan A; Lessig, Mary C; Goldsmith, Toby D; Szabo, Steven T; Lazoritz, Martin; Gold, Mark S; Stein, Dan J

    2003-01-01

    Since the mid-1990s, there have been frequent reports of individuals whose use of the computer and internet is problematic. Given the recent expansion and the expected increase in internet availability and usage in the coming years, it is important that healthcare professionals be informed about this behavior and its associated problems. Recently, psychological and psychiatric literature has described individuals that exhibit problematic internet use who often suffer from other psychiatric disorders. In the face of this comorbidity, it is essential to evaluate whether these individuals represent a distinct class of disorder, or a manifestation/coping mechanism related to other underlying diagnosis. In either event, problematic internet use negatively impacts social and emotional functioning. Based on the current limited empirical evidence, problematic internet use may best be classified as an impulse control disorder. It is therefore imperative that problematic internet use be appropriately identified among symptomatic individuals. For these reasons, we propose specific diagnostic criteria that will allow for consistent identification and assist in further study of this behavior. PMID:12820176

  19. 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...

  20. Dimensionality vs Taxonicity of Schizotypy: Some New Data and Challenges Ahead

    PubMed Central

    Everett, Kirsty V.; Linscott, Richard J.

    2015-01-01

    Heterogeneity in the expression of schizotypy may arise from underlying dimensional processes or a taxonic population structure. In a 2-phase study, we tested the taxonicity of self-reported schizotypy within a general psychiatric sample (n = 109) and examined taxon validity by testing its association with clinical schizotaxia in follow-up subsamples. Taxometric analyses indicated a taxonic structure (schizotypy prevalence = 38.8%) provided the best description of the underlying population distribution. After a year, schizotypal (n = 14) and nonschizotypal (n = 14) subsamples returned for diagnosis of clinical schizotaxia by assessment of executive functioning, attention, memory, and negative symptoms. Seven patients met diagnostic criteria, all members of the schizotypy class. Schizotypy was associated with impaired attention and memory, more negative symptoms, poorer global functioning, and more extensive psychiatric histories. We reconcile inconsistencies in the literature by discussing threats to the validity of this and similar research on Meehl’s taxonomic model of schizotypy, including conceptual limitations of the lexical hypothesis and conventions of factor analysis. Scrutiny of Meehl’s model should involve disambiguation and better measurement of the schizotaxia-schizotypy phenotype. PMID:25810059

  1. Psychopathy as a Taxon: Evidence That Psychopaths Are a Discrete Class.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Grant T.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Applied taxometric analyses to construct of psychopathy (as measured by Psychopathy Checklist) and to several variables reflecting antisocial childhood, adult criminality, and criminal recidivism. Findings from 653 serious offenders assessed or treated in maximum-security institution supported existence of taxon underlying psychopathy. Childhood…

  2. Dimensionality vs taxonicity of schizotypy: some new data and challenges ahead.

    PubMed

    Everett, Kirsty V; Linscott, Richard J

    2015-03-01

    Heterogeneity in the expression of schizotypy may arise from underlying dimensional processes or a taxonic population structure. In a 2-phase study, we tested the taxonicity of self-reported schizotypy within a general psychiatric sample (n = 109) and examined taxon validity by testing its association with clinical schizotaxia in follow-up subsamples. Taxometric analyses indicated a taxonic structure (schizotypy prevalence = 38.8%) provided the best description of the underlying population distribution. After a year, schizotypal (n = 14) and nonschizotypal (n = 14) subsamples returned for diagnosis of clinical schizotaxia by assessment of executive functioning, attention, memory, and negative symptoms. Seven patients met diagnostic criteria, all members of the schizotypy class. Schizotypy was associated with impaired attention and memory, more negative symptoms, poorer global functioning, and more extensive psychiatric histories. We reconcile inconsistencies in the literature by discussing threats to the validity of this and similar research on Meehl's taxonomic model of schizotypy, including conceptual limitations of the lexical hypothesis and conventions of factor analysis. Scrutiny of Meehl's model should involve disambiguation and better measurement of the schizotaxia-schizotypy phenotype. PMID:25810059

  3. [Problematic online gaming. A review of the literature].

    PubMed

    Nagygyörgy, Katalin; Pápay, Orsolya; Urbán, Róbert; Farkas, Judit; Kun, Bernadette; Griffiths, Mark; Demetrovics, Zsolt

    2013-01-01

    In parallel with the increasing popularity of online games, researchers have reported an increasing number of problematic users. For this reason there is a growing amount of literature analyzing the effects of online games. The present review described the evolution of online games as well as their types and specific characteristics of these types. This review examines (i) the question of definition, (ii) symptoms of problematic use, (iii) the measurement instruments (iv) prevalence data, (v) issues of etiology, (vi) the results of comorbidity, and (vii) the main trends and results in the area of prevention and treatment. PMID:23880511

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Cultural variation has been identified in a growing number of animal species ranging from primates to cetaceans. The principal method used to establish the presence of culture in wild populations is the method of exclusion. This method is problematic, since it cannot rule out the influence of genetics and ecology in geographically distant populations. A new approach to the study of culture compares neighbouring groups belonging to the same population. We applied this new approach by comparing ant-dipping tool length between two neighbouring communities of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in the Kalinzu Forest, Uganda. Ant-dipping tool length varies across chimpanzee study sites in relation to army ant species (Dorylus spp.) and dipping location (nest vs. trail). We compared the availability of army ant species and dipping tool length between the two communities. M-group tools were significantly longer than S-group tools, despite identical army ant target species availabilities. Moreover, tool length in S-group was shorter than at all other sites where chimpanzees prey on epigaeic ants at nests. Considering the lack of ecological differences between the two communities, the tool length difference appears to be cultural. Our findings highlight how cultural knowledge can generate small-scale cultural diversification in neighbouring chimpanzee communities. PMID:26198006

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Cultural variation has been identified in a growing number of animal species ranging from primates to cetaceans. The principal method used to establish the presence of culture in wild populations is the method of exclusion. This method is problematic, since it cannot rule out the influence of genetics and ecology in geographically distant populations. A new approach to the study of culture compares neighbouring groups belonging to the same population. We applied this new approach by comparing ant-dipping tool length between two neighbouring communities of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in the Kalinzu Forest, Uganda. Ant-dipping tool length varies across chimpanzee study sites in relation to army ant species (Dorylus spp.) and dipping location (nest vs. trail). We compared the availability of army ant species and dipping tool length between the two communities. M-group tools were significantly longer than S-group tools, despite identical army ant target species availabilities. Moreover, tool length in S-group was shorter than at all other sites where chimpanzees prey on epigaeic ants at nests. Considering the lack of ecological differences between the two communities, the tool length difference appears to be cultural. Our findings highlight how cultural knowledge can generate small-scale cultural diversification in neighbouring chimpanzee communities. PMID:26198006

  12. Discovery-dominance trade-off among widespread invasive ant species.

    PubMed

    Bertelsmeier, Cleo; Avril, Amaury; Blight, Olivier; Jourdan, Hervé; Courchamp, Franck

    2015-07-01

    Ants are among the most problematic invasive species. They displace numerous native species, alter ecosystem processes, and can have negative impacts on agriculture and human health. In part, their success might stem from a departure from the discovery-dominance trade-off that can promote co-existence in native ant communities, that is, invasive ants are thought to be at the same time behaviorally dominant and faster discoverers of resources, compared to native species. However, it has not yet been tested whether similar asymmetries in behavioral dominance, exploration, and recruitment abilities also exist among invasive species. Here, we establish a dominance hierarchy among four of the most problematic invasive ants (Linepithema humile, Lasius neglectus, Wasmannia auropunctata, Pheidole megacephala) that may be able to arrive and establish in the same areas in the future. To assess behavioral dominance, we used confrontation experiments, testing the aggressiveness in individual and group interactions between all species pairs. In addition, to compare discovery efficiency, we tested the species' capacity to locate a food resource in a maze, and the capacity to recruit nestmates to exploit a food resource. The four species differed greatly in their capacity to discover resources and to recruit nestmates and to dominate the other species. Our results are consistent with a discovery-dominance trade-off. The species that showed the highest level of interspecific aggressiveness and dominance during dyadic interactions. PMID:26257879

  13. Discovery–dominance trade-off among widespread invasive ant species

    PubMed Central

    Bertelsmeier, Cleo; Avril, Amaury; Blight, Olivier; Jourdan, Hervé; Courchamp, Franck

    2015-01-01

    Ants are among the most problematic invasive species. They displace numerous native species, alter ecosystem processes, and can have negative impacts on agriculture and human health. In part, their success might stem from a departure from the discovery–dominance trade-off that can promote co-existence in native ant communities, that is, invasive ants are thought to be at the same time behaviorally dominant and faster discoverers of resources, compared to native species. However, it has not yet been tested whether similar asymmetries in behavioral dominance, exploration, and recruitment abilities also exist among invasive species. Here, we establish a dominance hierarchy among four of the most problematic invasive ants (Linepithema humile, Lasius neglectus, Wasmannia auropunctata, Pheidole megacephala) that may be able to arrive and establish in the same areas in the future. To assess behavioral dominance, we used confrontation experiments, testing the aggressiveness in individual and group interactions between all species pairs. In addition, to compare discovery efficiency, we tested the species’ capacity to locate a food resource in a maze, and the capacity to recruit nestmates to exploit a food resource. The four species differed greatly in their capacity to discover resources and to recruit nestmates and to dominate the other species. Our results are consistent with a discovery–dominance trade-off. The species that showed the highest level of interspecific aggressiveness and dominance during dyadic interactions. PMID:26257879

  14. A Grounded Theory of Counseling Students Who Report Problematic Peers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parker, Lindy K.; Chang, Catherine Y.; Corthell, Kimere K.; Walsh, Maggie E.; Brack, Greg; Grubbs, Natalie K.

    2014-01-01

    All counselors, including students, are responsible for intervening when a colleague shows signs of impairment. This grounded theory study investigated experiences of 12 counseling students who reported problematic peers. An emergent theory of the peer reporting process is presented, along with implications for counselor educators and suggestions…

  15. Loyalty: Why Is It so Problematic in Athletics?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stoll, Sharon Kay

    2012-01-01

    What is loyalty and why is it problematic in athletics? The author discusses the ethical lapses that can occur when a powerful social value, "loyalty," trumps individuals' ability to make moral decisions. She argues that education about morality should be a necessary part of sport education and explains how moral education programs can make a…

  16. Prevalence of Problematic Video Gaming among Ontario Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turner, Nigel E.; Paglia-Boak, Angela; Ballon, Bruce; Cheung, Joyce T. W.; Adlaf, Edward M.; Henderson, Joanna; Chan, Vincy; Rehm, Jurgen; Hamilton, Hayley; Mann, Robert E.

    2012-01-01

    Video game playing has become a very popular activity among adolescents. Its impact on the mental health and well-being of players is just beginning to be explored. This paper reports on the prevalence of problematic gaming in a representative sample of 2,832 Ontario students in grades 7 to 12. The survey included questions about the school grade,…

  17. Association between internet gambling and problematic internet use among adolescents.

    PubMed

    Tsitsika, Artemis; Critselis, Elena; Janikian, Mari; Kormas, George; Kafetzis, Dimitrios A

    2011-09-01

    The study objectives were to evaluate the correlates and psychosocial implications of internet gambling among adolescents, as well as the association between internet gambling and problematic internet use. A cross-sectional study design was applied among a random sample (N = 484) of adolescents (71.2% boys; 28.8% girls; mean age ± standard deviation, SD = 14.88 ± 0.55 years). Self-completed questionnaires, including internet gambling practices, internet use characteristics, Young Internet Addiction Test, and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire were utilized. The prevalence of internet gambling was 15.1%. Internet gambling was associated with psychosocial maladjustment, including Abnormal Conduct Problems (gender adjusted odds ratio, AOR = 3.83; 95% confidence interval, 95% CI: 1.86-7.92) and Borderline Peer Problems (AOR = 2.04; 95% CI: 1.09-3.85). The likelihood of concomitant problematic internet use was significantly higher among internet gamblers (AOR = 1.81; 95% CI: 1.03-3.19). Multivariate regression analyses indicated that among all characteristics of internet use assessed, utilizing the internet for the purposes of gambling practices was independently associated with problematic internet use among adolescents (AOR = 3.43; 95% CI: 1.40-8.39). Thus, the study findings suggest that adolescents who participate in internet gambling practices are more likely to concomitantly present with problematic internet use. PMID:20953681

  18. Goodbye Therapy: Use of Imagery Techniques for Problematic Grief Intervention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, James C.

    This document addresses the issue of problematic grief reactions, reactions which tend to be more common than are often realized and which may be a source of "existential" anxiety. It presents a treatment model which can be used with any loss-elicited grief reaction including the acute grief reaction typically encountered subsequent to the death…

  19. The prevalence of problematic video gamers in the Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Haagsma, Maria C; Pieterse, Marcel E; Peters, Oscar

    2012-03-01

    This study surveyed Dutch adolescents and adults about their video gaming behavior to assess the prevalence of problematic gaming. A representative national panel of 902 respondents aged 14 to 81 took part in the study. The results show that gaming in general is a wide-spread and popular activity among the Dutch population. Browser games (small games played via the internet) and offline casual games (e.g., offline card games) were reported as most popular type of game. Online games (e.g., massively multiplayer online role-playing games) are played by a relatively small part of the respondents, yet considerably more time is spent on these online games than on browser games, offline casual games, and offline games (e.g., offline racing games). The prevalence of problematic gaming in the total sample is 1.3 percent. Among adolescents and young adults problematic gaming occurs in 3.3 percent of cases. Particularly male adolescents seem to be more vulnerable to developing problematic gaming habits. PMID:22313358

  20. The Effects of Meal Schedule and Quantity on Problematic Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wacker, David P.; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Two case examples (a toddler with severe developmental delays and a 7-year old with severe mental retardation) illustrating effects of meal schedule and food quantity on displays of problematic behavior are offered. Brief functional analyses of aberrant behavior provided useful information for interpreting distinct patterns of behavior. (DB)

  1. Problematic drinking, impulsivity, and physical IPV perpetration: A dyadic analysis.

    PubMed

    Leone, Ruschelle M; Crane, Cory A; Parrott, Dominic J; Eckhardt, Christopher I

    2016-05-01

    Alcohol use and impulsivity are 2 known risk factors for intimate partner violence (IPV). The current study examined the independent and interactive effects of problematic drinking and 5 facets of impulsivity (i.e., negative urgency, positive urgency, sensation seeking, lack of premeditation, and lack of perseverance) on perpetration of physical IPV within a dyadic framework. Participants were 289 heavy drinking heterosexual couples (total N = 578) with a recent history of psychological and/or physical IPV recruited from 2 metropolitan U.S. cities. Parallel multilevel actor partner interdependence models were used and demonstrated actor problematic drinking, negative urgency, and lack of perseverance were associated with physical IPV. Findings also revealed associations between partner problematic drinking and physical IPV as well as significant Partner Problematic Drinking × Actor Impulsivity (Negative Urgency and Positive Urgency) interaction effects on physical IPV. Findings highlight the importance of examining IPV within a dyadic framework and are interpreted using the I3 metatheoretical model. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26828640

  2. Scaffolding Dynamics and the Emergence of Problematic Learning Trajectories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steenbeek, Henderien; Jansen, Louise; van Geert, Paul

    2012-01-01

    This study aims at examining problematic learning trajectories of students with emotional behavioral disorders (EBD) by means of a longitudinal and time serial (micro genetic) study of individual instruction sessions during arithmetic lessons. Micro genetic analysis techniques were applied on the variable "responsiveness" in the scaffolding…

  3. The Validity and Reliability of the Problematic Internet Usage Scale

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ceyhan, Esra; Ceyhan, Aydogan Aykut; Gurcan, Aysen

    2007-01-01

    In this research, it was aimed to develop an instrument for determining problematic internet usage of university students. Factorial structure of the data collected from 1658 university students revealed three factors. Of these, the first factor is called negative consequences of the internet and accounted for 25.36% of the variance, the second…

  4. A Content Analysis of Problematic Behavior in Counselor Education Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Maranda

    2013-01-01

    Counselor education programs are obligated by accreditation standards and professional codes of ethics to identify counselors-in-training whose academic, clinical, and personal performance indicate problematic behavior that would potentially prevent them from entering the profession (McAdams, Foster, & Ward, 2007; Rust, Raskin, & Hill,…

  5. The taxonicity of schizotypy: does the same taxonic class structure emerge from analyses of different attributes of schizotypy and from fundamentally different statistical methods?

    PubMed

    Linscott, Richard J

    2013-12-15

    Findings on the population distribution of schizotypy consistently point toward an underlying class structure. However, past research is methodologically homogeneous, chiefly involving analysis of attribute-specific indicators and coherent cut kinetic methods such as maximum covariance (MAXCOV) analysis. Two questions are examined. Are different or overlapping classes identified from different attributes of the schizophrenia phenotype? Do fundamentally different approaches to analysis yield consistent results? Participants (n=1074) completed the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ). Following item screening, MAXCOV analyses were conducted iteratively on attribute-specific item sets (cognitive-perceptual, interpersonal, and disorganized) and a general item set. Latent variable modeling (factor analysis, latent class analysis, and factor-mixture modeling) was used to examine the consistency of the MAXCOV results using items retained in the general set following MAXCOV analysis. Attribute-specific and general item sets gave taxonic MAXCOV curves and base rates of 8.4-10.4% and 3.6%, respectively. Classes were not independent. No latent variable model emerged as uniquely superior but five models distinguished a small high-scoring class populated by members of the MAXCOV general class. Different attributes distinguished overlapping yet nonredundant taxa, and a general schizotypy taxon identified with MAXCOV was also identified in latent variable modeling. PMID:23932839

  6. 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.

  7. A cryptic taxon of Galápagos tortoise in conservation peril

    PubMed Central

    Russello, Michael A; Glaberman, Scott; Gibbs, James P; Marquez, Cruz; Powell, Jeffrey R; Caccone, Adalgisa

    2005-01-01

    As once boldly stated, ‘bad taxonomy can kill’, highlighting the critical importance of accurate taxonomy for the conservation of endangered taxa. The concept continues to evolve almost 15 years later largely because most legal protections aimed at preserving biological diversity are based on formal taxonomic designations. In this paper we report unrecognized genetic divisions within the giant tortoises of the Galápagos. We found three distinct lineages among populations formerly considered a single taxon on the most populous and accessible island of Santa Cruz; their diagnosability, degree of genetic divergence and phylogenetic placement merit the recognition of at least one new taxon. These results demonstrate the fundamental importance of continuing taxonomic investigations to recognize biological diversity and designate units of conservation, even within long-studied organisms such as Galápagos tortoises, whose evolutionary heritage and contribution to human intellectual history warrant them special attention. PMID:17148189

  8. Comparative genomics of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis reveals a strict monophyletic bifidobacterial taxon.

    PubMed

    Milani, Christian; Duranti, Sabrina; Lugli, Gabriele Andrea; Bottacini, Francesca; Strati, Francesco; Arioli, Stefania; Foroni, Elena; Turroni, Francesca; van Sinderen, Douwe; Ventura, Marco

    2013-07-01

    Strains of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis are extensively exploited by the food industry as health-promoting bacteria, although the genetic variability of members belonging to this taxon has so far not received much scientific attention. In this article, we describe the complete genetic makeup of the B. animalis subsp. lactis Bl12 genome and discuss the genetic relatedness of this strain with other sequenced strains belonging to this taxon. Moreover, a detailed comparative genomic analysis of B. animalis subsp. lactis genomes was performed, which revealed a closely related and isogenic nature of all currently available B. animalis subsp. lactis strains, thus strongly suggesting a closed pan-genome structure of this bacterial group. PMID:23645200

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Use of cross-taxon congruence for hotspot identification at a regional scale.

    PubMed

    Fattorini, Simone; Dennis, Roger L H; Cook, Laurence M

    2012-01-01

    One of the most debated problems in conservation biology is the use of indicator (surrogate) taxa to predict spatial patterns in other taxa. Cross-taxon congruence in species richness patterns is of paramount importance at regional scales to disclose areas of high conservation value that are significant in a broader biogeographical context but yet placed in the finer, more practical, political context of decision making. We analysed spatial patterns of diversity in six arthropod taxa from the Turkish fauna as a regional case study relevant to global conservation of the Mediterranean basin. Although we found high congruence in cross-taxon comparisons of species richness (0.241taxon to capture diversity of other taxa was usually modest (on average, 50 percent of diversity of non-target taxa), limiting the use of hotspots for effective conservation of non-target groups. Nevertheless, our study demonstrates that a given group may partially stand in for another with similar ecological needs and biogeographical histories. We therefore advocate the use of multiple sets of taxa, chosen so as to be representative of animals with different ecological needs and biogeographical histories. PMID:22761947

  12. Evidence of taxon cycles in an Indo-Pacific passerine bird radiation (Aves: Pachycephala)

    PubMed Central

    Jønsson, Knud Andreas; Irestedt, Martin; Christidis, Les; Clegg, Sonya M.; Holt, Ben G.; Fjeldså, Jon

    2014-01-01

    Many insular taxa possess extraordinary abilities to disperse but may differ in their abilities to diversify and compete. While some taxa are widespread across archipelagos, others have disjunct (relictual) populations. These types of taxa, exemplified in the literature by selections of unrelated taxa, have been interpreted as representing a continuum of expansions and contractions (i.e. taxon cycles). Here, we use molecular data of 35 out of 40 species of the avian genus Pachycephala (including 54 out of 66 taxa in Pachycephala pectoralis (sensu lato), to assess the spatio-temporal evolution of the group. We also include data on species distributions, morphology, habitat and elevational ranges to test a number of predictions associated with the taxon-cycle hypothesis. We demonstrate that relictual species persist on the largest and highest islands across the Indo-Pacific, whereas recent archipelago expansions resulted in colonization of all islands in a region. For co-occurring island taxa, the earliest colonists generally inhabit the interior and highest parts of an island, with little spatial overlap with later colonists. Collectively, our data support the idea that taxa continuously pass through phases of expansions and contractions (i.e. taxon cycles). PMID:24403319

  13. Merging ancient and modern DNA: extinct seabird taxon rediscovered in the North Tasman Sea.

    PubMed

    Steeves, Tammy E; Holdaway, Richard N; Hale, Marie L; McLay, Emma; McAllan, Ian A W; Christian, Margaret; Hauber, Mark E; Bunce, Michael

    2010-02-23

    Ancient DNA has revolutionized the way in which evolutionary biologists research both extinct and extant taxa, from the inference of evolutionary history to the resolution of taxonomy. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the first study to report the rediscovery of an 'extinct' avian taxon, the Tasman booby (Sula tasmani), using classical palaeontological data combined with ancient and modern DNA data. Contrary to earlier work, we show an overlap in size between fossil and modern birds in the North Tasman Sea (classified currently as S. tasmani and Sula dactylatra fullagari, respectively). In addition, we show that Holocene fossil birds have mitochondrial control region sequences that are identical to those found in modern birds. These results indicate that the Tasman booby is not an extinct taxon: S. dactylatra fullagari O'Brien & Davies, 1990 is therefore a junior synonym of Sula tasmani van Tets, Meredith, Fullagar & Davidson, 1988 and all North Tasman Sea boobies should be known as S. d. tasmani. In addition to reporting the rediscovery of an extinct avian taxon, our study highlights the need for researchers to be cognizant of multidisciplinary approaches to understanding taxonomy and past biodiversity. PMID:19675005

  14. How territoriality and host-tree taxa determine the structure of ant mosaics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dejean, Alain; Ryder, Suzanne; Bolton, Barry; Compin, Arthur; Leponce, Maurice; Azémar, Frédéric; Céréghino, Régis; Orivel, Jérôme; Corbara, Bruno

    2015-06-01

    Very large colonies of territorially dominant arboreal ants (TDAAs), whose territories are distributed in a mosaic pattern in the canopies of many tropical rainforests and tree crop plantations, have a generally positive impact on their host trees. We studied the canopy of an old Gabonese rainforest (ca 4.25 ha sampled, corresponding to 206 "large" trees) at a stage just preceding forest maturity (the Caesalpinioideae dominated; the Burseraceae were abundant). The tree crowns sheltered colonies from 13 TDAAs plus a co-dominant species out of the 25 ant species recorded. By mapping the TDAAs' territories and using a null model co-occurrence analysis, we confirmed the existence of an ant mosaic. Thanks to a large sampling set and the use of the self-organizing map algorithm (SOM), we show that the distribution of the trees influences the structure of the ant mosaic, suggesting that each tree taxon attracts certain TDAA species rather than others. The SOM also improved our knowledge of the TDAAs' ecological niches, showing that these ant species are ecologically distinct from each other based on their relationships with their supporting trees. Therefore, TDAAs should not systematically be placed in the same functional group even when they belong to the same genus. We conclude by reiterating that, in addition to the role played by TDAAs' territorial competition, host trees contribute to structuring ant mosaics through multiple factors, including host-plant selection by TDAAs, the age of the trees, the presence of extrafloral nectaries, and the taxa of the associated hemipterans.

  15. How territoriality and host-tree taxa determine the structure of ant mosaics.

    PubMed

    Dejean, Alain; Ryder, Suzanne; Bolton, Barry; Compin, Arthur; Leponce, Maurice; Azémar, Frédéric; Céréghino, Régis; Orivel, Jérôme; Corbara, Bruno

    2015-06-01

    Very large colonies of territorially dominant arboreal ants (TDAAs), whose territories are distributed in a mosaic pattern in the canopies of many tropical rainforests and tree crop plantations, have a generally positive impact on their host trees. We studied the canopy of an old Gabonese rainforest (ca 4.25 ha sampled, corresponding to 206 "large" trees) at a stage just preceding forest maturity (the Caesalpinioideae dominated; the Burseraceae were abundant). The tree crowns sheltered colonies from 13 TDAAs plus a co-dominant species out of the 25 ant species recorded. By mapping the TDAAs' territories and using a null model co-occurrence analysis, we confirmed the existence of an ant mosaic. Thanks to a large sampling set and the use of the self-organizing map algorithm (SOM), we show that the distribution of the trees influences the structure of the ant mosaic, suggesting that each tree taxon attracts certain TDAA species rather than others. The SOM also improved our knowledge of the TDAAs' ecological niches, showing that these ant species are ecologically distinct from each other based on their relationships with their supporting trees. Therefore, TDAAs should not systematically be placed in the same functional group even when they belong to the same genus. We conclude by reiterating that, in addition to the role played by TDAAs' territorial competition, host trees contribute to structuring ant mosaics through multiple factors, including host-plant selection by TDAAs, the age of the trees, the presence of extrafloral nectaries, and the taxa of the associated hemipterans. PMID:26004265

  16. Analysis of self-reported problematic tasks for pregnant women.

    PubMed

    Cheng, P L; Dumas, G A; Smith, J T; Leger, A B; Plamondon, A; McGrath, M J; Tranmer, J E

    2006-02-22

    The objective of this study was to identify major components of, and influential factors in, problematic tasks performed by pregnant women employed in education, health care and service areas. Seventy-two pregnant women were surveyed using specially designed questionnaires consisting of an Initial Survey, a Job Analysis Questionnaire and a Task Description Questionnaire. Forty-four subjects (60%) had difficulty performing at least one work task and reported 105 tasks that were problematic at work. Reaching above the head, bending forward, bending and twisting, pushing, repeating actions and working at a fast pace were identified as the task components requiring the greatest level of effort. Excessive effort, excessive time, getting tired, repetitive actions, stress and fear of injury were identified as factors that had strong associations with the six major task components. Findings of this study suggest that these task components and factors should be considered when designing, assigning or analysing tasks for working pregnant women. PMID:16540440

  17. Cyberbullying, problematic internet use, and psychopathologic symptoms among Korean youth.

    PubMed

    Jung, Young-Eun; Leventhal, Bennett; Kim, Young Shin; Park, Tae Won; Lee, Sheen-Hoo; Lee, Myeongmi; Park, Seon Hee; Yang, Jong-Chul; Chung, Young-Chul; Chung, Sang-Keun; Park, Jong-Il

    2014-05-01

    To evaluate the associations between cyberbullying behaviors and problematic internet use, and to compare psychopathologic symptoms in victims, perpetrators, and victims-perpetrators of cyberbullying to those in youths who were not involved in cyberbullying. A total of 4531 youths (11-14 years of age) were recruited from elementary and middle schools. Among 4531 youths, 9.7% were involved in cyberbullying; 3.3% were only victims; 3.4% were only perpetrators; and 3.0% were victims-perpetrators. Cyberbullying behaviors were associated with problematic internet use as well as various psychopathologic symptoms. Depressive symptoms were associated with cyberbullying victimization, and rule-breaking behaviors and aggressive behaviors have relevance to cyberbullying perpetration. Greater attention needs to be paid to identify youths earlier who are involved in cyberbullying and prevent serious adverse consequences in them. PMID:24719154

  18. Cyberbullying, Problematic Internet Use, and Psychopathologic Symptoms among Korean Youth

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Young-Eun; Leventhal, Bennett; Kim, Young Shin; Lee, Sheen-Hoo; Lee, Myeongmi; Park, Seon Hee; Yang, Jong-Chul; Chung, Young-Chul; Chung, Sang-Keun; Park, Jong-Il

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate the associations between cyberbullying behaviors and problematic internet use, and to compare psychopathologic symptoms in victims, perpetrators, and victims-perpetrators of cyberbullying to those in youths who were not involved in cyberbullying. A total of 4531 youths (11-14 years of age) were recruited from elementary and middle schools. Among 4531 youths, 9.7% were involved in cyberbullying; 3.3% were only victims; 3.4% were only perpetrators; and 3.0% were victims-perpetrators. Cyberbullying behaviors were associated with problematic internet use as well as various psychopathologic symptoms. Depressive symptoms were associated with cyberbullying victimization, and rule-breaking behaviors and aggressive behaviors have relevance to cyberbullying perpetration. Greater attention needs to be paid to identify youths earlier who are involved in cyberbullying and prevent serious adverse consequences in them. PMID:24719154

  19. Emotional Openness, problematic eating behaviours, and overweight in adolescents.

    PubMed

    Walther, Mireille; Hilbert, Anja

    2015-04-01

    Overweight, a common health condition in adolescence, has been linked with difficulties in emotional processing. This study investigates associations between emotional processing, conceptualised through the model of Emotional Openness (EO), problematic eating behaviours, including Eating in the Absence of Hunger and disinhibited eating, and overweight in adolescents. Several self-report instruments were completed by 160 youngsters (mean age: 14.36±0.61years) from the community, including 39 overweight and obese adolescents (24.5%). In girls, bootstrap analyses supported a mediating effect of restrained eating on the relation between three EO dimensions and body mass index percentile, in particular the communication of emotions, the cognitive-conceptual representation of emotions, and the perception of bodily indicator of emotions. No mediating effect was found in boys. These results have important implications for psychological weight management interventions, as they underline the relevance of work on emotional processing in order to reduce problematic eating behaviours. PMID:25682365

  20. Identification and assessment of problematic interpersonal situations for urban adolescents.

    PubMed

    Farrell, A D; Ampy, L A; Meyer, A L

    1998-10-01

    Identified and developed a scale to assess problematic interpersonal situations among urban adolescents. In Study 1, problematic situations were identified by focus groups of 6th graders (N = 43). Their relevance was verified in Study 2 by assessing their reported frequency and difficulty in a sample of 6th graders (N = 457) that included mostly African American youth from low-income families. Scales representing 3 dimensions, peer provocation, perceived injustice, and environmental stressors were verified by confirmatory factor analyses. In Study 3, the internal consistency and structure of these scales were cross-validated in a sample of 7th graders (N = 459). All 3 scales were correlated with self-reported violent behavior, drug use, and anxiety and uniquely accounted for 11% to 19% of the variance. These findings have implications for identifying youth at risk for emotional and behavioral problems and for designing more relevant interventions. PMID:9789189

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Childhood adversities and risk for problematic alcohol use.

    PubMed

    Dragan, Małgorzata; Hardt, Jochen

    2016-08-01

    The findings from studies exploring the relationship between childhood adversities (CAs) and adolescent and adult drinking problems are inconclusive - some researchers have found strong effects, others virtually none. In this study, we sought to examine the associations between 23 types of retrospectively reported CAs and adult problematic alcohol use in two samples, one drawn from Germany, the other from Poland. A total sample of 1008 participants was recruited via the internet: 500 in Germany and 508 in Poland. They completed a set of questionnaires including questions regarding various types of CA, and also the CAGE tool for the identification of problem drinking. CAs were grouped into four categories: Negative Personal Experience, Family Adversities, Parental Disorders, Parent-Child Relationships; this last category included role reversal. Separate logistic regression analyses were performed, with age, gender and country as potential confounders. The probability of having an alcohol problem was higher in men, and higher in Poland than in Germany. Of the risk factors tested, three displayed a significant association with problematic alcohol use. The risk factors concerned were Regular Arguments Between the Parents, plus two types of adversities from the Parent-Child Relationships cluster: Maternal Control and Maternal Role Reversal. The results serve to underline the importance of examining links between childhood risk factors and problematic alcohol use, and also suggest that certain less visible symptoms of a disordered parent-child (particularly mother-child) relationship, such as parentification, may constitute important risk factors for the development of drinking problems in later life. PMID:27082746

  5. A problematic early tetrapod from the Mississippian of Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomson, K.S.; Shubin, N.S.; Poole, F.G.

    1998-01-01

    We report here the discovery of a new taxon of Paleozoic tetrapod from the Late Mississippian of Nevada (330-340 Ma). It has a unique vertebral column with principal centra having vertical anterior and posterior faces, ventrally incomplete accessory centra located antero-dorsally in each centrum, and enlarged presacral/sacral vertebrae. The head and pectoral girdle were not preserved but the large femur, robust pelvic girdle and enlarged sacral vertebrae possibly indicate a terrestrial mode of life. This new form significantly extends the western geographic range of known Mississippian tetrapods. It presents a mosaic of primitive and derived features, indicating that continued revision of traditional accounts of vertebral homology and the early diversifications of Paleozoic tetrapods will be necessary.

  6. Cyatta abscondita: Taxonomy, Evolution, and Natural History of a New Fungus-Farming Ant Genus from Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Sosa-Calvo, Jeffrey; Schultz, Ted R.; Brandão, Carlos R. F.; Klingenberg, Christiana; Feitosa, Rodrigo M.; Rabeling, Christian; Bacci, Maurício; Lopes, Cauê T.; Vasconcelos, Heraldo L.

    2013-01-01

    Cyatta abscondita, a new genus and species of fungus-farming ant from Brazil, is described based on morphological study of more than 20 workers, two dealate gynes, one male, and two larvae. Ecological field data are summarized, including natural history, nest architecture, and foraging behavior. Phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequence data from four nuclear genes indicate that Cyatta abscondita is the distant sister taxon of the genus Kalathomyrmex, and that together they comprise the sister group of the remaining neoattine ants, an informal clade that includes the conspicuous and well-known leaf-cutter ants. Morphologically, Cyatta abscondita shares very few obvious character states with Kalathomyrmex. It does, however, possess a number of striking morphological features unique within the fungus-farming tribe Attini. It also shares morphological character states with taxa that span the ancestral node of the Attini. The morphology, behavior, and other biological characters of Cyatta abscondita are potentially informative about plesiomorphic character states within the fungus-farming ants and about the early evolution of ant agriculture. PMID:24260403

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. DNA Barcode Sequence Identification Incorporating Taxonomic Hierarchy and within Taxon Variability

    PubMed Central

    Little, Damon P.

    2011-01-01

    For DNA barcoding to succeed as a scientific endeavor an accurate and expeditious query sequence identification method is needed. Although a global multiple–sequence alignment can be generated for some barcoding markers (e.g. COI, rbcL), not all barcoding markers are as structurally conserved (e.g. matK). Thus, algorithms that depend on global multiple–sequence alignments are not universally applicable. Some sequence identification methods that use local pairwise alignments (e.g. BLAST) are unable to accurately differentiate between highly similar sequences and are not designed to cope with hierarchic phylogenetic relationships or within taxon variability. Here, I present a novel alignment–free sequence identification algorithm–BRONX–that accounts for observed within taxon variability and hierarchic relationships among taxa. BRONX identifies short variable segments and corresponding invariant flanking regions in reference sequences. These flanking regions are used to score variable regions in the query sequence without the production of a global multiple–sequence alignment. By incorporating observed within taxon variability into the scoring procedure, misidentifications arising from shared alleles/haplotypes are minimized. An explicit treatment of more inclusive terminals allows for separate identifications to be made for each taxonomic level and/or for user–defined terminals. BRONX performs better than all other methods when there is imperfect overlap between query and reference sequences (e.g. mini–barcode queries against a full–length barcode database). BRONX consistently produced better identifications at the genus–level for all query types. PMID:21857897

  10. Evaluating and interpreting cross-taxon congruence: Potential pitfalls and solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gioria, Margherita; Bacaro, Giovanni; Feehan, John

    2011-05-01

    Characterizing the relationship between different taxonomic groups is critical to identify potential surrogates for biodiversity. Previous studies have shown that cross-taxa relationships are generally weak and/or inconsistent. The difficulties in finding predictive patterns have often been attributed to the spatial and temporal scales of these studies and on the differences in the measure used to evaluate such relationships (species richness versus composition). However, the choice of the analytical approach used to evaluate cross-taxon congruence inevitably represents a major source of variation. Here, we described the use of a range of methods that can be used to comprehensively assess cross-taxa relationships. To do so, we used data for two taxonomic groups, wetland plants and water beetles, collected from 54 farmland ponds in Ireland. Specifically, we used the Pearson correlation and rarefaction curves to analyse patterns in species richness, while Mantel tests, Procrustes analysis, and co-correspondence analysis were used to evaluate congruence in species composition. We compared the results of these analyses and we described some of the potential pitfalls associated with the use of each of these statistical approaches. Cross-taxon congruence was moderate to strong, depending on the choice of the analytical approach, on the nature of the response variable, and on local and environmental conditions. Our findings indicate that multiple approaches and measures of community structure are required for a comprehensive assessment of cross-taxa relationships. In particular, we showed that selection of surrogate taxa in conservation planning should not be based on a single statistic expressing the degree of correlation in species richness or composition. Potential solutions to the analytical issues associated with the assessment of cross-taxon congruence are provided and the implications of our findings in the selection of surrogates for biodiversity are discussed.

  11. Body weight prediction in early fossil hominids: towards a taxon-"independent" approach.

    PubMed

    Hartwig-Scherer, S

    1993-09-01

    The choice of a model taxon is crucial when investigating fossil hominids that clearly do not resemble any extant species (such as Australopithecus) or show significant differences from modern human proportions (such as Homo habilis OH 62). An "interhominoid" combination is not adequate either, as scaling with body weight is strongly divergent in African apes and humans for most skeletal predictors investigated here. Therefore, in relation to a study of seven long bone dimensions, a new taxon-"independent" approach is suggested. For a given predictor, its taxonomic "independence" is restricted to the size range over which the body weight-predictor relationship for African apes and humans converges. Different predictors produce converging body weight estimates (BWEs) for different size ranges: taxon-"independent" estimates can be calculated for small- and medium-sized hominids (e.g., for weights below 50 kg) using femoral and tibial dimensions, whereas upper limb bones provide converging results for large hominids (above 50 kg). If the remains of Australopithecus afarensis really belong to one species, the relationship of male (above 60 kg) to female body weight (approximately 30 kg) does not fall within the observed range of modern hominoids. Considering Sts 14 (22 kg) to represent a small-sized Australopithecus africanus, the level of encephalization lies well above that of extant apes. If OH 62 (approximately 25 kg), with limb proportions less human-like than those of australopithecines, indeed represents Homo habilis (which has been questioned previously), an increase in relative brain size would have occurred well before full bipedality, an assumption running counter to current assumptions concerning early human evolution. PMID:8238289

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Psychiatry and ethics: the problematics of respect for religious meanings.

    PubMed

    Post, S G

    1993-09-01

    Over the past two decades American psychiatrists have had to address the emergence of an increasingly fervent religious pluralism. Particularly in cases of socially controversial new religious movements (NRMs), distressed families have pressured psychiatrists to assess the mental state of recruits to such sects, often labeled "cults." At this inevitably acrimonious interface between family values and religious liberties, psychiatrists have for the most part resisted pressures to medicalize religious conversions. This article provides an historical review of American psychiatric response to NRMs with respect to nosology and practice. It introduces this response in the more general context of ethics and the problematics of respect for religious meanings. PMID:8269715

  15. Possible problematic situations for the Europa cryorobotic mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kereszturi, A.

    We analyzed some possible dangerous and problematic situations which can take place during the descend of the Europa exlporer cryorobot inside the ice crust. Our work summarizing the followings: 1. consequences of the differences in the ice thickness and time of descend based on our and other workers' ice thickness estimations, 2. consequences of the tectonic movements in the crust during the descend of the cryorobot, 3. consequences of salt rich diapiric/cryomagmatic intrusions on the descend of the probe, 4. consequences of liquid water bodies inside the ice crust during the descend, 5. usage of the whole cryorobot below the ice crust as a robotic submarine.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Problematic Online Pornography Use: A Media Attendance Perspective.

    PubMed

    Sirianni, Joseph M; Vishwanath, Arun

    2016-01-01

    Since the rise of the popularity of the Internet, the accessibility of pornography has been a growing concern. One particular concern is the potential risk for addictive behaviors to occur as a result of the ease of viewing online pornographic material. The research presented herein explored online pornography addiction using a media attendance perspective, which allows media critics to examine the needs that people seek to fulfill from engaging with various media. Past studies that have used a media attendance perspective to explore media addiction, rephrased here as problematic media use, have done so using social cognitive theory and the concept of deficient self-regulation. Deficient self-regulation may be experienced by all media consumers and can range from normally impulsive media choices to pathological media choices which may result in detrimental life consequences. Borrowing from this, the current study reevaluated online pornography addiction using deficient self-regulation within a sociocognitive framework of media attendance. Results of our model show deficient self-regulation influences habitual online pornography consumption. Moreover, online pornography use motivated by social needs is perpetuated by deficient self-regulation and may lead to negative life consequences in some individuals. These findings contribute a new perspective and framework for understanding problematic online pornography use. PMID:25621631

  19. The problematization of medical tourism: a critique of neoliberalism.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kristen

    2012-04-01

    The past two decades have seen the extensive privatisation and marketisation of health care in an ever reaching number of developing countries. Within this milieu, medical tourism is being promoted as a rational economic development strategy for some developing nations, and a makeshift solution to the escalating waiting lists and exorbitant costs of health care in developed nations. This paper explores the need to problematize medical tourism in order to move beyond one dimensional neoliberal discourses that have, to date, dominated the arena. In this problematization, the paper discusses a range of understandings and uses of the term 'medical tourism' and situates it within the context of the neoliberal economic development of health care internationally. Drawing on theory from critical medical anthropology and health and human rights perspectives, the paper critically analyzes the assumed independence between the medical tourism industry and local populations facing critical health issues, where social, cultural and economic inequities are widening in terms of access, cost and quality of health care. Finally, medical tourism is examined in the local context of India, critiquing the increasingly indistinct roles played by government and private sectors, whilst linking these shifts to global market forces. PMID:22420447

  20. Monitoring the Impact of Solution Concepts within a Given Problematic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavallucci, Denis; Rousselot, François; Zanni, Cecilia

    It is acknowledged that one of the most critical issues facing today’s organizations concerns the substantial leaps required to methodologically structure innovation. Among other published work, some suggest that a complete rethinking of current practices is required. In this article, we propose a methodology aiming at providing controlled R&D choices based on a monitoring of the impact Solution Concepts provoke on a problematic situation. Initially this problematic situation is modeled in a graph form, namely a Problem Graph. It has the objective to assists R&D managers when choosing which activities to support and bring them concrete arguments to defend their choices. We postulate that by improving the robustness of such approaches we help deciders to switch from intuitive decisions (mostly built upon their past experiences, fear regarding risks, and awareness of the company’s level of acceptance of novelties) to thoroughly constructed inventive problem solving strategies. Our approach will be discussed using a computer application that illustrates our hypothesis after being tested in several industrial applications.

  1. Political power beyond the State: problematics of government. 1992.

    PubMed

    Rose, Nikolas; Miller, Peter

    2010-01-01

    This paper sets out an approach to the analysis of political power in terms of problematics of government. It argues against an overvaluation of the 'problem of the State' in political debate and social theory. A number of conceptual tools are suggested for the analysis of the many and varied alliances between political and other authorities that seek to govern economic activity, social life and individual conduct. Modern political rationalities and governmental technologies are shown to be intrinsically linked to developments in knowledge and to the powers of expertise. The characteristics of liberal problematics of government are investigated, and it is argued that they are dependent upon technologies for 'governing at a distance', seeking to create locales, entities and persons able to operate a regulated autonomy. The analysis is exemplified through an investigation of welfarism as a mode of 'social' government. The paper concludes with a brief consideration of neo-liberalism which demonstrates that the analytical language structured by the philosophical opposition of state and civil society is unable to comprehend contemporary transformations in modes of exercise of political power.(1). PMID:20092498

  2. 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...

  3. Delineating Species with DNA Barcodes: A Case of Taxon Dependent Method Performance in Moths

    PubMed Central

    Kekkonen, Mari; Mutanen, Marko; Kaila, Lauri; Nieminen, Marko; Hebert, Paul D. N.

    2015-01-01

    The accelerating loss of biodiversity has created a need for more effective ways to discover species. Novel algorithmic approaches for analyzing sequence data combined with rapidly expanding DNA barcode libraries provide a potential solution. While several analytical methods are available for the delineation of operational taxonomic units (OTUs), few studies have compared their performance. This study compares the performance of one morphology-based and four DNA-based (BIN, parsimony networks, ABGD, GMYC) methods on two groups of gelechioid moths. It examines 92 species of Finnish Gelechiinae and 103 species of Australian Elachistinae which were delineated by traditional taxonomy. The results reveal a striking difference in performance between the two taxa with all four DNA-based methods. OTU counts in the Elachistinae showed a wider range and a relatively low (ca. 65%) OTU match with reference species while OTU counts were more congruent and performance was higher (ca. 90%) in the Gelechiinae. Performance rose when only monophyletic species were compared, but the taxon-dependence remained. None of the DNA-based methods produced a correct match with non-monophyletic species, but singletons were handled well. A simulated test of morphospecies-grouping performed very poorly in revealing taxon diversity in these small, dull-colored moths. Despite the strong performance of analyses based on DNA barcodes, species delineated using single-locus mtDNA data are best viewed as OTUs that require validation by subsequent integrative taxonomic work. PMID:25849083

  4. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma malaysianum', a novel taxon associated with virescence and phyllody of Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus).

    PubMed

    Nejat, Naghmeh; Vadamalai, Ganesan; Davis, Robert E; Harrison, Nigel A; Sijam, Kamaruzaman; Dickinson, Matthew; Abdullah, Siti Nor Akmar; Zhao, Yan

    2013-02-01

    This study addressed the taxonomic position and group classification of a phytoplasma responsible for virescence and phyllody symptoms in naturally diseased Madagascar periwinkle plants in western Malaysia. Unique regions in the 16S rRNA gene from the Malaysian periwinkle virescence (MaPV) phytoplasma distinguished the phytoplasma from all previously described 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' species. Pairwise sequence similarity scores, calculated through alignment of full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences, revealed that the MaPV phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene shared 96.5 % or less sequence similarity with that of previously described 'Ca. Phytoplasma' species, justifying the recognition of the MaPV phytoplasma as a reference strain of a novel taxon, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma malaysianum'. The 16S rRNA gene F2nR2 fragment from the MaPV phytoplasma exhibited a distinct restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) profile and the pattern similarity coefficient values were lower than 0.85 with representative phytoplasmas classified in any of the 31 previously delineated 16Sr groups; therefore, the MaPV phytoplasma was designated a member of a new 16Sr group, 16SrXXXII. Phytoplasmas affiliated with this novel taxon and the new group included diverse strains infecting periwinkle, coconut palm and oil palm in Malaysia. Three phytoplasmas were characterized as representatives of three distinct subgroups, 16SrXXXII-A, 16SrXXXII-B and 16SrXXXII-C, respectively. PMID:22523165

  5. Detection and Polarization of Introgression in a Five-Taxon Phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Pease, James B; Hahn, Matthew W

    2015-07-01

    When multiple speciation events occur rapidly in succession, discordant genealogies due to incomplete lineage sorting (ILS) can complicate the detection of introgression. A variety of methods, including the [Formula: see text]-statistic (a.k.a. the "ABBA-BABA test"), have been proposed to infer introgression in the presence of ILS for a four-taxon clade. However, no integrated method exists to detect introgression using allelic patterns for more complex phylogenies. Here we explore the issues associated with previous systems of applying [Formula: see text]-statistics to a larger tree topology, and propose new [Formula: see text] tests as an integrated framework to infer both the taxa involved in and the direction of introgression for a symmetric five-taxon phylogeny. Using theory and simulations, we show that the [Formula: see text] statistics correctly identify the introgression donor and recipient lineages, even at low rates of introgression. [Formula: see text] is also shown to have extremely low false-positive rates. The [Formula: see text] tests are computationally inexpensive to calculate and can easily be applied to phylogenomic data sets, both genome-wide and in windows of the genome. In addition, we explore both the principles and problems of introgression detection in even more complex phylogenies. PMID:25888025

  6. 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...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Problematizing Disciplinarity, Transdisciplinary Problematics

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    This article situates current debates about transdisciplinarity within the deeper history of academic disciplinarity, in its difference from the notions of inter- and multi-disciplinarity. It offers a brief typology and history of established conceptions of transdisciplinarity within science and technology studies. It then goes on to raise the question of the conceptual structure of transdisciplinary generality in the humanities, with respect to the incorporation of the 19th- and 20th-century German and French philosophical traditions into the anglophone humanities, under the name of ‘theory’. It identifies two distinct – dialectical and anti-dialectical, or dialectical and transversal – transdisciplinary trajectories. It locates the various contributions to the special issue of which it is the introduction within this conceptual field, drawing attention to the distinct contribution of the French debates about structuralism and its aftermath – those by Serres, Foucault, Derrida, Guattari and Latour, in particular. It concludes with an appendix on Foucault’s place within current debates about disciplinarity and academic disciplines. PMID:26456992

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  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. Measuring and analyzing the causes of problematic Internet use.

    PubMed

    Chiang, I-Ping; Su, Yung-Hsiang

    2012-11-01

    Since Internet surfing became a daily activity, people have changed their behavior. This research analyzes the causes of problematic Internet use through an online survey, where 1,094 samples were collected. Based on the results of structural equation modeling analysis, the following conclusions are reached: First, novelty, security, and efficiency increase users' online trust. Second, information and efficiency enhance users' sharing and anonymity online. Third, greater trust in Internet environments leads to an increase in a user's cognitive bias toward online behavioral responsibility and Internet addiction. Fourth, a user's attitude toward online sharing further increases the cognitive bias toward online copyright. Fifth, a user's attitude toward anonymity increases cognitive bias toward online copyright, online behavioral responsibility, and deepens Internet addiction. PMID:23020742

  17. [Reducing problematic sickness absence: of importance to every general practitioner].

    PubMed

    Wind, H; Opstelten, W; Hendriks, A C

    2016-01-01

    Problematic sickness absence is an issue that concerns not only occupational health physicians, but all physicians. More collaboration between occupational health and treating physicians, plus improved alignment of symptom treatment and reintegration counselling, can help avoid long-term sickness absence of employees. Achieving this goal presupposes mutual knowledge of each other's professions. Medical practice guidelines are a tool par excellence to share knowledge and bring this into practice. Treating physicians should not refrain from posing work-related and return-to-work questions, even if the overall responsibility lies with the occupational health physicians in terms of reintegration efforts. The patient's interest should be the leading principle for all physicians involved. This means not only provision of good care, aimed at patient recovery, but also adequate reintegration in the labour market. Occupational health physicians, general practitioners and consultant specialists should share this common goal. PMID:27299497

  18. At-Risk/Problematic Shopping and Gambling in Adolescence.

    PubMed

    Yip, Sarah W; Mei, Songli; Pilver, Corey E; Steinberg, Marvin A; Rugle, Loreen J; Krishnan-Sarin, Suchitra; Hoff, Rani A; Potenza, Marc N

    2015-12-01

    Elevated levels of both pathological gambling (PG) and problem shopping (PS) have been reported among adolescents, and each is associated with a range of other negative health/functioning measures. However, relationships between PS and PG, particularly during adolescence, are not well understood. In this study, we explored the relationship between different levels of problem-gambling severity and health/functioning characteristics, gambling-related social experiences, gambling behaviors and motivations among adolescents with and without at-risk/problematic shopping (ARPS). Survey data from Connecticut high school students (n = 2,100) were analyzed using bivariate analyses and logistic regression modeling. Although at-risk/problematic gambling (ARPG) was not increased among adolescents with ARPS, adolescents with ARPG (vs non-gamblers) were more likely to report having experienced a growing tension or anxiety that could only be relieved by shopping and missing other obligations due to shopping. In comparison to the non-ARPS group, a smaller proportion of respondents in the ARPS group reported paid part-time employment, whereas a greater proportion of respondents reported excessive gambling by peers and feeling concerned over the gambling of a close family member. In general, similar associations between problem-gambling severity and measures of health/functioning and gambling-related behaviors and motivations were observed across ARPS and non-ARPS adolescents. However, associations were weaker among ARPS adolescents for several variables: engagement in extracurricular activities, alcohol and caffeine use and gambling for financial reasons. These findings suggest a complex relationship between problem-gambling severity and ARPS. They highlight the importance of considering co-occurring risk behaviors such as ARPS when treating adolescents with at-risk/problem gambling. PMID:25117852

  19. 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

  20. The influence of taxon sampling on Bayesian divergence time inference under scenarios of rate heterogeneity among lineages.

    PubMed

    Soares, André E R; Schrago, Carlos G

    2015-01-01

    Although taxon sampling is commonly considered an important issue in phylogenetic inference, it is rarely considered in the Bayesian estimation of divergence times. In fact, the studies conducted to date have presented ambiguous results, and the relevance of taxon sampling for molecular dating remains unclear. In this study, we developed a series of simulations that, after six hundred Bayesian molecular dating analyses, allowed us to evaluate the impact of taxon sampling on chronological estimates under three scenarios of among-lineage rate heterogeneity. The first scenario allowed us to examine the influence of the number of terminals on the age estimates based on a strict molecular clock. The second scenario imposed an extreme example of lineage specific rate variation, and the third scenario permitted extensive rate variation distributed along the branches. We also analyzed empirical data on selected mitochondrial genomes of mammals. Our results showed that in the strict molecular-clock scenario (Case I), taxon sampling had a minor impact on the accuracy of the time estimates, although the precision of the estimates was greater with an increased number of terminals. The effect was similar in the scenario (Case III) based on rate variation distributed among the branches. Only under intensive rate variation among lineages (Case II) taxon sampling did result in biased estimates. The results of an empirical analysis corroborated the simulation findings. We demonstrate that taxonomic sampling affected divergence time inference but that its impact was significant if the rates deviated from those derived for the strict molecular clock. Increased taxon sampling improved the precision and accuracy of the divergence time estimates, but the impact on precision is more relevant. On average, biased estimates were obtained only if lineage rate variation was pronounced. PMID:25218869

  1. Macrochaete gen. nov. (Nostocales, Cyanobacteria), a taxon morphologically and molecularly distinct from Calothrix.

    PubMed

    Berrendero Gómez, Esther; Johansen, Jeffrey R; Kaštovský, Jan; Bohunická, Markéta; Čapková, Kateřina

    2016-08-01

    Historically, the genus Calothrix included all noncolonial, tapered, heterocytous filaments within the cyanobacteria. However, recent molecular phylogenies show that "Calothrix" defined in this sense represents five distinct clades. The type species of Calothrix is marine, with solitary basal heterocytes, no akinetes, and distal ends tapering abruptly into short hairs. We examined the morphology and phylogeny of 45 tapering cyanobacteria in the Rivulariaceae, including freshwater and marine representatives of both Calothrix (35 strains) and its sister taxon Rivularia (10 strains). The marine Calothrix fall into two lineages, but we lack the generitype and so cannot identify the clade corresponding to the type species. The freshwater and soil Calothrix fall into the C. parietina clade and are characterized by having a basal heterocyte, no akinetes, and gradual tapering-but not into a long hyaline hair. Macrochaete gen. nov. is a freshwater taxon sister to the Calothrix lineages but clearly separated from Rivularia. The species in this genus differ morphologically from Calothrix by their ability to produce two heteromorphic basal heterocytes and specific secondary structures of the 16S-23S ITS. An additional feature present in most species is the presence of a distal, long hyaline hair, but this character has incomplete penetrance due to its expression only under specific environmental conditions (low phosphate), and in one species appears to be lost. We recognize three species: M. psychrophila (type species) from cold environments (high mountains, Antarctica), M. santannae from wet walls of subtropical South America, and M. lichenoides, a phycobiont of lichens from Europe. PMID:27136320

  2. On the Complexity of the Saccharomyces bayanus Taxon: Hybridization and Potential Hybrid Speciation

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Través, Laura; Lopes, Christian A.; Querol, Amparo; Barrio, Eladio

    2014-01-01

    Although the genus Saccharomyces has been thoroughly studied, some species in the genus has not yet been accurately resolved; an example is S. bayanus, a taxon that includes genetically diverse lineages of pure and hybrid strains. This diversity makes the assignation and classification of strains belonging to this species unclear and controversial. They have been subdivided by some authors into two varieties (bayanus and uvarum), which have been raised to the species level by others. In this work, we evaluate the complexity of 46 different strains included in the S. bayanus taxon by means of PCR-RFLP analysis and by sequencing of 34 gene regions and one mitochondrial gene. Using the sequence data, and based on the S. bayanus var. bayanus reference strain NBRC 1948, a hypothetical pure S. bayanus was reconstructed for these genes that showed alleles with similarity values lower than 97% with the S. bayanus var. uvarum strain CBS 7001, and of 99–100% with the non S. cerevisiae portion in S. pastorianus Weihenstephan 34/70 and with the new species S. eubayanus. Among the S. bayanus strains under study, different levels of homozygosity, hybridization and introgression were found; however, no pure S. bayanus var. bayanus strain was identified. These S. bayanus hybrids can be classified into two types: homozygous (type I) and heterozygous hybrids (type II), indicating that they have been originated by different hybridization processes. Therefore, a putative evolutionary scenario involving two different hybridization events between a S. bayanus var. uvarum and unknown European S. eubayanus-like strains can be postulated to explain the genomic diversity observed in our S. bayanus var. bayanus strains. PMID:24705561

  3. On the complexity of the Saccharomyces bayanus taxon: hybridization and potential hybrid speciation.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Través, Laura; Lopes, Christian A; Querol, Amparo; Barrio, Eladio

    2014-01-01

    Although the genus Saccharomyces has been thoroughly studied, some species in the genus has not yet been accurately resolved; an example is S. bayanus, a taxon that includes genetically diverse lineages of pure and hybrid strains. This diversity makes the assignation and classification of strains belonging to this species unclear and controversial. They have been subdivided by some authors into two varieties (bayanus and uvarum), which have been raised to the species level by others. In this work, we evaluate the complexity of 46 different strains included in the S. bayanus taxon by means of PCR-RFLP analysis and by sequencing of 34 gene regions and one mitochondrial gene. Using the sequence data, and based on the S. bayanus var. bayanus reference strain NBRC 1948, a hypothetical pure S. bayanus was reconstructed for these genes that showed alleles with similarity values lower than 97% with the S. bayanus var. uvarum strain CBS 7001, and of 99-100% with the non S. cerevisiae portion in S. pastorianus Weihenstephan 34/70 and with the new species S. eubayanus. Among the S. bayanus strains under study, different levels of homozygosity, hybridization and introgression were found; however, no pure S. bayanus var. bayanus strain was identified. These S. bayanus hybrids can be classified into two types: homozygous (type I) and heterozygous hybrids (type II), indicating that they have been originated by different hybridization processes. Therefore, a putative evolutionary scenario involving two different hybridization events between a S. bayanus var. uvarum and unknown European S. eubayanus-like strains can be postulated to explain the genomic diversity observed in our S. bayanus var. bayanus strains. PMID:24705561

  4. Development of taxon-specific sequences of common wheat for the detection of genetically modified wheat.

    PubMed

    Iida, Mayu; Yamashiro, Satomi; Yamakawa, Hirohito; Hayakawa, Katsuyuki; Kuribara, Hideo; Kodama, Takashi; Furui, Satoshi; Akiyama, Hiroshi; Maitani, Tamio; Hino, Akihiro

    2005-08-10

    Qualitative and quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) systems aimed at the specific detection and quantification of common wheat DNA are described. Many countries have issued regulations to label foods that include genetically modified organisms (GMOs). PCR technology is widely recognized as a reliable and useful technique for the qualitative and quantitative detection of GMOs. Detection methods are needed to amplify a target GM gene, and the amplified results should be compared with those of the corresponding taxon-specific reference gene to obtain reliable results. This paper describes the development of a specific DNA sequence in the waxy-D1 gene for common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and the design of a specific primer pair and TaqMan probe on the waxy-D1 gene for PCR analysis. The primers amplified a product (Wx012) of 102 bp. It is indicated that the Wx012 DNA sequence is specific to common wheat, showing homogeneity in qualitative PCR results and very similar quantification accuracy along 19 distantly related common wheat varieties. In Southern blot and real-time PCR analyses, this sequence showed either a single or a low number of copy genes. In addition, by qualitative and quantitative PCR using wx012 primers and a wx012-T probe, the limits of detection of the common wheat genome were found to be about 15 copies, and the reproducibility was reliable. In consequence, the PCR system using wx012 primers and wx012-T probe is considered to be suitable for use as a common wheat-specific taxon-specific reference gene in DNA analyses, including GMO tests. PMID:16076109

  5. Taxon interactions control the distributions of cryoconite bacteria colonizing a High Arctic ice cap.

    PubMed

    Gokul, Jarishma K; Hodson, Andrew J; Saetnan, Eli R; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D L; Westall, Philippa J; Detheridge, Andrew P; Takeuchi, Nozomu; Bussell, Jennifer; Mur, Luis A J; Edwards, Arwyn

    2016-08-01

    Microbial colonization of glacial ice surfaces incurs feedbacks which affect the melting rate of the ice surface. Ecosystems formed as microbe-mineral aggregates termed cryoconite locally reduce ice surface albedo and represent foci of biodiversity and biogeochemical cycling. Consequently, greater understanding the ecological processes in the formation of functional cryoconite ecosystems upon glacier surfaces is sought. Here, we present the first bacterial biogeography of an ice cap, evaluating the respective roles of dispersal, environmental and biotic filtration occurring at local scales in the assembly of cryoconite microbiota. 16S rRNA gene amplicon semiconductor sequencing of cryoconite colonizing a Svalbard ice cap coupled with digital elevation modelling of physical parameters reveals the bacterial community is dominated by a ubiquitous core of generalist taxa, with evidence for a moderate pairwise distance-decay relationship. While geographic position and melt season duration are prominent among environmental predictors of community structure, the core population of taxa appears highly influential in structuring the bacterial community. Taxon co-occurrence network analysis reveals a highly modular community structured by positive interactions with bottleneck taxa, predominantly Actinobacteria affiliated to isolates from soil humus. In contrast, the filamentous cyanobacterial taxon (assigned to Leptolyngbya/Phormidesmis pristleyi) which dominates the community and binds together granular cryoconite are poorly connected to other taxa. While our study targeted one ice cap, the prominent role of generalist core taxa with close environmental relatives across the global cryosphere indicate discrete roles for cosmopolitan Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria as respective keystone taxa and ecosystem engineers of cryoconite ecosystems colonizing ice caps. PMID:27261672

  6. 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

  7. Problems with the claim of ecotype and taxon status of the wolf in the Great Lakes region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cronin, Matthew A.; Mech, L. David

    2009-01-01

    Koblmuller et al. (2009) analysed molecular genetic data of the wolf in the Great Lakes (GL) region of the USA and concluded that the animal was a unique ecotype of grey wolf and that genetic data supported the population as a discrete wolf taxon. However, some of the literature that the researchers used to support their position actually did not, and additional confusion arises from indefinite use of terminology. Herein, we discuss the problems with designation of a wolf population as a taxon or ecotype without proper definition and assessment of criteria.

  8. Problematic internet use and problematic online gaming are not the same: findings from a large nationally representative adolescent sample.

    PubMed

    Király, Orsolya; Griffiths, Mark D; Urbán, Róbert; Farkas, Judit; Kökönyei, Gyöngyi; Elekes, Zsuzsanna; Tamás, Domokos; Demetrovics, Zsolt

    2014-12-01

    There is an ongoing debate in the literature whether problematic Internet use (PIU) and problematic online gaming (POG) are two distinct conceptual and nosological entities or whether they are the same. The present study contributes to this question by examining the interrelationship and the overlap between PIU and POG in terms of sex, school achievement, time spent using the Internet and/or online gaming, psychological well-being, and preferred online activities. Questionnaires assessing these variables were administered to a nationally representative sample of adolescent gamers (N=2,073; Mage=16.4 years, SD=0.87; 68.4% male). Data showed that Internet use was a common activity among adolescents, while online gaming was engaged in by a considerably smaller group. Similarly, more adolescents met the criteria for PIU than for POG, and a small group of adolescents showed symptoms of both problem behaviors. The most notable difference between the two problem behaviors was in terms of sex. POG was much more strongly associated with being male. Self-esteem had low effect sizes on both behaviors, while depressive symptoms were associated with both PIU and POG, affecting PIU slightly more. In terms of preferred online activities, PIU was positively associated with online gaming, online chatting, and social networking, while POG was only associated with online gaming. Based on our findings, POG appears to be a conceptually different behavior from PIU, and therefore the data support the notion that Internet Addiction Disorder and Internet Gaming Disorder are separate nosological entities. PMID:25415659

  9. Problematic Internet Use and Problematic Online Gaming Are Not the Same: Findings from a Large Nationally Representative Adolescent Sample

    PubMed Central

    Griffiths, Mark D.; Urbán, Róbert; Farkas, Judit; Kökönyei, Gyöngyi; Elekes, Zsuzsanna; Tamás, Domokos; Demetrovics, Zsolt

    2014-01-01

    Abstract There is an ongoing debate in the literature whether problematic Internet use (PIU) and problematic online gaming (POG) are two distinct conceptual and nosological entities or whether they are the same. The present study contributes to this question by examining the interrelationship and the overlap between PIU and POG in terms of sex, school achievement, time spent using the Internet and/or online gaming, psychological well-being, and preferred online activities. Questionnaires assessing these variables were administered to a nationally representative sample of adolescent gamers (N=2,073; Mage=16.4 years, SD=0.87; 68.4% male). Data showed that Internet use was a common activity among adolescents, while online gaming was engaged in by a considerably smaller group. Similarly, more adolescents met the criteria for PIU than for POG, and a small group of adolescents showed symptoms of both problem behaviors. The most notable difference between the two problem behaviors was in terms of sex. POG was much more strongly associated with being male. Self-esteem had low effect sizes on both behaviors, while depressive symptoms were associated with both PIU and POG, affecting PIU slightly more. In terms of preferred online activities, PIU was positively associated with online gaming, online chatting, and social networking, while POG was only associated with online gaming. Based on our findings, POG appears to be a conceptually different behavior from PIU, and therefore the data support the notion that Internet Addiction Disorder and Internet Gaming Disorder are separate nosological entities. PMID:25415659

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Interpersonal relationships, coping strategies and problematic internet use in adolescence: an italian study.

    PubMed

    Milani, Luca; Osualdella, Dania; Di Blasio, Paola

    2009-01-01

    In a few years the Internet has become one of the most relevant means of socialization and entertainment for Italian adolescents. Studies have established a correlation between poor interpersonal relationship, poor cognitive coping strategies and Problematic Internet Use. The aim of the research was to study the characteristics and correlates of Problematic Internet Use in an Italian sample of adolescents. 98 Italian adolescents aged 14-19 were administered checklists assessing Problematic Internet Use, quality of interpersonal relationships, and cognitive-driven coping strategies. Of the participants, 36.7% are characterized by Problematic Internet Use. This subsample showed poorer interpersonal relationships and cognitive coping strategies compared to the non-problematic subsample. Overall quality of interpersonal relationships and cognitive coping strategies were found to be predictors of the level of Internet Problematic Use. PMID:19592733

  13. 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

  14. An Early Cambrian problematic fossil: Vetustovermis and its possible affinities

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jun-yuan; Huang, Di-ying; Bottjer, David J

    2005-01-01

    The Early Cambrian problematic fossil Vetustovermis (Glaessner 1979 Alcheringa 3, 21–31) was described as an annelid or arthropod. Anatomical analysis of 17 new specimens from the Lower Cambrian Maotianshan Shale at Anning, Kunming (South China) does not support its affinities with annelids or arthropods. Anatomical features instead resemble other animal groups including modern flatworms, nemertines and molluscs. The presence of a pelagic slug-like form and ventral foot, as well as a head with eyes and tentacles indicates a possible affinity with molluscs, but these characters are not present only in molluscs; some of them are shared with other animal groups, including flatworms and nemertines. For example, a ventral foot-like structure is found in nemertines, ‘turbellarians’, and some polychaete groups. The well differentiated head is seen in separate bilaterian groups, but among molluscs it did not occur before the evolutionary level of the Conchifera. Unlike the ctenia-gills in molluscs, the gills in Vetustovermis are bar-like. All the characters displayed in this 525 million-year old soft-bodied animal fail to demonstrate clear affinity with molluscs or any other known extant or extinct animal groups, but argue for representing an independently evolved animal group, which flourished in Early Cambrian and possibly in Middle Cambrian time. PMID:16191609

  15. Identifying problematic drugs based on the characteristics of their targets

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, Tiago J. S.; Shoemaker, Jason E.; Matsuoka, Yukiko; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro; Kitano, Hiroaki

    2015-01-01

    Identifying promising compounds during the early stages of drug development is a major challenge for both academia and the pharmaceutical industry. The difficulties are even more pronounced when we consider multi-target pharmacology, where the compounds often target more than one protein, or multiple compounds are used together. Here, we address this problem by using machine learning and network analysis to process sequence and interaction data from human proteins to identify promising compounds. We used this strategy to identify properties that make certain proteins more likely to cause harmful effects when targeted; such proteins usually have domains commonly found throughout the human proteome. Additionally, since currently marketed drugs hit multiple targets simultaneously, we combined the information from individual proteins to devise a score that quantifies the likelihood of a compound being harmful to humans. This approach enabled us to distinguish between approved and problematic drugs with an accuracy of 60–70%. Moreover, our approach can be applied as soon as candidate drugs are available, as demonstrated with predictions for more than 5000 experimental drugs. These resources are available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/psin/. PMID:26388775

  16. Problematic Internet Use Among US Youth: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, Megan A; Jelenchick, Lauren; Cox, Elizabeth; Young, Henry; Christakis, Dimitri A

    2011-01-01

    Objectives To investigate study quality and reported prevalence among the emergent area of problematic internet use (PIU) research conducted in populations of US adolescents and college students. Data sources We searched PubMed, PsychInfo and Web of Knowledge from inception to July 2010. Study selection Using a keyword search, we evaluated English-language PIU studies with populations of US adolescents and college students. Main outcome measures Using a quality review tool based on the STROBE statement, two reviewers independently extracted data items including study setting, subject population, instrument used and reported prevalence. Results Search results yielded 658 manuscripts. We identified 18 research studies that met inclusion criteria. Quality assessment of studies ranged between 14 and 29 total points out of a possible 42 points, the average score was 23 (SD 5.1). Among these 18 studies, 8 reported prevalence estimates of US college student PIU, prevalence rates ranged from 0 to 26.3%. An additional 10 studies did not report prevalence. Conclusion The evaluation of PIU remains incomplete and is hampered by methodological inconsistencies. The wide range of conceptual approaches may have impacted the reported prevalence rates. Despite the newness of this area of study, most studies in our review were published over 3 years ago. Opportunities exist to pursue future studies adhering to recognized quality guidelines, as well as applying consistency in theoretical approach and validated instruments. PMID:21536950

  17. Intensive removal of signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) from rivers increases numbers and taxon richness of macroinvertebrate species.

    PubMed

    Moorhouse, Tom P; Poole, Alison E; Evans, Laura C; Bradley, David C; Macdonald, David W

    2014-02-01

    Invasive species are a major cause of species extinction in freshwater ecosystems, and crayfish species are particularly pervasive. The invasive American signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus has impacts over a range of trophic levels, but particularly on benthic aquatic macroinvertebrates. Our study examined the effect on the macroinvertebrate community of removal trapping of signal crayfish from UK rivers. Crayfish were intensively trapped and removed from two tributaries of the River Thames to test the hypothesis that lowering signal crayfish densities would result in increases in macroinvertebrate numbers and taxon richness. We removed 6181 crayfish over four sessions, resulting in crayfish densities that decreased toward the center of the removal sections. Conversely in control sections (where crayfish were trapped and returned), crayfish density increased toward the center of the section. Macroinvertebrate numbers and taxon richness were inversely correlated with crayfish densities. Multivariate analysis of the abundance of each taxon yielded similar results and indicated that crayfish removals had positive impacts on macroinvertebrate numbers and taxon richness but did not alter the composition of the wider macroinvertebrate community. Synthesis and applications: Our results demonstrate that non-eradication-oriented crayfish removal programmes may lead to increases in the total number of macroinvertebrates living in the benthos. This represents the first evidence that removing signal crayfish from riparian systems, at intensities feasible during control attempts or commercial crayfishing, may be beneficial for a range of sympatric aquatic macroinvertebrates. PMID:24634733

  18. The Genome Sequence of Bifidobacterium moukalabense DSM 27321 Highlights the Close Phylogenetic Relatedness with the Bifidobacterium dentium Taxon.

    PubMed

    Lugli, Gabriele Andrea; Duranti, Sabrina; Milani, Christian; Turroni, Francesca; Viappiani, Alice; Mangifesta, Marta; van Sinderen, Douwe; Ventura, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Bifidobacterium moukalabense DSM 27321 is the reference strain for a recently described new bifidobacterial species that has been isolated from a wild west lowland gorilla. Here, we report the whole-genome sequence of DSM 27321, which supports very close phylogenetic relatedness with members of the Bifidobacterium adolescentis phylogenetic group and, in particular, the Bifidobacterium dentium taxon. PMID:24558236

  19. Intensive removal of signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) from rivers increases numbers and taxon richness of macroinvertebrate species

    PubMed Central

    Moorhouse, Tom P; Poole, Alison E; Evans, Laura C; Bradley, David C; Macdonald, David W

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species are a major cause of species extinction in freshwater ecosystems, and crayfish species are particularly pervasive. The invasive American signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus has impacts over a range of trophic levels, but particularly on benthic aquatic macroinvertebrates. Our study examined the effect on the macroinvertebrate community of removal trapping of signal crayfish from UK rivers. Crayfish were intensively trapped and removed from two tributaries of the River Thames to test the hypothesis that lowering signal crayfish densities would result in increases in macroinvertebrate numbers and taxon richness. We removed 6181 crayfish over four sessions, resulting in crayfish densities that decreased toward the center of the removal sections. Conversely in control sections (where crayfish were trapped and returned), crayfish density increased toward the center of the section. Macroinvertebrate numbers and taxon richness were inversely correlated with crayfish densities. Multivariate analysis of the abundance of each taxon yielded similar results and indicated that crayfish removals had positive impacts on macroinvertebrate numbers and taxon richness but did not alter the composition of the wider macroinvertebrate community. Synthesis and applications: Our results demonstrate that non-eradication-oriented crayfish removal programmes may lead to increases in the total number of macroinvertebrates living in the benthos. This represents the first evidence that removing signal crayfish from riparian systems, at intensities feasible during control attempts or commercial crayfishing, may be beneficial for a range of sympatric aquatic macroinvertebrates. PMID:24634733

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Problematic Exercise in Anorexia Nervosa: Testing Potential Risk Factors against Different Definitions.

    PubMed

    Rizk, Melissa; Lalanne, Christophe; Berthoz, Sylvie; Kern, Laurence; Godart, Nathalie

    2015-01-01

    "Hyperactivity" has a wide prevalence range of 31% to 80% in the anorexia nervosa literature that could be partly due to the plethora of definitions provided by researchers in this field. The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) To assess the variance across prevalence rates of problematic exercise encountered in patients with anorexia nervosa, in relation to seven different definitions found in the literature. 2) To examine how core eating disorder symptoms and the dimensions of emotional profile are associated with these different definitions and the impact of these definitions on the assessment of patients' quality of life. Exercise was evaluated in terms of duration, intensity, type and compulsion using a semi-structured questionnaire administered to 180 women suffering from severe anorexia nervosa. Seven different definitions of problematic exercise were identified in the literature: three entailing a single dimension of problematic exercise (duration, compulsion or intensity) and four combining these different dimensions. Emotional profile scores, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, eating disorder symptomatology, worries and concerns about body shape, self-esteem and quality of life were assessed using several established questionnaires. The prevalence of problematic exercise varied considerably from, 5% to 54%, depending on the number of criteria used for its definition. The type and level of eating disorder symptomatology was found to be associated with several definitions of problematic exercise. Surprisingly, a better self-reported quality of life was found among problematic exercisers compared to non-problematic exercisers in three of the definitions. The different definitions of problematic exercise explain the broad prevalence ranges and the conflicting associations generally reported in the literature between problematic exercise and eating disorder-related psychological parameters. There is an urgent need for a valid consensus on the definition of

  8. Problematic Exercise in Anorexia Nervosa: Testing Potential Risk Factors against Different Definitions

    PubMed Central

    Rizk, Melissa; Lalanne, Christophe; Berthoz, Sylvie; Kern, Laurence; Godart, Nathalie

    2015-01-01

    “Hyperactivity” has a wide prevalence range of 31% to 80% in the anorexia nervosa literature that could be partly due to the plethora of definitions provided by researchers in this field. The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) To assess the variance across prevalence rates of problematic exercise encountered in patients with anorexia nervosa, in relation to seven different definitions found in the literature. 2) To examine how core eating disorder symptoms and the dimensions of emotional profile are associated with these different definitions and the impact of these definitions on the assessment of patients’ quality of life. Exercise was evaluated in terms of duration, intensity, type and compulsion using a semi-structured questionnaire administered to 180 women suffering from severe anorexia nervosa. Seven different definitions of problematic exercise were identified in the literature: three entailing a single dimension of problematic exercise (duration, compulsion or intensity) and four combining these different dimensions. Emotional profile scores, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, eating disorder symptomatology, worries and concerns about body shape, self-esteem and quality of life were assessed using several established questionnaires. The prevalence of problematic exercise varied considerably from, 5% to 54%, depending on the number of criteria used for its definition. The type and level of eating disorder symptomatology was found to be associated with several definitions of problematic exercise. Surprisingly, a better self-reported quality of life was found among problematic exercisers compared to non-problematic exercisers in three of the definitions. The different definitions of problematic exercise explain the broad prevalence ranges and the conflicting associations generally reported in the literature between problematic exercise and eating disorder-related psychological parameters. There is an urgent need for a valid consensus on the definition

  9. Complications of systemic corticosteroid therapy for problematic hemangioma.

    PubMed

    Boon, L M; MacDonald, D M; Mulliken, J B

    1999-11-01

    Systemic corticosteroid therapy has been used to treat hemangiomas for 30 years; yet, there are no studies of possible complications. We reviewed the database of the Vascular Anomalies Center at the Boston Children's Hospital and gathered information on short- and long-term side effects in children who were given systemic corticosteroids for problematic hemangiomas. In addition, a questionnaire regarding early and late consequences was sent to the families of children who were treated with corticosteroids from 1983 to 1997. Of 300 patients with hemangiomas, 80 children were identified as having received a full course of systemic corticosteroids for problematic tumors. Complete data were collected on 62 of these children. The response rate to the questionnaire was 78 percent (n = 62 of 80). The initial dose of corticosteroid varied from 2 to 3 mg/kg/ day. Duration of therapy ranged from 2 to 21 months (mean, 7.9 months; median, 6.5 months). The follow-up interval from the cessation of therapy ranged from 6 months to 15 years (mean, 4 years; median, 3 years). Short-term complications included cushingoid facies (n = 44; 71 percent), personality changes (n = 18; 29 percent), gastric irritation (n = 13; 21 percent), fungal (oral or perineal) infection (n = 4; 6 percent), and diminished gain of height (n = 22; 35 percent) and weight (n = 26; 42 percent). A total of 91 percent of children who had diminished gain of height (n = 20) returned to their pretreatment growth curve for height by 24 months of age. One child, who was treated at another institution with a dose of 20 mg/kg/day for 6.5 months that was slowly tapered over 18 months, was petite 6 years after ending therapy. Another child treated with an initial dose of 2 mg/kg/day for 5 months was smaller than predicted at the age of 6 years, but she was born prematurely and was on ventilatory support for respiratory distress. Three children treated with the standard dose and duration were at a low percentile for weight

  10. Single-taxon field measurements of bacterial gene regulation controlling DMSP fate.

    PubMed

    Varaljay, Vanessa A; Robidart, Julie; Preston, Christina M; Gifford, Scott M; Durham, Bryndan P; Burns, Andrew S; Ryan, John P; Marin, Roman; Kiene, Ronald P; Zehr, Jonathan P; Scholin, Christopher A; Moran, Mary Ann

    2015-07-01

    The 'bacterial switch' is a proposed regulatory point in the global sulfur cycle that routes dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) to two fundamentally different fates in seawater through genes encoding either the cleavage or demethylation pathway, and affects the flux of volatile sulfur from ocean surface waters to the atmosphere. Yet which ecological or physiological factors might control the bacterial switch remains a topic of considerable debate. Here we report the first field observations of dynamic changes in expression of DMSP pathway genes by a single marine bacterial species in its natural environment. Detection of taxon-specific gene expression in Roseobacter species HTCC2255 during a month-long deployment of an autonomous ocean sensor in Monterey Bay, CA captured in situ regulation of the first gene in each DMSP pathway (dddP and dmdA) that corresponded with shifts in the taxonomy of the phytoplankton community. Expression of the demethylation pathway was relatively greater during a high-DMSP-producing dinoflagellate bloom, and expression of the cleavage pathway was greater in the presence of a mixed diatom and dinoflagellate community [corrected].These field data fit the prevailing hypothesis for bacterial DMSP gene regulation based on bacterial sulfur demand, but also suggest a modification involving oxidative stress response, evidenced as upregulation of catalase via katG, when DMSP is demethylated. PMID:25700338

  11. Taxon-specific PCR for DNA barcoding arthropod prey in bat faeces.

    PubMed

    Zeale, Matt R K; Butlin, Roger K; Barker, Gary L A; Lees, David C; Jones, Gareth

    2011-03-01

    The application of DNA barcoding to dietary studies allows prey taxa to be identified in the absence of morphological evidence and permits a greater resolution of prey identity than is possible through direct examination of faecal material. For insectivorous bats, which typically eat a great diversity of prey and which chew and digest their prey thoroughly, DNA-based approaches to diet analysis may provide the only means of assessing the range and diversity of prey within faeces. Here, we investigated the effectiveness of DNA barcoding in determining the diets of bat species that specialize in eating different taxa of arthropod prey. We designed and tested a novel taxon-specific primer set and examined the performance of short barcode sequences in resolving prey species. We recovered prey DNA from all faecal samples and subsequent cloning and sequencing of PCR products, followed by a comparison of sequences to a reference database, provided species-level identifications for 149/207 (72%) clones. We detected a phylogenetically broad range of prey while completely avoiding detection of nontarget groups. In total, 37 unique prey taxa were identified from 15 faecal samples. A comparison of DNA data with parallel morphological analyses revealed a close correlation between the two methods. However, the sensitivity and taxonomic resolution of the DNA method were far superior. The methodology developed here provides new opportunities for the study of bat diets and will be of great benefit to the conservation of these ecologically important predators. PMID:21429129

  12. Single-taxon field measurements of bacterial gene regulation controlling DMSP fate

    PubMed Central

    Varaljay, Vanessa A; Robidart, Julie; Preston, Christina M; Gifford, Scott M; Durham, Bryndan P; Burns, Andrew S; Ryan, John P; Marin III, Roman; Kiene, Ronald P; Zehr, Jonathan P; Scholin, Christopher A; Ann Moran, Mary

    2015-01-01

    The ‘bacterial switch' is a proposed regulatory point in the global sulfur cycle that routes dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) to two fundamentally different fates in seawater through genes encoding either the cleavage or demethylation pathway, and affects the flux of volatile sulfur from ocean surface waters to the atmosphere. Yet which ecological or physiological factors might control the bacterial switch remains a topic of considerable debate. Here we report the first field observations of dynamic changes in expression of DMSP pathway genes by a single marine bacterial species in its natural environment. Detection of taxon-specific gene expression in Roseobacter species HTCC2255 during a month-long deployment of an autonomous ocean sensor in Monterey Bay, CA captured in situ regulation of the first gene in each DMSP pathway (dddP and dmdA) that corresponded with shifts in the taxonomy of the phytoplankton community. Expression of the cleavage pathway was relatively greater during a high-DMSP-producing dinoflagellate bloom, and expression of the demethylation pathway was greater in the presence of a mixed diatom and dinoflagellate community. These field data fit the prevailing hypothesis for bacterial DMSP gene regulation based on bacterial sulfur demand, but also suggest a modification involving oxidative stress response, evidenced as upregulation of catalase via katG, when DMSP is demethylated. PMID:25700338

  13. Negevirus: a Proposed New Taxon of Insect-Specific Viruses with Wide Geographic Distribution

    PubMed Central

    Vasilakis, Nikos; Forrester, Naomi L.; Palacios, Gustavo; Nasar, Farooq; Savji, Nazir; Rossi, Shannan L.; Guzman, Hilda; Wood, Thomas G.; Popov, Vsevolod; Gorchakov, Rodion; González, Ana Vázquez; Haddow, Andrew D.; Watts, Douglas M.; da Rosa, Amelia P. A. Travassos; Weaver, Scott C.; Lipkin, W. Ian

    2013-01-01

    Six novel insect-specific viruses, isolated from mosquitoes and phlebotomine sand flies collected in Brazil, Peru, the United States, Ivory Coast, Israel, and Indonesia, are described. Their genomes consist of single-stranded, positive-sense RNAs with poly(A) tails. By electron microscopy, the virions appear as spherical particles with diameters of ∼45 to 55 nm. Based on their genome organization and phylogenetic relationship, the six viruses, designated Negev, Ngewotan, Piura, Loreto, Dezidougou, and Santana, appear to form a new taxon, tentatively designated Negevirus. Their closest but still distant relatives are citrus leposis virus C (CiLV-C) and viruses in the genus Cilevirus, which are mite-transmitted plant viruses. The negeviruses replicate rapidly and to high titer (up to 1010 PFU/ml) in mosquito cells, producing extensive cytopathic effect and plaques, but they do not appear to replicate in mammalian cells or mice. A discussion follows on their possible biological significance and effect on mosquito vector competence for arboviruses. PMID:23255793

  14. Negevirus: a proposed new taxon of insect-specific viruses with wide geographic distribution.

    PubMed

    Vasilakis, Nikos; Forrester, Naomi L; Palacios, Gustavo; Nasar, Farooq; Savji, Nazir; Rossi, Shannan L; Guzman, Hilda; Wood, Thomas G; Popov, Vsevolod; Gorchakov, Rodion; González, Ana Vázquez; Haddow, Andrew D; Watts, Douglas M; da Rosa, Amelia P A Travassos; Weaver, Scott C; Lipkin, W Ian; Tesh, Robert B

    2013-03-01

    Six novel insect-specific viruses, isolated from mosquitoes and phlebotomine sand flies collected in Brazil, Peru, the United States, Ivory Coast, Israel, and Indonesia, are described. Their genomes consist of single-stranded, positive-sense RNAs with poly(A) tails. By electron microscopy, the virions appear as spherical particles with diameters of ∼45 to 55 nm. Based on their genome organization and phylogenetic relationship, the six viruses, designated Negev, Ngewotan, Piura, Loreto, Dezidougou, and Santana, appear to form a new taxon, tentatively designated Negevirus. Their closest but still distant relatives are citrus leposis virus C (CiLV-C) and viruses in the genus Cilevirus, which are mite-transmitted plant viruses. The negeviruses replicate rapidly and to high titer (up to 10(10) PFU/ml) in mosquito cells, producing extensive cytopathic effect and plaques, but they do not appear to replicate in mammalian cells or mice. A discussion follows on their possible biological significance and effect on mosquito vector competence for arboviruses. PMID:23255793

  15. A New Taxon of Basal Ceratopsian from China and the Early Evolution of Ceratopsia.

    PubMed

    Han, Fenglu; Forster, Catherine A; Clark, James M; Xu, Xing

    2015-01-01

    Ceratopsia is one of the best studied herbivorous ornithischian clades, but the early evolution of Ceratopsia, including the placement of Psittacosaurus, is still controversial and unclear. Here, we report a second basal ceratopsian, Hualianceratops wucaiwanensis gen. et sp. nov., from the Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) Shishugou Formation of the Junggar Basin, northwestern China. This new taxon is characterized by a prominent caudodorsal process on the subtemporal ramus of the jugal, a robust quadrate with an expansive quadratojugal facet, a prominent notch near the ventral region of the quadrate, a deep and short dentary, and strongly rugose texturing on the lateral surface of the dentary. Hualianceratops shares several derived characters with both Psittacosaurus and the basal ceratopsians Yinlong, Chaoyangsaurus, and Xuanhuaceratops. A new comprehensive phylogeny of ceratopsians weakly supports both Yinlong and Hualianceratops as chaoyangsaurids (along with Chaoyangsaurus and Xuanhuaceratops), as well as the monophyly of Chaoyangosauridae + Psittacosaurus. This analysis also weakly supports the novel hypothesis that Chaoyangsauridae + Psittacosaurus is the sister group to the rest of Neoceratopsia, suggesting a basal split between these clades before the Late Jurassic. This phylogeny and the earliest Late Jurassic age of Yinlong and Hualianceratops imply that at least five ceratopsian lineages (Yinlong, Hualianceratops, Chaoyangsaurus + Xuanhuaceratops, Psittacosaurus, Neoceratopsia) were present at the beginning of the Late Jurassic. PMID:26649770

  16. Biological richness of a large urban cemetery in Berlin. Results of a multi-taxon approach

    PubMed Central

    Blick, Theo; Hannig, Karsten; Kowarik, Ingo; Lemke, Andreas; Otte, Volker; Scharon, Jens; Schönhofer, Axel; Teige, Tobias; von der Lippe, Moritz; Seitz, Birgit

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background Urban green spaces can harbor a considerable species richness of plants and animals. A few studies on single species groups indicate important habitat functions of cemeteries, but this land use type is clearly understudied compared to parks. Such data are important as they (i) illustrate habitat functions of a specific, but ubiquitous urban land-use type and (ii) may serve as a basis for management approaches. New information We sampled different groups of plants and animals in the Weißensee Jewish Cemetery in Berlin (WJC) which is one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe. With a total of 608 species of plants and animals, this first multi-taxon survey revealed a considerable biological richness in the WJC. In all, 363 wild-growing vascular plant, 72 lichen and 26 bryophyte taxa were recorded. The sampling also yielded 34 bird and 5 bat species as well as 39 ground beetle, 5 harvestman and 64 spider species. Some species are new records for Berlin. PMID:27099549

  17. A New Taxon of Basal Ceratopsian from China and the Early Evolution of Ceratopsia

    PubMed Central

    Han, Fenglu; Forster, Catherine A.; Clark, James M.; Xu, Xing

    2015-01-01

    Ceratopsia is one of the best studied herbivorous ornithischian clades, but the early evolution of Ceratopsia, including the placement of Psittacosaurus, is still controversial and unclear. Here, we report a second basal ceratopsian, Hualianceratops wucaiwanensis gen. et sp. nov., from the Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) Shishugou Formation of the Junggar Basin, northwestern China. This new taxon is characterized by a prominent caudodorsal process on the subtemporal ramus of the jugal, a robust quadrate with an expansive quadratojugal facet, a prominent notch near the ventral region of the quadrate, a deep and short dentary, and strongly rugose texturing on the lateral surface of the dentary. Hualianceratops shares several derived characters with both Psittacosaurus and the basal ceratopsians Yinlong, Chaoyangsaurus, and Xuanhuaceratops. A new comprehensive phylogeny of ceratopsians weakly supports both Yinlong and Hualianceratops as chaoyangsaurids (along with Chaoyangsaurus and Xuanhuaceratops), as well as the monophyly of Chaoyangosauridae + Psittacosaurus. This analysis also weakly supports the novel hypothesis that Chaoyangsauridae + Psittacosaurus is the sister group to the rest of Neoceratopsia, suggesting a basal split between these clades before the Late Jurassic. This phylogeny and the earliest Late Jurassic age of Yinlong and Hualianceratops imply that at least five ceratopsian lineages (Yinlong, Hualianceratops, Chaoyangsaurus + Xuanhuaceratops, Psittacosaurus, Neoceratopsia) were present at the beginning of the Late Jurassic. PMID:26649770

  18. An Investigation of Problematic Internet Usage Behaviors on Turkish University Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ceyhan, Esra; Ceyhan, A. Aykut

    2007-01-01

    This research aims at examining the relationships between problematic internet usage (PIU) behavior and some demographic information and qualifications related to internet use of Turkish university students. The research was conducted with 2084 university students. Data was collected by means of Problematic Internet Usage Scale (Ceyhan, Ceyhan &…

  19. Exploration of Problematic Internet Use and Social Interaction Anxiety among Turkish Pre-Service Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuhadar, Cem

    2012-01-01

    The current study investigated the relationship between problematic Internet use and social interaction anxiety among pre-service teachers. Participants were 1235 students attending teacher training programs at a Turkish state university. The "Problematic Internet Use Scale" and "Social Interaction Anxiety Scale" were used to collect the data.…

  20. Exploration of Problematic Internet Use and Loneliness among Distance Education Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozgur, Hasan; Demiralay, Tülay; Demiralay, Ilkay

    2014-01-01

    The current study investigated the relationship between problematic Internet use and levels of loneliness among 311 distance education students. "The Problematic Internet Use Scale" and "UCLA-Loneliness Scale III" were used to collect the data. Independentsamples t-test and one-way ANOVA were conducted to examine the…

  1. Problematic use of social network sites: the interactive relationship between gratifications sought and privacy concerns.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hsuan-Ting; Kim, Yonghwan

    2013-11-01

    Problematic Internet use has long been a matter of concern; however, few studies extend this line of research from general Internet use to the use of social network sites (SNSs), or explicate the problematic use of SNSs by understanding what factors may enhance or reduce users' compulsive behaviors and excessive form of use on SNSs. Building on literature that found a positive relationship between gratifications sought from the Internet and problematic Internet use, this study first explores the types of gratifications sought from SNSs and examines their relationship with problematic SNS use. It found that three types of gratifications-diversion, self-presentation, and relationship building-were positively related to problematic SNS use. In addition, with a growing body of research on SNS privacy, a moderating role of privacy concerns on SNSs has been proposed to understand how it can influence the relationship between gratifications sought from SNSs and problematic SNS use. The findings suggest that different subdimensions of privacy concerns interact with gratifications sought in different manners. In other words, privacy concerns, including unauthorized secondary use and improper access, play a more influential role in constraining the positive relationship between gratifications sought and problematic SNS use when individuals seek to build relationships on SNSs. However, if individuals seek to have diversion on SNSs, their privacy concerns will be overridden by their gratifications sought, which in turn leads to problematic SNS use. Implications of these findings for future research are discussed. PMID:24053383

  2. Problematic game play: the diagnostic value of playing motives, passion, and playing time in men.

    PubMed

    Kneer, Julia; Rieger, Diana

    2015-01-01

    Internet gaming disorder is currently listed in the DSM-not in order to diagnose such a disorder but to encourage research to investigate this phenomenon. Even whether it is still questionable if Internet Gaming Disorder exists and can be judged as a form of addiction, problematic game play is already very well researched to cause problems in daily life. Approaches trying to predict problematic tendencies in digital game play have mainly focused on playing time as a diagnostic criterion. However, motives to engage in digital game play and obsessive passion for game play have also been found to predict problematic game play but have not yet been investigated together. The present study aims at (1) analyzing if obsessive passion can be distinguished from problematic game play as separate concepts, and (2) testing motives of game play, passion, and playing time for their predictive values for problematic tendencies. We found (N = 99 males, Age: M = 22.80, SD = 3.81) that obsessive passion can be conceptually separated from problematic game play. In addition, the results suggest that compared to solely playing time immersion as playing motive and obsessive passion have added predictive value for problematic game play. The implications focus on broadening the criteria in order to diagnose problematic playing. PMID:25942516

  3. A Comparative Study of Problematic Internet Use and Loneliness among Turkish and Korean Prospective Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tutgun, Aylin; Deniz, Levent; Moon, Man-Ki

    2011-01-01

    The main aim of this study is to compare the problematic internet use and its relation to loneliness among two nations' prospective teachers, Turkey and South Korea. Five hundred and ninety five prospective teachers from three universities, two from Turkey and one from South Korea participated in the study. Generalized Problematic Internet Use…

  4. Problematic Game Play: The Diagnostic Value of Playing Motives, Passion, and Playing Time in Men

    PubMed Central

    Kneer, Julia; Rieger, Diana

    2015-01-01

    Internet gaming disorder is currently listed in the DSM—not in order to diagnose such a disorder but to encourage research to investigate this phenomenon. Even whether it is still questionable if Internet Gaming Disorder exists and can be judged as a form of addiction, problematic game play is already very well researched to cause problems in daily life. Approaches trying to predict problematic tendencies in digital game play have mainly focused on playing time as a diagnostic criterion. However, motives to engage in digital game play and obsessive passion for game play have also been found to predict problematic game play but have not yet been investigated together. The present study aims at (1) analyzing if obsessive passion can be distinguished from problematic game play as separate concepts, and (2) testing motives of game play, passion, and playing time for their predictive values for problematic tendencies. We found (N = 99 males, Age: M = 22.80, SD = 3.81) that obsessive passion can be conceptually separated from problematic game play. In addition, the results suggest that compared to solely playing time immersion as playing motive and obsessive passion have added predictive value for problematic game play. The implications focus on broadening the criteria in order to diagnose problematic playing. PMID:25942516

  5. Problematic Student in the Experiential Group: Professional and Ethical Challenges for Counselor Educators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodrich, Kristopher M.; Luke, Melissa

    2012-01-01

    This article updates and adds to the literature about problematic counselors-in-training, specifically centered on the requisite experiential group component in the Association for Specialists in Group Work Professional Training Standards (2000) and CACREP (2009) curriculum. The authors review the literature regarding problematic behavior, present…

  6. A preliminary investigation into the prevalence and prediction of problematic cell phone use

    PubMed Central

    Smetaniuk, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Background and aims: Likening mobile phone use dependency to the classification of excessive behaviors may be necessarily equivalent in seriousness to previously established addictions such as problematic computing or excessive gambling. The aim of the study explores into the behavior of excessive use of mobile phones as a pathological behavior. Methods: Two studies investigated criteria for problematic mobile phone usage by examining student (Study 1, N = 301) and nonstudent (Study 2, N = 362) responses to a set of adapted mobile phone addiction inventories. Study 1 investigated cell phone addiction inventories as constructs designed to measure problematic cell phone use. Additionally, Study 2 sought to predict age, depression, extraversion, emotional stability, impulse control, and self-esteem as independent variables that augment respondents’ perceptions of problematic use. Results: The results from Study 1 and Study 2 indicate that 10 to 25% of the participants tested exhibited problematic cell phone usage. Additionally, age, depression, extraversion, and low impulse control are the most suitable predictors for problematic use. Conclusions: The results of the two studies indicate that problematic mobile phone use does occur and ought to be taken seriously by the psychological community. Presently, there is limited data providing conclusive evidence for a comprehensible categorization of cell phone addiction, as well as a unified explanatory model specific to problematic mobile phone use. Studies such as this one may contribute substantial findings, adding scientific significance, and offering a valuable submission for the ongoing progress of creating intervention frameworks relative to “virtual addictions”. PMID:25215213

  7. Teachers' Views on Risk Factors for Problematic School Absenteeism in Swedish Primary School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gren-Landell, Malin; Ekerfelt Allvin, Cornelia; Bradley, Maria; Andersson, Maria; Andersson, Gerhard

    2015-01-01

    In the present online survey, 158 teachers in regular and special education teaching in grades six to nine were asked to rate the importance of probable reasons for problematic school absenteeism. On average, the teachers estimated that among their students, 19 students had presented with problematic school absenteeism over the last five years.…

  8. 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

  9. The impact of shyness on problematic internet use: the role of loneliness.

    PubMed

    Huan, Vivien S; Ang, Rebecca P; Chong, Wan Har; Chye, Stefanie

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, research indicated that the problematic effects of Internet use must be examined together with individual differences present in its users with which such effects are contingent. This study examined loneliness in adolescents as a mediator of the relationship between shyness and their generalized problematic Internet use (PIU). A total of 1469 adolescents (48.5% male, 51.5% female) from Grade 8 and Grade 9 classes participated in this study. Using the Social Reticence Scale (SRS), the revised UCLA Loneliness scale and the Generalized Problematic Internet Use scale, initial findings indicated significant correlations among the three variables. Results from the study further revealed that loneliness completely mediated the relationship between shyness and generalized problematic Internet use. Implications for intervention work addressing both loneliness and shyness issues facing adolescents who are problematic users of the Internet were discussed. PMID:25175891

  10. Risk factors and psychosocial characteristics of potential problematic and problematic internet use among adolescents: A cross-sectional study

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Problematic internet use (PIU) is associated with a plethora of psychosocial adversities. The study objectives were to assess the determinants and psychosocial implications associated with potential PIU and PIU among adolescents. Methods A cross-sectional study design was applied among a random sample (n = 866) of Greek adolescents (mean age: 14.7 years). Self-completed questionnaires, including internet use characteristics, Young Internet Addiction Test, and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, were utilized to examine the study objectives. Results Among the study population, the prevalence rates of potential PIU and PIU were 19.4% and 1.5%, respectively. Multinomial logistic regression indicated that male gender (Odds Ratio, OR: 2.01; 95% Confidence Interval, 95% CI: 1.35-3.00), as well as utilizing the internet for retrieving sexual information (OR: 2.52; 95% CI: 1.53-4.12), interactive game playing (OR: 1.85; 95% CI: 1.21-2.82), and socialization, including chat-room use (OR: 1.97; 95% CI: 1.36-2.86) and email (OR: 1.53; 95% CI: 1.05-2.24), were independently associated with potential PIU and PIU. Adolescents with potential PIU had an increased likelihood of concomitantly presenting with hyperactivity (OR: 4.39; 95% CI: 2.03-9.52) and conduct (OR: 2.56; 95% CI: 1.46-4.50) problems. Moreover, adolescent PIU was significantly associated with hyperactivity (OR: 9.96; 95% CI: 1.76-56.20) and conduct (OR: 8.39; 95% CI: 2.04-34.56) problems, as well as comprehensive psychosocial maladjustment (OR: 8.08; 95% CI: 1.44-45.34). Conclusions The determinants of potential PIU and PIU include accessing the internet for the purposes of retrieving sexual information, game playing, and socialization. Furthermore, both potential PIU and PIU are adversely associated with notable behavioral and social maladjustment among adolescents. PMID:21794167

  11. Self-Esteem and Problematic Drinking in China: A Mediated Model

    PubMed Central

    Zhai, Hui; Yang, Yanjie; Sui, Hong; Wang, Wenbo; Chen, Lu; Qiu, Xiaohui; Yang, Xiuxian; Qiao, Zhengxue; Wang, Lin; Zhu, Xiongzhao; Yang, Jiarun

    2015-01-01

    Background Although self-esteem is related to problematic drinking, the mechanisms by which it affects drinking remain unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine whether coping mechanisms mediate the relationship between self-esteem and problematic drinking among Chinese men and women with alcohol use disorders and to recommend appropriate interventions for drinking problems. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China. A sample of 5,689 community residents was screened, and 517 male and 172 female problematic drinkers were chosen to participate in this study. A self-esteem scale, a coping questionnaire and an alcohol use disorder identification test were completed in order to assess participants’ self-esteem, coping mechanisms and alcohol use disorders, respectively. Participants’ socio-demographic data were also gathered at this stage. The resulting data were examined via descriptive statistics, correlations and bootstrap analyses. Results Lower self-esteem levels were related to problematic drinking, and there were no gender differences in the relationship between self-esteem and problematic drinking. A relationship between low self-esteem and negative coping was observed only in men. Negative coping thus mediated the relationship between self-esteem and problematic drinking among men, but this was not the case for women. Positive coping did not mediate the relationship between self-esteem and problematic drinking among the participants, regardless of gender. Conclusions Self-esteem and coping strategies are correlated among problematic drinkers. In addition, there are gender differences in the manners in which negative coping mediates the relationship between self-esteem and problematic drinking. Problematic drinking interventions directed at males should simultaneously address low self-esteem and negative coping. PMID:26451595

  12. Exploring Associations between Problematic Internet Use, Depressive Symptoms and Sleep Disturbance among Southern Chinese Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Yafei; Chen, Ying; Lu, Yaogui; Li, Liping

    2016-01-01

    The primary aim of this study was to examine associations between problematic Internet use, depression and sleep disturbance, and explore whether there were differential effects of problematic Internet use and depression on sleep disturbance. A total of 1772 adolescents who participated in the Shantou Adolescent Mental Health Survey were recruited in 2012 in Shantou, China. The Chinese version of the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) was used to evaluate the prevalence and severity of Internet addiction. The Chinese version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), a 10-item version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD-10), and other socio-demographic measures were also completed. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the mediating effect of problematic Internet use and depression on sleep disturbance. Among the participants, 17.2% of adolescents met the criteria for problematic Internet use, 40.0% were also classified as suffering from sleep disturbance, and 54.4% of students had depressive symptoms. Problematic Internet use was significantly associated with depressive symptoms and sleep disturbance. The correlation between depressive symptoms and sleep disturbance was highly significant. Both problematic Internet use (β = 0.014; Sobel test Z = 12.7, p < 0.001) and depression (β = 0.232; Sobel test Z = 3.39, p < 0.001) had partially mediating effects on sleep disturbance and depression was of greater importance for sleep disturbance than problematic Internet use. There is a high prevalence of problematic Internet use, depression and sleep disturbance among high school students in southern China, and problematic Internet use and depressive symptoms are strongly associated with sleep disturbance. This study provides evidence that problematic Internet use and depression have partially mediating effects on sleep disturbance. These results are important for clinicians and policy makers with useful information for prevention and

  13. Exploring Associations between Problematic Internet Use, Depressive Symptoms and Sleep Disturbance among Southern Chinese Adolescents.

    PubMed

    Tan, Yafei; Chen, Ying; Lu, Yaogui; Li, Liping

    2016-03-01

    The primary aim of this study was to examine associations between problematic Internet use, depression and sleep disturbance, and explore whether there were differential effects of problematic Internet use and depression on sleep disturbance. A total of 1772 adolescents who participated in the Shantou Adolescent Mental Health Survey were recruited in 2012 in Shantou, China. The Chinese version of the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) was used to evaluate the prevalence and severity of Internet addiction. The Chinese version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), a 10-item version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD-10), and other socio-demographic measures were also completed. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the mediating effect of problematic Internet use and depression on sleep disturbance. Among the participants, 17.2% of adolescents met the criteria for problematic Internet use, 40.0% were also classified as suffering from sleep disturbance, and 54.4% of students had depressive symptoms. Problematic Internet use was significantly associated with depressive symptoms and sleep disturbance. The correlation between depressive symptoms and sleep disturbance was highly significant. Both problematic Internet use (β = 0.014; Sobel test Z = 12.7, p < 0.001) and depression (β = 0.232; Sobel test Z = 3.39, p < 0.001) had partially mediating effects on sleep disturbance and depression was of greater importance for sleep disturbance than problematic Internet use. There is a high prevalence of problematic Internet use, depression and sleep disturbance among high school students in southern China, and problematic Internet use and depressive symptoms are strongly associated with sleep disturbance. This study provides evidence that problematic Internet use and depression have partially mediating effects on sleep disturbance. These results are important for clinicians and policy makers with useful information for prevention and

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Problematizing a general physics class: Understanding student engagement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spaid, Mark Randall

    teacher interventions during inquiry lessons which promote scientific inquiry are sometimes successful in moving students from a conforming learning approach to performing, those students usually regress to a previous orientation due to affective and conative factors, especially if they believe the instructional discourse is inadequate. When working in cooperative groups, the disparate epistemologies of students from each learning orientation category becomes problematic.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. [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

  13. Framing the Salmonidae Family Phylogenetic Portrait: A More Complete Picture from Increased Taxon Sampling

    PubMed Central

    Crête-Lafrenière, Alexis; Weir, Laura K.; Bernatchez, Louis

    2012-01-01

    Considerable research efforts have focused on elucidating the systematic relationships among salmonid fishes; an understanding of these patterns of relatedness will inform conservation- and fisheries-related issues, as well as provide a framework for investigating evolutionary mechanisms in the group. However, uncertainties persist in current Salmonidae phylogenies due to biological and methodological factors, and a comprehensive phylogeny including most representatives of the family could provide insight into the causes of these difficulties. Here we increase taxon sampling by including nearly all described salmonid species (n = 63) to present a time-calibrated and more complete portrait of Salmonidae using a combination of molecular markers and analytical techniques. This strategy improved resolution by increasing the signal-to-noise ratio and helped discriminate methodological and systematic errors from sources of difficulty associated with biological processes. Our results highlight novel aspects of salmonid evolution. First, we call into question the widely-accepted evolutionary relationships among sub-families and suggest that Thymallinae, rather than Coregoninae, is the sister group to the remainder of Salmonidae. Second, we find that some groups in Salmonidae are older than previously thought and that the mitochondrial rate of molecular divergence varies markedly among genes and clades. We estimate the age of the family to be 59.1 MY (CI: 63.2-58.1 MY) old, which likely corresponds to the timing of whole genome duplication in salmonids. The average, albeit highly variable, mitochondrial rate of molecular divergence was estimated as ∼0.31%/MY (CI: 0.27–0.36%/MY). Finally, we suggest that some species require taxonomic revision, including two monotypic genera, Stenodus and Salvethymus. In addition, we resolve some relationships that have been notoriously difficult to discern and present a clearer picture of the evolution of the group. Our findings

  14. A new phylogeny of the Cephalaspidea (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia) based on expanded taxon sampling and gene markers.

    PubMed

    Oskars, Trond R; Bouchet, Philippe; Malaquias, Manuel António E

    2015-08-01

    The Cephalaspidea is a diverse marine clade of euthyneuran gastropods with many groups still known largely from shells or scant anatomical data. The definition of the group and the relationships between members has been hampered by the difficulty of establishing sound synapomorphies, but the advent of molecular phylogenetics is helping to change significantly this situation. Yet, because of limited taxon sampling and few genetic markers employed in previous studies, many questions about the sister relationships and monophyletic status of several families remained open. In this study 109 species of Cephalaspidea were included covering 100% of traditional family-level diversity (12 families) and 50% of all genera (33 genera). Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetics analyses based on two mitochondrial (COI, 16S rRNA) and two nuclear gene markers (28S rRNA and Histone-3) were used to infer the relationships of Cephalaspidea. The monophyly of the Cephalaspidea was confirmed. The families Cylichnidae, Diaphanidae, Haminoeidae, Philinidae, and Retusidae were found non-monophyletic. This result suggests that the family level taxonomy of the Cephalaspidea warrants a profound revision and several new family and genus names are required to reflect the new phylogenetic hypothesis presented here. We propose a new classification of the Cephalaspidea including five new families (Alacuppidae, Colinatydidae, Colpodaspididae, Mnestiidae, Philinorbidae) and one new genus (Alacuppa). Two family names (Acteocinidae, Laonidae) and two genera (Laona, Philinorbis) are reinstated as valid. An additional lineage with family rank (Philinidae "Clade 4") was unravelled, but no genus and species names are available to reflect the phylogeny and formal description will take place elsewhere. PMID:25916189

  15. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma cirsii', a novel taxon from creeping thistle [Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop].

    PubMed

    Šafárová, Dana; Zemánek, Tomáš; Válová, Pavla; Navrátil, Milan

    2016-04-01

    Creeping thistle [Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.] and dahlia (Dahlia sp.) plants showing typical symptoms of phytoplasma infection including yellowing, stunting, inflorescence and proliferation, were sampled; the presence of phytoplasma was confirmed by standard PCR using universal primers. RFLP analysis allowed classification of the detected phytoplasma strains CirYS, CirYS1 and DahlP within the 16SrXI group, the unique restriction profile F2nR2 fragment obtained in silico by iPhyClassifier indicated that they belong to the new 16SrXI-E subgroup. Genetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene revealed that the studied strains shared less than 97.5% similarity with all of the previously described 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' species. The closest relatives are 'Candidatus Phytoplasma cynodontis' and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma oryzae' with 96.8% and 96.6% similarity. All strains studied bear three specific regions in the 16S rRNA gene, discriminating them from the other phytoplasma species. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA and secA genes confirmed this specificity, as the creeping thistle and dahlia phytoplasma strains clustered in a distinguishable lineage group. The uniqueness of the genetic analysis agrees with the biological characterization of the studied phytoplasma strains, their host range, and geographical distribution. The strains only infect dicotyledonous plants in Europe, contrary to their closest relatives. Based on their unique properties, it could be concluded that the studied phytoplasma strains represent a discrete group that is proposed as a novel taxon 'Candidatus Phytoplasma cirsii', with strain CirYS as a reference strain. PMID:26849880

  16. Two new cytotypes reinforce that Micronycteris hirsuta Peters, 1869 does not represent a monotypic taxon

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The genus Micronycteris is a diverse group of phyllostomid bats currently comprising 11 species, with diploid number (2n) ranging from 26 to 40 chromosomes. The karyotypic relationships within Micronycteris and between Micronycteris and other phyllostomids remain poorly understood. The karyotype of Micronycteris hirsuta is of particular interest: three different diploid numbers were reported for this species in South and Central Americas with 2n = 26, 28 and 30 chromosomes. Although current evidence suggests some geographic differentiation among populations of M. hirsuta based on chromosomal, morphological, and nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers, the recognition of new species or subspecies has been avoided due to the need for additional data, mainly chromosomal data. Results We describe two new cytotypes for Micronycteris hirsuta (MHI) (2n = 26 and 25, NF = 32), whose differences in diploid number are interpreted as the products of Robertsonian rearrangements. C-banding revealed a small amount of constitutive heterochromatin at the centromere and the NOR was located in the interstitial portion of the short arm of a second pair, confirmed by FISH. Telomeric probes hybridized to the centromeric regions and weakly to telomeric regions of most chromosomes. The G-banding analysis and chromosome painting with whole chromosome probes from Carollia brevicauda (CBR) and Phyllostomus hastatus (PHA) enabled the establishment of genome-wide homologies between MHI, CBR and PHA. Conclusions The karyotypes of Brazilian specimens of Micronycteris hirsuta described here are new to Micronycteris and reinforce that M. hirsuta does not represent a monotypic taxon. Our results corroborate the hypothesis of karyotypic megaevolution within Micronycteris, and strong evidence for this is that the entire chromosome complement of M. hirsuta was shown to be derivative with respect to species compared in this study. PMID:24359225

  17. Assessing Phylogenetic Relationships among Galliformes: A Multigene Phylogeny with Expanded Taxon Sampling in Phasianidae

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ning; Kimball, Rebecca T.; Braun, Edward L.; Liang, Bin; Zhang, Zhengwang

    2013-01-01

    Galliform birds (relatives of the chicken and turkey) have attracted substantial attention due to their importance to society and value as model systems. This makes understanding the evolutionary history of Galliformes, especially the species-rich family Phasianidae, particularly interesting and important for comparative studies in this group. Previous studies have differed in their conclusions regarding galliform phylogeny. Some of these studies have suggested that specific clades within this order underwent rapid radiations, potentially leading to the observed difficulty in resolving their phylogenetic relationships. Here we presented analyses of six nuclear intron sequences and two mitochondrial regions, an amount of sequence data larger than many previous studies, and expanded taxon sampling by collecting data from 88 galliform species and four anseriform outgroups. Our results corroborated recent studies describing relationships among the major families, and provided further evidence that the traditional division of the largest family, the Phasianidae into two major groups (“pheasants” and “partridges”) is not valid. Within the Phasianidae, relationships among many genera have varied among studies and there has been little consensus for the placement of many taxa. Using this large dataset, with substantial sampling within the Phasianidae, we obtained strong bootstrap support to confirm some previously hypothesized relationships and we were able to exclude others. In addition, we added the first nuclear sequence data for the partridge and quail genera Ammoperdix, Caloperdix, Excalfactoria, and Margaroperdix, placing these taxa in the galliform tree of life with confidence. Despite the novel insights obtained by combining increased sampling of taxa and loci, our results suggest that additional data collection will be necessary to solve the remaining uncertainties. PMID:23741315

  18. 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

  19. A basic need theory approach to problematic Internet use and the mediating effect of psychological distress

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Ting Yat; Yuen, Kenneth S. L.; Li, Wang On

    2015-01-01

    The Internet provides an easily accessible way to meet certain needs. Over-reliance on it leads to problematic use, which studies show can be predicted by psychological distress. Self-determination theory proposes that we all have the basic need for autonomy, competency, and relatedness. This has been shown to explain the motivations behind problematic Internet use. This study hypothesizes that individuals who are psychologically disturbed because their basic needs are not being met are more vulnerable to becoming reliant on the Internet when they seek such needs satisfaction from online activities, and tests a model in which basic needs predict problematic Internet use, fully mediated by psychological distress. Problematic Internet use, psychological distress, and basic needs satisfaction were psychometrically measured in a sample of 229 Hong Kong University students and structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized model. All indices showed the model has a good fit. Further, statistical testing supported a mediation effect for psychological distress between needs satisfaction and problematic Internet use. The results extend our understanding of the development and prevention of problematic Internet use based on the framework of self-determination theory. Psychological distress could be used as an early predictor, while preventing and treating problematic Internet use should emphasize the fulfillment of unmet needs. PMID:25642201

  20. The (co-)occurrence of problematic video gaming, substance use, and psychosocial problems in adolescents

    PubMed Central

    VAN ROOIJ, ANTONIUS J.; KUSS, DARIA J.; GRIFFITHS, MARK D.; SHORTER, GILLIAN W.; SCHOENMAKERS, M. TIM; VAN DE MHEEN, DIKE

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Aims: The current study explored the nature of problematic (addictive) video gaming (PVG) and the association with game type, psychosocial health, and substance use. Methods: Data were collected using a paper and pencil survey in the classroom setting. Three samples were aggregated to achieve a total sample of 8478 unique adolescents. Scales included measures of game use, game type, the Video game Addiction Test (VAT), depressive mood, negative self-esteem, loneliness, social anxiety, education performance, and use of cannabis, alcohol and nicotine (smoking). Results: Findings confirmed problematic gaming is most common amongst adolescent gamers who play multiplayer online games. Boys (60%) were more likely to play online games than girls (14%) and problematic gamers were more likely to be boys (5%) than girls (1%). High problematic gamers showed higher scores on depressive mood, loneliness, social anxiety, negative self-esteem, and self-reported lower school performance. Nicotine, alcohol, and cannabis using boys were almost twice more likely to report high PVG than non-users. Conclusions: It appears that online gaming in general is not necessarily associated with problems. However, problematic gamers do seem to play online games more often, and a small subgroup of gamers – specifically boys – showed lower psychosocial functioning and lower grades. Moreover, associations with alcohol, nicotine, and cannabis use are found. It would appear that problematic gaming is an undesirable problem for a small subgroup of gamers. The findings encourage further exploration of the role of psychoactive substance use in problematic gaming. PMID:25317339

  1. Psychometric properties of the problematic online gaming questionnaire short-form and prevalence of problematic online gaming in a national sample of adolescents.

    PubMed

    Pápay, Orsolya; Urbán, Róbert; Griffiths, Mark D; Nagygyörgy, Katalin; Farkas, Judit; Kökönyei, Gyöngyi; Felvinczi, Katalin; Oláh, Attila; Elekes, Zsuzsanna; Demetrovics, Zsolt

    2013-05-01

    The rise and growing popularity of online games has led to the appearance of excessive gaming that in some cases can lead to physical and psychological problems. Several measures have been developed to explore the nature and the scale of the phenomenon. However, few measures have been validated psychometrically. The aim of the present study was to test the psychometric properties of the 12-item Problematic Online Gaming Questionnaire Short-Form (POGQ-SF) and to assess the prevalence of problematic online gaming. Data collection was carried out to assess the prevalence of problematic online gaming in a national representative adolescent sample by using an offline (pen and pencil) method. A total of 5,045 secondary school students were assessed (51% male, mean age 16.4 years, SD=0.9 years) of which 2,804 were gamers (65.4% male, mean age 16.4 years, SD=0.9 years). Confirmatory factor analysis was applied to test the measurement model of problematic online gaming, and latent profile analysis was used to identify the proportion of gamers whose online game use can be considered problematic. Results showed that the original six-factor model yielded appropriate fit to the data, and thus the POGQ-SF has appropriate psychometric properties. Latent profile analysis revealed that 4.6% of the adolescents belong to a high risk group and an additional 13.3% to a low risk group. Due to its satisfactory psychometric characteristics, the 12-item POGQ-SF appears to be an adequate tool for the assessment of problematic online gaming. PMID:23621688

  2. Psychometric Properties of the Problematic Online Gaming Questionnaire Short-Form and Prevalence of Problematic Online Gaming in a National Sample of Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Pápay, Orsolya; Urbán, Róbert; Griffiths, Mark D.; Nagygyörgy, Katalin; Farkas, Judit; Kökönyei, Gyöngyi; Felvinczi, Katalin; Oláh, Attila; Elekes, Zsuzsanna

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The rise and growing popularity of online games has led to the appearance of excessive gaming that in some cases can lead to physical and psychological problems. Several measures have been developed to explore the nature and the scale of the phenomenon. However, few measures have been validated psychometrically. The aim of the present study was to test the psychometric properties of the 12-item Problematic Online Gaming Questionnaire Short-Form (POGQ-SF) and to assess the prevalence of problematic online gaming. Data collection was carried out to assess the prevalence of problematic online gaming in a national representative adolescent sample by using an offline (pen and pencil) method. A total of 5,045 secondary school students were assessed (51% male, mean age 16.4 years, SD=0.9 years) of which 2,804 were gamers (65.4% male, mean age 16.4 years, SD=0.9 years). Confirmatory factor analysis was applied to test the measurement model of problematic online gaming, and latent profile analysis was used to identify the proportion of gamers whose online game use can be considered problematic. Results showed that the original six-factor model yielded appropriate fit to the data, and thus the POGQ-SF has appropriate psychometric properties. Latent profile analysis revealed that 4.6% of the adolescents belong to a high risk group and an additional 13.3% to a low risk group. Due to its satisfactory psychometric characteristics, the 12-item POGQ-SF appears to be an adequate tool for the assessment of problematic online gaming. PMID:23621688

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wike, L

    2005-06-01

    health of the ecosystem. The IBI, though originally for Midwestern streams, has been successfully adapted to other ecoregions and taxa (macroinvertebrates, Lombard and Goldstein, 2004) and has become an important tool for scientists and regulatory agencies alike in determining health of stream ecosystems. The IBI is a specific type of a larger group of methods and procedures referred to as Rapid Bioassessment (RBA). These protocols have the advantage of directly measuring the organisms affected by system perturbations, thus providing an integrated evaluation of system health because the organisms themselves integrate all aspects of their environment and its condition. In addition to the IBI, the RBA concept has also been applied to seep wetlands (Paller et al. 2005) and terrestrial systems (O'Connell et al. 1998, Kremen et al. 1993, Rodriguez et al. 1998, Rosenberg et al. 1986). Terrestrial RBA methods have lagged somewhat behind those for aquatic systems because terrestrial systems are less distinctly defined and seem to have a less universal distribution of an all-inclusive taxon, such as fish in the IBI, upon which to base an RBA. In the last decade, primarily in Australia, extensive development of an RBA using ant communities has shown great promise. Ants have the same advantage for terrestrial RBAs that fish do for aquatic systems in that they are an essential and ubiquitous component of virtually all terrestrial ecosystems. They occupy a broad range of niches, functional groups, and trophic levels and they possess one very important characteristic that makes them ideal for RBA because, similar to the fishes, there is a wide range of tolerance to conditions within the larger taxa. Within ant communities there are certain groups, genera, or species that may be very robust and abundant under even the harshest impacts. There are also taxa that are very sensitive to disturbance and change and their presence or absence is also indicative of the local conditions. Also, as

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Musings on the management of Nylanderia fulva Crazy Ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nylanderia fulva is an invasive crazy ant that can inundate landscapes and structures. This invasive ant has been called the Caribbean crazy ant in Florida and the Rasberry [sic] crazy ant in Texas. The species was thought to be Nylanderia pubens or Nylanderia near pubens, in Florida and Texas, resp...

  15. GLYCEROL IN NEST MATERIAL OF RED IMPORTED FIRE ANTS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Red imported fire ant is a nest-building ant species. Workers build the nest by excavating soils. It was reported that red imported fire ants incorporated ant-derived compounds in their nest soil, such as cuticular hydrocarbons (Vander Meer R. K. unpublished data) and venom alkaloids (Blum, M. S. ...

  16. Asymmetric hybridization in Rhododendron agastum: a hybrid taxon comprising mainly F1s in Yunnan, China

    PubMed Central

    Zha, Hong-Guang; Milne, Richard I.; Sun, Hang

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Rhododendron (Ericaceae) is a large woody genus in which hybridization is thought to play an important role in evolution and speciation, particularly in the Sino-Himalaya region where many interfertile species often occur sympatrically. Rhododendron agastum, a putative hybrid species, occurs in China, western Yunnan Province, in mixed populations with R. irroratum and R. delavayi. Methods Material of these taxa from two sites 400 km apart (ZhuJianYuan, ZJY and HuaDianBa, HDB) was examined using cpDNA and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences, and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) loci, to test the possibility that R. agastum was in fact a hybrid between two of the other species. Chloroplast trnL-F and trnS-trnG sequences together distinguished R. irroratum, R. delavayi and some material of R. decorum, which is also considered a putative parent of R. agastum. Key Results All 14 R. agastum plants from the HDB site had the delavayi cpDNA haplotype, whereas at the ZJY site 17 R. agastum plants had this haplotype and four had the R. irroratum haplotype. R. irroratum and R. delavayi are distinguished by five unequivocal point mutations in their ITS sequences; every R. agastum accession had an additive pattern (double peaks) at each of these sites. Data from AFLP loci were acquired for between ten and 21 plants of each taxon from each site, and were analysed using a Bayesian approach implemented by the program NewHybrids. The program confirmed the identity of all accessions of R. delavayi, and all R. irroratum except one, which was probably a backcross. All R. agastum from HDB and 19 of 21 from ZJY were classified as F1 hybrids; the other two could not be assigned a class. Conclusions Rhododendron agastum represents populations of hybrids between R. irroratum and R. delavayi, which comprise mostly or only F1s, at the two sites examined. The sites differ in that at HDB there was no detected variation in cpDNA type or hybrid class

  17. Snake mitochondrial genomes: phylogenetic relationships and implications of extended taxon sampling for interpretations of mitogenomic evolution

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    alethinophidians. Conclusions Mitochondrial gene sequence data alone may not be able to robustly resolve basal divergences among alethinophidian snakes. Taxon sampling plays an important role in identifying mitogenomic evolutionary events within snakes, and in testing hypotheses explaining their origin. Dramatic rate shifts in mitogenomic evolution occur within Scolecophidia as well as Alethinophidia, thus falsifying the hypothesis that these shifts in snakes are associated exclusively with evolution of a non-burrowing lifestyle, macrostomatan feeding ecology and/or duplication of the control region, both restricted to alethinophidians among living snakes. PMID:20055998

  18. Reactions by army ant workers to nestmates having had contact with sympatric ant species.

    PubMed

    Dejean, Alain; Corbara, Bruno

    2014-11-01

    It was recently shown that Pheidole megacephala colonies (an invasive species originating from Africa) counterattack when raided by the army ant, Eciton burchellii. The subsequent contact permits Pheidole cuticular compounds (that constitute the "colony odour") to be transferred onto the raiding Eciton, which are then not recognised by their colony-mates and killed. Using a simple method for transferring cuticular compounds, we tested if this phenomenon occurs for Neotropical ants. Eciton workers rubbed with ants from four sympatric species were released among their colony-mates. Individuals rubbed with Solenopsis saevissima or Camponotus blandus workers were attacked, but not those rubbed with Atta sexdens, Pheidole fallax or with colony-mates (control lot). So, the chemicals of certain sympatric ant species, but not others, trigger intra-colonial aggressiveness in Eciton. We conclude that prey-ant chemicals might have played a role in the evolution of army ant predatory behaviour, likely influencing prey specialization in certain cases. PMID:25444708

  19. Deterministic Ants in Labyrinth — Information Gained by Map Sharing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malinowski, Janusz; Kantelhardt, Jan W.; Kułakowski, Krzysztof

    2013-06-01

    A few ant robots are placed in a labyrinth, formed by a square lattice with a small number of corridors removed. Ants move according to a deterministic algorithm designed to explore all corridors. Each ant remembers the shape of corridors which it has visited. Once two ants meet, they share the information acquired. We evaluate how the time of getting a complete information by an ant depends on the number of ants, and how the length known by an ant depends on time. Numerical results are presented in the form of scaling relations.

  20. Problematic eating behaviors in adolescents with low self-esteem and elevated depressive symptoms.

    PubMed

    Courtney, Elizabeth A; Gamboz, Julie; Johnson, Jeffrey G

    2008-12-01

    Previous research has indicated that low self-esteem may be an important risk factor for the development of eating disorders. Few longitudinal studies have examined the relationships between low self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and eating disorders in adolescents. The present study investigated whether low self-esteem was associated with depressive symptoms and problematic eating behaviors. Measures of low self-esteem and problematic eating behaviors were administered to a sample of 197 adolescent primary-care patients. Depressive symptoms and problematic eating behaviors were assessed ten months later. Youths with low self-esteem were at greater risk for high levels of depressive symptoms and eating disorder symptoms. In addition, depressive symptoms mediated the association of low self-esteem with problematic eating behaviors. PMID:18928903

  1. Refining Measures for Assessing Problematic/Addictive Digital Gaming Use in Clinical and Research Settings

    PubMed Central

    Faust, Kyle; Faust, David

    2015-01-01

    Problematic or addictive digital gaming (including all types of electronic devices) can and has had extremely adverse impacts on the lives of many individuals across the world. The understanding of this phenomenon, and the effectiveness of treatment design and monitoring, can be improved considerably by continuing refinement of assessment tools. The present article briefly overviews tools designed to measure problematic or addictive use of digital gaming, the vast majority of which are founded on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria for other addictive disorders, such as pathological gambling. Although adapting DSM content and strategies for measuring problematic digital gaming has proven valuable, there are some potential issues with this approach. We discuss the strengths and limitations of current methods for measuring problematic or addictive gaming and provide various recommendations that might help in enhancing or supplementing existing tools, or in developing new and even more effective tools. PMID:26274977

  2. International note: Teen users' problematic online behavior: using panel data from South Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung Eun; Kim, Jinhee

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify factors of teen users' problematic online behaviors using data from the Korea Youth Panel Survey (KYPS) collected over a four-year period. Problematic online behaviors included unauthorized ID use, disguising one's age or gender while chatting online, and cursing/insulting someone in a chat room or on a bulletin board. Results from the panel data analyses showed that many adolescents explored and discontinued engaging in online delinquency as they got older. Respondents' offline behaviors and self-control were significantly associated with problematic online behaviors, supporting the importance of internal traits. Peer effects were consistently more important than parental effects on teen's online delinquency. Increases in time spent using a computer also contributed to the likelihood of problematic online behaviors. PMID:25621406

  3. Multitasking in a plant-ant interaction: how does Acacia myrtifolia manage both ants and pollinators?

    PubMed

    Martínez-Bauer, Angélica E; Martínez, Gerardo Cerón; Murphy, Daniel J; Burd, Martin

    2015-06-01

    Plant associations with protective ants are widespread among angiosperms, but carry the risk that ants will deter pollinators as well as herbivores. Such conflict, and adaptations to ameliorate or prevent the conflict, have been documented in African and neotropical acacias. Ant-acacia associations occur in Australia, but little is known of their ecology. Moreover, recent phylogenetic evidence indicates that Australian acacias are only distantly related to African and American acacias, providing an intercontinental natural experiment in the management of ant-pollinator conflict. We examined four populations of Acacia myrtifolia over a 400-km environmental gradient in southeastern Australia using ant and pollinator exclusion as well as direct observation of ants and pollinators to assess the potential for ant-pollinator conflict to affect seed set. Native bees were the only group of floral visitors whose visitation rates were a significant predictor of fruiting success, although beetles and wasps may play an important role as "insurance" pollinators. We found no increase in pollinator visitation or fruiting success following ant exclusion, even with large sample sizes and effective exclusion. Because ants are facultative visitors to A. myrtifolia plants, their presence may be insufficient to interfere greatly with floral visitors. It is also likely that the morphological location of extrafloral nectaries tends to draw ants away from reproductive parts, although we commonly observed ants on inflorescences, so the spatial separation is not strict. A. myrtifolia appears to maintain a generalized mutualism over a wide geographic range without the need for elaborate adaptations to resolve ant-pollinator conflict. PMID:25571873

  4. Myrmecophilic food body production in the understorey tree, Ryparosa kurrangii (Achariaceae), a rare Australian rainforest taxon.

    PubMed

    Webber, Bruce L; Abaloz, Bruce A; Woodrow, Ian E

    2007-01-01

    Plant food bodies are rarely observed in the field, because of continual harvesting, and are often first documented on isolated glasshouse plants. Little is known about the genus Ryparosa (Achariaceae), and the appearance of outgrowths on leaves and stems of glasshouse-raised R. kurrangii seedlings suggested that the species may produce food bodies. Detailed macroimaging and histological techniques were used to characterize chemomorphological variation in food body material gathered from glasshouse plants. Two distinct types of food body were observed. Multicellular pearl bodies derived from epidermal and mesophyll tissue were produced on young leaves and stems, and contained lipids and glycogen-like carbohydrates. A unique form of lipid-rich multicellular food body that 'opens' during development was found exclusively on mature plant tissue. A filament network was associated with food body lipid droplets. This is the first detailed documentation of food body production in an understorey genus adapted to low light conditions. We suggest that the distinctive spatial deployment of Ryparosa food rewards, and the ants attracted to them, may be invaluable for keeping long-lived leaves free from epiphyllous communities. PMID:17204073

  5. Evidence that insect herbivores are deterred by ant pheromones.

    PubMed

    Offenberg, Joachim; Nielsen, Mogens Gissel; MacIntosh, Donald J; Havanon, Sopon; Aksornkoae, Sanit

    2004-12-01

    It is well documented that ants can protect plants against insect herbivores, but the underlying mechanisms remain almost undocumented. We propose and test the pheromone avoidance hypothesis--an indirect mechanism where insect herbivores are repelled not only by ants but also by ant pheromones. Herbivores subjected to ant predation will experience a selective advantage if they evolve mechanisms enabling them to avoid feeding within ant territories. Such a mechanism could be based on the ability to detect and evade ant pheromones. Field observations and data from the literature showed that the ant Oecophylla smaragdina distributes persistent pheromones throughout its territory. In addition, a laboratory test showed that the beetle Rhyparida wallacei, which this ant preys on, was reluctant to feed on leaves sampled within ant territories compared with leaves sampled outside territories. Thus, this study provides an example of an ant-herbivore system conforming to the pheromone avoidance hypothesis. PMID:15801596

  6. Everybody Is…Drinking! Interpretation Bias in Problematic Drinkers with and without Mild to Borderline Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Duijvenbode, Neomi; Didden, Robert; Korzilius, Hubert P. L. M.; Engels, Rutger C. M. E.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Problematic alcohol use is characterized by disrupted associative processing of environmental clues, where problematic drinkers interpret ambiguous, alcohol-relevant clues in an alcohol-related way. The present study examined the strength of this interpretation bias in a large sample (N = 230) of light and problematic drinkers with and…

  7. Problematic Internet Use and Health in Adolescents: Data from a High School Survey in Connecticut

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Timothy C.; Desai, Rani A.; Krishnan-Sarin, Suchitra; Cavallo, Dana A.; Potenza, Marc N.

    2013-01-01

    Objective This study aims to explore the prevalence and health correlates of problematic internet use among high school students in the United States. Method A cross-sectional survey with a sample size of 3560 students was conducted among high schools in Connecticut, USA. Demographic data, characteristics of internet use, health measures and risk behaviors were assessed. Chi square and logistic regression analyses were used to study the relationship between problematic internet use and risk behaviors as well as related gender differences. Results When problematic internet use was diagnosed with criteria that address core features of impulse-control disorder (strong urge, growing tension and attempts to cut back), the overall prevalence was about 4% with no significant difference between genders. Problematic internet use was more common among Asian and Hispanic students. Even though boys spent significantly more time on the internet and more frequently missed important school or social activities as a result, girls more frequently self-reported measures of excessive use of the internet. After adjustment of socio-demographic factors, problematic internet use was found to associate significantly with substance use, depression and aggression, with largely similar patterns of associations between genders. Conclusion Problematic internet use may be present in about 4% of high school students in the United States. It may be associated with depression, substance use and aggressive behaviors. High school boys, though may have heavier internet use, may be less self-aware of the related problems. PMID:21536002

  8. Associations between problematic gaming and psychiatric symptoms among adolescents in two samples.

    PubMed

    Vadlin, Sofia; Åslund, Cecilia; Hellström, Charlotta; Nilsson, Kent W

    2016-10-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate associations between problematic gaming and psychiatric symptoms among adolescents. Data from adolescents in the SALVe cohort, including adolescents in Västmanland who were born in 1997 and 1999 (N=1868; 1034 girls), and data from consecutive adolescent psychiatric outpatients in Västmanland (N=242; 169 girls) were analyzed. Adolescents self-rated on the Gaming Addiction Identification Test (GAIT), Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale Adolescent version (ASRS-A), Depression Self-Rating Scale Adolescent version (DSRS-A), Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS), and psychotic-like experiences (PLEs). Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed, and adjusted for sex, age, study population, school bullying, family maltreatment, and interactions by sex, with two-way interactions between psychiatric measurements. Boys had higher self-rated problematic gaming in both samples, whereas girls self-rated higher in all psychiatric domains. Boys had more than eight times the probability, odds ratio (OR), of having problematic gaming. Symptoms of ADHD, depression and anxiety were associated with ORs of 2.43 (95% CI 1.44-4.11), 2.47 (95% CI 1.44-4.25), and 2.06 (95% CI 1.27-3.33), respectively, in relation to coexisting problematic gaming. Problematic gaming was associated with psychiatric symptoms in adolescents; when problematic gaming is considered, the probability of coexisting psychiatric symptoms should also be considered, and vice versa. PMID:27203825

  9. Dynamics and elasticity of fire ant aggregations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto; Tennenbaum, Michael; Liu, Zhongyang; Hu, David

    2015-03-01

    Fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, form aggregations that are able to drip and spread like simple liquids, but that can also store energy and maintain a shape like elastic solids. They are an active material where the constituent particles constantly transform chemical energy into work. We find that fire ant aggregations shear thin and exhibit a stress cutoff below which they are able to oppose the applied stress. In the linear regime, the dynamics is fractal-like with both storage and shear moduli that overlap for over three orders of magnitude and that are power law with frequency. This dynamic behavior, characteristic of polymer gels and the gelation point, gives way to a predominantly elastic regime at higher ant densities. In comparison, dead ants are always solid-like.

  10. Structure and formation of ant transportation networks

    PubMed Central

    Latty, Tanya; Ramsch, Kai; Ito, Kentaro; Nakagaki, Toshiyuki; Sumpter, David J. T.; Middendorf, Martin; Beekman, Madeleine

    2011-01-01

    Many biological systems use extensive networks for the transport of resources and information. Ants are no exception. How do biological systems achieve efficient transportation networks in the absence of centralized control and without global knowledge of the environment? Here, we address this question by studying the formation and properties of inter-nest transportation networks in the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile). We find that the formation of inter-nest networks depends on the number of ants involved in the construction process. When the number of ants is sufficient and networks do form, they tend to have short total length but a low level of robustness. These networks are topologically similar to either minimum spanning trees or Steiner networks. The process of network formation involves an initial construction of multiple links followed by a pruning process that reduces the number of trails. Our study thus illuminates the conditions under and the process by which minimal biological transport networks can be constructed. PMID:21288958

  11. Disentangling effects of abiotic factors and biotic interactions on cross-taxon congruence in species turnover patterns of plants, moths and beetles

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Meichun; Liu, Yunhui; Yu, Zhenrong; Baudry, Jacques; Li, Liangtao; Wang, Changliu; Axmacher, Jan C.

    2016-01-01

    High cross-taxon congruence in species diversity patterns is essential for the use of surrogate taxa in biodiversity conservation, but presence and strength of congruence in species turnover patterns, and the relative contributions of abiotic environmental factors and biotic interaction towards this congruence, remain poorly understood. In our study, we used variation partitioning in multiple regressions to quantify cross-taxon congruence in community dissimilarities of vascular plants, geometrid and arciinid moths and carabid beetles, subsequently investigating their respective underpinning by abiotic factors and biotic interactions. Significant cross-taxon congruence observed across all taxon pairs was linked to their similar responses towards elevation change. Changes in the vegetation composition were closely linked to carabid turnover, with vegetation structure and associated microclimatic conditions proposed causes of this link. In contrast, moth assemblages appeared to be dominated by generalist species whose turnover was weakly associated with vegetation changes. Overall, abiotic factors exerted a stronger influence on cross-taxon congruence across our study sites than biotic interactions. The weak congruence in turnover observed particularly between plants and moths highlights the importance of multi-taxon approaches based on groupings of taxa with similar turnovers, rather than the use of single surrogate taxa or environmental proxies, in biodiversity assessments. PMID:27032533

  12. Disentangling effects of abiotic factors and biotic interactions on cross-taxon congruence in species turnover patterns of plants, moths and beetles.

    PubMed

    Duan, Meichun; Liu, Yunhui; Yu, Zhenrong; Baudry, Jacques; Li, Liangtao; Wang, Changliu; Axmacher, Jan C

    2016-01-01

    High cross-taxon congruence in species diversity patterns is essential for the use of surrogate taxa in biodiversity conservation, but presence and strength of congruence in species turnover patterns, and the relative contributions of abiotic environmental factors and biotic interaction towards this congruence, remain poorly understood. In our study, we used variation partitioning in multiple regressions to quantify cross-taxon congruence in community dissimilarities of vascular plants, geometrid and arciinid moths and carabid beetles, subsequently investigating their respective underpinning by abiotic factors and biotic interactions. Significant cross-taxon congruence observed across all taxon pairs was linked to their similar responses towards elevation change. Changes in the vegetation composition were closely linked to carabid turnover, with vegetation structure and associated microclimatic conditions proposed causes of this link. In contrast, moth assemblages appeared to be dominated by generalist species whose turnover was weakly associated with vegetation changes. Overall, abiotic factors exerted a stronger influence on cross-taxon congruence across our study sites than biotic interactions. The weak congruence in turnover observed particularly between plants and moths highlights the importance of multi-taxon approaches based on groupings of taxa with similar turnovers, rather than the use of single surrogate taxa or environmental proxies, in biodiversity assessments. PMID:27032533

  13. Detection and dispersal of explosives by ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFee, John E.; Achal, Steve; Faust, Anthony A.; Puckrin, Eldon; House, Andrew; Reynolds, Damon; McDougall, William; Asquini, Adam

    2009-05-01

    The ability of animals to detect explosives is well documented. Mammalian systems, insects and even single celled organisms have all been studied and in a few cases employed to detect explosives. This paper will describe the potential ability of ants to detect, disperse and possibly neutralize bulk explosives. In spring 2008 a team of DRDC and Itres scientists conducted experiments on detecting surface-laid and buried landmines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and their components. Measurements were made using state-of-the-art short wave and thermal infrared hyperspectral imagers mounted on a personnel lift. During one of the early morning measurement sessions, a wispy, long linear trail was seen to emanate several meters from piles of explosives that were situated on the ground. Upon close visual inspection, it was observed that ants had found the piles of explosives and were carrying it to their ant hill, a distance of almost 20 meters from the piles. Initial analysis of the hyperspectral images clearly revealed the trail to the ant hill of explosives, despite being present in quantities not visible to the unaided eye. This paper details these observations and discusses them in the context of landmine and IED detection and neutralization. Possible reasons for such behaviour are presented. A number of questions regarding the behaviour, many pertinent to the use of ants in a counter-landmine/IED role, are presented and possible methods of answering them are discussed. Anecdotal evidence from deminers of detection and destruction of explosives by ants are presented.

  14. Entangled active matter: From cells to ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, D. L.; Phonekeo, S.; Altshuler, E.; Brochard-Wyart, F.

    2016-07-01

    Both cells and ants belong to the broad field of active matter, a novel class of non-equilibrium materials composed of many interacting units that individually consume energy and collectively generate motion or mechanical stresses. However cells and ants differ from fish and birds in that they can support static loads. This is because cells and ants can be entangled, so that individual units are bound by transient links. Entanglement gives cells and ants a set of remarkable properties usually not found together, such as the ability to flow like a fluid, spring back like an elastic solid, and self-heal. In this review, we present the biology, mechanics and dynamics of both entangled cells and ants. We apply concepts from soft matter physics and wetting to characterize these systems as well as to point out their differences, which arise from their differences in size. We hope that our viewpoints will spur further investigations into cells and ants as active materials, and inspire the fabrication of synthetic active matter.

  15. Ant semiochemicals limit apterous aphid dispersal.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Thomas H; Mashanova, Alla; Leather, Simon R; Cook, James M; Jansen, Vincent A A

    2007-12-22

    Some organisms can manipulate the nervous systems of others or alter their physiology in order to obtain benefit. Ants are known to limit alate aphid dispersal by physically removing wings and also through chemical manipulation of the alate developmental pathway. This results in reduced dispersal and higher local densities of aphids, which benefit ants in terms of increased honeydew and prey availability. Here, we show that the walking movement of mutualistic apterous aphids is also reduced by ant semiochemicals. Aphids walk slower and their dispersal from an unsuitable patch is hampered by ants. If aphid walking dispersal has evolved as a means of natural enemy escape, then ant chemicals may act as a signal indicating protection; hence, reduced dispersal could be adaptive for aphids. If, however, dispersal is primarily a means to reduce competition or to maintain persistent metapopulations, then manipulation by ants could be detrimental. Such manipulation strategies, common in host-parasite and predator-prey interactions, may be more common in mutualism than expected. PMID:17925280

  16. 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.

  17. Microfungal "weeds" in the leafcutter ant symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, A; Bacci, M; Mueller, U G; Ortiz, A; Pagnocca, F C

    2008-11-01

    Leafcutter ants (Formicidae: tribe Attini) are well-known insects that cultivate basidiomycete fungi (Agaricales: Lepiotaceae) as their principal food. Fungus gardens are monocultures of a single cultivar strain, but they also harbor a diverse assemblage of additional microbes with largely unknown roles in the symbiosis. Cultivar-attacking microfungi in the genus Escovopsis are specialized parasites found only in association with attine gardens. Evolutionary theory predicts that the low genetic diversity in monocultures should render ant gardens susceptible to a wide range of diseases, and additional parasites with roles similar to that of Escovopsis are expected to exist. We profiled the diversity of cultivable microfungi found in 37 nests from ten Acromyrmex species from Southern Brazil and compared this diversity to published surveys. Our study revealed a total of 85 microfungal strains. Fusarium oxysporum and Escovopsis were the predominant species in the surveyed gardens, infecting 40.5% and 27% of the nests, respectively. No specific relationship existed regarding microfungal species and ant-host species, ant substrate preference (dicot versus grass) or nesting habit. Molecular data indicated high genetic diversity among Escovopsis isolates. In contrast to the garden parasite, F. oxysporum strains are not specific parasites of the cultivated fungus because strains isolated from attine gardens have similar counterparts found in the environment. Overall, the survey indicates that saprophytic microfungi are prevalent in South American leafcutter ants. We discuss the antagonistic potential of these microorganisms as "weeds" in the ant-fungus symbiosis. PMID:18369523

  18. Congestion and communication in confined ant traffic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  19. Ants (Formicidae): models for social complexity.

    PubMed

    Smith, Chris R; Dolezal, Adam; Eliyahu, Dorit; Holbrook, C Tate; Gadau, Jürgen

    2009-07-01

    The family Formicidae (ants) is composed of more than 12,000 described species that vary greatly in size, morphology, behavior, life history, ecology, and social organization. Ants occur in most terrestrial habitats and are the dominant animals in many of them. They have been used as models to address fundamental questions in ecology, evolution, behavior, and development. The literature on ants is extensive, and the natural history of many species is known in detail. Phylogenetic relationships for the family, as well as within many subfamilies, are known, enabling comparative studies. Their ease of sampling and ecological variation makes them attractive for studying populations and questions relating to communities. Their sociality and variation in social organization have contributed greatly to an understanding of complex systems, division of labor, and chemical communication. Ants occur in colonies composed of tens to millions of individuals that vary greatly in morphology, physiology, and behavior; this variation has been used to address proximate and ultimate mechanisms generating phenotypic plasticity. Relatedness asymmetries within colonies have been fundamental to the formulation and empirical testing of kin and group selection theories. Genomic resources have been developed for some species, and a whole-genome sequence for several species is likely to follow in the near future; comparative genomics in ants should provide new insights into the evolution of complexity and sociogenomics. Future studies using ants should help establish a more comprehensive understanding of social life, from molecules to colonies. PMID:20147200

  20. Antarctic Tephra Database (AntT)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurbatov, A.; Dunbar, N. W.; Iverson, N. A.; Gerbi, C. C.; Yates, M. G.; Kalteyer, D.; McIntosh, W. C.

    2014-12-01

    Modern paleoclimate research is heavily dependent on establishing accurate timing related to rapid shifts in Earth's climate system. The ability to correlate these events at local, and ideally at the intercontinental scales, allows assessment, for example, of phasing or changes in atmospheric circulation. Tephra-producing volcanic eruptions are geologically instantaneous events that are largely independent of climate. We have developed a tephrochronological framework for paleoclimate research in Antarctic in a user friendly, freely accessible online Antarctic tephra (AntT) database (http://cci.um.maine.edu/AntT/). Information about volcanic events, including physical and geochemical characteristics of volcanic products collected from multiple data sources, are integrated into the AntT database.The AntT project establishes a new centralized data repository for Antarctic tephrochronology, which is needed for precise correlation of records between Antarctic ice cores (e.g. WAIS Divide, RICE, Talos Dome, ITASE) and global paleoclimate archives. The AntT will help climatologists, paleoclimatologists, atmospheric chemists, geochemists, climate modelers synchronize paleoclimate archives using volcanic products that establishing timing of climate events in different geographic areas, climate-forcing mechanisms, natural threshold levels in the climate system. All these disciplines will benefit from accurate reconstructions of the temporal and spatial distribution of past rapid climate change events in continental, atmospheric, marine and polar realms. Research is funded by NSF grants: ANT-1142007 and 1142069.

  1. Evolution of ant-cultivar specialization and cultivar switching in Apterostigma fungus-growing ants.

    PubMed

    Villesen, Palle; Mueller, Ulrich G; Schultz, Ted R; Adams, Rachelle M M; Bouck, Amy C

    2004-10-01

    Almost all of the more than 200 species of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae: Attini) cultivate litter-decomposing fungi in the family Lepiotaceae (Basidiomycota: Agaricales). The single exception to this rule is a subgroup of ant species within the lower attine genus Apterostigma, which cultivate pterulaceous fungi distantly related to the Lepiotaceae. Comparison of cultivar and ant phylogenies suggests that a switch from lepiotaceous to pterulaceous fungiculture occurred only once in the history of the fungus-growing ants. This unique switch occurred after the origin of the genus Apterostigma, such that the basal Apterostigma lineages retained the ancestral attine condition of lepiotaceous fungiculture, and none of the Apterostigma lineages in the monophyletic group of pterulaceous fungiculturists are known to have reverted back to lepiotaceous fungiculture. The origin of pterulaceous fungiculture in attine ants may have involved a unique transition from the ancestral cultivation of litter-decomposing lepiotaceous fungi to the cultivation of wood-decomposing pterulaceous fungi. Phylogenetic analyses further indicate that distantly related Apterostigma ant species sometimes cultivate the same cultivar lineage, indicating evolutionarily frequent, and possibly ongoing, exchanges of fungal cultivars between Apterostigma ant species. The pterulaceous cultivars form two sister clades, and different Apterostigma ant lineages are invariably associated with, and thus specialized on, only one of the two cultivar clades. However, within clades Apterostigma ant species are able to switch between fungi. This pattern of broad specialization by attine ants on defined cultivar clades, coupled with flexible switching between fungi within cultivar clades, is also found in other attine lineages and appears to be a general phenomenon of fungicultural evolution in all fungus-growing ants. PMID:15562688

  2. Exploration adjustment by ant colonies

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    How do animals in groups organize their work? Division of labour, i.e. the process by which individuals within a group choose which tasks to perform, has been extensively studied in social insects. Variability among individuals within a colony seems to underpin both the decision over which tasks to perform and the amount of effort to invest in a task. Studies have focused mainly on discrete tasks, i.e. tasks with a recognizable end. Here, we study the distribution of effort in nest seeking, in the absence of new nest sites. Hence, this task is open-ended and individuals have to decide when to stop searching, even though the task has not been completed. We show that collective search effort declines when colonies inhabit better homes, as a consequence of a reduction in the number of bouts (exploratory events). Furthermore, we show an increase in bout exploration time and a decrease in bout instantaneous speed for colonies inhabiting better homes. The effect of treatment on bout effort is very small; however, we suggest that the organization of work performed within nest searching is achieved both by a process of self-selection of the most hard-working ants and individual effort adjustment. PMID:26909180

  3. Exploration adjustment by ant colonies.

    PubMed

    Doran, Carolina; Stumpe, Martin C; Sendova-Franks, Ana; Franks, Nigel R

    2016-01-01

    How do animals in groups organize their work? Division of labour, i.e. the process by which individuals within a group choose which tasks to perform, has been extensively studied in social insects. Variability among individuals within a colony seems to underpin both the decision over which tasks to perform and the amount of effort to invest in a task. Studies have focused mainly on discrete tasks, i.e. tasks with a recognizable end. Here, we study the distribution of effort in nest seeking, in the absence of new nest sites. Hence, this task is open-ended and individuals have to decide when to stop searching, even though the task has not been completed. We show that collective search effort declines when colonies inhabit better homes, as a consequence of a reduction in the number of bouts (exploratory events). Furthermore, we show an increase in bout exploration time and a decrease in bout instantaneous speed for colonies inhabiting better homes. The effect of treatment on bout effort is very small; however, we suggest that the organization of work performed within nest searching is achieved both by a process of self-selection of the most hard-working ants and individual effort adjustment. PMID:26909180

  4. Preference of food particle size among several urban ant species.

    PubMed

    Hooper-Bùi, Linda M; Appel, Arthur G; Rust, Michael K

    2002-12-01

    Appropriate particle size may be a critical characteristic for effective granular ant baits. We examined the particle size preference of six species of pest ants to an anchovy-based bait. We also examined head capsule widths of Argentine ants, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (mean = 0.54 mm), California harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex californicus (Buckley) (mean = 1.63 mm), red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren (mean = 0.9 mm), and southern fire ants, Solenopsis xyloni McCook (mean = 0.76 mm) and compared them with the first and second most preferred particle size. There were differences between particle size of which the most mass was removed and of which there were more particles removed by ants. California Argentine ants, southern fire ants, and Alabama Argentine ants removed more 840 to 1,000-microm particle mass of the anchovy diet but had more visits to dishes containing 420 to 590 microm particles. California harvester ants and Allegheny mound ants, Formica spp., removed more >2,000 microm particle mass but visited dishes containing 1,000 to 2,000 microm particles more often. Red imported fire ants also removed more >2,000 microm particle mass but visited dishes with 590 to 840-microm particles most often. Pharaoh ants, Monomorium pharaonis (L.), removed and visited 420 to 590-microm particles more than any other size. A linear regression model determined that particle size preferred by each ant species relates to forager head width. The majority of particles of commercial ant bait, including Amdro, Ascend, Award, Bushwhacker, Max Force with fipronil, and old and new formulations of Max Force with hydramethylnon, were 1,000 to 2,000 microm, but the majority of Niban particles were <420 microm. Altering the size of particles of toxic ant baits to fit the particle size preference of each pest ant species may increase the efficacy of ant baits. PMID:12539835

  5. Evidence-informed clinical practice recommendations for treatment of type 1 diabetes complicated by problematic hypoglycemia.

    PubMed

    Choudhary, Pratik; Rickels, Michael R; Senior, Peter A; Vantyghem, Marie-Christine; Maffi, Paola; Kay, Thomas W; Keymeulen, Bart; Inagaki, Nobuya; Saudek, Frantisek; Lehmann, Roger; Hering, Bernhard J

    2015-06-01

    Problematic hypoglycemia, defined as two or more episodes per year of severe hypoglycemia or as one episode associated with impaired awareness of hypoglycemia, extreme glycemic lability, or major fear and maladaptive behavior, is a challenge, especially for patients with long-standing type 1 diabetes. Individualized therapy for such patients should include a composite target: optimal glucose control without problematic hypoglycemia. Therefore, we propose a tiered, four-stage algorithm based on evidence of efficacy given the limitations of educational, technological, and transplant interventions. All patients with problematic hypoglycemia should undergo structured or hypoglycemia-specific education programs (stage 1). Glycemic and hypoglycemia treatment targets should be individualized and reassessed every 3-6 months. If targets are not met, one diabetes technology-continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion or continuous glucose monitoring-should be added (stage 2). For patients with continued problematic hypoglycemia despite education (stage 1) and one diabetes technology (stage 2), sensor-augmented insulin pumps preferably with an automated low-glucose suspend feature and/or very frequent contact with a specialized hypoglycemia service can reduce hypoglycemia (stage 3). For patients whose problematic hypoglycemia persists, islet or pancreas transplant should be considered (stage 4). This algorithm provides an evidence-informed approach to resolving problematic hypoglycemia; it should be used as a guide, with individual patient circumstances directing suitability and acceptability to ensure the prudent use of technology and scarce transplant resources. Standardized reporting of hypoglycemia outcomes and inclusion of patients with problematic hypoglycemia in studies of new interventions may help to guide future therapeutic strategies. PMID:25998294

  6. Evidence-Informed Clinical Practice Recommendations for Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes Complicated by Problematic Hypoglycemia

    PubMed Central

    Choudhary, Pratik; Rickels, Michael R.; Senior, Peter A.; Vantyghem, Marie-Christine; Maffi, Paola; Kay, Thomas W.; Keymeulen, Bart; Inagaki, Nobuya; Saudek, Frantisek; Lehmann, Roger

    2015-01-01

    Problematic hypoglycemia, defined as two or more episodes per year of severe hypoglycemia or as one episode associated with impaired awareness of hypoglycemia, extreme glycemic lability, or major fear and maladaptive behavior, is a challenge, especially for patients with long-standing type 1 diabetes. Individualized therapy for such patients should include a composite target: optimal glucose control without problematic hypoglycemia. Therefore, we propose a tiered, four-stage algorithm based on evidence of efficacy given the limitations of educational, technological, and transplant interventions. All patients with problematic hypoglycemia should undergo structured or hypoglycemia-specific education programs (stage 1). Glycemic and hypoglycemia treatment targets should be individualized and reassessed every 3–6 months. If targets are not met, one diabetes technology—continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion or continuous glucose monitoring—should be added (stage 2). For patients with continued problematic hypoglycemia despite education (stage 1) and one diabetes technology (stage 2), sensor-augmented insulin pumps preferably with an automated low-glucose suspend feature and/or very frequent contact with a specialized hypoglycemia service can reduce hypoglycemia (stage 3). For patients whose problematic hypoglycemia persists, islet or pancreas transplant should be considered (stage 4). This algorithm provides an evidence-informed approach to resolving problematic hypoglycemia; it should be used as a guide, with individual patient circumstances directing suitability and acceptability to ensure the prudent use of technology and scarce transplant resources. Standardized reporting of hypoglycemia outcomes and inclusion of patients with problematic hypoglycemia in studies of new interventions may help to guide future therapeutic strategies. PMID:25998294

  7. No detection of Vairimorpha invictae in fire ant decapitating flies reared from V. invictae- infected ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vairimorpha invictae is a microsporidian entomopathogen that is under evaluation as a biological control agent for red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta. Infections of V. invictae alone and in combination with another pathogen of fire ants, Thelohania solenopsae, have resulted in declines of 5...

  8. Applied Ecology and Control of Imported Fire Ants and Argentine Ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), are invasive species that are major pests in urban, natural, and agricultural habitats. The goal of this dissertation was to study aspects the chemical sensitivity, behavior, and ecology of each specie...

  9. Ant interactions with soil organisms and associated semiochemicals.

    PubMed

    Vander Meer, Robert

    2012-06-01

    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 source of semiochemical antimicrobial compounds targeting general or specific deleterious microbes. The extremely diverse variety of semiochemicals and their sources with antimicrobial activity or potential activity is highlighted. The leaf-cutting ants and fire ant provide the most researched species, in part because they cause significant economic damage. The leaf-cutting ant is particularly interesting because researchers have uncovered unexpected interactions between leaf-cutting ant fungal farm, parasitic fungi, bacteria, yeasts, and ant defensive semiochemicals. These complex relationships highlight the multidimensional aspects of ants and the soil environment in which they live. PMID:22653568

  10. Ant-plant mutualisms should be viewed as symbiotic communities

    PubMed Central

    Bouamer, Salah; Morand, Serge; Selosse, Marc-André

    2009-01-01

    Ant-plants provide food and nesting space (domatia) for ants that protect them against herbivores. These mutualisms are often very specific and are usually considered as bipartite, or tripartite when ants use hemipterans as trophobionts. However, fungi growing inside domatia have been recorded by a few authors. Here we report on their occurrence on additional ant-plants from Africa, Asia and South America. We demonstrated the symbiotic nature of the relationship between the plant, the ant and the fungus in the model plant Leonardoxa africana africana and its mutualistic ant Petalomyrmex phylax. Moreover, data suggest the ant-fungus relationship is mutualistic. Here we discuss the most probable role of the fungus and the potential implications on the understanding of nutritional ecology of ant-plant symbioses. The fungus is also associated with the presence of nematodes and bacteria. Many ant-plant symbioses previously considered to be bipartite will soon likely prove to be multipartite symbiotic communities. PMID:19816123

  11. Impacts of residual insecticide barriers on perimeter-invading ants, with particular reference to the odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile.

    PubMed

    Scharf, Michael E; Ratliff, Catina R; Bennett, Gary W

    2004-04-01

    Three liquid insecticide formulations were evaluated as barrier treatments against perimeter-invading ants at a multifamily housing complex in West Lafayette, IN. Several ant species were present at the study site, including (in order of abundance) pavement ant, Tetramorium caespitum (L.); honey ant, Prenolepis imparis (Say); odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say); thief ant, Solenopsis molesta (Say); acrobat ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi (Mayr); crazy ant, Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle), field ants, Formica spp.; and carpenter ant Camponotus pennsylvanicus (DeGeer). Studies began in May 2001 and concluded 8 wk later in July. Individual replicate treatments were placed 0.61 in (2 feet) up and 0.92 m (3 feet) out from the ends of 46.1 by 10.1-m (151 by 33-foot) apartment buildings. Ant sampling was performed with 10 placements of moist cat food for 1 h within treatment zones, followed by capture and removal of recruited ants for later counting. All treatments led to substantial reductions in ant numbers relative to untreated controls. The most effective treatment was fipronil, where 2% of before-treatment ant numbers were present at 8 wk after treatment. Both imidacloprid and cyfluthrin barrier treatments had efficacy comparative with fipronil, but to 4 and 2 wk, respectively. Odorous house ants were not sampled before treatment. Comparisons of ant species composition between treatments and controls revealed an increase in odorous house ant frequencies at 1-8 wk after treatment in treated locations only. These results demonstrate efficacy for both nonrepellent and repellent liquid insecticides as perimeter treatments for pest ants. In addition, our findings with odorous house ant highlight an apparent invasive-like characteristic of this species that may contribute to its dramatic increase in structural infestation rates in many areas of the United States. PMID:15154488

  12. Ecology of a fig ant-plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, Rhett D.

    2014-05-01

    Mutualistic interactions are embedded in networks of interactions that affect the benefits accruing to the mutualistic partners. Figs and their pollinating wasps are engaged in an obligate mutualism in which the fig is dependent on the fig pollinator for pollination services and the pollinator is dependent on fig ovules for brood sites. This mutualism is exploited by non-pollinating fig wasps that utilise the same ovules, but do not provide a pollination service. Most non-pollinating wasps oviposit from outside the inflorescence (syconium), where they are vulnerable to ant predation. Ficus schwarzii is exposed to high densities of non-pollinating wasps, but Philidris sp. ants patrolling the syconia prevent them from ovipositing. Philidris rarely catch wasps, but the fig encourages the patrolling by providing a reward through extra-floral nectaries on the surface of syconia. Moreover, the reward is apparently only produced during the phase when parasitoids are ovipositing. An ant-exclusion experiment demonstrated that, in the absence of ants, syconia were heavily attacked and many aborted as a consequence. Philidris was normally rare on the figs during the receptive phase or at the time of day when wasp offspring are emerging, so predation on pollinators was limited. However, Myrmicaria sp. ants, which only occurred on three trees, preyed substantially on pollinating as well as non-pollinating wasps. F. schwarzii occurs in small clusters of trees and has an exceptionally rapid crop turnover. These factors appear to promote high densities of non-pollinating wasps and, as a consequence, may have led to both a high incidence of ants on trees and increased selective pressure on fig traits that increase the payoffs of the fig-ant interaction for the fig. The fig receives no direct benefit from the reward it provides, but protects pollinating wasps that will disperse its pollen.

  13. Ant colony optimization algorithm for continuous domains based on position distribution model of ant colony foraging.

    PubMed

    Liu, Liqiang; Dai, Yuntao; Gao, Jinyu

    2014-01-01

    Ant colony optimization algorithm for continuous domains is a major research direction for ant colony optimization algorithm. In this paper, we propose a distribution model of ant colony foraging, through analysis of the relationship between the position distribution and food source in the process of ant colony foraging. We design a continuous domain optimization algorithm based on the model and give the form of solution for the algorithm, the distribution model of pheromone, the update rules of ant colony position, and the processing method of constraint condition. Algorithm performance against a set of test trials was unconstrained optimization test functions and a set of optimization test functions, and test results of other algorithms are compared and analyzed to verify the correctness and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. PMID:24955402

  14. The descent of ant: field-measured performance of gliding ants.

    PubMed

    Munk, Yonatan; Yanoviak, Stephen P; Koehl, M A R; Dudley, Robert

    2015-05-01

    Gliding ants avoid predatory attacks and potentially mortal consequences of dislodgement from rainforest canopy substrates by directing their aerial descent towards nearby tree trunks. The ecologically relevant measure of performance for gliding ants is the ratio of net horizontal to vertical distance traveled over the course of a gliding trajectory, or glide index. To study variation in glide index, we measured three-dimensional trajectories of Cephalotes atratus ants gliding in natural rainforest habitats. We determined that righting phase duration, glide angle, and path directness all significantly influence variation in glide index. Unsuccessful landing attempts result in the ant bouncing off its target and being forced to make a second landing attempt. Our results indicate that ants are not passive gliders and that they exert active control over the aerodynamic forces they experience during their descent, despite their apparent lack of specialized control surfaces. PMID:25788722

  15. Social motives for drinking in students should not be neglected in efforts to decrease problematic drinking.

    PubMed

    Van Damme, J; Maes, L; Clays, E; Rosiers, J F M T; Van Hal, G; Hublet, A

    2013-08-01

    High heavy drinking prevalence persists in students. Recently, drinking motivation received a lot of attention as an important determinant. Enhancement and coping motives are mostly positively related and conformity motives are mostly negatively related with heavy drinking. Relations are less clear for social motives. This study aimed at gaining more insight in the role of drinking motives in heavy drinking students. Overall, 15 897 Belgian university and college students (mean age: 20.7, SD = 2.6) anonymously participated in an online survey. Logistic regressions tested relationships between motives and problematic drinking (>weekly drinking, ≥monthly binge drinking and being at risk for problematic drinking by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test [AUDIT]). Social motives had the highest prevalence, followed by enhancement, coping and conformity motives. Men engaged more in problematic drinking and reported more motives, except for coping. Enhancement, coping and social-motivated students have higher chances for problematic drinking, while the opposite is true for conformity-motivated students. Although this study found a similar ranking of motives as in other studies, a relationship between problematic drinking and all motives, including social motives, was revealed. This might indicate the different functions of social motives in heavy drinking in different cultures/sub-populations and countries. This finding is relevant for the development of interventions. PMID:23487559

  16. Trait Aggression and Problematic Alcohol Use among College Students: The Moderating Effect of Distress Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Bina; Ryan, Jonathan S.; Beck, Kenneth H.; Daughters, Stacey B.

    2013-01-01

    Background Trait aggression has been linked to alcohol-related problems among college students. However, the individual conditions underlying this association are unknown. Empirical evidence and theory suggest the importance of distress tolerance, defined as an individual’s ability to withstand negative affective states, in the relationship between trait aggression and alcohol use. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to examine whether distress tolerance moderates the relationship between trait aggression and problematic alcohol use. Methods Participants were 646 undergraduate students in a large university, who reported any lifetime alcohol use. The dependent variable, problematic alcohol use, was measured using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) total score. The main independent variable, trait aggression, was assessed on the negative emotionality scale of the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ-NE), and the moderator, distress tolerance, was determined using the Distress Tolerance Scale (DTS). Results Hierarchical linear regression analyses indicated a significant interaction between trait aggression and distress tolerance in predicting problematic alcohol use, adjusting for demographic variables, regular substance use, depressive symptoms, and anxiety symptoms. Specifically, a significant positive relationship between trait aggression and problematic alcohol use was present among those with low, but not high, distress tolerance. Conclusions Results provide evidence that college students with high levels of trait aggression are more likely to engage in problematic alcohol use if they also evidence an inability to tolerate negative affective states. Study implications are discussed, including the development of prevention and intervention programs that target distress tolerance skills. PMID:23889266

  17. Unraveling the sequence information in COI barcode to achieve higher taxon assignment based on Indian freshwater fishes.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Mohua; Ghosh, Sankar Kumar

    2015-04-01

    Efficacy of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) DNA barcode in higher taxon assignment is still under debate in spite of several attempts, using the conventional DNA barcoding methods, to assign higher taxa. Here we try to understand whether nucleotide and amino acid sequence in COI gene carry sufficient information to assign species to their higher taxonomic rank, using 160 species of Indian freshwater fishes. Our results reveal that with increase in the taxonomic rank, sequence conservation decreases for both nucleotides and amino acids. Order level exhibits lowest conservation with 50% of the nucleotides and amino acids being conserved. Among the variable sites, 30-50% were found to carry high information content within an order, while it was 70-80% within a family and 80-99% within a genus. High information content shows sites with almost conserved sequence but varying at one or two locations, which can be due to variations at species or population level. Thus, the potential of COI gene in higher taxon assignment is revealed with validation of ample inherent signals latent in the gene. PMID:24409929

  18. Statistical Mechanics of Collective Transport by Ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    Collective decisions and cooperation within groups are essential for the survival of many species. Conflicts within the group must be suppressed but conformism may render the system unresponsive to new information. Collective transport by ants is therefore an ideal model system to study how animal groups optimize these opposing requirements. We combine experiments and theory to characterize the collective transport. The ants are modeled as binary Ising spins, representing the two roles ants can perform during transport. It turns out that the ants poise themselves collectively near a critical point where the response to a newly attached ant is maximized. We identify the size as being proportional to an inverse effective temperature and thus the system can exhibit a mesoscopic transition between order and disorder by manipulating the size. Constraining the cargo with a string makes the system behave as a strongly non-linear pendulum. Theoretically we predict that a Hopf bifurcation occurs at a critical size followed by a global bifurcation where full swings emerge. Remarkably, these theoretical predictions were verified experimentally.

  19. Early ant trajectories: spatial behaviour before behaviourism.

    PubMed

    Wehner, Rüdiger

    2016-04-01

    In the beginning of the twentieth century, when Jacques Loeb's and John Watson's mechanistic view of life started to dominate animal physiology and behavioural biology, several scientists with different academic backgrounds got engaged in studying the wayfinding behaviour of ants. Largely unaffected by the scientific spirit of the time, they worked independently of each other in different countries: in Algeria, Tunisia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States of America. In the current literature on spatial cognition these early ant researchers--Victor Cornetz, Felix Santschi, Charles Turner and Rudolf Brun--are barely mentioned. Moreover, it is virtually unknown that the great neuroanatomist Santiago Ramón y Cajal had also worked on spatial orientation in ants. This general neglect is certainly due to the fact that nearly all these ant researchers were scientific loners, who did their idiosyncratic investigations outside the realm of comparative physiology, neurobiology and the behavioural sciences of the time, and published their results in French, German, and Spanish at rather inaccessible places. Even though one might argue that much of their work resulted in mainly anecdotal evidence, the conceptual approaches of these early ant researchers preempt much of the present-day discussions on spatial representation in animals. PMID:26898725

  20. Fossil evidence for the early ant evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-02-01

    Ants are one of the most studied insects in the world; and the literature devoted to their origin and evolution, systematics, ecology, or interactions with plants, fungi and other organisms is prolific. However, no consensus yet exists on the age estimate of the first Formicidae or on the origin of their eusociality. We review the fossil and biogeographical record of all known Cretaceous ants. We discuss the possible origin of the Formicidae with emphasis on the most primitive subfamily Sphecomyrminae according to its distribution and the Early Cretaceous palaeogeography. And we review the evidence of true castes and eusociality of the early ants regarding their morphological features and their manner of preservation in amber. The mid-Cretaceous amber forest from south-western France where some of the oldest known ants lived, corresponded to a moist tropical forest close to the shore with a dominance of gymnosperm trees but where angiosperms (flowering plants) were already diversified. This palaeoenvironmental reconstruction supports an initial radiation of ants in forest ground litter coincident with the rise of angiosperms, as recently proposed as an ecological explanation for their origin and successful evolution.

  1. Lycaenid Caterpillar Secretions Manipulate Attendant Ant Behavior.

    PubMed

    Hojo, Masaru K; Pierce, Naomi E; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2015-08-31

    Mutualistic interactions typically involve the exchange of different commodities between species. Nutritious secretions are produced by a number of insects and plants in exchange for services such as defense. These rewards are valuable metabolically and can be used to reinforce the behavior of symbiotic partners that can learn and remember them effectively. We show here novel effects of insect exocrine secretions produced by caterpillars in modulating the behavior of attendant ants in the food-for-defense interaction between lycaenid butterflies and ants. Reward secretions from the dorsal nectary organ (DNO) of Narathura japonica caterpillars function to reduce the locomotory activities of their attendant ants, Pristomyrmex punctatus workers. Moreover, workers that feed from caterpillar secretions are significantly more likely to show aggressive responses to eversion of the tentacle organs of the caterpillars. Analysis of the neurogenic amines in the brains of workers that consumed caterpillar secretions showed a significant decrease in levels of dopamine compared with controls. Experimental treatments in which reserpine, a known inhibitor of dopamine in Drosophila, was fed to workers similarly reduced their locomotory activity. We conclude that DNO secretions of lycaenid caterpillars can manipulate attendant ant behavior by altering dopaminergic regulation and increasing partner fidelity. Unless manipulated ants also receive a net nutritional benefit from DNO secretions, this suggests that similar reward-for-defense interactions that have been traditionally considered to be mutualisms may in fact be parasitic in nature. PMID:26234210

  2. Detection of Mitochondrial COII DNA Sequences in Ant Guts as a Method for Assessing Termite Predation by Ants

    PubMed Central

    Fayle, Tom M.; Scholtz, Olivia; Dumbrell, Alex J.; Russell, Stephen; Segar, Simon T.; Eggleton, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Termites and ants contribute more to animal biomass in tropical rain forests than any other single group and perform vital ecosystem functions. Although ants prey on termites, at the community level the linkage between these groups is poorly understood. Thus, assessing the distribution and specificity of ant termitophagy is of considerable interest. We describe an approach for quantifying ant-termite food webs by sequencing termite DNA (cytochrome c oxidase subunit II, COII) from ant guts and apply this to a soil-dwelling ant community from tropical rain forest in Gabon. We extracted DNA from 215 ants from 15 species. Of these, 17.2 % of individuals had termite DNA in their guts, with BLAST analysis confirming the identity of 34.1 % of these termites to family level or better. Although ant species varied in detection of termite DNA, ranging from 63 % (5/7; Camponotus sp. 1) to 0 % (0/7; Ponera sp. 1), there was no evidence (with small sample sizes) for heterogeneity in termite consumption across ant taxa, and no evidence for species-specific ant-termite predation. In all three ant species with identifiable termite DNA in multiple individuals, multiple termite species were represented. Furthermore, the two termite species that were detected on multiple occasions in ant guts were in both cases found in multiple ant species, suggesting that ant-termite food webs are not strongly compartmentalised. However, two ant species were found to consume only Anoplotermes-group termites, indicating possible predatory specialisation at a higher taxonomic level. Using a laboratory feeding test, we were able to detect termite COII sequences in ant guts up to 2 h after feeding, indicating that our method only detects recent feeding events. Our data provide tentative support for the hypothesis that unspecialised termite predation by ants is widespread and highlight the use of molecular approaches for future studies of ant-termite food webs. PMID:25853549

  3. Measuring Problematic Mobile Phone Use: Development and Preliminary Psychometric Properties of the PUMP Scale

    PubMed Central

    Merlo, Lisa J.; Stone, Amanda M.; Bibbey, Alex

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to develop and assess the psychometric properties of an English language measure of problematic mobile phone use. Participants were recruited from a university campus, health science center, and other public locations. The sample included 244 individuals (68.4% female) aged 18–75. Results supported a unidimensional factor structure for the 20-item self-report Problematic Use of Mobile Phones (PUMP) Scale. Internal consistency was excellent (α = 0.94). Strong correlations (r = .76, P < .001) were found between the PUMP Scale and an existing scale of cellular phone dependency that was validated in Asia, as well as items assessing frequency and intensity of mobile phone use. Results provide preliminary support for the use of the PUMP Scale to measure problematic use of mobile phones. PMID:24826371

  4. Effects of online cognitive treatment for problematic anger: a randomized controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Howie, Amanda J; Malouff, John M

    2014-01-01

    Problematic anger, which is common, has been associated with a wide range of negative interpersonal and intrapersonal consequences, including violent behaviour, relationship damage, health problems and low self-esteem. This article reports the results of the first randomized controlled trial of brief online cognitive treatment for anger. The sample included 75 adults who were randomly assigned to cognitive treatment or a waiting list control. The analyses with the 59 participants who completed the post-intervention assessment at four weeks after the beginning of the intervention showed that individuals who received the intervention reported significantly lower anger levels than the control group at post-assessment. The treatment group showed a substantial decrease in anger from pre to post. The results suggest that brief online cognitive treatment can be effective for reducing problematic anger in adults. These findings provide an initial support for the development of internet-based cognitive treatment for problematic anger. PMID:25065452

  5. Seeking safety on the internet: relationship between social anxiety and problematic internet use.

    PubMed

    Lee, Bianca W; Stapinski, Lexine A

    2012-01-01

    As internet use becomes increasingly integral to modern life, the hazards of excessive use are also becoming apparent. Prior research suggests that socially anxious individuals are particularly susceptible to problematic internet use. This vulnerability may relate to the perception of online communication as a safer means of interacting, due to greater control over self-presentation, decreased risk of negative evaluation, and improved relationship quality. To investigate these hypotheses, a general sample of 338 completed an online survey. Social anxiety was confirmed as a significant predictor of problematic internet use when controlling for depression and general anxiety. Social anxiety was associated with perceptions of greater control and decreased risk of negative evaluation when communicating online, however perceived relationship quality did not differ. Negative expectations during face-to-face interactions partially accounted for the relationship between social anxiety and problematic internet use. There was also preliminary evidence that preference for online communication exacerbates face-to-face avoidance. PMID:22169053

  6. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

    PubMed

    Miler, Krzysztof

    2016-01-01

    When an antlion captures a foraging ant, the victim's nestmates may display rescue behaviour. This study tested the hypothesis that the expression of rescue behaviour depends on the life expectancy of the captured ant. This hypothesis predicts that the expression of rescue behaviour will be less frequent when the captured ant has a lower life expectancy than when it has a higher life expectancy because such a response would be adaptive at the colony level. Indeed, significant differences were found in the frequency of rescue behaviours in response to antlion victims with differing life expectancies. In agreement with prediction, victims with lower life expectancies were rescued less frequently, and those rescues had a longer latency and shorter duration. There was also a qualitative difference in the behaviour of rescuers to victims from the low and high life expectancy groups. Several explanations for these findings are proposed. PMID:26986741

  7. Collecting live ant specimens (colony sampling).

    PubMed

    Smith, Chris R; Tschinkel, Walter R

    2009-07-01

    Because of the great diversity of ants, it is difficult to give a single protocol for the collection of live specimens. Ant body size can be very small or extremely large; the ants can be hard or soft, sting or spray toxic chemicals, live in the open or in hard-to-reach places; and colony size can range from tens of individuals to millions. Thus, collection techniques must be tailored to each particular species. In particular, caution must always be taken when dealing with stinging species, and symptoms and basic first-aid measures, especially for the treatment of anaphylactic shock, should be reviewed before beginning fieldwork. Nonetheless, many species are collectable as whole colonies. This protocol reviews some basic techniques for collecting ground-nesting species and describes how to collect whole live colonies (with queens), which are necessary for long-term laboratory studies and addressing questions of social organization and ecology. PMID:20147204

  8. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help

    PubMed Central

    Miler, Krzysztof

    2016-01-01

    When an antlion captures a foraging ant, the victim’s nestmates may display rescue behaviour. This study tested the hypothesis that the expression of rescue behaviour depends on the life expectancy of the captured ant. This hypothesis predicts that the expression of rescue behaviour will be less frequent when the captured ant has a lower life expectancy than when it has a higher life expectancy because such a response would be adaptive at the colony level. Indeed, significant differences were found in the frequency of rescue behaviours in response to antlion victims with differing life expectancies. In agreement with prediction, victims with lower life expectancies were rescued less frequently, and those rescues had a longer latency and shorter duration. There was also a qualitative difference in the behaviour of rescuers to victims from the low and high life expectancy groups. Several explanations for these findings are proposed. PMID:26986741

  9. Desert Ants Learn Vibration and Magnetic Landmarks

    PubMed Central

    Buehlmann, Cornelia

    2012-01-01

    The desert ants Cataglyphis navigate not only by path integration but also by using visual and olfactory landmarks to pinpoint the nest entrance. Here we show that Cataglyphis noda can additionally use magnetic and vibrational landmarks as nest-defining cues. The magnetic field may typically provide directional rather than positional information, and vibrational signals so far have been shown to be involved in social behavior. Thus it remains questionable if magnetic and vibration landmarks are usually provided by the ants' habitat as nest-defining cues. However, our results point to the flexibility of the ants' navigational system, which even makes use of cues that are probably most often sensed in a different context. PMID:22412989

  10. An ants-eye view of an ant-plant protection mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Lanan, M. C.; Bronstein, J. L.

    2013-01-01

    Ant protection of extrafloral nectar-secreting plants (EFN plants) is a common form of mutualism found in most habitats around the world. However, very few studies have considered these mutualisms from the ant, rather than the plant, perspective. In particular, a whole-colony perspective that takes into account the spatial structure and nest arrangement of the ant colonies that visit these plants has been lacking, obscuring when and how colony-level foraging decisions might affect tending rates on individual plants. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that recruitment of Crematogaster opuntiae (Buren) ant workers to the extrafloral nectar-secreting cactus Ferocactus wislizeni (Englem) is not independent between plants up to 5m apart. Colony territories of C. opuntiae are large, covering areas of up to 5000m2, and workers visit between five and thirty-four extrafloral nectar-secreting barrel cacti within the territories. These ants are highly polydomous, with up to twenty nest entrances dispersed throughout the territory and interconnected by trail networks. Our study demonstrates that worker recruitment is not independent within large polydomous ant colonies, highlighting the importance of considering colonies rather than individual workers as the relevant study unit within ant/plant protection mutualisms PMID:23515612

  11. An ant's-eye view of an ant-plant protection mutualism.

    PubMed

    Lanan, M C; Bronstein, J L

    2013-07-01

    Ant protection of extrafloral nectar (EFN)-secreting plants is a common form of mutualism found in most habitats around the world. However, very few studies have considered these mutualisms from the ant, rather than the plant, perspective. In particular, a whole-colony perspective that takes into account the spatial structure and nest arrangement of the ant colonies that visit these plants has been lacking, obscuring when and how colony-level foraging decisions might affect tending rates on individual plants. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that recruitment of Crematogaster opuntiae (Buren) ant workers to the EFN-secreting cactus Ferocactus wislizeni (Englem) is not independent between plants up to 5 m apart. Colony territories of C. opuntiae are large, covering areas of up to 5,000 m(2), and workers visit between five and 34 EFN-secreting barrel cacti within the territories. These ants are highly polydomous, with up to 20 nest entrances dispersed throughout the territory and interconnected by trail networks. Our study demonstrates that worker recruitment is not independent within large polydomous ant colonies, highlighting the importance of considering colonies rather than individual workers as the relevant study unit within ant/plant protection mutualisms. PMID:23515612

  12. A Moral Panic? The Problematization of Forced Marriage in British Newspapers.

    PubMed

    Anitha, Sundari; Gill, Aisha K

    2015-09-01

    This article examines the British media's construction of forced marriage (FM) as an urgent social problem in a context where other forms of violence against women are not similarly problematized. A detailed analysis of four British newspapers over a 10-year period demonstrates that media reporting of FM constitutes a moral panic in that it is constructed as a cultural problem that threatens Britain's social order rather than as a specific form of violence against women. Thus, the current problematization of FM restricts discursive spaces for policy debates and hinders attempts to respond to this problem as part of broader efforts to tackle violence against women. PMID:26139693

  13. Introducing EzTaxon-e: a prokaryotic 16S rRNA gene sequence database with phylotypes that represent uncultured species.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ok-Sun; Cho, Yong-Joon; Lee, Kihyun; Yoon, Seok-Hwan; Kim, Mincheol; Na, Hyunsoo; Park, Sang-Cheol; Jeon, Yoon Seong; Lee, Jae-Hak; Yi, Hana; Won, Sungho; Chun, Jongsik

    2012-03-01

    Despite recent advances in commercially optimized identification systems, bacterial identification remains a challenging task in many routine microbiological laboratories, especially in situations where taxonomically novel isolates are involved. The 16S rRNA gene has been used extensively for this task when coupled with a well-curated database, such as EzTaxon, containing sequences of type strains of prokaryotic species with validly published names. Although the EzTaxon database has been widely used for routine identification of prokaryotic isolates, sequences from uncultured prokaryotes have not been considered. Here, the next generation database, named EzTaxon-e, is formally introduced. This new database covers not only species within the formal nomenclatural system but also phylotypes that may represent species in nature. In addition to an identification function based on Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (blast) searches and pairwise global sequence alignments, a new objective method of assessing the degree of completeness in sequencing is proposed. All sequences that are held in the EzTaxon-e database have been subjected to phylogenetic analysis and this has resulted in a complete hierarchical classification system. It is concluded that the EzTaxon-e database provides a useful taxonomic backbone for the identification of cultured and uncultured prokaryotes and offers a valuable means of communication among microbiologists who routinely encounter taxonomically novel isolates. The database and its analytical functions can be found at http://eztaxon-e.ezbiocloud.net/. PMID:22140171

  14. Recruitment strategies and colony size in ants.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    Ants use a great variety of recruitment methods to forage for food or find new nests, including tandem running, group recruitment and scent trails. It has been known for some time that there is a loose correlation across many taxa between species-specific mature colony size and recruitment method. Very small colonies tend to use solitary foraging; small to medium sized colonies use tandem running or group recruitment whereas larger colonies use pheromone recruitment trails. Until now, explanations for this correlation have focused on the ants' ecology, such as food resource distribution. However, many species have colonies with a single queen and workforces that grow over several orders of magnitude, and little is known about how a colony's organization, including recruitment methods, may change during its growth. After all, recruitment involves interactions between ants, and hence the size of the colony itself may influence which recruitment method is used--even if the ants' behavioural repertoire remains unchanged. Here we show using mathematical models that the observed correlation can also be explained by recognizing that failure rates in recruitment depend differently on colony size in various recruitment strategies. Our models focus on the build up of recruiter numbers inside colonies and are not based on optimality arguments, such as maximizing food yield. We predict that ant colonies of a certain size should use only one recruitment method (and always the same one) rather than a mix of two or more. These results highlight the importance of the organization of recruitment and how it is affected by colony size. Hence these results should also expand our understanding of ant ecology. PMID:20694195

  15. The Ants of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandau, E.

    2014-12-01

    The core location of my research project was the Arabuko Sokoke Forest. The forest is located along the east coast of Kenya and belongs to the coastal forest zone of eastern Africa. The forest is considered a biodiversity hotspot, having many species being endemic to this habitat. The Arabuko Sokoke Forest is not a rainforest, like the Kakamega Forest in western Kenya, but a tropical dry forest. The objective of my research was to create a general checklist of the ant species collected in teh Arabuko Sokoke Forest in 2009. The general checklist of ant species will be used to document the differences between the three different forest habitat types (Cynometra, Brachystegia and mixed forest) and ant communities found within the forest, as well as the fauna found in those locations. The ants were collected using the leaf litter extraction method and were then mounted and idenified. The results from my research were that out of 73 specimens, there were 13 genera and 24 different species. Four of the 24 species have not been recorded for this forest before and one of the Tetramorium is likely to be a new species. The results also showed that the species diversity on the two transects are almost the same. There was very low overlap between the two transects as well: there were two shared species between the two different forest habitat types. For future work, there are still many undiscovered ant species in the Arabuko Sokoke Forest. In order to get a more complete faunal overview, more samples have to be collected from different parts of the forest. To do this, the canopy ant fauna might offer additional species that were not collected in the leaf litter samples.

  16. Recruitment Strategies and Colony Size in Ants

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Ants use a great variety of recruitment methods to forage for food or find new nests, including tandem running, group recruitment and scent trails. It has been known for some time that there is a loose correlation across many taxa between species-specific mature colony size and recruitment method. Very small colonies tend to use solitary foraging; small to medium sized colonies use tandem running or group recruitment whereas larger colonies use pheromone recruitment trails. Until now, explanations for this correlation have focused on the ants' ecology, such as food resource distribution. However, many species have colonies with a single queen and workforces that grow over several orders of magnitude, and little is known about how a colony's organization, including recruitment methods, may change during its growth. After all, recruitment involves interactions between ants, and hence the size of the colony itself may influence which recruitment method is used—even if the ants' behavioural repertoire remains unchanged. Here we show using mathematical models that the observed correlation can also be explained by recognizing that failure rates in recruitment depend differently on colony size in various recruitment strategies. Our models focus on the build up of recruiter numbers inside colonies and are not based on optimality arguments, such as maximizing food yield. We predict that ant colonies of a certain size should use only one recruitment method (and always the same one) rather than a mix of two or more. These results highlight the importance of the organization of recruitment and how it is affected by colony size. Hence these results should also expand our understanding of ant ecology. PMID:20694195

  17. Ecological sampling of ants: competition and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Smith, Chris R

    2009-07-01

    Ants are among the most dominant taxa in terrestrial ecosystems, despite their small individual size. Furthermore, they are a hyperdiverse family with an estimated 20,000 species. Together, these two properties make ants a model for ecological interactions (specifically competition) and biodiversity estimation. Although there are many means of measuring diversity, the two most common among myrmecologists are baiting and pitfall trapping. Pitfall traps provide an almost unbiased estimate of the ground foraging community, whereas baiting allows the estimation of ecological dominance and the competitive outcomes between species. This protocol describes an approach to assay both abundance (pitfall traps) and ecological interactions (baits) in the same community. PMID:20147206

  18. Internet self-efficacy, the need for cognition, and sensation seeking as predictors of problematic use of the internet.

    PubMed

    Shi, Junqi; Chen, Zhuo; Tian, Mei

    2011-04-01

    We conducted a study of the relationships between Internet self-efficacy, sensation seeking, the need for cognition, and problematic use of the Internet. The study was based on a randomly selected sample of 979 adult Internet users. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis of these subjects' responses on a questionnaire consisting of relevant items indicated that Internet self-efficacy and sensation seeking positively predicted problematic Internet use. Contrastingly, the need for cognition was significantly negatively associated with problematic Internet use. PMID:20969453

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

    Although observations suggest pairwise coevolution in specific ant-plant symbioses, coevolutionary processes have rarely been demonstrated. We report on, what is to the authors' knowledge, the strongest evidence yet for reciprocal adaptation of morphological characters in a species-specific ant-plant mutualism. The plant character is the prostoma, which is a small unlignified organ at the apex of the domatia in which symbiotic ants excavate an entrance hole. Each myrmecophyte in the genus Leonardoxa has evolved a prostoma with a different shape. By performing precise measurements on the prostomata of three related myrmecophytes, on their specific associated ants and on the entrance holes excavated by symbiotic ants at the prostomata, we showed that correspondence of the plant and ant traits forms a morphological and behavioural filter. We have strong evidence for coevolution between the dimensions and shape of the symbiotic ants and the prostoma in one of the three ant-Leonardoxa associations. PMID:11600077

  20. Model Specification Searches Using Ant Colony Optimization Algorithms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marcoulides, George A.; Drezner, Zvi

    2003-01-01

    Ant colony optimization is a recently proposed heuristic procedure inspired by the behavior of real ants. This article applies the procedure to model specification searches in structural equation modeling and reports the results. The results demonstrate the capabilities of ant colony optimization algorithms for conducting automated searches.

  1. Mutualistic ants as an indirect defence against leaf pathogens.

    PubMed

    González-Teuber, Marcia; Kaltenpoth, Martin; Boland, Wilhelm

    2014-04-01

    Mutualistic ants are commonly considered as an efficient indirect defence against herbivores. Nevertheless, their indirect protective role against plant pathogens has been scarcely investigated. We compared the protective role against pathogens of two different ant partners, a mutualistic and a parasitic ant, on the host plant Acacia hindsii (Fabaceae). The epiphytic bacterial community on leaves was evaluated in the presence and absence of both ant partners by cultivation and by 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Pathogen-inflicted leaf damage, epiphytic bacterial abundance (colony-forming units) and number of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were significantly higher in plants inhabited by parasitic ants than in plants inhabited by mutualistic ants. Unifrac unweighted and weighted principal component analyses showed that the bacterial community composition on leaves changed significantly when mutualistic ants were removed from plants or when plants were inhabited by parasitic ants. Direct mechanisms provided by ant-associated bacteria would contribute to the protective role against pathogens. The results suggest that the indirect defence of mutualistic ants also covers the protection from bacterial plant pathogens. Our findings highlight the importance of considering bacterial partners in ant-plant defensive mutualisms, which can contribute significantly to ant-mediated protection from plant pathogens. PMID:24392817

  2. 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

  3. Fire ant control with Entomopathogens in the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fire ants, Solenopsis richteri and Solenopsis invicta, are stinging invasive ants from South America that infest over 129.5 million hectares in the southern United States. In the southern U.S., eradication is no longer considered possible and toxicant-based fire ant baiting is currently the primary...

  4. 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...

  5. Dynamics of an ant-plant-pollinator model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  6. Trail pheromone disruption of red imported fire ant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, is one of the most aggressive and invasive species in the world but toxic bait systems affect non-target ant species and can not be used in sensitive ecosystems. The fire ant uses recruitment pheromones to organize the retrieval of food resources back to the colony....

  7. Acceptance and commitment therapy as a treatment for problematic internet pornography viewing.

    PubMed

    Twohig, Michael P; Crosby, Jesse M

    2010-09-01

    Despite the prevalence of problematic Internet pornography viewing and the breadth of intervention approaches to potentially address it, no studies to address this problem have been reported to date. An emerging treatment approach, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), holds promise as a treatment for Internet pornography viewing because of its focus on processes hypothesized to underlie this maladaptive behavior. In the first experiment on the treatment of problematic Internet pornography viewing, 6 adult males who reported that their Internet pornography viewing was affecting their quality of life were treated in eight 1.5-hour sessions of ACT for problematic pornography viewing. The effects of the intervention were assessed in a multiple-baseline-across-participants design with time viewing pornography as the dependent variable. Treatment resulted in an 85% reduction in viewing at posttreatment with results being maintained at 3-month follow-up (83% reduction). Increases were seen on measures of quality of life, and reductions were seen on measures of OCD and scrupulosity. Weekly measures of ACT-consistent processes showed reductions that corresponded with reductions in viewing. Large reductions were seen on a measure of psychological flexibility, and minor reductions were seen on measures of thought-action fusion and thought control. Overall, results suggest the promise of ACT as a treatment for problematic Internet pornography viewing and the value of future randomized trials of this approach. PMID:20569778

  8. A Layered Model of Problematic Intercultural Communication in U.S.-Owned Maquiladoras in Mexico.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindsley, Sheryl L.

    1999-01-01

    Interprets data collected from multi-modal sources (ethnographic interviewing and non-participant observation) using an analytic-inductive method to construct a new Layered Model of Problematic Intercultural Communication. Provides a holistic view of the ways the macro-context, individual (in)competencies, and dyadic communication behaviors…

  9. Problematic video game use: estimated prevalence and associations with mental and physical health.

    PubMed

    Mentzoni, Rune Aune; Brunborg, Geir Scott; Molde, Helge; Myrseth, Helga; Skouverøe, Knut Joachim Mår; Hetland, Jørn; Pallesen, Ståle

    2011-10-01

    A nationwide survey was conducted to investigate the prevalence of video game addiction and problematic video game use and their association with physical and mental health. An initial sample comprising 2,500 individuals was randomly selected from the Norwegian National Registry. A total of 816 (34.0 percent) individuals completed and returned the questionnaire. The majority (56.3 percent) of respondents used video games on a regular basis. The prevalence of video game addiction was estimated to be 0.6 percent, with problematic use of video games reported by 4.1 percent of the sample. Gender (male) and age group (young) were strong predictors for problematic use of video games. A higher proportion of high frequency compared with low frequency players preferred massively multiplayer online role-playing games, although the majority of high frequency players preferred other game types. Problematic use of video games was associated with lower scores on life satisfaction and with elevated levels of anxiety and depression. Video game use was not associated with reported amount of physical exercise. PMID:21342010

  10. Problematic Behavior: What Do CACREP Accredited Program Policies and Procedures Reflect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Maranda

    2011-01-01

    Counselor Education programs are ethically obligated by accreditation standards and professional codes of ethics to identify counselors-in-training whose academic, clinical, and personal performance indicate problematic behavior that would potentially prevent them from entering the profession (McAdams, Foster, & Ward, 2007). Despite these…

  11. Problematizing Science Subject Matter Knowledge as a Legitimate Enterprise in Primary Teacher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heywood, David S.

    2007-01-01

    This paper is concerned with the process of how subject and pedagogic knowledge emerge through teachers' learning in science. It suggests that problematizing subject knowledge through direct experience of learning in science, particularly in those areas that are known to be difficult, constitutes a productive way of turning a deficit model of…

  12. University Students' Problematic Internet Use and Communication Skills According to the Internet Use Purposes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ceyhan, Aydogan Aykut

    2011-01-01

    This study was carried out to investigate whether the levels of university students' problematic internet use and of perceived communication skills differ with respect to their basic internet use purposes. The participants were 411 university students [215 of whom were females (52.30%) and 196 of whom were males (47.70%)]. In the study, the…

  13. Relationship between Levels of Problematic Internet Usage and Motivation to Study in University Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Phil; Reay, Emma

    2015-01-01

    This study explored the relationship between problematic levels of Internet use and motivation to study in a university sample. One hundred and sixty-two participants were recruited online and completed four questionnaires: Internet Addiction Test, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Emotional-Social Loneliness Scale, and the Motivated…

  14. Problematic Internet Use among Turkish University Students: A Multidimensional Investigation Based on Demographics and Internet Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tekinarslan, Erkan; Gurer, Melih Derya

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the Turkish undergraduate university students' problematic Internet use (PIU) levels on different dimensions based on demographics (e.g., gender, Internet use by time of day), and Internet activities (e.g., chat, entertainment, social networking, information searching, etc.). Moreover, the study explored some predictors of…

  15. Problematic Students of NASP-Approved Programs: An Exploratory Study of Graduate Student Views

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trimble, Leasha D.; Stroebel, Sandra S.; Krieg, Fred Jay; Rubenstein, Robert L.

    2012-01-01

    This study reports the findings of an electronic exploratory survey of National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Student Representatives. The purpose of the survey was to gather information about the perspective of graduate students concerning problematic peers and their experiences with them in school psychology training programs.…

  16. The Problematic Nature of the Artist Teacher Concept and Implications for Pedagogical Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoekstra, Marike

    2015-01-01

    The main argument of this article is that the problematic nature of the artist teacher concept might not be the duality between art and education, but might refer to a limited understanding of education, in such a way that art would appear to be contrasting to education. A different definition of education is required to understand the qualities…

  17. Loneliness and Shyness in Adolescent Problematic Internet Users: The Role of Social Anxiety

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huan, Vivien S.; Ang, Rebecca P.; Chye, Stefanie

    2014-01-01

    Background: Davis' ("Comput Hum Behav" 17:187-195, 2001) cognitive-behavioral model of problematic Internet use (PIU) proposed and theorized that certain psychopathological characteristics present within an individual, predispose him to PIU. Objective: This study extended Davis' model in hypothesizing that social anxiety…

  18. "Tower, Am I Cleared to Land?": Problematic Communication in Aviation Discourse

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard, John W., III

    2008-01-01

    This study examined problematic communication in pilot-air traffic controller (ATC) interaction. More than 15 hours of pilot-ATC dialogue were collected by monitoring control tower frequencies at 15 U.S. airports. The transcribed data yielded a total of 34 ATCs, 270 pilots, and 1,799 turns of talk. Analyses revealed that (a) communication…

  19. Adolescent Problematic Social Networking and School Experiences: The Mediating Effects of Sleep Disruptions and Sleep Quality.

    PubMed

    Vernon, Lynette; Barber, Bonnie L; Modecki, Kathryn L

    2015-07-01

    An important developmental task for adolescents is to become increasingly responsible for their own health behaviors. Establishing healthy sleep routines and controlling media use before bedtime are important for adequate, quality sleep so adolescents are alert during the day and perform well at school. Despite the prevalence of adolescent social media use and the large percentage of computers and cell phones in adolescents' bedrooms, no studies to date have investigated the link between problematic adolescent investment in social networking, their sleep practices, and associated experiences at school. A sample of 1,886 students in Australia aged between 12 and 18 years of age completed self-report data on problematic social networking use, sleep disturbances, sleep quality, and school satisfaction. Structural equation modeling (SEM) substantiated the serial mediation hypothesis: for adolescents, problematic social networking use significantly increased sleep disturbances, which adversely affected perceptions of sleep quality that, in turn, lowered adolescents' appraisals of their school satisfaction. This significant pattern was largely driven by the indirect effect of sleep disturbances. These findings suggest that adolescents are vulnerable to negative consequences from social networking use. Specifically, problematic social networking is associated with poor school experiences, which result from poor sleep habits. Promoting better sleep routines by minimizing sleep disturbances from social media use could improve school experiences for adolescents with enhanced emotional engagement and improved subjective well-being. PMID:26167837

  20. "Wasting Talent"? Gender and the Problematics of Academic Disenchantment and Disengagement with Leadership

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blackmore, Jill

    2014-01-01

    Confronted with the processes of massification, commercialisation, internationalisation and reduced funding, universities also face an ageing academic workforce, with implications of a shrinking pool from which to recruit managerial and research leaders. A feminist analysis suggests that the policy problematic has been wrongly conceptualised as…

  1. Problematic Transitions from School to Employment: Freeters and NEETs in Japan and Germany

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pilz, Matthias; Schmidt-Altmann, Kirsten; Eswein, Mikiko

    2015-01-01

    In the international debate surrounding transitions from school to employment, Japan and Germany are regularly cited as examples of success. This article draws on the Japanese concepts represented by two problematic groups--freeters and NEETs--to demonstrate that over recent years, young people in both countries have also been facing serious…

  2. Characteristics of sick-listing cases that physicians consider problematic – analyses of written case reports

    PubMed Central

    Engblom, Monika; Alexanderson, Kristina; Rudebeck, Carl Edvard

    2009-01-01

    Objective The aim was to discern common characteristics in the sick-listing cases that physicians in general practice and occupational health services find problematic. Design Descriptive categorization within a narrative theoretical framework. Setting Sickness-insurance course for physicians in general practice and occupational health services. Subjects A total of 195 case reports written by 195 physicians. Main outcome measures Categories of features regarding medical, work, and social situation as well as medical interventions. Results Beside age and sex, the following information was often provided: family situation, stressful life events, occupation, problem at work, considerations concerning diagnoses, medical investigations, treatments, and vocational rehabilitation measures. Two-thirds of the patients had been sickness absent for more than a year. The most common type of case reports concerned women, employed in non-qualified nursing occupations, and sick listed due to mental disorders. The most common measures taken by the physicians were referrals to psychotherapy and/or physiotherapy, and prescribing antidepressants (SSRI). Facts about alcohol habits were rarely provided in the cases. Conclusions Some of the circumstances, such as prolonged sick-listing, are likely to be more or less inevitable in problematic sick-listing cases. Other circumstances, such as stress-full life events, more closely reflect what the reporting physicians find problematic. The categories identified can be regarded as markers of problematic sick-listing cases in general practice and occupational health service. PMID:19958066

  3. Early Childhood Service Delivery for Families Living with Childhood Disability: Disabling Families through Problematic Implicit Ideology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Breen, Lauren J.

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to unpack the implicit ideology underpinning early childhood service delivery for families living with childhood disability. The family as the unit of care is central to the philosophy and practice of early childhood services. However, the practice of family-centred care can be problematic; it is based upon neo-liberal…

  4. The Role of Structural Characteristics in Problematic Video Game Play: An Empirical Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Daniel L.; Delfabbro, Paul H.; Griffiths, Mark D.

    2011-01-01

    The research literature suggests that the structural characteristics of video games may play a considerable role in the initiation, development and maintenance of problematic video game playing. The present study investigated the role of structural characteristics in video game playing behaviour within a sample of 421 video game players aged…

  5. Problematic Internet Use, Loneliness and Dating Anxiety among Young Adult University Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Odaci, Hatice; Kalkan, Melek

    2010-01-01

    The Internet, an important modern means of obtaining information and establishing communication with others, has become an increasingly essential element of human life. Although Internet use makes life easier, it can become problematic in the event of non-functional use. Debate and research into whether Internet addiction is a cause or an effect…

  6. Internet gaming addiction, problematic use of the internet, and sleep problems: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Lam, Lawrence T

    2014-04-01

    The effect of problematic use of the Internet on mental health, particularly depression among young people, has been established but without a probable model for the underlying mechanism. In this study, a model is presented to describe possible pathways for the linkage between Internet gaming addiction and depression possibly mediated by sleep problems. A systematic review was conducted to gather epidemiological evidence to support or refute the link between addictive Internet gaming, problematic Internet use, and sleep problems including insomnia and poor sleep quality. Seven studies were identified through a systematic literature search, of these three related to addictive Internet gaming and four on problematic Internet uses and sleep problems. Information was extracted and analysed systematically from each of the studies and tabulated as a summary. Results of the review suggest that additive gaming, particularly massively multiplayer online role-playing games MMORPG, might be associated with poorer quality of sleep. Results further indicated that problematic Internet use was associated with sleep problems including subjective insomnia and poor sleep quality. PMID:24619594

  7. Defining Problematic Infant Sleep: Shifting the Focus from Deviance to Difference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Middlemiss, Wendy

    2004-01-01

    This article examines research that calls into question the soundness of current definitions of problematic infant sleep. Current research suggests that infant night wakings and signaling behaviors may be normative. Research is inconclusive on whether early sleep problems are predictive of later sleep problems. The article also describes research…

  8. Surveying Teens in School to Assess the Prevalence of Problematic Drug Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falck, Russel S.; Nahhas, Ramzi W.; Li, Linna; Carlson, Robert G.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Illicit drug use by school-aged teens can adversely affect their health and academic achievement. This study used a survey administered in schools to assess the prevalence of problematic drug use among teenagers in a Midwestern community. Methods: Self-report data were collected from 11th- and 12th-grade students (N = 3974) in 16…

  9. Getting to the Source: An Instrument for Examining the Dynamics of Problematic Interactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cui, Xia

    2014-01-01

    A major challenge faced in research seeking to investigate the underlying dynamics of problematic interactions is that, when asked about the rationale underpinning what they said and did--their "theory of action in-use" (Argyris and Schön, 1974, 1978, 1996)--participants are often unaware of what prompts their behaviour--or decide to…

  10. Healthcare Information Technology Backsourcing, Problematic Outsourcing Manipulations, and Multisupplier Backsourcing Methodologies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garske, Steven Ray

    2010-01-01

    Backsourcing is the act of an organization changing an outsourcing relationship through insourcing, vendor change, or elimination of the outsourced service. This study discovered numerous problematic outsourcing manipulations conducted by suppliers, and identified backsourcing methodologies to correct these manipulations across multiple supplier…

  11. Growing up Perfect: Perfectionism, Problematic Internet Use, and Career Indecision in Emerging Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehmann, Ilana S.; Konstam, Varda

    2011-01-01

    Among emerging adults who are career indecisive, perfectionism and problematic Internet use (PIU) are underdeveloped areas of inquiry. The authors examined the relationship between perfectionism and PIU to measure their contributions to career indecision. The full model was significant, yielding an R[superscript 2] of 0.46 (p less than 0.0001).…

  12. Modeling the contribution of personality, social identity and social norms to problematic Facebook use in adolescents.

    PubMed

    Marino, Claudia; Vieno, Alessio; Pastore, Massimiliano; Albery, Ian P; Frings, Daniel; Spada, Marcantonio M

    2016-12-01

    Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the world providing the opportunity to maintain and/or establish relationships, to share media contents and experiences with friends, and to easily communicate with them. Despite the resources and the innovative social features offered by Facebook research has emerged indicating that its use may become problematic, with negative consequences on personal psycho-social well-being, especially among adolescents and young adults. The main aim of this study was to examine the unique contribution of personality traits and social influence processes (i.e. subjective norms, group norms, and social identity) to perceived frequency of Facebook Use and Problematic Facebook Use in a sample of adolescents. A total of 968 Italian adolescents participated in the study. Structural equation modeling showed that emotional stability, extraversion, conscientiousness and norms directly predicted Problematic Facebook Use, whereas gender, group norms and social identity predicted perceived frequency of Facebook use. In conclusion, both personal and social variables appear to explain perceived frequency of Facebook use and Problematic Facebook Use among adolescents, and should be taken into account by researchers and educational practitioners. PMID:27423098

  13. The Impact of Gestalt Group Psychotherapy on Parents' Perceptions of Children Identified as Problematic.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Little, Linda F.

    Gestalt therapy respects parents' perceptions of their children and does not attempt to train parents to become therapists for their children. To examine the impact of Gestalt group psychotherapy on parents' perceptions of children identified as problematic, an experimental group of 10 parents participated in 10 2-hour Gestalt sessions. A group of…

  14. Improving Academic Achievement of Students with Problematic Attendance by Implementing a Multisystemic School-Based Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kay, James Edward

    2010-01-01

    This study addressed the problem of poor attendance adversely affecting grades and learning. Current school policies do not address problematic attendance for all school-aged children, perpetuating trends of academic failure. The research objective was to determine if unexcused absences had a greater negative impact on a high-stakes test compared…

  15. Parenting Style as a Mediator between Children's Negative Emotionality and Problematic Behavior in Early Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paulussen-Hoogeboom, Marja C.; Stams, Geert Jan J. M.; Hermanns, Jo M. A.; Peetsma, Thea T. D.; van den Wittenboer, Godfried L. H.

    2008-01-01

    Negative emotionality is considered to be the core of the "difficult temperament" concept (J. E. Bates, 1989; R. L. Shiner, 1998). In this correlational study, the authors examined whether the relations between children's negative emotionality and problematic behavior (internalizing and externalizing) were partially mediated by parenting style…

  16. Problematic Approach to English Learning and Teaching: A Case in Indonesia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Panggabean, Himpun

    2015-01-01

    This article deals with problematic approach to English learning and teaching due to misleading conception on the nature of English and on the process of acquiring it as well as the clues to the issues. The clues are: Firstly, English is not more difficult than any other languages, including Indonesian language, "Bahasa Indonesia".…

  17. Childhood and Adolescent Sexuality, Islam, and Problematics of Sex Education: A Call for Re-Examination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tabatabaie, Alireza

    2015-01-01

    This paper offers a critical examination of the problematics of childhood and adolescent sexuality and sex education in an Islamic context. By exploring conceptions of (pre-marital) sexuality, childhood, and maturity/adulthood, it is suggested that: (i) "childhood" and "sexuality" do not coexist harmoniously in Islamic…

  18. Learning the Skill Theme Approach: Salient and Problematic Aspects of Pedagogical Content Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Weiyun

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe salient aspects of pedagogical content knowledge that preservice physical education teachers acquired and found problematic while learning a specific skill theme approach (Graham, Holt/Hale, & Parker, 1993) to teaching elementary physical education during their field-based methods course. The participants…

  19. Features and Predictors of Problematic Internet Use in Chinese College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, R. L.; Lu, Z.; Liu, J. J.; You, Y. M.; Pan, Z. Q.; Wei, Z.; He, Q.; Wang, Z. Z.

    2009-01-01

    This study was set to investigate the prevalence of problematic internet use (PIU) among college students and the possible factors related to this disorder. About 4400 college students, ranging from freshmen to juniors, from eight different universities in Wuhan, China were surveyed. Young's Diagnostic Questionnaire for Internet Addiction (YDQ)…

  20. Exploring the association of ego defense mechanisms with problematic internet use in a Pakistani medical school.

    PubMed

    Waqas, Ahmed; Rehman, Abdul; Malik, Aamenah; Aftab, Ramsha; Allah Yar, Aroosa; Allah Yar, Arooj; Rai, Aitzaz Bin Sultan

    2016-09-30

    The present study was designed to analyze association between problematic internet use and use of ego defense mechanisms in medical students. This cross-sectional study was undertaken at CMH Lahore Medical College (CMH LMC) in Lahore, Pakistan from 1st March, 2015 to 30th May, 2015. 522 medical and dental students were included in the study. The questionnaire consisted of three sections: a) demographic characteristics of respondent b) the Defense Style Questionnaire-40 (DSQ-40) and c) the Internet Addiction Test (IAT). All data were analyzed in SPSS v20. Chi square, Independent sample t test and One Way ANOVA were run to analyze association of different variables with scores on IAT. Multiple regression analysis was used to delineate ego defenses as predictors of problematic internet use. A total of 32 (6.1%) students reported severe problems with internet usage. Males had higher scores on IAT i.e had more problematic use of internet. Scores on internet addiction test (IAT) were negatively associated with sublimation and positively associated with projection, denial, autistic fantasy, passive aggression and displacement. There was a high prevalence of problematic use of internet among medical and dental students. It had significant associations with several defense mechanisms. PMID:27504797

  1. Academic Self-Efficacy and Academic Procrastination as Predictors of Problematic Internet Use in University Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Odaci, Hatice

    2011-01-01

    Although computers and the internet, indispensable tools in people's lives today, facilitate life on the one hand, they have brought new risks with them on the other. Internet dependency, or problematic internet use, has emerged as a new concept of addiction. Parallel to this increasing in society in general, it is also on the rise among…

  2. Social Anxiety and Problematic Alcohol Consumption: The Mediating Role of Drinking Motives and Situations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buckner, Julia D.; Eggleston, A. Meade; Schmidt, Norman B.

    2006-01-01

    Social anxiety is inconsistently associated with alcohol use variables. To elucidate factors that contribute to the relationship between social anxiety and problematic alcohol use, the present study investigated drinking motives and drinking situations in an undergraduate sample (N = 293). Social anxiety was significantly correlated with…

  3. Relationships between problematic behaviors and motor abilities of children with cerebral palsy

    PubMed Central

    Uesugi, Masayuki; Miyamoto, Akira; Nanba, Yosifumi; Otani, Yoshitaka; Takemasa, Seiichi; Hujii, Shun

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] This study aimed to examine whether motor abilities of children with cerebral palsy are related to their problematic behaviors. [Subjects] The subjects were children with mental retardation who were undergoing physical therapy. [Methods] Twenty-one examiners, 13 physical therapists, and 8 occupational therapists treated and examined the subjects by using the Japanese version of the Aberrant Behavior Checklist. The Japanese version of the Aberrant Behavior Checklist scores were compared between the Gross Motor Function Classification System I to III (12 subjects) and Gross Motor Function Classification System IV and V groups (17 subjects). [Results] Lethargy and stereotypy scores significantly differed between the groups, proving that patients with Gross Motor Function Classification System levels IV and V have more severe problematic behaviors. [Conclusion] In this study, only five types of problematic behaviors, namely irritability, lethargy, stereotypy, hyperactivity, and inappropriate speech, were examined. Despite this limitation, the study clarifies that problematic behaviors of children with cerebral palsy, except lethargy and stereotypy, have little relationship with their motor abilities. PMID:26504335

  4. Anger, problematic alcohol use, and intimate partner violence victimisation and perpetration

    PubMed Central

    Sprunger, Joel G.; Eckhardt, Christopher I.; Parrott, Dominic J.

    2016-01-01

    Background Anger and problematic alcohol use have been established as individual risk factors for intimate partner violence (IPV) victimisation and perpetration, but it is unknown how these factors convey risk for IPV perpetration for men and women within the context of mutually violent relationships. Hypotheses Anger and problematic alcohol use were hypothesised to mediate the association between IPV victimisation and perpetration for men and women, with direct and indirect influences from partner variables. Methods Heterosexual couples (N = 215) at high-risk for IPV completed questionnaires indexing trait anger, problematic alcohol use and extent of past-year IPV perpetration and victimisation. An actor-partner interdependence modelling (APIM) framework was used to evaluate these cross-sectional data for two hypothesised models and one parsimonious alternative. Results The best-fitting model indicated that IPV victimisation showed the strongest direct effect on physical IPV perpetration for both men and women. For women, but not men, the indirect effect of IPV victimisation on physical IPV perpetration through anger approached significance. For men, but not women, the victimisation–perpetration indirect effect through problematic drinking approached significance. Implications for clinical practice The results suggest that anger and problem drinking patterns play different yet important roles for men and women in mutually violent relationships. PMID:26482016

  5. Factors Associated with Problematic Vocalizations in Nursing Home Residents with Dementia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beck, Cornelia; Richards, Kathy; Lambert, Corinne; Doan, Rebecca; Landes, Reid D.; Whall, Ann; Algase, Donna; Kolanowski, Ann; Feldman, Zachary

    2011-01-01

    Purpose of the Study: Problematic vocalizations (PVs) are the most frequent and persistent disruptive behaviors exhibited by nursing home residents with dementia. Understanding factors associated with these behaviors are important to prevent or reduce them. We used the Need-Driven Dementia-Compromised Behavior model to identify the characteristics…

  6. Longitudinal Examination of PTSD Symptoms and Problematic Alcohol Use as Risk Factors for Adolescent Victimization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCart, Michael R.; Zajac, Kristyn; Kofler, Michael J.; Smith, Daniel W.; Saunders, Benjamin E.; Kilpatrick, Dean G.

    2012-01-01

    The current study examined associations between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and future interpersonal victimization among adolescents, after accounting for the impact of early victimization exposure, gender, ethnicity, and household income. In addition, problematic alcohol use was tested as a mediator of the relation between PTSD…

  7. Molecular evidence for a single taxon, Anopheles nuneztovari s. l., from two endemic malaria regions in Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Jaramillo, Luz Marina; Gutiérrez, Lina A; Luckhart, Shirley; Conn, Jan E; Correa, Margarita M

    2012-01-01

    To elucidate the Anopheles nuneztovari s.l. taxonomic status at a microgeographic level in four malaria endemic localities from Antioquia and Córdoba, Colombia, fragments of the Cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and the white gene were used. The COI analysis showed low genetic differentiation with FST levels between −0.02 and 0.137 and Nm values between 3 and infinity, indicating the presence of high gene flow among An. nuneztovari s.l. populations from the four localities. The COI network showed a single most common haplotype, 1 (n=55), present in all localities, as the likely ancestral haplotype. Analysis of the white gene showed that An. nuneztovari s.l. populations from both departments grouped with haplotypes 19 and 20, which are part of lineage 3 previously reported. The results of the present study suggest that An. nuneztovari s.l. is a single taxon in the area of the present study. PMID:22241127

  8. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach.

    PubMed

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Déri, Eszter; Magura, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD) is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR) of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary) and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals) showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale) was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none) was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve biodiversity in

  9. Taxon-rich phylogenomic analyses resolve the eukaryotic tree of life and reveal the power of subsampling by sites.

    PubMed

    Katz, Laura A; Grant, Jessica R

    2015-05-01

    Most eukaryotic lineages are microbial, and many have only recently been sampled for phylogenetic studies or remain in the "dark area" of the tree of life where there are no molecular data. To assess relationships among eukaryotic lineages, we perform a taxon-rich phylogenomic analysis including 232 eukaryotes selected to maximize taxonomic diversity and up to 1554 genes chosen as vertically inherited based on their broad distribution among eukaryotes. We also include sequences from 486 bacteria and 84 archaea to assess the impact of endosymbiotic gene transfer (EGT) from plastids and to detect contamination. Overall, our analyses are consistent with other less taxon-rich estimates of the eukaryotic tree of life, and we recover strong support for five major clades: Amoebozoa, Excavata (without the genus Malawimonas), Opisthokonta, Archaeplastida, and SAR (Stramenopila, Alveolata, and Rhizaria). Our analyses also highlight the existence of "orphan" lineages, lineages that lack robust placement in the eukaryotic tree of life, and indicate the possibility of as yet undiscovered diversity. In analyses including bacteria and archaea, we find that approximately 10% of the 1554 genes, which we choose because they are found in four or five of the five major eukaryotic clades and hence may be more likely to be inherited vertically, appear to have been acquired from cyanobacteria through EGT in photosynthetic lineages. Removing these EGT genes places the green algae as sister to the glaucophytes instead of the red algae, suggesting that unknowingly including genes of plastid origin, and combining them with genes of nuclear origin, may mislead phylogenetic estimates. Finally, the large size of our data set allows comparative analyses of subsets of data; alignments built from randomly sampled sites provide greater support, particularly for deep relationships, than do equivalent-sized data sets built from randomly sampled genes. PMID:25540455

  10. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach

    PubMed Central

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Déri, Eszter; Magura, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD) is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR) of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary) and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals) showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale) was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none) was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve biodiversity in

  11. How to Handle Speciose Clades? Mass Taxon-Sampling as a Strategy towards Illuminating the Natural History of Campanula (Campanuloideae)

    PubMed Central

    Mansion, Guilhem; Parolly, Gerald; Crowl, Andrew A.; Mavrodiev, Evgeny; Cellinese, Nico; Oganesian, Marine; Fraunhofer, Katharina; Kamari, Georgia; Phitos, Dimitrios; Haberle, Rosemarie; Akaydin, Galip; Ikinci, Nursel; Raus, Thomas; Borsch, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Background Speciose clades usually harbor species with a broad spectrum of adaptive strategies and complex distribution patterns, and thus constitute ideal systems to disentangle biotic and abiotic causes underlying species diversification. The delimitation of such study systems to test evolutionary hypotheses is difficult because they often rely on artificial genus concepts as starting points. One of the most prominent examples is the bellflower genus Campanula with some 420 species, but up to 600 species when including all lineages to which Campanula is paraphyletic. We generated a large alignment of petD group II intron sequences to include more than 70% of described species as a reference. By comparison with partial data sets we could then assess the impact of selective taxon sampling strategies on phylogenetic reconstruction and subsequent evolutionary conclusions. Methodology/Principal Findings Phylogenetic analyses based on maximum parsimony (PAUP, PRAP), Bayesian inference (MrBayes), and maximum likelihood (RAxML) were first carried out on the large reference data set (D680). Parameters including tree topology, branch support, and age estimates, were then compared to those obtained from smaller data sets resulting from “classification-guided” (D088) and “phylogeny-guided sampling” (D101). Analyses of D088 failed to fully recover the phylogenetic diversity in Campanula, whereas D101 inferred significantly different branch support and age estimates. Conclusions/Significance A short genomic region with high phylogenetic utility allowed us to easily generate a comprehensive phylogenetic framework for the speciose Campanula clade. Our approach recovered 17 well-supported and circumscribed sub-lineages. Knowing these will be instrumental for developing more specific evolutionary hypotheses and guide future research, we highlight the predictive value of a mass taxon-sampling strategy as a first essential step towards illuminating the detailed evolutionary

  12. Water surface locomotion in tropical canopy ants.

    PubMed

    Yanoviak, S P; Frederick, D N

    2014-06-15

    Upon falling onto the water surface, most terrestrial arthropods helplessly struggle and are quickly eaten by aquatic predators. Exceptions to this outcome mostly occur among riparian taxa that escape by walking or swimming at the water surface. Here we document sustained, directional, neustonic locomotion (i.e. surface swimming) in tropical arboreal ants. We dropped 35 species of ants into natural and artificial aquatic settings in Peru and Panama to assess their swimming ability. Ten species showed directed surface swimming at speeds >3 body lengths s(-1), with some swimming at absolute speeds >10 cm s(-1). Ten other species exhibited partial swimming ability characterized by relatively slow but directed movement. The remaining species showed no locomotory control at the surface. The phylogenetic distribution of swimming among ant genera indicates parallel evolution and a trend toward negative association with directed aerial descent behavior. Experiments with workers of Odontomachus bauri showed that they escape from the water by directing their swimming toward dark emergent objects (i.e. skototaxis). Analyses of high-speed video images indicate that Pachycondyla spp. and O. bauri use a modified alternating tripod gait when swimming; they generate thrust at the water surface via synchronized treading and rowing motions of the contralateral fore and mid legs, respectively, while the hind legs provide roll stability. These results expand the list of facultatively neustonic terrestrial taxa to include various species of tropical arboreal ants. PMID:24920838

  13. The Kanizsa triangle illusion in foraging ants.

    PubMed

    Sakiyama, Tomoko; Gunji, Yukio-Pegio

    2016-01-01

    The Kanizsa triangle, wherein three Pac-Man configurations symmetrically face inwards, is a well-known illusion. By exposing foraging ants (Lasius niger) to Kanizsa-shaped honeydew solutions, we studied the origin of this illusion. More specifically, we examined whether foraging ants showed different movement reactions to local honeydew patterns formed by nestmates. This novel phenomenon could serve as an abstract model of the Kanizsa triangle illusion under the assumption that such an illusion could arise through the sum of each agent's limited global cognitions, because each agent could not perceive the entire subjective contours. Even a subjective consciousness consists of some parts which have no identical perception and could be an illusion. We succeeded in inducing foragers to move along the sides of a Kanizsa triangle when Pac-Man-shaped inducers were introduced. Furthermore, foragers appeared to form Y-shaped trajectories when dot-shaped or inverse Kanizsa inducers were used. Based on our findings, we propose an agent-based ant model that compares modelled behaviour with experimental phenomena. Our abstract model could be used to explain such cognitive phenomena for bottom-up processes, because ants cannot perceive the given subjective contours, instead simply move along the edges. PMID:26930477

  14. Ant species identity mediates reproductive traits and allocation in an ant-garden bromeliad

    PubMed Central

    Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Pélozuelo, Laurent; Carrias, Jean-François; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Determining the sources of variation in floral morphology is crucial to understanding the mechanisms underlying Angiosperm evolution. The selection of floral and reproductive traits is influenced by the plant's abiotic environment, florivores and pollinators. However, evidence that variations in floral traits result from mutualistic interactions with insects other than pollinators is lacking in the published literature and has rarely been investigated. We aimed to determine whether the association with either Camponotus femoratus or Pachycondyla goeldii (both involved in seed dispersal and plant protection) mediates the reproductive traits and allocation of Aechmea mertensii, an obligatory ant-garden tank-bromeliad, differently. Methods Floral and reproductive traits were compared between the two A. mertensii ant-gardens. The nitrogen flux from the ants to the bromeliads was investigated through experimental enrichments with stable isotopes (15N). Key Results Camponotus femoratus-associated bromeliads produced inflorescences up to four times longer than did P. goeldii-associated bromeliads. Also, the numbers of flowers and fruits were close to four times higher, and the number of seeds and their mass per fruit were close to 1·5 times higher in C. femoratus than in P. goeldii-associated bromeliads. Furthermore, the 15N-enrichment experiment showed that C. femoratus-associated bromeliads received more nitrogen from ants than did P. goeldii-associated bromeliads, with subsequent positive repercussions on floral development. Greater benefits were conferred to A. mertensii by the association with C. femoratus compared with P. goeldii ants. Conclusions We show for the first time that mutualistic associations with ants can result in an enhanced reproductive allocation for the bromeliad A. mertensii. Nevertheless, the strength and direction of the selection of floral and fruit traits change based on the ant species and were not related to light

  15. Can the Argentine ant ( Linepithema humile Mayr) replace native ants in myrmecochory?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, Crisanto; Oliveras, Jordi

    2003-04-01

    We analyse the influence of the Argentine ant ( Linepithema humile Mayr) on the seed dispersal process of the myrmecochorous plants Euphorbia characias, E. biumbellata, Genista linifolia, G. triflora, G. monspessulana and Sarothamnus arboreus. The observations were made in two study plots of Mediterranean cork-oak secondary forest (invaded and non-invaded by L. humile). The presence of L. humile implies the displacement of all native ant species that disperse seeds. Seed transports in the non-invaded zone were carried out by eight ant species. In the invaded zone, L. humile workers removed and transported seeds to the nest. In vertebrate exclusion trials, we observed the same level of seed removal in the invaded and non-invaded zones. Two findings could explain this result. Although mean time to seed localization was higher for native ants (431.7 s) than that for L. humile (150.5 s), the mean proportion of seeds transported after being detected was higher (50.1%) in non-invaded than in invaded (16.8%) zones. The proportion of seeds removed and transported into an ant nest after an ant-seed interaction had dramatically reduced from non-invaded (41.9%) to invaded (7.4%) zones. The levels of seed dispersal by ants found prior to invasion are unlikely to be maintained in invaded zones. However, total replacement of seed dispersal function is possible if contact iteration finally offers similar levels or quantities of seeds reaching the nests. The results obtained confirm that the Argentine ant invasion may affect myrmecochory dramatically in the Mediterranean biome.

  16. [Survey of problematic behaviour of adolescents and their self-reported psychopathology].

    PubMed

    Lacina, Rosa M; Staub-Ghielmini, Sandra; Bircher, Ursina; Bianchi, Ferruccio; Schmeck, Klaus; Schmid, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Problematic behaviour during adolescence may occur within the framework of a normal development, single or an accumulation of problematic behaviour may be a sign for an established or a developing mental illness. In this study the aim was to examine how often these problematic behaviours occur and how they are associated with the self-reported psychological stress. In an epidemiological survey in the form of a questionnaire in the Lugano area (canton Ticino), 233 students (mean age = 14.47 years, standard deviation = 0.58, 58% female) were screened. In addition to collecting data on the prevalence of various problematic behaviours (self-injury (5.6%), usage of computer (6.9%) and TV (7.4), consumption of tobacco (21.5%), alcohol (5.6%) and cannabis (13.3%), delinquency (battery without weapon, 14.2%) and truancy (5.2%)), the exposure of the students to psychological stress was established by means of the SDQ. Relating to the frequency of problematic behaviour of adolescents it could be shown that epidemiological data in the Canton Ticino are similar to other national and international studies. It has been demonstrated that adolescents who indicate to suffer from psychological stress, also have a higher chance to practice self-injury (p = 0.034, OR = 6.19), to smoke regularly (p = 0.04, OR = 3.1), to consume Cannabis (p = 0.01, OR = 3.27), or to damage things on purpose (p = 0.01, OR = 3.27). The results show, how important it is, to identify mental diseases early and to introduce preventive measures. PMID:24693803

  17. Development of a Cumulative Psychosocial Factor Index for Problematic Recovery Following Work-Related Musculoskeletal Injuries

    PubMed Central

    Wideman, Timothy H.

    2012-01-01

    Background Psychosocial variables such as fear of movement, depression, and pain catastrophizing have been shown to be important prognostic factors for a wide range of pain-related outcomes. The potential for a cumulative relationship between different elevated psychosocial factors and problematic recovery following physical therapy has not been fully explored. Objective The purpose of this study was to determine whether the level of risk for problematic recovery following work-related injuries is associated with the number of elevated psychosocial factors. Design This was a prospective cohort study. Methods Two hundred two individuals with subacute, work-related musculoskeletal injuries completed a 7-week physical therapy intervention and participated in testing at treatment onset and 1 year later. An index of psychosocial risk was created from measures of fear of movement, depression, and pain catastrophizing. This index was used to predict the likelihood of experiencing problematic recovery in reference to pain intensity and return-to-work status at the 1-year follow-up. Results Logistic regression analysis revealed that the number of prognostic factors was a significant predictor of persistent pain and work disability at the 1-year follow-up. Chi-square analysis revealed that the risk for problematic recovery increased for patients with elevated levels on at least 1 psychosocial factor and was highest when patients had elevated scores on all 3 psychosocial factors. Limitations The physical therapy interventions used in this study were not standardized. This study did not include a specific measure for physical function. Conclusions The number of elevated psychosocial factors present in the subacute phase of recovery has a cumulative effect on the level of risk for problematic recovery 1 year later. This research suggests that a cumulative prognostic factor index could be used in clinical settings to improve prognostic accuracy and to facilitate clinical

  18. Dead ant walking: a myrmecophilous beetle predator uses parasitoid host location cues to selectively prey on parasitized ants.

    PubMed

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-08-17

    Myrmecophiles (i.e. organisms that associate with ants) use a variety of ecological niches and employ different strategies to survive encounters with ants. Because ants are typically excellent defenders, myrmecophiles may choose moments of weakness to take advantage of their ant associates. This hypothesis was studied in the rove beetle, Myrmedonota xipe, which associates with Azteca sericeasur ants in the presence of parasitoid flies. A combination of laboratory and field experiments show that M. xipe beetles selectively locate and prey upon parasitized ants. These parasitized ants are less aggressive towards beetles than healthy ants, allowing beetles to eat the parasitized ants alive without interruption. Moreover, behavioural assays and chemical analysis reveal that M. xipe are attracted to the ant's alarm pheromone, the same secretion used by the phorid fly parasitoids in host location. This strategy allows beetles access to an abundant but otherwise inaccessible resource, as A. sericeasur ants are typically highly aggressive. These results are the first, to our knowledge, to demonstrate a predator sharing cues with a parasitoid to gain access to an otherwise unavailable prey item. Furthermore, this work highlights the importance of studying ant-myrmecophile interactions beyond just their pairwise context. PMID:27512148

  19. Microbiomes of ant castes implicate new microbial roles in the fungus-growing ant Trachymyrmex septentrionalis

    PubMed Central

    Ishak, Heather D.; Miller, Jessica L.; Sen, Ruchira; Dowd, Scot E.; Meyer, Eli; Mueller, Ulrich G.

    2011-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants employ several defenses against diseases, including disease-suppressing microbial biofilms on their integument and in fungal gardens. Here, we compare the phenology of microbiomes in natural nests of the temperate fungus-growing ant Trachymyrmex septentrionalis using culture-dependent isolations and culture-independent 16S-amplicon 454-sequencing. 454-sequencing revealed diverse actinobacteria associated with ants, including most prominently Solirubrobacter (12.2–30.9% of sequence reads), Pseudonocardia (3.5–42.0%), and Microlunatus (0.4–10.8%). Bacterial abundances remained relatively constant in monthly surveys throughout the annual active period (late winter to late summer), except Pseudonocardia abundance declined in females during the reproductive phase. Pseudonocardia species found on ants are phylogenetically different from those in gardens and soil, indicating ecological separation of these Pseudonocardia types. Because the pathogen Escovopsis is not known to infect gardens of T. septentrionalis, the ant-associated microbes do not seem to function in Escovopsis suppression, but could protect against ant diseases, help in nest sanitation, or serve unknown functions. PMID:22355719

  20. Ant benefits in a seed dispersal mutualism.

    PubMed

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

    2005-11-01

    Myrmecochorous plant seeds have nutrient rich appendages, elaiosomes, which induce some ant species to carry the seeds back to their nest where the elaiosome is consumed and the seed is discarded unharmed. The benefits to plants of dispersal of their seeds in this way have been well documented, but the benefits to the ants from consuming the elaiosomes have rarely been measured and are less clear. Ant benefits from myrmecochory were investigated in a laboratory experiment using the ant Myrmica ruginodis and seeds of Ulex species. To separate the effects of elaiosome consumption on the development of newly produced larvae versus existing larvae, ten 'Queenright' colonies containing a queen were compared to ten 'Queenless' colonies. Six measures of colony fitness over a complete annual cycle were taken: sexual production, larval weight and number, pupal weight and number, and worker survival. Queenless colonies fed with elaiosomes produced 100.0+/-29.3 (mean +/- SE) of larvae compared to non-elaiosome fed colonies which produced 49.6+/-19.0; an increase of 102%. Larval weight increased in both Queenright and Queenless colonies. In colonies fed with elaiosomes, larvae weighed 1.02+/-0.1 mg, but in non-elaiosome fed colonies larvae weighed 0.69+/-0.1 mg; an increase of 48%. The food supplement provided by Ulex elaiosomes was trivial in energetic terms, under the conditions of an ample diet, suggesting that these effects might be due to the presence of essential nutrients. Chemical analysis of Ulex elaiosomes showed the presence of four essential fatty acids and four essential sterols for ants. PMID:16049717

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

    PubMed

    Di Giulio, Andrea; Maurizi, Emanuela; Barbero, Francesca; Sala, Marco; Fattorini, Simone; Balletto, Emilio; Bonelli, Simona

    2015-01-01

    Ants use various communication channels to regulate their social organisation. The main channel that drives almost all the ants' activities and behaviours is the chemical one, but it is long acknowledged that the acoustic channel also plays an important role. However, very little is known regarding exploitation of the acoustical channel by myrmecophile parasites to infiltrate the ant society. Among social parasites, the ant nest beetles (Paussus) are obligate myrmecophiles able to move throughout the colony at will and prey on the ants, surprisingly never eliciting aggression from the colonies. It has been recently postulated that stridulatory organs in Paussus might be evolved as an acoustic mechanism to interact with ants. Here, we survey the role of acoustic signals employed in the Paussus beetle-Pheidole ant system. Ants parasitised by Paussus beetles produce caste-specific stridulations. We found that Paussus can "speak" three different "languages", each similar to sounds produced by different ant castes (workers, soldiers, queen). Playback experiments were used to test how host ants respond to the sounds emitted by Paussus. Our data suggest that, by mimicking the stridulations of the queen, Paussus is able to dupe the workers of its host and to be treated as royalty. This is the first report of acoustic mimicry in a beetle parasite of ants. PMID:26154266

  2. Fast and Flexible: Argentine Ants Recruit from Nearby Trails

    PubMed Central

    Flanagan, Tatiana P.; Pinter-Wollman, Noa M.; Moses, Melanie E.; Gordon, Deborah M.

    2013-01-01

    Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) live in groups of nests connected by trails to each other and to stable food sources. In a field study, we investigated whether some ants recruit directly from established, persistent trails to food sources, thus accelerating food collection. Our results indicate that Argentine ants recruit nestmates to food directly from persistent trails, and that the exponential increase in the arrival rate of ants at baits is faster than would be possible if recruited ants traveled from distant nests. Once ants find a new food source, they walk back and forth between the bait and sometimes share food by trophallaxis with nestmates on the trail. Recruiting ants from nearby persistent trails creates a dynamic circuit, like those found in other distributed systems, which facilitates a quick response to changes in available resources. PMID:23967129

  3. Harvester ant bioassay for assessing hazardous chemical waste sites

    SciTech Connect

    Gano, K.A.; Carlile, D.W.; Rogers, L.E.

    1984-12-01

    A technique was developed for using harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex owhyeei, in terrestrial bioassays. Procedures were developed for maintaining stock populations, handling ants, and exposing ants to toxic materials. Relative toxicities were determined by exposing ants to 10 different materials. These materials included three insecticides, Endrin, Aldrin, and Dieldrin; one herbicide, 2,4-D; three oil-like compounds, wood preservative, drilling fluid, and slop oil; and three heavy metals, copper, zinc, and cadmium. Ants were exposed in petri dishes containing soil amended with a particular toxicant. Under these test conditions, ants showed no sensitivity to the metals or 2,4-D. Ants were sensitive to the insecticides and oils in repeated tests, and relative toxicity remained consistent throughout. Aldrin was the most toxic material, followed by Dieldrin, Endrin, wood preservative, drilling fluid, and slop oil. 10 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S. A.

    2003-01-01

    ANTS (Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm), a large (1000 member) swarm of nano to picoclass (10 to 1 kg) totally autonomous spacecraft, are being developed as a NASA advanced mission concept. ANTS, based on a hierarchical insect social order, use an evolvable, self-similar, hierarchical neural system in which individual spacecraft represent the highest level nodes. ANTS uses swarm intelligence attained through collective, cooperative interactions of the nodes at all levels of the system. At the highest levels this can take the form of cooperative, collective behavior among the individual spacecraft in a very large constellation. The ANTS neural architecture is designed for totally autonomous operation of complex systems including spacecraft constellations. The ANTS (Autonomous Nano Technology Swarm) concept has a number of possible applications. A version of ANTS designed for surveying and determining the resource potential of the asteroid belt, called PAM (Prospecting ANTS Mission), is examined here.

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

    PubMed Central

    Fürst, Matthias A.; Nash, David R.

    2010-01-01

    Parasitic Maculinea alcon butterflies can only develop in nests of a subset of available Myrmica ant species, so female butterflies have been hypothesized to preferentially lay eggs on plants close to colonies of the correct host ants. Previous correlational investigations of host-ant-dependent oviposition in this and other Maculinea species have, however, shown equivocal results, leading to a long-term controversy over support for this hypothesis. We therefore conducted a controlled field experiment to study the egg-laying behaviour of M. alcon. Matched potted Gentiana plants were set out close to host-ant nests and non-host-ant nests, and the number and position of eggs attached were assessed. Our results show no evidence for host-ant-based oviposition in M. alcon, but support an oviposition strategy based on plant characteristics. This suggests that careful management of host-ant distribution is necessary for conservation of this endangered butterfly. PMID:19864269

  6. Size matters: nest colonization patterns for twig-nesting ants

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez-Soto, Estelí; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the drivers of ant diversity and co-occurrence in agroecosystems is fundamental because ants participate in interactions that influence agroecosystem processes. Multiple local and regional factors influence ant community assembly. We examined local factors that influence the structure of a twig-nesting ant community in a coffee system in Mexico using an experimental approach. We investigated whether twig characteristics (nest entrance size and diversity of nest entrance sizes) and nest strata (canopy shade tree or coffee shrub) affected occupation, species richness, and community composition of twig-nesting ants and whether frequency of occupation of ant species varied with particular nest entrance sizes or strata. We conducted our study in a shaded coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico, between March and June 2012. We studied ant nest colonization by placing artificial nests (bamboo twigs) on coffee shrubs and shade trees either in diverse or uniform treatments. We also examined whether differences in vegetation (no. of trees, canopy cover and coffee density) influenced nest colonization. We found 33 ant species occupying 73% of nests placed. Nest colonization did not differ with nest strata or size. Mean species richness of colonizing ants was significantly higher in the diverse nest size entrance treatment, but did not differ with nest strata. Community composition differed between strata and also between the diverse and uniform size treatments on coffee shrubs, but not on shade trees. Some individual ant species were more frequently found in certain nest strata and in nests with certain entrance sizes. Our results indicate that twig-nesting ants are nest-site limited, quickly occupy artificial nests of many sizes, and that trees or shrubs with twigs of a diversity of entrance sizes likely support higher ant species richness. Further, individual ant species more frequently occupy nests with different sized entrances promoting ant richness on individual

  7. Bioturbation by Fire Ants in the Coastal Prairie of Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameron, G.; Williams, L.

    2001-12-01

    Fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) were introduced to the US in the early part of the last century. They have spread throughout the southeastern US in the absence of native competitors and predators with a range limited by abiotic factors. Each fire ant mound contains thousands of individuals, can be large, and can be numerous enough to comprise a dominant feature of the landscape. Studies of this species have focused upon its spread, formation of single- and multiple-queen colonies, genetic structure, and impact on native fauna and human health. Some studies have analyzed native fire ant-soil interactions, but few studies have examined the process of bioturbation by introduced fire ants in native ecosystems. Fire ants on the coastal prairie of Texas primarily are of the multiple-queen type that exhibit a much higher density of mounds than the single-queen type. Consequently, mound-building activities by fire ants can have a marked effect upon soil structure and nutrient content and may affect soil organisms and plants. Fire ant activity, mound density, mound dispersion, soil texture, soil permeability, soil moisture content, and soil nutrients were measured. Fire ants mounds are visible aboveground from April-November. Density of mounds was 117-738/ha, and average mound lifespan was 3.6 months with only 9% of the mounds remaining active throughout the entire season. Mounds were dispersed randomly. Foraging activity by fire ants was from June through October with a peak in July. Annual soil turnover was estimated by collecting and weighing mounds. There was no effect of ant mounds on soil texture, but water infiltration was higher in areas with ant mounds. Early-season samples showed no nutrient differences, but late-season samples showed that ant mounds contained higher amounts of micronutrients than random samples of soil. These data are compared to similar data on effects of mounds from native ants and from native and introduced ants in different habitats.

  8. Size matters: nest colonization patterns for twig-nesting ants.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Soto, Estelí; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-08-01

    Understanding the drivers of ant diversity and co-occurrence in agroecosystems is fundamental because ants participate in interactions that influence agroecosystem processes. Multiple local and regional factors influence ant community assembly.We examined local factors that influence the structure of a twig-nesting ant community in a coffee system in Mexico using an experimental approach. We investigated whether twig characteristics (nest entrance size and diversity of nest entrance sizes) and nest strata (canopy shade tree or coffee shrub) affected occupation, species richness, and community composition of twig-nesting ants and whether frequency of occupation of ant species varied with particular nest entrance sizes or strata.We conducted our study in a shaded coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico, between March and June 2012. We studied ant nest colonization by placing artificial nests (bamboo twigs) on coffee shrubs and shade trees either in diverse or uniform treatments. We also examined whether differences in vegetation (no. of trees, canopy cover and coffee density) influenced nest colonization.We found 33 ant species occupying 73% of nests placed. Nest colonization did not differ with nest strata or size. Mean species richness of colonizing ants was significantly higher in the diverse nest size entrance treatment, but did not differ with nest strata. Community composition differed between strata and also between the diverse and uniform size treatments on coffee shrubs, but not on shade trees. Some individual ant species were more frequently found in certain nest strata and in nests with certain entrance sizes.Our results indicate that twig-nesting ants are nest-site limited, quickly occupy artificial nests of many sizes, and that trees or shrubs with twigs of a diversity of entrance sizes likely support higher ant species richness. Further, individual ant species more frequently occupy nests with different sized entrances promoting ant richness on individual coffee

  9. Physicians' messages in problematic sickness certification: a narrative analysis of case reports

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Many physicians find sickness certification tasks problematic. There is some knowledge about situations that are experienced as problematic, whereas less is understood about how physicians respond to the problems they face. One way to acquire such knowledge is to consider "reflection-in-action", aspects of which are expressed in the physician's interpretation of the patient's story. The aim of this study was to gain knowledge about the meaning content of case reports about problematic sickness certification. Specifically, we looked for possible messages to the colleagues intended to read the reports. Methods A narrative approach was used to analyse reports about problematic sickness certification cases that had been written by GPs and occupational health service physicians as part of a sickness insurance course. The analysis included elements from both thematic and structural analysis. Nineteen case reports were used in the actual analysis and 25 in the validation of the results. Main narrative qualities and structural features of the written case reports were explored. Results Five types of messages were identified in the case reports, here classified as "a call for help", "a call for understanding", "hidden worries", "in my opinion", and "appearing neutral". In the reports, the physicians tried to achieve neutrality in their writing, and the patients' stories tended to be interpreted within a traditional biomedical framework. In some cases there was an open request for help, in others it was not obvious that the physician had any problems. Overall, the messages were about having problems as such, rather than the specific features of the problems. Conclusions The case reports clearly demonstrated different ways of writing about problems that arise during sickness certification, from being neutral and not mentioning the problems to being emotionally involved and asking for help. The general character of the messages suggests that they are also relevant

  10. Predictiveness of Identity Status, Main Internet Use Purposes and Gender on University Students' the Problematic Internet Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ceyhan, Esra

    2010-01-01

    This study aims at revealing the relationships between the problematic Internet use of university students and their identity status, main Internet use purposes, and gender. A total of 464 university students participated in the study, and the research data were collected through the Problematic Internet Use Scale, the Extended Objective Measure…

  11. Childhood trauma, PTSD, and problematic alcohol and substance use in low-income, African-American men and women.

    PubMed

    Cross, Dorthie; Crow, Thomas; Powers, Abigail; Bradley, Bekh

    2015-06-01

    Previous studies demonstrate that PTSD mediates the relationship between childhood trauma and alcohol and substance use disorders and that PTSD and alcohol/substance use comorbidity is greater in men than in women. We sought to replicate and extend these findings in a predominantly low-income, African-American sample recruited from a public hospital. We administered measures of childhood trauma, PTSD symptoms, problematic alcohol use, and problematic substance use to 803 men and 2084 women. We examined rates of comorbidity in men and women. Next, two bootstrap analyses were used to test whether PTSD is a mediator between childhood trauma and problematic alcohol use and between childhood trauma and problematic substance use. Finally, two bootstrap analyses were used to test whether gender would moderate the indirect effect of PTSD in both the alcohol and substance use models. Results showed that although men and women reported similar overall PTSD symptom frequency, men were more likely than women to report PTSD comorbid with alcohol and/or substance use problems. In addition, PTSD partially mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and problematic alcohol use and between childhood trauma and problematic substance use. The indirect effects of PTSD on the relationship between childhood trauma and problematic alcohol use and between childhood trauma and problematic substance use were greater in men. This study demonstrates the important interplay of gender, childhood trauma, PTSD, and alcohol and substance use. Mental health providers should consider childhood trauma histories and diagnostic comorbidities when treatment planning. PMID:25680654

  12. An Investigation of the Problematic Internet Use of Teacher Candidates Based on Personality Types, Shyness and Demographic Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozturk, Ebru; Kaymak Ozmen, Suna

    2011-01-01

    Researches proved that a new psychological disorder of problematic Internet use was associated with individual characteristics as loneliness, shyness, anxiety, depression, personality type, and self-cognition. But there appears to be little consensus about Problematic Internet Use disorder. Consequently the aim of study was to investigate…

  13. Measurement and Analysis of the Cognitive-Behavioral Model of Generalized Problematic Internet Use among Mexican Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gamez-Guadix, Manuel; Villa-George, Fabiola I.; Calvete, Esther

    2012-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to analyze the psychometric properties of the Generalized Problematic Internet Use Scale 2 (GPIUS2) and to examine the cognitive-behavioral theoretical model of problematic Internet use in a sample of 1491 Mexican adolescents (47.6% female, mean age = 14.51). Results showed that the GPIUS2 has adequate construct…

  14. Symptoms of Problematic Cellular Phone Use, Functional Impairment and Its Association with Depression among Adolescents in Southern Taiwan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yen, Cheng-Fang; Tang, Tze-Chun; Yen, Ju-Yu; Lin, Huang-Chi; Huang, Chi-Fen; Liu, Shu-Chun; Ko, Chih-Hung

    2009-01-01

    The aims of this study were: (1) to examine the prevalence of symptoms of problematic cellular phone use (CPU); (2) to examine the associations between the symptoms of problematic CPU, functional impairment caused by CPU and the characteristics of CPU; (3) to establish the optimal cut-off point of the number of symptoms for functional impairment…

  15. Field tests of interspecific competition in ant assemblages: revisiting the dominant red wood ants.

    PubMed

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese

    2011-05-01

    1. There has been considerable debate on the importance of competition in ecological communities, but its importance in structuring ant assemblages has often been uncritically accepted. Here, we briefly review field experiments examining competition in ant assemblages and use a removal experiment to test the effect of the classical territorial dominant ant, Formica aquilonia. Ants of this species group are thought to structure communities through a dominance hierarchy. 2. First, we used pitfall traps to compare the abundance of other ants in replicated sites with low and high densities of F. aquilonia. We found differences in community composition, in particular, Camponotus herculeanus was more common in low-density sites, in accordance with predictions. Differences in ant assemblages were not owing to differences in measured habitat variables. 3. We removed F. aquilonia from a set of high-density sites, using physical and chemical methods, and repeated these procedures at procedural control sites. One year after removal, abundances of F. aquilonia at removal sites were similar to those at low-density sites. However, the composition of other species did not change in response to F. aquilonia removal. Replication rates were identical in the mensurative and experimental components of this study, so this is unlikely to be owing to the analysis being insufficiently powerful. 4. We suggest three possibilities for the lack of difference. First, the study may have been too short term or small scale to detect differences. However, previous studies have shown effects on smaller spatial- and temporal-scales. Second, priority effects may be important in the successful colonisation by F. aquilonia. Thirdly, boreal ant assemblages may be too depauperate for redundancy in ecological roles and for competition to play an important structuring role. 5. We thus recommend that long-term large-scale experiments be considered essential if we are to distinguish between competing

  16. Problematic substance use in Hispanic adolescents and young adults: Implications for prevention efforts

    PubMed Central

    Grigsby, Timothy J.; Forster, Myriam; Soto, Daniel W.; Baezconde-Garbanati, Lourdes; Unger, Jennifer B.

    2014-01-01

    Using data collected between 2005–2012 from a longitudinal study of acculturation patterns and substance use among Hispanic youth in Southern California (N = 2,722), we fit multivariate logistic regression models to estimate the association of type and frequency of drug use, friend and parent drug use, cultural orientation (measured by the ARSMA-II), and psychological distress (CES-D score) in 10th grade with problematic substance use (measured with the RAPI) in (i) 11th grade and (ii) young adulthood. We conclude that future intervention efforts with Hispanic adolescents and young adults should target polysubstance and problem users and emphasize inter-individual, structural and cultural processes as they relate to problematic substance use. PMID:24779502

  17. Your case will now be heard: sign language interpreters as problematic accommodations in legal interactions.

    PubMed

    Brunson, Jeremy L

    2008-01-01

    This paper uses data from open-ended, videotaped interviews with 12 deaf people to examine their experiences negotiating access during interactions with legal authorities. In every case, these deaf persons preferred an accommodation that involved the use of an American Sign Language interpreter, and in every case, these accommodations were problematic. Three major themes emerged from the informants' narratives: difficulty obtaining the desired accommodation, dealing with a problematic accommodation, and enduring a partial accommodation. These findings suggest that accommodations involving sign language interpreters are not neutral and transparent and that they often have tangible effects on the experiences of and outcomes for deaf persons in the context of dealing with legal matters. Deaf people have very little control over the accommodation they receive and yet are held fully responsible for ensuring its efficacy. These results are discussed in relation to policies and procedures for ensuring that deaf persons have full access in their interactions with American legal institutions. PMID:17595172

  18. Predicting problematic alcohol use with the DSM-5 alternative model of personality pathology.

    PubMed

    Creswell, Kasey G; Bachrach, Rachel L; Wright, Aidan G C; Pinto, Anthony; Ansell, Emily

    2016-01-01

    High comorbidity between personality disorders and alcohol use disorders appears related to individual differences in underlying personality dimensions of behavioral undercontrol and affective dysregulation. However, very little is known about how the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition; DSM-5) Section III trait model of personality pathology relates to alcohol problems or how the strength of the relationship between personality pathology and alcohol problems changes with age and across gender. The current study examined these questions in a sample of 877 participants using the General Assessment of Personality Disorder to assess general personality dysfunction, the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 to measure specific traits, and the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) to assess problematic alcohol use. Results demonstrated that general personality pathology (Criterion A) was significantly related to problematic alcohol use after controlling for age and gender effects. Furthermore, 2 of the 5 higher-order personality trait domains (Criterion B), Antagonism and Disinhibition, remained significant predictors of problematic alcohol use after accounting for the influence of general personality pathology; however, general personality pathology no longer predicted hazardous alcohol use once Antagonism and Disinhibition were added into the model. Finally, these 2 specific traits interacted with age, such that Antagonism was a stronger predictor of AUDIT scores among older individuals and Disinhibition was a stronger predictor of alcohol problems among younger individuals. Findings support the general validity of this new personality disorder diagnostic system and suggest important age effects in the relationship between traits and problematic alcohol use. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26389625

  19. Interpreting problematic behavior: systematic compensatory adaptations as emergent phenomena in autism.

    PubMed

    Damico, Jack S; Nelson, Ryan L

    2005-01-01

    Based upon an emergent account of pragmatic ability and disability, this article provides theoretical and empirical support for a conceptually deeper understanding of some systematic behaviors that have served as diagnostic indices in communicatively impaired populations. Specifically, by employing conversation analysis, several examples of problematic behaviors in autism are analysed as a specific type of compensatory adaptation. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed. PMID:16019784

  20. DSM-IV Antisocial Personality Disorder and Conduct Disorder: Evidence for Taxonic Structures Among Individuals With and Without Substance Use Disorders in the General Population

    PubMed Central

    Kerridge, Bradley T; Saha, Tulshi D; Hasin, Deborah S

    2014-01-01

    Objective: The categorical-dimensional status of DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition) conduct disorder (CD) and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a source of controversy. This study examined whether the underlying structure of DSM-IV CD and ASPD was dimensional or categorical (taxonic) among individuals with and without substance use disorders. Method: Using a national large representative survey of U.S. adults (n = 43,093), taxometric analyses of DSM-IV CD and ASPD diagnostic criteria were conducted on the total sample and among those with and without substance use disorders. Results: Results of three taxometric procedures were consistent in showing that the structures underlying DSM-IV CD and ASPD were clearly taxonic in the total sample and among individuals with and without substance use disorders. Comparison curve fit indices exceeded 0.57 for each model. Conclusions: Taxonic findings of the present study were in contrast to the dimensional results of prior taxometric research among incarcerated samples with substantial comorbidity of antisocial syndromes and substance use disorders. Results supported the categorical representation and diagnostic thresholds of ASPD and CD as defined in DSM-IV and DSM-5. That the structure of ASPD and CD may be taxonic suggests that further research on these disorders use group comparative designs in which samples with and without these disorders are compared in terms of sociodemographic and clinical correlates, comorbidity, and treatment utilization. The taxonic structure of ASPD and CD may contribute to future research on causal processes through which these antisocial syndromes develop. PMID:24766762

  1. Lithiase géante sur enterocystoplastie

    PubMed Central

    Elmortaji, Khalid; Elomri, Ghassane; Bennani, Saad; Rabii, Redouane; Aboutaib, Rachid; Meziane, Fethi

    2014-01-01

    La formation des lithiases est une complication fréquente des entérocystoplasties après cystectomie radicale pour tumeur de vessie infiltrante. Le délai d'apparition dépend des facteurs de risque favorisants notamment les infections urinaires. Néanmoins la survenue de lithiase géante sur néovessie reste exceptionnelle, seulement 5 cas ont été rapportés dans la littérature. Nous rapportons dans ce travail, le cas d'une lithiase géante compliquant une entérocystoplastie chez un malade suivi pour tumeur de vessie infiltrante. PMID:25932070

  2. Optic disc detection using ant colony optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dias, Marcy A.; Monteiro, Fernando C.

    2012-09-01

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

  3. Problematic Internet Use, Mental Health and Impulse Control in an Online Survey of Adults

    PubMed Central

    Yau, Yvonne H. C.; Potenza, Marc N.; White, Marney A.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Internet use has become a popular entertainment source and has become highly integrated into daily life. However, some people display problematic or addictive usage of the Internet. The present study attempts to fill current knowledge gaps regarding at-risk/problematic Internet use (ARPIU) and its relation to various health and functioning measures. Methods Online survey data from 755 adults in the United States were analyzed using chi-square and ANOVAs. Results The ARPIU group did not differ from the non-ARPIU group with respect to substance use. Individuals with ARPIU were, however, more likely to report at-risk/problematic engagement in video-game playing and gambling. Compared to the non-ARPIU group, the ARPIU group reported poorer self-control and higher levels of impulsivity and depression. Conclusions ARPIU appears associated with other risk behaviors, particularly those that might be performed on the Internet. Future studies should examine the extent to which the Internet may promote engagement in these risk behaviors and the extent to which preventative interventions targeting better self-control or negative mood states might help a range of non-substance-related addictive behaviors. PMID:24294501

  4. Problematic Internet Use in High School Students in Guangdong Province, China

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Ciyong; Wu, Jie; Deng, Xueqing; Hong, Lingyao

    2011-01-01

    Background Problematic Internet Use (PIU) is a growing problem in Chinese adolescents. There are many risk factors for PIU, which are found at school and at home. This study was designed to investigate the prevalence of PIU and to investigate the potential risk factors for PIU among high school students in China. Methodology/Principal Findings A cross-sectional study was conducted. A total of 14,296 high school students were surveyed in four cities in Guangdong province. Problematic Internet Use was assessed by the 20-item Young Internet Addiction Test (YIAT). Information was also collected on demographics, family and school-related factors and Internet usage patterns. Of the 14,296 students, 12,446 were Internet users. Of those, 12.2% (1,515) were identified as problematic Internet users (PIUs). Generalized mixed-model regression revealed that there was no gender difference between PIUs and non-PIUs. High study-related stress, having social friends, poor relations with teachers and students and conflictive family relationships were risk factors for PIU. Students who spent more time on-line were more likely to develop PIU. The habits of and purposes for Internet usage were diverse, influencing the susceptibility to PIU. Conclusions/Significance PIU is common among high school students, and risk factors are found at home and at school. Teachers and parents should pay close attention to these risk factors. Effective measures are needed to prevent the spread of this problem. PMID:21573073

  5. Emotion regulation training to reduce problematic dietary restriction: An experimental analysis.

    PubMed

    Haynos, Ann F; Hill, Bailey; Fruzzetti, Alan E

    2016-08-01

    Evidence suggests that emotion regulation may be a process relevant to problematic dietary restriction. However, emotion regulation has not been evaluated as an intervention target across a range of restriction severity. This study utilized an experimental design to examine whether targeting emotion regulation reduced problematic dietary restriction. Within a self-identified restrictive sample (n = 72), the effects of an emotion regulation condition (i.e., emotion regulation training) were compared to those of a control condition (i.e., nutrition information training) on dietary restriction indices (i.e., effort to reduce intake on a progressive ratio task, work towards an alternate reinforcer on a progressive ratio task, intake by dietary recall) following a stressor. Exploratory analyses of potential moderators (i.e., restraint, BMI, binge eating and purging status, emotion regulation difficulties) were conducted to examine whether these factors affected the impact of training on dietary restriction. No significant main effects of condition were detected on any outcome measure. However, results were moderated by BMI status. Participants with lower BMIs exerted less effort towards dietary restriction following the emotion regulation condition versus the control condition (p = 0.02). Results suggest that targeting emotion regulation may help to reduce problematic dietary restriction among lower weight individuals. PMID:27105583

  6. Problematic Internet Use in University Students: associated factors and differences of gender.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Villa, Tania; Alguacil Ojeda, Juan; Almaraz Gómez, Ana; Cancela Carral, José María; Delgado-Rodríguez, Miguel; García-Martín, Miguel; Jiménez-Mejías, Eladio; Llorca, Javier; Molina, Antonio José; Ortíz Moncada, Rocío; Valero-Juan, Luiz Félix; Martín, Vicente

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to make a descriptive analysis of Problematic Internet Use in college students, evaluating the possible association with health problems and addictive behaviors, as well as gender differences in user types. A total of 2,780 students participated in the study between 2011 and 2014, 29% of them being males (age 20.8 ± 5.1 years) and 71% females (age 20.3 ± 4.4 years). The prevalence of Problematic Internet Use (PIU) assessed by the Internet Addiction Test was 6.08%. Being under 21 years of age and studying for degrees in subjects other than the health sciences were associated factors with a higher frequency of this problem, no differences by gender or type of address were found. The results show a significant association with some health problems (migraines, back pain, excess weight or obesity, insufficient rest), psychological aspects (risk of eating disorders, risk of mental disorder, depression), family problems and discrimination; with no associations with substance use (alcohol, cannabis or tobacco) being found. Concerning the time of Internet use, weekly hours were significantly higher in women than in men, both the total time as for leisure. The analysis of the profile use in problematic users revealed that males are related to aspects of entertainment such as games or shopping online and females are related to aspects of socialization, such as chats and social networks. PMID:26706809

  7. Index of problematic online experiences: item characteristics and correlation with negative symptomatology.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Kimberly J; Sabina, Chiara; Finkelhor, David; Wells, Melissa

    2009-12-01

    This exploratory study aimed to develop and test a quick, easily administered instrument, the Index of Problematic Online Experiences (I-POE). The goal of the I-POE extends beyond assessing for Internet overuse to broadly assess problematic Internet use across several domains and activities. Data was collected from 563 college students from a Northern New England university using an online survey methodology. Results indicated the I-POE has adequate construct validity and is highly correlated with a variety of relevant constructs: depression, anger/irritability, tension-reduction behavior, sexual concerns, and dysfunctional sexual behavior as measured by the Trauma Symptom Inventory; as well as amount of Internet use and permissive attitudes toward engaging in a variety of sexual activities. Early flagging of online experiences could mitigate the negative effects associated with problematic use. The I-POE, as an easy-to-administer, short screening index, holds promise in this regard. Initial testing of the instrument points to its utility in identifying persons who are experiencing a broad range of Internet-related problems. PMID:19591618

  8. Measuring the Prevalence of Problematic Respondent Behaviors among MTurk, Campus, and Community Participants.

    PubMed

    Necka, Elizabeth A; Cacioppo, Stephanie; Norman, Greg J; Cacioppo, John T

    2016-01-01

    The reliance on small samples and underpowered studies may undermine the replicability of scientific findings. Large sample sizes may be necessary to achieve adequate statistical power. Crowdsourcing sites such as Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk) have been regarded as an economical means for achieving larger samples. Because MTurk participants may engage in behaviors which adversely affect data quality, much recent research has focused on assessing the quality of data obtained from MTurk samples. However, participants from traditional campus- and community-based samples may also engage in behaviors which adversely affect the quality of the data that they provide. We compare an MTurk, campus, and community sample to measure how frequently participants report engaging in problematic respondent behaviors. We report evidence that suggests that participants from all samples engage in problematic respondent behaviors with comparable rates. Because statistical power is influenced by factors beyond sample size, including data integrity, methodological controls must be refined to better identify and diminish the frequency of participant engagement in problematic respondent behaviors. PMID:27351378

  9. Parenting style as a mediator between children's negative emotionality and problematic behavior in early childhood.

    PubMed

    Paulussen-Hoogeboom, Marja C; Stams, Geert Jan J M; Hermanns, Jo M A; Peetsma, Thea T D; van den Wittenboer, Godfried L H

    2008-09-01

    Negative emotionality is considered to be the core of the difficult temperament concept (J. E. Bates, 1989; R. L. Shiner, 1998). In this correlational study, the authors examined whether the relations between children's negative emotionality and problematic behavior (internalizing and externalizing) were partially mediated by parenting style (authoritative and authoritarian) in a community sample of 196 3-year-old children and their mothers. The authors assessed maternal perception of child negative emotionality using the Children's Behavior Questionnaire (M. K. Rothbart, S. A. Ahadi, K. L. Hershey, & P. Fisher, 2001) and assessed problematic child behavior by means of maternal report using the Child Behavior Checklist (T. M. Achenbach, 1992). The results showed that the relations between child negative emotionality and internalizing and externalizing behaviors were partially mediated by mothers' authoritative parenting style. Moreover, when the authors used confirmatory factor analysis to decontaminate possible overlap in item content between measures assessing temperament and problematic behavior, the association between negative emotionality and internalizing behavior was fully mediated by authoritative parenting. PMID:18788324

  10. Measuring the Prevalence of Problematic Respondent Behaviors among MTurk, Campus, and Community Participants

    PubMed Central

    Cacioppo, Stephanie; Norman, Greg J.; Cacioppo, John T.

    2016-01-01

    The reliance on small samples and underpowered studies may undermine the replicability of scientific findings. Large sample sizes may be necessary to achieve adequate statistical power. Crowdsourcing sites such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) have been regarded as an economical means for achieving larger samples. Because MTurk participants may engage in behaviors which adversely affect data quality, much recent research has focused on assessing the quality of data obtained from MTurk samples. However, participants from traditional campus- and community-based samples may also engage in behaviors which adversely affect the quality of the data that they provide. We compare an MTurk, campus, and community sample to measure how frequently participants report engaging in problematic respondent behaviors. We report evidence that suggests that participants from all samples engage in problematic respondent behaviors with comparable rates. Because statistical power is influenced by factors beyond sample size, including data integrity, methodological controls must be refined to better identify and diminish the frequency of participant engagement in problematic respondent behaviors. PMID:27351378

  11. Ant-Man and the quantum realm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michalakis, Spiros

    2015-11-01

    I was in Los Angeles airport, stuffing French fries into my mouth and waiting for a flight to Charlotte, North Carolina, when my phone buzzed. The e-mail was from the Science and Entertainment Exchange, a non-profit organization working to elevate the level of science in the movies, and it told me to report to Atlanta to consult on a new superhero movie: Ant-Man.

  12. Ant colony optimization and stochastic gradient descent.

    PubMed

    Meuleau, Nicolas; Dorigo, Marco

    2002-01-01

    In this article, we study the relationship between the two techniques known as ant colony optimization (ACO) and stochastic gradient descent. More precisely, we show that some empirical ACO algorithms approximate stochastic gradient descent in the space of pheromones, and we propose an implementation of stochastic gradient descent that belongs to the family of ACO algorithms. We then use this insight to explore the mutual contributions of the two techniques. PMID:12171633

  13. Ant fat extraction with a Soxhlet extractor.

    PubMed

    Smith, Chris R; Tschinkel, Walter R

    2009-07-01

    Stored fat can be informative about the relative age of an ant, its nutritional status, and the nutritional status of the colony. Several methods are available for the quantification of stored fat. Before starting a project involving fat extraction, investigators should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of different methods in order to choose the one that is best suited to the question being addressed. This protocol, although not as accurate as some alternatives, facilitates the rapid quantification of many individuals. PMID:20147208

  14. ['Nothing' or 'just a bit'? 'Much' or 'too much'? Impulsivity traits as markers of severity transitions within non-problematic and problematic ranges of alcohol and Internet use].

    PubMed

    J F, Navas; A, Torres; A, Cándido; J C, Perales

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to explore the relationship between impulsivity traits and perceived negative consequences of alcohol consumption and Internet use. More specifically, impulsivity traits - positive and negative urgency, sensation seeking, lack of premeditation, and lack of perseverance - in (1) the occurrence of initial negative consequences linked to use, and (2) the transition from consequences possibly indicating a problematic behavior to consequences very likely indicating a clinical problem. For this, 709 first-year college students were assessed using the UPPS-P impulsive behavior scale, and the Multicage CAD-4 scale for addictive behaviors. Logistic regressions were used to discriminate (a) between individuals with a 0-score and individuals with a 1-score in the Multicage scales (low severity range), and (b) between individuals with a 2-score and individuals with 3/4-score (high severity range), separately for alcohol and Internet use. For alcohol use, positive urgency and lack of premeditation marked the transition from 0 to 1 scores, whereas negative urgency marked the transition from 2 to 3/4 scores. For Internet use, however, none of the UPPS-P dimensions significantly marked the transition from 0 to 1 (occurrence of initial negative consequences), and positive urgency marked the transition from 2 to 3/4 (from possible to very likely problematic behavior). Negative urgency arises as a pathologization marker for alcohol abuse, whereas changes in non-clinical levels are linked to impulsivity elicited by appetitive emotions. Impulsivity does not seem to play any role in low severity levels of Internet use, and positive urgency marks the transition between high severity scores. These differential patterns are indicative of different etiological paths for excessive Internet use and substance abuse. PMID:25225732

  15. Exploration versus exploitation in polydomous ant colonies.

    PubMed

    Cook, Zoe; Franks, Daniel W; Robinson, Elva J H

    2013-04-21

    In socially foraging species resource information can be shared between individuals, increasing foraging success. In ant colonies, nestmate recruitment allows high exploitation rates at known resources however, to maximise foraging efficiency this must be balanced with searching for new resources. Many ant species form colonies inhabiting two or more spatially separated but socially connected nests: this type of organisation is known as polydomy. Polydomous colonies may benefit from increased foraging efficiency by carrying out dispersed-central place foraging. However, decentralisation of the colony may affect recruitment success by limiting interaction between ants based in separate nests. We use an agent-based model which compares the foraging success of monodomous and polydomous colonies in different food environments, incorporating recruitment through pheromone trails and group foraging. In contrast to previous results we show that polydomy is beneficial in some but not all cases. Polydomous colonies discover resources at a higher rate, making them more successful when food is highly dispersed, but their relative success can be lowered by limitations on recruitment success. Monodomous colonies can have higher foraging efficiency than polydomous colonies by exploiting food more rapidly. The results show the importance of interactions between recruitment strategy, colony size, and colony organisation. PMID:23380232

  16. Polydomy in the ant Ectatomma opaciventre

    PubMed Central

    Tofolo, Viviane C.; Giannotti, Edilberto; Neves, Erika F.; Andrade, Luis H. C.; Lima, Sandro M.; Súarez, Yzel R.; Antonialli-Junior, William F.

    2014-01-01

    Tropical ants commonly exhibit a hyper-dispersed pattern of spatial distribution of nests. In polydomous species, nests may be satellites, that is, secondary structures of the main nest, where the queen is found. In order to evaluate whether the ant Ectatomma opaciventre Roger (Formicidae: Ectatomminae) uses the strategy of building polydomous nests, the spatial distribution pattern of 33 nests in a 1,800 m2 degraded area located in Rio Claro, SP, Brazil, were investigated using the nearest neighbor method. To complement the results of this investigation, the cuticular chemical profile of eight colonies was analyzed using Fourier transform infrared photoacoustic spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS). The nests of E. opaciventre presented a hyper-dispersed or regular distribution, which is the most common in ants. The analysis of the cuticular hydrocarbons apparently confirmed the hypothesis that this species is polydomous, since the chemical profiles of all studied colonies with nests at different sites were very similar to the chemical signature of the single found queen and were also different from those of colonies used as control. PMID:25373168

  17. Dispersal Polymorphisms in Invasive Fire Ants.

    PubMed

    Helms, Jackson A; Godfrey, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    In the Found or Fly (FoF) hypothesis ant queens experience reproduction-dispersal tradeoffs such that queens with heavier abdomens are better at founding colonies but are worse flyers. We tested predictions of FoF in two globally invasive fire ants, Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius, 1804) and S. invicta (Buren, 1972). Colonies of these species may produce two different monogyne queen types-claustral queens with heavy abdomens that found colonies independently, and parasitic queens with small abdomens that enter conspecific nests. Claustral and parasitic queens were similarly sized, but the abdomens of claustral queens weighed twice as much as those of their parasitic counterparts. Their heavier abdomens adversely impacted morphological predictors of flight ability, resulting in 32-38% lower flight muscle ratios, 55-63% higher wing loading, and 32-33% higher abdomen drag. In lab experiments maximum flight durations in claustral S. invicta queens decreased by about 18 minutes for every milligram of abdomen mass. Combining our results into a simple fitness tradeoff model, we calculated that an average parasitic S. invicta queen could produce only 1/3 as many worker offspring as a claustral queen, but could fly 4 times as long and have a 17- to 36-fold larger potential colonization area. Investigations of dispersal polymorphisms and their associated tradeoffs promises to shed light on range expansions in invasive species, the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies, and the selective forces driving the recurrent evolution of parasitism in ants. PMID:27082115

  18. Polydomy in the ant Ectatomma opaciventre.

    PubMed

    Tofolo, Viviane C; Giannotti, Edilberto; Neves, Erika F; Andrade, Luis H C; Lima, Sandro M; Súarez, Yzel R; Antonialli-Junior, William F

    2014-01-01

    Tropical ants commonly exhibit a hyper-dispersed pattern of spatial distribution of nests. In polydomous species, nests may be satellites, that is, secondary structures of the main nest, where the queen is found. In order to evaluate whether the ant Ectatomma opaciventre Roger (Formicidae: Ectatomminae) uses the strategy of building polydomous nests, the spatial distribution pattern of 33 nests in a 1,800 m(2) degraded area located in Rio Claro, SP, Brazil, were investigated using the nearest neighbor method. To complement the results of this investigation, the cuticular chemical profile of eight colonies was analyzed using Fourier transform infrared photoacoustic spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS). The nests of E. opaciventre presented a hyper-dispersed or regular distribution, which is the most common in ants. The analysis of the cuticular hydrocarbons apparently con-firmed the hypothesis that this species is polydomous, since the chemical profiles of all studied colonies with nests at different sites were very similar to the chemical signature of the single found queen and were also different from those of colonies used as control. PMID:25373168

  19. Recognition of Social Identity in Ants

    PubMed Central

    Bos, Nick; d’Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

    Recognizing the identity of others, from the individual to the group level, is a hallmark of society. Ants, and other social insects, have evolved advanced societies characterized by efficient social recognition systems. Colony identity is mediated by colony specific signature mixtures, a blend of hydrocarbons present on the cuticle of every individual (the “label”). Recognition occurs when an ant encounters another individual, and compares the label it perceives to an internal representation of its own colony odor (the “template”). A mismatch between label and template leads to rejection of the encountered individual. Although advances have been made in our understanding of how the label is produced and acquired, contradictory evidence exists about information processing of recognition cues. Here, we review the literature on template acquisition in ants and address how and when the template is formed, where in the nervous system it is localized, and the possible role of learning. We combine seemingly contradictory evidence in to a novel, parsimonious theory for the information processing of nestmate recognition cues. PMID:22461777

  20. 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

  1. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants

    PubMed Central

    Nehring, Volker; Evison, Sophie E. F.; Santorelli, Lorenzo A.; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Hughes, William O. H.

    2011-01-01

    Although social groups are characterized by cooperation, they are also often the scene of conflict. In non-clonal systems, the reproductive interests of group members will differ and individuals may benefit by exploiting the cooperative efforts of other group members. However, such selfish behaviour is thought to be rare in one of the classic examples of cooperation—social insect colonies—because the colony-level costs of individual selfishness select against cues that would allow workers to recognize their closest relatives. In accord with this, previous studies of wasps and ants have found little or no kin information in recognition cues. Here, we test the hypothesis that social insects do not have kin-informative recognition cues by investigating the recognition cues and relatedness of workers from four colonies of the ant Acromyrmex octospinosus. Contrary to the theoretical prediction, we show that the cuticular hydrocarbons of ant workers in all four colonies are informative enough to allow full-sisters to be distinguished from half-sisters with a high accuracy. These results contradict the hypothesis of non-heritable recognition cues and suggest that there is more potential for within-colony conflicts in genetically diverse societies than previously thought. PMID:21123270

  2. Ant antennae: are they sites for magnetoreception?

    PubMed Central

    de Oliveira, Jandira Ferreira; Wajnberg, Eliane; de Souza Esquivel, Darci Motta; Weinkauf, Sevil; Winklhofer, Michael; Hanzlik, Marianne

    2010-01-01

    Migration of the Pachycondyla marginata ant is significantly oriented at 13° with respect to the geomagnetic north–south axis. On the basis of previous magnetic measurements of individual parts of the body (antennae, head, thorax and abdomen), the antennae were suggested to host a magnetoreceptor. In order to identify Fe3+/Fe2+ sites in antennae tissue, we used light microscopy on Prussian/Turnbull's blue-stained tissue. Further analysis using transmission electron microscopy imaging and diffraction, combined with elemental analysis, revealed the presence of ultra-fine-grained crystals (20–100 nm) of magnetite/maghaemite (Fe3O4/γ-Fe2O3), haematite (α-Fe2O3), goethite (α-FeOOH) besides (alumo)silicates and Fe/Ti/O compounds in different parts of the antennae, that is, in the joints between the third segment/pedicel, pedicel/scape and scape/head, respectively. The presence of (alumo)silicates and Fe/Ti/O compounds suggests that most, if not all, of the minerals in the tissue are incorporated soil particles rather than biomineralized by the ants. However, as the particles were observed within the tissue, they do not represent contamination. The amount of magnetic material associated with Johnston's organ and other joints appears to be sufficient to produce a magnetic-field-modulated mechanosensory output, which may therefore underlie the magnetic sense of the migratory ant. PMID:19474081

  3. Dispersal Polymorphisms in Invasive Fire Ants

    PubMed Central

    Helms, Jackson A.; Godfrey, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    In the Found or Fly (FoF) hypothesis ant queens experience reproduction-dispersal tradeoffs such that queens with heavier abdomens are better at founding colonies but are worse flyers. We tested predictions of FoF in two globally invasive fire ants, Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius, 1804) and S. invicta (Buren, 1972). Colonies of these species may produce two different monogyne queen types—claustral queens with heavy abdomens that found colonies independently, and parasitic queens with small abdomens that enter conspecific nests. Claustral and parasitic queens were similarly sized, but the abdomens of claustral queens weighed twice as much as those of their parasitic counterparts. Their heavier abdomens adversely impacted morphological predictors of flight ability, resulting in 32–38% lower flight muscle ratios, 55–63% higher wing loading, and 32–33% higher abdomen drag. In lab experiments maximum flight durations in claustral S. invicta queens decreased by about 18 minutes for every milligram of abdomen mass. Combining our results into a simple fitness tradeoff model, we calculated that an average parasitic S. invicta queen could produce only 1/3 as many worker offspring as a claustral queen, but could fly 4 times as long and have a 17- to 36-fold larger potential colonization area. Investigations of dispersal polymorphisms and their associated tradeoffs promises to shed light on range expansions in invasive species, the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies, and the selective forces driving the recurrent evolution of parasitism in ants. PMID:27082115

  4. Taxon-specific metagenomics of Trichoderma reveals a narrow community of opportunistic species that regulate each other’s development

    PubMed Central

    Friedl, Martina A.

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we report on the in situ diversity of the mycotrophic fungus Trichoderma (teleomorph Hypocrea, Ascomycota, Dikarya) revealed by a taxon-specific metagenomic approach. We designed a set of genus-specific internal transcribed spacer (ITS)1 and ITS2 rRNA primers and constructed a clone library containing 411 molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs). The overall species composition in the soil of the two distinct ecosystems in the Danube floodplain consisted of 15 known species and two potentially novel taxa. The latter taxa accounted for only 1.5 % of all MOTUs, suggesting that almost no hidden or uncultivable Hypocrea/Trichoderma species are present at least in these temperate forest soils. The species were unevenly distributed in vertical soil profiles although no universal factors controlling the distribution of all of them (chemical soil properties, vegetation type and affinity to rhizosphere) were revealed. In vitro experiments simulating infrageneric interactions between the pairs of species that were detected in the same soil horizon showed a broad spectrum of reactions from very strong competition over neutral coexistence to the pronounced synergism. Our data suggest that only a relatively small portion of Hypocrea/Trichoderma species is adapted to soil as a habitat and that the interaction between these species should be considered in a screening for Hypocrea/Trichoderma as an agent(s) of biological control of pests. PMID:22075025

  5. In situ detection of freshwater fungi in an alpine stream by new taxon-specific fluorescence in situ hybridization probes.

    PubMed

    Baschien, Christiane; Manz, Werner; Neu, Thomas R; Marvanová, Ludmila; Szewzyk, Ulrich

    2008-10-01

    New rRNA-targeting oligonucleotide probes permitted the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) identification of freshwater fungi in an Austrian second-order alpine stream. Based on computer-assisted comparative sequence analysis, nine taxon-specific probes were designed and evaluated by whole-fungus hybridizations. Oligonucleotide probe MY1574, specific for a wide range of Eumycota, and the genus (Tetracladium)-specific probe TCLAD1395, as well as the species-specific probes ALacumi1698 (Alatospora acuminata), TRIang322 (Tricladium angulatum), and Alongi340 (Anguillospora longissima), are targeted against 18S rRNA, whereas probes TmarchB10, TmarchC1_1, TmarchC1_2, and AlongiB16 are targeted against the 28S rRNA of Tetracladium marchalianum and Anguillospora longissima, respectively. After 2 weeks and 3 months of exposure of polyethylene slides in the stream, attached germinating conidia and growing hyphae of freshwater fungi were accessible for FISH. Growing hyphae and germinating conidia on leaves and in membrane cages were also visualized by the new FISH probes. PMID:18776035

  6. Genetic distances within and among species in monophyletic lineages of Parmeliaceae (Ascomycota) as a tool for taxon delimitation.

    PubMed

    Del-Prado, Ruth; Cubas, Paloma; Lumbsch, H Thorsten; Divakar, Pradeep K; Blanco, Oscar; de Paz, Guillermo Amo; Molina, M Carmen; Crespo, Ana

    2010-07-01

    The species delimitation in fungi is currently in flux. A growing body of evidence shows that the morphology-based species circumscription underestimates the number of existing species. The large and ever growing number of DNA sequence data of fungi makes it possible to use these to identify potential cases of hidden species, which then need to be studied with extensive taxon samplings. We used Parmeliaceae, one of the largest families of lichenized fungi as a model. Intra- and interspecific distances derived from maximum-likelihood phylogenetic trees inferred from 491 nuclear ITS rDNA sequences were examined for five major clades of parmelioid lichens. The intra- and interspecific distances were well separated in most cases allowing the calculation of a threshold, with exceptions of highly deviating distances in a few cases. These situations are shown to be taxa in which the current delimitation needs revision. Thus the analysis of the distance distributions is shown to be a powerful tool for identifying species complexes. PMID:20399873

  7. Dispersal and diversity in the earliest North American sauropodomorph dinosaurs, with a description of a new taxon

    PubMed Central

    Rowe, Timothy B.; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Reisz, Robert R.

    2011-01-01

    Sauropodomorph dinosaurs originated in the Southern Hemisphere in the Middle or Late Triassic and are commonly portrayed as spreading rapidly to all corners of Pangaea as part of a uniform Late Triassic to Early Jurassic cosmopolitan dinosaur fauna. Under this model, dispersal allegedly inhibited dinosaurian diversification, while vicariance and local extinction enhanced it. However, apomorphy-based analyses of the known fossil record indicate that sauropodomorphs were absent in North America until the Early Jurassic, reframing the temporal context of their arrival. We describe a new taxon from the Kayenta Formation of Arizona that comprises the third diagnosable sauropodomorph from the Early Jurassic of North America. We analysed its relationships to test whether sauropodomorphs reached North America in a single sweepstakes event or in separate dispersals. Our finding of separate arrivals by all three taxa suggests dispersal as a chief factor in dinosaurian diversification during at least the early Mesozoic. It questions whether a ‘cosmopolitan’ dinosaur fauna ever existed, and corroborates that vicariance, extinction and dispersal did not operate uniformly in time or under uniform conditions during the Mesozoic. Their relative importance is best measured in narrow time slices and circumscribed geographical regions. PMID:20926438

  8. Dispersal and diversity in the earliest North American sauropodomorph dinosaurs, with a description of a new taxon.

    PubMed

    Rowe, Timothy B; Sues, Hans-Dieter; Reisz, Robert R

    2011-04-01

    Sauropodomorph dinosaurs originated in the Southern Hemisphere in the Middle or Late Triassic and are commonly portrayed as spreading rapidly to all corners of Pangaea as part of a uniform Late Triassic to Early Jurassic cosmopolitan dinosaur fauna. Under this model, dispersal allegedly inhibited dinosaurian diversification, while vicariance and local extinction enhanced it. However, apomorphy-based analyses of the known fossil record indicate that sauropodomorphs were absent in North America until the Early Jurassic, reframing the temporal context of their arrival. We describe a new taxon from the Kayenta Formation of Arizona that comprises the third diagnosable sauropodomorph from the Early Jurassic of North America. We analysed its relationships to test whether sauropodomorphs reached North America in a single sweepstakes event or in separate dispersals. Our finding of separate arrivals by all three taxa suggests dispersal as a chief factor in dinosaurian diversification during at least the early Mesozoic. It questions whether a 'cosmopolitan' dinosaur fauna ever existed, and corroborates that vicariance, extinction and dispersal did not operate uniformly in time or under uniform conditions during the Mesozoic. Their relative importance is best measured in narrow time slices and circumscribed geographical regions. PMID:20926438

  9. Taxon combinations, parsimony analysis (PAUP*), and the taxonomy of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey, Lagothrix flavicauda.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Luke J; Rosenberger, Alfred L

    2008-11-01

    The classifications of primates, in general, and platyrrhine primates, in particular, have been greatly revised subsequent to the rationale for taxonomic decisions shifting from one rooted in the biological species concept to one rooted solely in phylogenetic affiliations. Given the phylogenetic justification provided for revised taxonomies, the scientific validity of taxonomic distinctions can be rightly judged by the robusticity of the phylogenetic results supporting them. In this study, we empirically investigated taxonomic-sampling effects on a cladogram previously inferred from craniodental data for the woolly monkeys (Lagothrix). We conducted the study primarily through much greater sampling of species-level taxa (OTUs) after improving some character codings and under a variety of outgroup choices. The results indicate that alternative selections of species subsets from within genera produce various tree topologies. These results stand even after adjusting the character set and considering the potential role of interobserver disagreement. We conclude that specific taxon combinations, in this case, generic or species pairings, of the primary study group has a biasing effect in parsimony analysis, and that the cladistic rationale for resurrecting the Oreonax generic distinction for the yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda) is based on an artifact of idiosyncratic sampling within the study group below the genus level. Some recommendations to minimize the problem, which is prevalent in all cladistic analyses, are proposed. PMID:18500746

  10. Taxon-specific metagenomics of Trichoderma reveals a narrow community of opportunistic species that regulate each other's development.

    PubMed

    Friedl, Martina A; Druzhinina, Irina S

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we report on the in situ diversity of the mycotrophic fungus Trichoderma (teleomorph Hypocrea, Ascomycota, Dikarya) revealed by a taxon-specific metagenomic approach. We designed a set of genus-specific internal transcribed spacer (ITS)1 and ITS2 rRNA primers and constructed a clone library containing 411 molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs). The overall species composition in the soil of the two distinct ecosystems in the Danube floodplain consisted of 15 known species and two potentially novel taxa. The latter taxa accounted for only 1.5 % of all MOTUs, suggesting that almost no hidden or uncultivable Hypocrea/Trichoderma species are present at least in these temperate forest soils. The species were unevenly distributed in vertical soil profiles although no universal factors controlling the distribution of all of them (chemical soil properties, vegetation type and affinity to rhizosphere) were revealed. In vitro experiments simulating infrageneric interactions between the pairs of species that were detected in the same soil horizon showed a broad spectrum of reactions from very strong competition over neutral coexistence to the pronounced synergism. Our data suggest that only a relatively small portion of Hypocrea/Trichoderma species is adapted to soil as a habitat and that the interaction between these species should be considered in a screening for Hypocrea/Trichoderma as an agent(s) of biological control of pests. PMID:22075025

  11. Phosphorus Availability, Phytoplankton Community Dynamics, and Taxon-Specific Phosphorus Status in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackey, K. R.; Labiosa, R. G.; Calhoun, M.; Street, J. H.; Post, A. F.; Paytan, A.

    2006-12-01

    The relationships among phytoplankton taxon-specific phosphorus-status, phytoplankton community composition, and nutrient levels were assessed over three seasons in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. During summer and fall, stratified surface waters were depleted of nutrients and picophytoplankton populations comprised the majority of cells (80% and 88% respectively). In winter, surface nutrient concentrations were higher and larger phytoplankton were more abundant (63%). Cell specific alkaline phosphatase activity (APA) derived from enzyme labeled fluorescence was consistently low (less than 5%) in the picophytoplankton throughout the year, whereas larger cells expressed elevated APA during the summer and fall but less in the winter. A nutrient addition bioassay during the fall showed that, relative to control, APA was reduced by half in larger cells following addition of orthophosphate, whereas the APA of picophytoplankton remained low (less than 1%) across all treatments and the control. These results indicate that the most abundant phytoplankton are not limited by orthophosphate and only some subpopulations (particularly of larger cells) exhibit orthophosphate-limitation throughout the year. Our results indicate that orthophosphate availability influences phytoplankton ecology, correlating with shifts in phytoplankton community structure and the nutrient status of individual cells. The role of dissolved organic phosphorus as an important phosphorus source for marine phytoplankton in oligotrophic settings and the need for evaluating nutrient limitation at the taxa and/or single cell level (rather than inferring it from nutrient concentrations and ratios or bulk enzyme activity measurements) are highlighted.

  12. Hooked on Facebook: The Role of Social Anxiety and Need for Social Assurance in Problematic Use of Facebook.

    PubMed

    Lee-Won, Roselyn J; Herzog, Leo; Park, Sung Gwan

    2015-10-01

    There is a growing concern that excessive and uncontrolled use of Facebook not only interferes with performance at school or work but also poses threats to physical and psychological well-being. The present research investigated how two individual difference variables--social anxiety and need for social assurance--affect problematic use of Facebook. Drawing on the basic premises of the social skill model of problematic Internet use, we hypothesized that social anxiety and need for social assurance would be positively correlated with problematic use of Facebook. Furthermore, it was predicted that need for social assurance would moderate the relationship between social anxiety and problematic use. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted with a college student sample in the United States (N=243) to test the proposed hypotheses. Results showed that both social anxiety and need for social assurance had a significant positive association with problematic use of Facebook. More importantly, the data demonstrated that need for social assurance served as a significant moderator of the relationship between social anxiety and problematic Facebook use. The positive association between social anxiety and problematic Facebook use was significant only for Facebook users with medium to high levels of need for social assurance but not for those with a low level of need for social assurance. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings were discussed. PMID:26383178

  13. Toxicity of formic acid against red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    BACKGROUND: Formic acid is a common defensive chemical of formicine ants. Ants often compete with other ants for resources. However, the toxicity of formic acid to any ant species has not been well understood. This study examined the toxicity of formic acid against the red imported fire ants, Sole...

  14. Cascading trait-mediated interactions induced by ant pheromones.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Hsun-Yi; Liere, Heidi; Soto, Estelí J; Perfecto, Ivette

    2012-09-01

    Trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMII) can be as important as density-mediated indirect interactions. Here, we provide evidence for a novel trait-mediated cascade (where one TMII affects another TMII) and demonstrate that the mechanism consists of a predator eavesdropping on chemical signaling. Ants protect scale insects from predation by adult coccinellid beetles - the first TMII. However, parasitic phorid flies reduce ant foraging activity by 50% - the second TMII, providing a window of opportunity for female beetles to oviposit in high-quality microsites. Beetle larvae are protected from ant predation and benefit from living in patches with high scale densities. We demonstrate that female beetles can detect pheromones released by the ant when attacked by phorids, and that only females, and especially gravid females, are attracted to the ant pheromone. As ants reduce their movement when under attack by phorids, we conclude that phorids facilitate beetle oviposition, thus producing the TMII cascade. PMID:23139877

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

    PubMed

    Steck, Kathrin

    2012-04-01

    How is an ant-equipped with a brain that barely exceeds the size of a pinhead-capable of achieving navigational marvels? Even though evidences suggest that navigation is a multimodal process, ants heavily depend on olfactory cues-of pheromonal and non-pheromonal nature-for foraging and orientation. Recent studies have directed their attention to the efficiency of pheromone trail networks. Advances in neurophysiological techniques make it possible to investigate trail pheromone processing in the ant's brain. In addition to relying on pheromone odours, ants also make use of volatiles emanating from the nest surroundings. Deposited in the vicinity of the nest, these home-range markings help the ants to home after a foraging run. Furthermore, olfactory landmarks associated with the nest enhance ants' homing abilities. PMID:22137100

  16. Reduced Chitinase Activities in Ant Plants of the Genus Macaranga

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heil, Martin; Fiala, Brigitte; Linsenmair, K. Eduard; Boller, Thomas

    Many plant species have evolved mutualistic associations with ants, protecting their host against detrimental influences such as herbivorous insects. Letourneau (1998) reported in the case of Piper that ants defend their plants principally against stem-boring insects and also reduce fungal infections on inflorescences. Macaranga plants that were experimentally deprived of their symbiotic Crematogaster ants suffered heavily from shoot borers and pathogenic fungi (Heil 1998). Here we report that ants seem to reduce fungal infections actively in the obligate myrmecophyte Macarangatriloba (Euphorbiaceae), while ant-free plants can be easily infected. We also found extremely low chitinase activity in Macaranga plants. The plants' own biochemical defense seems to be reduced, and low chitinase activity perhaps may represent a predisposition for the evolution of myrmecophytism. These plants are therefore highly dependent on their ants, which obviously function not only as an antiherbivore defense but also as an effective agent against fungal pathogens.

  17. The Argentine ant: challenges in managing an invasive unicolonial pest.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Jules; Brightwell, Robert John

    2008-01-01

    The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, has invaded urban, agricultural, and natural habitats worldwide, causing economic damage and disrupting ecosystem processes. Introduced populations of L. humile and those of many other invasive ants tend to be unicolonial, forming expansive, multiqueened supercolonies that dominate native ant communities and challenge control practices in managed habitats. Argentine ant management typically entails the application of residual insecticide liquids, granules, or baits to only a portion of the colony, resulting in fairly rapid reinfestation. We suggest that prevailing control methodologies are incomplete and not compatible with the behavior, nesting habits, and population structure of this ant, and therefore, more aggressive management strategies are required. Successful eradication efforts against other invasive unicolonial ant species can provide useful insights for local-scale L. humile eradication. PMID:17877449

  18. Behavior of Ants Escaping from a Single-Exit Room

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shujie; Lv, Wei; Song, Weiguo

    2015-01-01

    To study the rules of ant behavior and group-formation phenomena, we examined the behaviors of Camponotus japonicus, a species of large ant, in a range of situations. For these experiments, ants were placed inside a rectangular chamber with a single exit that also contained a filter paper soaked in citronella oil, a powerful repellent. The ants formed several groups as they moved toward the exit to escape. We measured the time intervals between individual escapes in six versions of the experiment, each containing an exit of a different width, to quantify the movement of the groups. As the ants exited the chamber, the time intervals between individual escapes changed and the frequency distribution of the time intervals exhibited exponential decay. We also investigated the relationship between the number of ants in a group and the group flow rate. PMID:26125191

  19. Cascading trait-mediated interactions induced by ant pheromones

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Hsun-Yi; Liere, Heidi; Soto, Estelí J; Perfecto, Ivette

    2012-01-01

    Trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMII) can be as important as density-mediated indirect interactions. Here, we provide evidence for a novel trait-mediated cascade (where one TMII affects another TMII) and demonstrate that the mechanism consists of a predator eavesdropping on chemical signaling. Ants protect scale insects from predation by adult coccinellid beetles – the first TMII. However, parasitic phorid flies reduce ant foraging activity by 50% – the second TMII, providing a window of opportunity for female beetles to oviposit in high-quality microsites. Beetle larvae are protected from ant predation and benefit from living in patches with high scale densities. We demonstrate that female beetles can detect pheromones released by the ant when attacked by phorids, and that only females, and especially gravid females, are attracted to the ant pheromone. As ants reduce their movement when under attack by phorids, we conclude that phorids facilitate beetle oviposition, thus producing the TMII cascade. PMID:23139877

  20. Where and how Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) spreads in Corsica?

    PubMed

    Blight, Olivier; Orgeas, Jérôme; Renucci, Marielle; Tirard, Alain; Provost, Erick

    2009-08-01

    The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Dolichoderinae), is one of the most widespread invasive ant species in the world. When established in optimal habitat, this species usually excludes most other local ants and can heavily impact other arthropods as well. Although Argentine ants have been present in southern Europe for more than 100 years, they were first noted in Corsica, a French Mediterranean island, in 1957 in only one urban station. In this study, we aimed to map precisely their geographical distribution in Corsica and to quantify their presence by using an infestation index. We recorded changes in the distribution of Argentine ants in Corsica over the past decade. Argentine ants appeared to be well established within their introduced range and spreading along the Corsican coasts principally through Human-mediated jump-dispersal but not homogenously. PMID:19632658

  1. Image feature extraction based multiple ant colonies cooperation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhilong; Yang, Weiping; Li, Jicheng

    2015-05-01

    This paper presents a novel image feature extraction algorithm based on multiple ant colonies cooperation. Firstly, a low resolution version of the input image is created using Gaussian pyramid algorithm, and two ant colonies are spread on the source image and low resolution image respectively. The ant colony on the low resolution image uses phase congruency as its inspiration information, while the ant colony on the source image uses gradient magnitude as its inspiration information. These two ant colonies cooperate to extract salient image features through sharing a same pheromone matrix. After the optimization process, image features are detected based on thresholding the pheromone matrix. Since gradient magnitude and phase congruency of the input image are used as inspiration information of the ant colonies, our algorithm shows higher intelligence and is capable of acquiring more complete and meaningful image features than other simpler edge detectors.

  2. Protein structure optimization with a "Lamarckian" ant colony algorithm.

    PubMed

    Oakley, Mark T; Richardson, E Grace; Carr, Harriet; Johnston, Roy L

    2013-01-01

    We describe the LamarckiAnt algorithm: a search algorithm that combines the features of a "Lamarckian" genetic algorithm and ant colony optimization. We have implemented this algorithm for the optimization of BLN model proteins, which have frustrated energy landscapes and represent a challenge for global optimization algorithms. We demonstrate that LamarckiAnt performs competitively with other state-of-the-art optimization algorithms. PMID:24407312

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

    PubMed

    Gonthier, David J

    2012-01-01

    Strong effects of predator chemical cues on prey are common in aquatic and marine ecosystems, but are thought to be rare in terrestrial systems and specifically for arthropods. For ants, herbivores are hypothesized to eavesdrop on ant chemical communication and thereby avoid predation or confrontation. Here I tested the effect of ant chemical cues on herbivore choice and herbivory. Using Margaridisa sp. flea beetles and leaves from the host tree (Conostegia xalapensis), I performed paired-leaf choice feeding experiments. Coating leaves with crushed ant liquids (Azteca instabilis), exposing leaves to ant patrolling prior to choice tests (A. instabilis and Camponotus textor) and comparing leaves from trees with and without A. instabilis nests resulted in more herbivores and herbivory on control (no ant-treatment) relative to ant-treatment leaves. In contrast to A. instabilis and C. textor, leaves previously patrolled by Solenopsis geminata had no difference in beetle number and damage compared to control leaves. Altering the time A. instabilis patrolled treatment leaves prior to choice tests (0-, 5-, 30-, 90-, 180-min.) revealed treatment effects were only statistically significant after 90- and 180-min. of prior leaf exposure. This study suggests, for two ecologically important and taxonomically diverse genera (Azteca and Camponotus), ant chemical cues have important effects on herbivores and that these effects may be widespread across the ant family. It suggests that the effect of chemical cues on herbivores may only appear after substantial previous ant activity has occurred on plant tissues. Furthermore, it supports the hypothesis that herbivores use ant chemical communication to avoid predation or confrontation with ants. PMID:22235248

  4. Insect communication: 'no entry' signal in ant foraging.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Elva J H; Jackson, Duncan E; Holcombe, Mike; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2005-11-24

    Forager ants lay attractive trail pheromones to guide nestmates to food, but the effectiveness of foraging networks might be improved if pheromones could also be used to repel foragers from unrewarding routes. Here we present empirical evidence for such a negative trail pheromone, deployed by Pharaoh's ants (Monomorium pharaonis) as a 'no entry' signal to mark an unrewarding foraging path. This finding constitutes another example of the sophisticated control mechanisms used in self-organized ant colonies. PMID:16306981

  5. 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.

  6. Ant behaviour and seed morphology: a missing link of myrmecochory.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Crisanto; Espadaler, Xavier; Bas, Josep M

    2005-12-01

    Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) is mediated by the presence of a lipid-rich appendage (elaiosome) on the seed that induces a variety of ants to collect the diaspores. When seeds mature or fall onto the ground, these ant species transport them to their nest. After eating the elaiosome, the seed is discarded in nest galleries or outside, in the midden or farther away, where seeds can potentially germinate. The final location of seeds with their elaiosomes removed was evaluated to assess the importance of possible handles (structures that ants can grasp to carry) in transporting ants during re-dispersal experiments of seeds from nests of six species of ants. The results indicate that seeds remained within the nest because the ants were not able to transport them out of the nest. As a consequence of the elaiosome being removed, small ant species could not take Euphorbia characias seeds out of their nests. Only large ant species could remove E. characias seeds from their nests. Attaching an artificial handle to E. characias seeds allowed small ant species to redistribute the seeds from their nests. On the other hand, Rhamnus alaternus seeds that have a natural handle after the elaiosome removal were removed from the nests by both groups of ant species. If a seed has an element that acts as a handle, it will eventually get taken out of the nest. The ants' size and their mandible gap can determine the outcome of the interaction (i.e. the pattern of the final seed shadow) and as a consequence, could influence the events that take place after the dispersal process. PMID:16044350

  7. Do Herbivores Eavesdrop on Ant Chemical Communication to Avoid Predation?

    PubMed Central

    Gonthier, David J.

    2012-01-01

    Strong effects of predator chemical cues on prey are common in aquatic and marine ecosystems, but are thought to be rare in terrestrial systems and specifically for arthropods. For ants, herbivores are hypothesized to eavesdrop on ant chemical communication and thereby avoid predation or confrontation. Here I tested the effect of ant chemical cues on herbivore choice and herbivory. Using Margaridisa sp. flea beetles and leaves from the host tree (Conostegia xalapensis), I performed paired-leaf choice feeding experiments. Coating leaves with crushed ant liquids (Azteca instabilis), exposing leaves to ant patrolling prior to choice tests (A. instabilis and Camponotus textor) and comparing leaves from trees with and without A. instabilis nests resulted in more herbivores and herbivory on control (no ant-treatment) relative to ant-treatment leaves. In contrast to A. instabilis and C. textor, leaves previously patrolled by Solenopsis geminata had no difference in beetle number and damage compared to control leaves. Altering the time A. instabilis patrolled treatment leaves prior to choice tests (0-, 5-, 30-, 90-, 180-min.) revealed treatment effects were only statistically significant after 90- and 180-min. of prior leaf exposure. This study suggests, for two ecologically important and taxonomically diverse genera (Azteca and Camponotus), ant chemical cues have important effects on herbivores and that these effects may be widespread across the ant family. It suggests that the effect of chemical cues on herbivores may only appear after substantial previous ant activity has occurred on plant tissues. Furthermore, it supports the hypothesis that herbivores use ant chemical communication to avoid predation or confrontation with ants. PMID:22235248

  8. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  9. Evolution and ecology of directed aerial descent in arboreal ants.

    PubMed

    Yanoviak, Stephen P; Munk, Yonatan; Dudley, Robert

    2011-12-01

    Directed aerial descent (DAD) is used by a variety of arboreal animals to escape predators, to remain in the canopy, and to access resources. Here, we build upon the discovery of DAD in ants of tropical canopies by summarizing its known phylogenetic distribution among ant genera, and within both the subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae and the genus Cephalotes. DAD has multiple evolutionary origins in ants, occurring independently in numerous genera in the subfamilies Myrmicinae, Formicinae, and Pseudomyrmecinae. Ablation experiments and video recordings of ants in a vertical wind tunnel showed that DAD in Cephalotes atratus is achieved via postural changes, specifically orientation of the legs and gaster. The occurrence of DAD in Formicinae indicates that the presence of a postpetiole is not essential for the behavior. Evidence to date indicates that gliding behavior is accomplished by visual targeting mediated by the compound eyes, and is restricted to diurnally active ants that nest in trees. Occlusion of ocelli in Pseudomyrmex gracilis workers had no effect on their success or performance in gliding. Experimental assessment of the fate of ants that fall to the understory showed that ants landing in water are 15 times more likely to suffer lethal attacks than are ants landing in leaf litter. Variation in both the aerodynamic mechanisms and selective advantages of DAD merits further study given the broad taxonomic diversity of arboreal ants that engage in this intriguing form of flight. PMID:21562023

  10. Looking and homing: how displaced ants decide where to go.

    PubMed

    Zeil, Jochen; Narendra, Ajay; Stürzl, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    We caught solitary foragers of the Australian Jack Jumper ant, Myrmecia croslandi, and released them in three compass directions at distances of 10 and 15 m from the nest at locations they have never been before. We recorded the head orientation and the movements of ants within a radius of 20 cm from the release point and, in some cases, tracked their subsequent paths with a differential GPS. We find that upon surfacing from their transport vials onto a release platform, most ants move into the home direction after looking around briefly. The ants use a systematic scanning procedure, consisting of saccadic head and body rotations that sweep gaze across the scene with an average angular velocity of 90° s(-1) and intermittent changes in turning direction. By mapping the ants' gaze directions onto the local panorama, we find that neither the ants' gaze nor their decisions to change turning direction are clearly associated with salient or significant features in the scene. Instead, the ants look most frequently in the home direction and start walking fast when doing so. Displaced ants can thus identify home direction with little translation, but exclusively through rotational scanning. We discuss the navigational information content of the ants' habitat and how the insects' behaviour informs us about how they may acquire and retrieve that information. PMID:24395961

  11. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study.

    PubMed

    Gao, Wei

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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).

  13. Ant Homing Ability Is Not Diminished When Traveling Backwards.

    PubMed

    Ardin, Paul B; Mangan, Michael; Webb, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Ants are known to be capable of homing to their nest after displacement to a novel location. This is widely assumed to involve some form of retinotopic matching between their current view and previously experienced views. One simple algorithm proposed to explain this behavior is continuous retinotopic alignment, in which the ant constantly adjusts its heading by rotating to minimize the pixel-wise difference of its current view from all views stored while facing the nest. However, ants with large prey items will often drag them home while facing backwards. We tested whether displaced ants (Myrmecia croslandi) dragging prey could still home despite experiencing an inverted view of their surroundings under these conditions. Ants moving backwards with food took similarly direct paths to the nest as ants moving forward without food, demonstrating that continuous retinotopic alignment is not a critical component of homing. It is possible that ants use initial or intermittent retinotopic alignment, coupled with some other direction stabilizing cue that they can utilize when moving backward. However, though most ants dragging prey would occasionally look toward the nest, we observed that their heading direction was not noticeably improved afterwards. We assume ants must use comparison of current and stored images for corrections of their path, but suggest they are either able to chose the appropriate visual memory for comparison using an additional mechanism; or can make such comparisons without retinotopic alignment. PMID:27147991

  14. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Wei

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Insecticide Transfer Efficiency and Lethal Load in Argentine Ants

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-07-03

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

  16. Insecticide Transfer Efficiency and Lethal Load in Argentine Ants

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-07-03

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

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

    PubMed

    Turner, Kyle M; Frederickson, Megan E

    2013-01-01

    Both rewards and signals are important in mutualisms. In myrmecochory, or seed dispersal by ants, the benefits to plants are relatively well studied, but less is known about why ants pick up and move seeds. We examined seed dispersal by the ant Aphaenogaster rudis of four co-occurring species of plants, and tested whether morphology, chemical signaling, or the nutritional quality of fatty seed appendages called elaiosomes influenced dispersal rates. In removal trials, ants quickly collected diaspores (seeds plus elaiosomes) of Asarum canadense, Trillium grandiflorum, and Sanguinaria canadensis, but largely neglected those of T. erectum. This discrepancy was not explained by differences in the bulk cost-benefit ratio, as assessed by the ratio of seed to elaiosome mass. We also provisioned colonies with diaspores from one of these four plant species or no diaspores as a control. Colonies performed best when fed S. canadensis diaspores, worst when fed T. grandiflorum, and intermediately when fed A. canadense, T. erectum, or no diaspores. Thus, the nutritional rewards in elaiosomes affected colony performance, but did not completely predict seed removal. Instead, high levels of oleic acid in T. grandiflorum elaiosomes may explain why ants disperse these diaspores even though they reduce ant colony performance. We show for the first time that different elaiosome-bearing plants provide rewards of different quality to ant colonies, but also that ants appear unable to accurately assess reward quality when encountering seeds. Instead, we suggest that signals can trump rewards as attractants of ants to seeds. PMID:23967257

  18. Signals Can Trump Rewards in Attracting Seed-Dispersing Ants

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Kyle M.; Frederickson, Megan E.

    2013-01-01

    Both rewards and signals are important in mutualisms. In myrmecochory, or seed dispersal by ants, the benefits to plants are relatively well studied, but less is known about why ants pick up and move seeds. We examined seed dispersal by the ant Aphaenogaster rudis of four co-occurring species of plants, and tested whether morphology, chemical signaling, or the nutritional quality of fatty seed appendages called elaiosomes influenced dispersal rates. In removal trials, ants quickly collected diaspores (seeds plus elaiosomes) of Asarum canadense, Trillium grandiflorum, and Sanguinaria canadensis, but largely neglected those of T. erectum. This discrepancy was not explained by differences in the bulk cost-benefit ratio, as assessed by the ratio of seed to elaiosome mass. We also provisioned colonies with diaspores from one of these four plant species or no diaspores as a control. Colonies performed best when fed S. canadensis diaspores, worst when fed T. grandiflorum, and intermediately when fed A. canadense, T. erectum, or no diaspores. Thus, the nutritional rewards in elaiosomes affected colony performance, but did not completely predict seed removal. Instead, high levels of oleic acid in T. grandiflorum elaiosomes may explain why ants disperse these diaspores even though they reduce ant colony performance. We show for the first time that different elaiosome-bearing plants provide rewards of different quality to ant colonies, but also that ants appear unable to accurately assess reward quality when encountering seeds. Instead, we suggest that signals can trump rewards as attractants of ants to seeds. PMID:23967257

  19. Ant patchiness: a spatially quantitative test in coffee agroecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philpott, Stacy M.

    2006-08-01

    Arboreal ants form patchy spatial patterns in tropical agroforest canopies. Such patchy distributions more likely occur in disturbed habitats associated with lower ant diversity and resource availability than in forests. Yet, few studies have quantitatively examined these patchy patterns to statistically test if ants are non-randomly distributed or at what scale. Coffee agroecosystems form a gradient of management intensification along which vegetative complexity and ant diversity decline. Using field studies and a spatially explicit randomization model, I investigated ant patchiness in coffee agroecosystems in Chiapas, Mexico varying in management intensity to examine if: (1) coffee intensification affects occurrence of numerically dominant ants, (2) numerical dominants form statistically distinguishable single-species patches in coffee plants, (3) shade trees play a role in patch location, and (4) patch formation or size varies with management intensity. Coffee intensification correlated with lower occurrence frequency of numerically dominant species generally and of one of four taxa examined. All dominant ant species formed patches but only Azteca instabilis was patchy around shade trees. Ant patchiness did vary somewhat with spatial scale and with strata (within the coffee layer vs around shade trees). Patchiness, however, did not vary with management intensity. These results provide quantitative evidence that numerically dominant ants are patchy within the coffee layer at different scales and that shade tree location, but not coffee management intensity, may play a role in the formation of patchy distributions.

  20. Ant plant herbivore interactions in the neotropical cerrado savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, Paulo S.; Freitas, André V. L.

    2004-12-01

    The Brazilian cerrado savanna covers nearly 2 million km2 and has a high incidence on foliage of various liquid food sources such as extrafloral nectar and insect exudates. These liquid rewards generate intense ant activity on cerrado foliage, making ant plant herbivore interactions especially prevalent in this biome. We present data on the distribution and abundance of extrafloral nectaries in the woody flora of cerrado communities and in the flora of other habitats worldwide, and stress the relevance of liquid food sources (including hemipteran honeydew) for the ant fauna. Consumption by ants of plant and insect exudates significantly affects the activity of the associated herbivores of cerrado plant species, with varying impacts on the reproductive output of the plants. Experiments with an ant plant butterfly system unequivocally demonstrate that the behavior of both immature and adult lepidopterans is closely related to the use of a risky host plant, where intensive visitation by ants can have a severe impact on caterpillar survival. We discuss recent evidence suggesting that the occurrence of liquid rewards on leaves plays a key role in mediating the foraging ecology of foliage-dwelling ants, and that facultative ant plant mutualisms are important in structuring the community of canopy arthropods. Ant-mediated effects on cerrado herbivore communities can be revealed by experiments performed on wide spatial scales, including many environmental factors such as soil fertility and vegetation structure. We also present some research questions that could be rewarding to investigate in this major neotropical savanna.

  1. Chimpanzees prey on army ants with specialized tool set.

    PubMed

    Sanz, Crickette M; Schöning, Caspar; Morgan, David B

    2010-01-01

    Several populations of chimpanzees have been reported to prey upon Dorylus army ants. The most common tool-using technique to gather these ants is with "dipping" probes, which vary in length with regard to aggressiveness and lifestyle of the prey species. We report the use of a tool set in army ant predation by chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo. We recovered 1,060 tools used in this context and collected 25 video recordings of chimpanzee tool-using behavior at ant nests. Two different types of tools were distinguished based on their form and function. The chimpanzees use a woody sapling to perforate the ant nest, and then a herb stem as a dipping tool to harvest the ants. All of the species of ants preyed upon in Goualougo are present and consumed by chimpanzees at other sites, but there are no other reports of such a regular or widespread use of more than one type of tool to prey upon Dorylus ants. Furthermore, this tool set differs from other types of tool combinations used by chimpanzees at this site for preying upon termites or gathering honey. Therefore, we conclude that these chimpanzees have developed a specialized method for preying upon army ants, which involves the use of an additional tool for opening nests. Further research is needed to determine which specific ecological and social factors may have shaped the emergence and maintenance of this technology. PMID:19731231

  2. Ant Homing Ability Is Not Diminished When Traveling Backwards

    PubMed Central

    Ardin, Paul B.; Mangan, Michael; Webb, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Ants are known to be capable of homing to their nest after displacement to a novel location. This is widely assumed to involve some form of retinotopic matching between their current view and previously experienced views. One simple algorithm proposed to explain this behavior is continuous retinotopic alignment, in which the ant constantly adjusts its heading by rotating to minimize the pixel-wise difference of its current view from all views stored while facing the nest. However, ants with large prey items will often drag them home while facing backwards. We tested whether displaced ants (Myrmecia croslandi) dragging prey could still home despite experiencing an inverted view of their surroundings under these conditions. Ants moving backwards with food took similarly direct paths to the nest as ants moving forward without food, demonstrating that continuous retinotopic alignment is not a critical component of homing. It is possible that ants use initial or intermittent retinotopic alignment, coupled with some other direction stabilizing cue that they can utilize when moving backward. However, though most ants dragging prey would occasionally look toward the nest, we observed that their heading direction was not noticeably improved afterwards. We assume ants must use comparison of current and stored images for corrections of their path, but suggest they are either able to chose the appropriate visual memory for comparison using an additional mechanism; or can make such comparisons without retinotopic alignment. PMID:27147991

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

    PubMed

    Horn, Katherine C; Eubanks, Micky D; Siemann, Evan

    2013-01-01

    Biotic interactions are often important in the establishment and spread of invasive species. In particular, competition between introduced and native species can strongly influence the distribution and spread of exotic species and in some cases competition among introduced species can be important. The Caribbean crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, was recently introduced to the Gulf Coast of Texas, and appears to be spreading inland. It has been hypothesized that competition with the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, may be an important factor in the spread of crazy ants. We investigated the potential of interspecific competition among these two introduced ants by measuring interspecific aggression between Caribbean crazy ant workers and workers of Solenopsis invicta. Specifically, we examined the effect of body size and diet on individual-level aggressive interactions among crazy ant workers and fire ants. We found that differences in diet did not alter interactions between crazy ant workers from different nests, but carbohydrate level did play an important role in antagonistic interactions with fire ants: crazy ants on low sugar diets were more aggressive and less likely to be killed in aggressive encounters with fire ants. We found that large fire ants engaged in fewer fights with crazy ants than small fire ants, but fire ant size affected neither fire ant nor crazy ant mortality. Overall, crazy ants experienced higher mortality than fire ants after aggressive encounters. Our findings suggest that fire ant workers might outcompete crazy ant workers on an individual level, providing some biotic resistance to crazy ant range expansion. However, this resistance may be overcome by crazy ants that have a restricted sugar intake, which may occur when crazy ants are excluded from resources by fire ants. PMID:23776702

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuura, Kenji; Yashiro, Toshihisa

    2006-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ballantyne, Gavin; Willmer, Pat

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Nectar theft and floral ant-repellence: a link between nectar volume and ant-repellent traits?

    PubMed

    Ballantyne, Gavin; Willmer, Pat

    2012-01-01

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

  7. From Forgotten Taxon to a Missing Link? The Position of the Genus Verhuellia (Piperaceae) Revealed by Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Wanke, S.; Vanderschaeve, L.; Mathieu, G.; Neinhuis, C.; Goetghebeur, P.; Samain, M. S.

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims The species-poor and little-studied genus Verhuellia has often been treated as a synonym of the genus Peperomia, downplaying its significance in the relationships and evolutionary aspects in Piperaceae and Piperales. The lack of knowledge concerning Verhuellia is largely due to its restricted distribution, poorly known collection localities, limited availability in herbaria and absence in botanical gardens and lack of material suitable for molecular phylogenetic studies until recently. Because Verhuellia has some of the most reduced flowers in Piperales, the reconstruction of floral evolution which shows strong trends towards reduction in all lineages needs to be revised. Methods Verhuellia is included in a molecular phylogenetic analysis of Piperales (trnT-trnL-trnF and trnK/matK), based on nearly 6000 aligned characters and more than 1400 potentially parsimony-informative sites which were partly generated for the present study. Character states for stamen and carpel number are mapped on the combined molecular tree to reconstruct the ancestral states. Key Results The genus Peperomia is generally considered to have the most reduced flowers in Piperales but this study shows that this is only partially true. Verhuellia, with almost equally reduced flowers, is not part of or sister to Peperomia as expected, but is revealed as sister to all other Piperaceae in all analyses, putting character evolution in this family and in the perianthless Piperales in a different light. A robust phylogenetic analysis including all relevant taxa is presented as a framework for inferring patterns and processes of evolution in Piperales and Piperaceae. Conclusions Verhuellia is a further example of how a molecular phylogenetic study can elucidate the relationships of an unplaced taxon. When more material becomes available, it will be possible to investigate character evolution in Piperales more thoroughly and to answer some evolutionary questions concerning Piperaceae

  8. Freshwater Biogeography and Limnological Evolution of the Tibetan Plateau - Insights from a Plateau-Wide Distributed Gastropod Taxon (Radix spp.)

    PubMed Central

    von Oheimb, Parm Viktor; Albrecht, Christian; Riedel, Frank; Du, Lina; Yang, Junxing; Aldridge, David C.; Bößneck, Ulrich; Zhang, Hucai; Wilke, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Background The Tibetan Plateau is not only the highest and largest plateau on earth; it is also home to numerous freshwater lakes potentially harbouring endemic faunal elements. As it remains largely unknown whether these lakes have continuously existed during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), questions arise as to whether taxa have been able to exist on the plateau since before the latest Pleistocene, from where and how often the plateau was colonized, and by which mechanisms organisms conquered remote high altitude lentic freshwater systems. In this study, species of the plateau-wide distributed freshwater gastropod genus Radix are used to answer these biogeographical questions. Methodology/Principal Findings Based on a broad spatial sampling of Radix spp. on the Tibetan Plateau, and phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA sequence data, three probably endemic and one widespread major Radix clade could be identified on the plateau. Two of the endemic clades show a remarkably high genetic diversity, indicating a relatively great phylogenetic age. Phylogeographical analyses of individuals belonging to the most widely distributed clade indicate that intra-plateau distribution cannot be explained by drainage-related dispersal alone. Conclusions/Significance Our study reveals that Radix spp. persisted throughout the LGM on the Tibetan Plateau. Therefore, we assume the continuous existence of suitable water bodies during that time. The extant Radix diversity on the plateau might have been caused by multiple colonization events combined with a relatively long intra-plateau evolution. At least one colonization event has a Palaearctic origin. In contrast to freshwater fishes, passive dispersal, probably by water birds, might be an important mechanism for conquering remote areas on the plateau. Patterns found in Radix spp. are shared with some terrestrial plateau taxa, indicating that Radix may be a suitable model taxon for inferring general patterns of biotic origin, dispersal and

  9. [Problematic medical and psychological issues concerning rehabilitation of crews during the after-sea-dutymen period].

    PubMed

    Liseenko, A N; Artemenko, E S; Demeev, Ya A; Shchur, M S

    2015-09-01

    The analysis of the causes of lack of effective functioning of the medical and psychological rehabilitation of crew of the Navy in the Pacific Fleet is performed. Possible ways of solving existing problematic issues are suggested. For determination of fatigue and overwork it was suggested to undertake mandatory initial medical and psychological screening examination of crews immediately before the return to the naval base, using a simple and affordable methods of testing. Medical and psychological rehabilitation of soldiers after the long sea voyages proposed to take immediate military sanatorium of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (on the territorial principle). PMID:26827519

  10. Naming and Claiming Cancer among African American Women: An Application of Problematic Integration Theory

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Elisia L.

    2009-01-01

    This study examines how a sample of African American women understands the uncertainties fundamental to cancer risk communication. Utilizing data from four focus groups, Problematic Integration (PI) theory is applied as an interpretive lens for illustrating their felt difficulties of talking openly about cancer and breast cancer in everyday life. The women describe worry about cancer and its prevalence among African American women; ambivalence and uncertainty; belief that what is not uncertain is certain and awful; fear and avoidance; contradictions in “claiming” and “rebuking” cancer; and hopefulness. PMID:20160969

  11. Enhanced ant colony optimization for multiscale problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Nan; Fish, Jacob

    2016-03-01

    The present manuscript addresses the issue of computational complexity of optimizing nonlinear composite materials and structures at multiple scales. Several solutions are detailed to meet the enormous computational challenge of optimizing nonlinear structures at multiple scales including: (i) enhanced sampling procedure that provides superior performance of the well-known ant colony optimization algorithm, (ii) a mapping-based meshing of a representative volume element that unlike unstructured meshing permits sensitivity analysis on coarse meshes, and (iii) a multilevel optimization procedure that takes advantage of possible weak coupling of certain scales. We demonstrate the proposed optimization procedure on elastic and inelastic laminated plates involving three scales.

  12. Diagnostic Criteria for Problematic Internet Use among U.S. University Students: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation.

    PubMed

    Li, Wen; O'Brien, Jennifer E; Snyder, Susan M; Howard, Matthew O

    2016-01-01

    Empirical studies have identified increasing rates of problematic Internet use worldwide and a host of related negative consequences. However, researchers disagree as to whether problematic Internet use is a subtype of behavioral addiction. Thus, there are not yet widely accepted and validated diagnostic criteria for problematic Internet use. To address this gap, we used mixed-methods to examine the extent to which signs and symptoms of problematic Internet use mirror DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for substance use disorder, gambling disorder, and Internet gaming disorder. A total of 27 university students, who self-identified as intensive Internet users and who reported Internet-use-associated health and/or psychosocial problems were recruited. Students completed two measures that assess problematic Internet use (Young's Diagnostic Questionnaire and the Compulsive Internet Use Scale) and participated in focus groups exploring their experiences with problematic Internet use. Results of standardized measures and focus group discussions indicated substantial overlap between students' experiences of problematic Internet use and the signs and symptoms reflected in the DSM-5 criteria for substance use disorder, gambling disorder, and Internet gaming disorder. These signs and symptoms included: a) use Internet longer than intended, b) preoccupation with the Internet, c) withdrawal symptoms when unable to access the Internet, d) unsuccessful attempts to stop or reduce Internet use, e) craving, f) loss of interest in hobbies or activities other than the Internet, g) excessive Internet use despite the knowledge of related problems, g) use of the Internet to escape or relieve a negative mood, and h) lying about Internet use. Tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and recurrent Internet use in hazardous situations were uniquely manifested in the context of problematic Internet use. Implications for research and practice are discussed. PMID:26751569

  13. Diagnostic Criteria for Problematic Internet Use among U.S. University Students: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wen; O’Brien, Jennifer E.; Snyder, Susan M.; Howard, Matthew O.

    2016-01-01

    Empirical studies have identified increasing rates of problematic Internet use worldwide and a host of related negative consequences. However, researchers disagree as to whether problematic Internet use is a subtype of behavioral addiction. Thus, there are not yet widely accepted and validated diagnostic criteria for problematic Internet use. To address this gap, we used mixed-methods to examine the extent to which signs and symptoms of problematic Internet use mirror DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for substance use disorder, gambling disorder, and Internet gaming disorder. A total of 27 university students, who self-identified as intensive Internet users and who reported Internet-use-associated health and/or psychosocial problems were recruited. Students completed two measures that assess problematic Internet use (Young’s Diagnostic Questionnaire and the Compulsive Internet Use Scale) and participated in focus groups exploring their experiences with problematic Internet use. Results of standardized measures and focus group discussions indicated substantial overlap between students’ experiences of problematic Internet use and the signs and symptoms reflected in the DSM-5 criteria for substance use disorder, gambling disorder, and Internet gaming disorder. These signs and symptoms included: a) use Internet longer than intended, b) preoccupation with the Internet, c) withdrawal symptoms when unable to access the Internet, d) unsuccessful attempts to stop or reduce Internet use, e) craving, f) loss of interest in hobbies or activities other than the Internet, g) excessive Internet use despite the knowledge of related problems, g) use of the Internet to escape or relieve a negative mood, and h) lying about Internet use. Tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and recurrent Internet use in hazardous situations were uniquely manifested in the context of problematic Internet use. Implications for research and practice are discussed. PMID:26751569

  14. Typification and taxonomic status re-evaluation of 15 taxon names within the species complex Cymbella affinis/tumidula/turgidula (Cymbellaceae, Bacillariophyta)

    PubMed Central

    da Silva, Weliton José; Jahn, Regine; Ludwig, Thelma Alvim Veiga; Hinz, Friedel; Menezes, Mariângela

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Specimens belonging to the Cymbella affinis / Cymbella tumidula / Cymbella turgidula species complex have many taxonomic problems, due to their high morphological variability and lack of type designations. Fifteen taxon names of this complex, distributed in five species, were re-evaluated concerning their taxonomic status, and lectotypified based on original material. In addition to light microscopy, some material was analyzed by electron microscopy. Four new combinations are proposed in order to reposition infraspecific taxa. PMID:26312038

  15. Problematic Substance Use in Urban Adolescents: Role of Intrauterine Exposures to Cocaine and Marijuana and Post-Natal Environment

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Deborah A.; Kuranz, Seth; Appugliese, Danielle; Cabral, Howard; Chen, Clara; Crooks, Denise; Heeren, Timothy; Liebschutz, Jane; Richardson, Mark; Rose-Jacobs, Ruth

    2014-01-01

    Background Linkages between intrauterine exposures to cocaine and marijuana and adolescents’ problematic substance use have not been fully delineated. Methods Prospective longitudinal study with assessors unaware of intrauterine exposure history followed 157 urban participants from birth until late adolescence. Level of intrauterine exposures was identified by mother's report and infant’s meconium. Problematic substance use, identified by the Voice Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (V-DISC) or the Audio Computer Assisted Self-Interview (ACASI) and urine assay, was a composite encompassing DSM-IV indication of tolerance, abuse, and dependence on alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco and any use of cocaine, glue, or opiates. Results Twenty percent (32/157) of the sample experienced problematic substance use by age 18 years, of whom the majority (22/157) acknowledged abuse, tolerance or dependence on marijuana with or without other substances. Structural equation models examining direct and indirect pathways linking a Cox survival model for early substance initiation to a logistic regression models found effects of post-natal factors including childhood exposure to violence and household substance use, early youth substance initiation, and ongoing youth violence exposure contributing to adolescent problematic substance use. Conclusion We did not identify direct relationships between intrauterine cocaine or marijuana exposure and problematic substance use, but did find potentially modifiable post-natal risk factors also noted to be associated with problematic substance use in the general population including earlier substance initiation, exposure to violence and to household substance use. PMID:24999059

  16. Problems with the identification of 'problematic' cannabis use: examining the issues of frequency, quantity, and drug use environment.

    PubMed

    Asbridge, Mark; Duff, Cameron; Marsh, David C; Erickson, Patricia G

    2014-01-01

    Considerable recent attention has focused on how harmful or problematic cannabis use is defined and understood in the literature and put to use in clinical practice. The aim of the current study is to review conceptual and measurement shortcomings in the identification of problematic cannabis use, drawing on the WHO ASSIST instrument for specific examples. Three issues with the current approach are debated and discussed: (1) the identification of problematic cannabis use disproportionately relies on measures of the frequency of cannabis consumption rather than the harms experienced; (2) the quantity consumed on a typical day is not considered when assessing problematic use, and (3) screening tools for problematic use employ a 'one-size-fits-all approach' and fail to reflect on the drug use context (networks and environment). Our commentary tackles each issue, with a review of relevant literature coupled with analyses of two Canadian data sources--a representative sample of the Canadian adult population and a smaller sample of adult, regular, long-term cannabis users from four Canadian cities--to further articulate each point. This article concludes with a discussion of appropriate treatment interventions and approaches to reduce cannabis-related harms, and offers suggested changes to improve the measurement of problematic cannabis use. PMID:25196945

  17. Odorous House Ants (Tapinoma sessile) as Back-Seat Drivers of Localized Ant Decline in Urban Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Salyer, Adam; Bennett, Gary W.; Buczkowski, Grzegorz A.

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Parenting Stress Related to Behavioral Problems and Disease Severity in Children with Problematic Severe Asthma.

    PubMed

    Verkleij, Marieke; van de Griendt, Erik-Jonas; Colland, Vivian; van Loey, Nancy; Beelen, Anita; Geenen, Rinie

    2015-09-01

    Our study examined parenting stress and its association with behavioral problems and disease severity in children with problematic severe asthma. Research participants were 93 children (mean age 13.4 ± 2.7 years) and their parents (86 mothers, 59 fathers). As compared to reference groups analyzed in previous research, scores on the Parenting Stress Index in mothers and fathers of the children with problematic severe asthma were low. Higher parenting stress was associated with higher levels of internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems in children (Child Behavior Checklist). Higher parenting stress in mothers was also associated with higher airway inflammation (FeNO). Thus, although parenting stress was suggested to be low in this group, higher parenting stress, especially in the mother, is associated with more airway inflammation and greater child behavioral problems. This indicates the importance of focusing care in this group on all possible sources of problems, i.e., disease exacerbations and behavioral problems in the child as well as parenting stress. PMID:26054697

  19. Prevalence, severity, and correlates of problematic sexual Internet use in Swedish men and women.

    PubMed

    Ross, Michael W; Månsson, Sven-Axel; Daneback, Kristian

    2012-04-01

    The content and prevalence of problematic Internet sexual use was investigated in a sample of 1,913 Internet-recruited younger Swedish men and women. Five items as part of a larger Internet sexual use study addressed problems associated with it, control, dysphoria, feeling "addicted," and feeling the need for treatment. The resulting scale of Internet sexual problems indicated that 5% of women and 13% of men reported some problems, with 2% of women and 5% of men indicating serious problems across the five items. Of five predictors of problematic use, three were significant: religiosity, having negative experiences with Internet sexual use, and frequency of pornography viewing. The viewing and sharing of pornography was most closely associated with reported problems. Data also suggested that having some very specific pornographic content interests were associated with an increase in reported problems. While these data were limited by the non-random nature of the sample, they suggest that Internet sexual problems are measurable, are a subset of Internet addiction with sexual content, and affect a small but significant proportion of the Internet-using population. PMID:21562915

  20. Noncontinuously binding loop-out primers for avoiding problematic DNA sequences in PCR and sanger sequencing.

    PubMed

    Sumner, Kelli; Swensen, Jeffrey J; Procter, Melinda; Jama, Mohamed; Wooderchak-Donahue, Whitney; Lewis, Tracey; Fong, Michael; Hubley, Lindsey; Schwarz, Monica; Ha, Youna; Paul, Eleri; Brulotte, Benjamin; Lyon, Elaine; Bayrak-Toydemir, Pinar; Mao, Rong; Pont-Kingdon, Genevieve; Best, D Hunter

    2014-09-01

    We present a method in which noncontinuously binding (loop-out) primers are used to exclude regions of DNA that typically interfere with PCR amplification and/or analysis by Sanger sequencing. Several scenarios were tested using this design principle, including M13-tagged PCR primers, non-M13-tagged PCR primers, and sequencing primers. With this technique, a single oligonucleotide is designed in two segments that flank, but do not include, a short region of problematic DNA sequence. During PCR amplification or sequencing, the problematic region is looped-out from the primer binding site, where it does not interfere with the reaction. Using this method, we successfully excluded regions of up to 46 nucleotides. Loop-out primers were longer than traditional primers (27 to 40 nucleotides) and had higher melting temperatures. This method allows the use of a standardized PCR protocol throughout an assay, keeps the number of PCRs to a minimum, reduces the chance for laboratory error, and, above all, does not interrupt the clinical laboratory workflow. PMID:25017792

  1. PIUS-a: Problematic Internet Use Scale in adolescents. Development and psychometric validation.

    PubMed

    Rial Boubeta, Antonio; Gómez Salgado, Patricia; Isorna Folgar, Manuel; Araujo Gallego, Manuel; Varela Mallou, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    Adolescents' use of the Internet is becoming a matter of great concern for different sectors of society. The psychological and behavioural consequences of problematic Internet use in young people demands quick and effective answers. One of the major challenges in this context is the development of empirically validated tools, which would facilitate early detection and screening for potential risk cases. This is precisely the aim of this paper. Based on a sample of 1,709 secondary-school students from Galicia (a region in northern Spain) aged 11 to 17 (M = 13.74, SD = 1.43), the analysis carried out permitted us to present a brief and simple tool (with just 11 items). It has substantial theoretical support, since both the existing background information and the views of experts from the academic and professional spheres were taken into account in the course of its development. The scale is adapted to the Spanish cultural context and to the language of young people. It has satisfactory psychometric properties in terms of reliability of the scores (α = .82), evidence of its internal structure (tested via a Confirmatory Factorial Analysis), sensitivity (81%), and specificity (82.6%). Moreover, its use enables the gradation of adolescents on a risk or problematic Internet use continuum. In our view, all of this lends it enormous applied potential in both the educational and clinical contexts. PMID:25879477

  2. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Problematic Internet Pornography Use: A Randomized Trial.

    PubMed

    Crosby, Jesse M; Twohig, Michael P

    2016-05-01

    Problematic Internet pornography use is the inability to control the use of pornography, the experience of negative cognitions or emotions regarding pornography use, and the resulting negative effects on quality of life or general functioning. This study compared a 12-session individual protocol of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for problematic Internet pornography use to a waitlist control condition with 28 adult males, all but 1 of whom were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Measures of self-reported pornography viewing, standardized measures of compulsive sexual behavior and related cognitions, and quality of life occurred at pretreatment, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up. Results demonstrate significant between-condition reductions in pornography viewing compared to the waitlist condition (93% reduction ACT vs. 21% waitlist). When combining all participants (N=26), a 92% reduction was seen at posttreatment and an 86% reduction at 3-month follow-up. Complete cessation was seen in 54% of participants at posttreatment and at least a 70% reduction was seen in 93% of participants. At the 3-month follow-up assessment, 35% of participants showed complete cessation, with 74% of participants showing at least 70% reduction in viewing. Treatment suggestions and future directions are discussed. PMID:27157029

  3. [Decentralization of health management:the path traveled to date, problematic points and prospects].

    PubMed

    Pinafo, Elisangela; Carvalho, Brígida Gimenez; Nunes, Elisabete de Fátima Polo de Almeida

    2016-05-01

    The scope of this study was to analyze the decentralization of health management at city level and its implications for comprehensive access and care for users. A "scoping review" located 1,902 references. After being subjected to the criteria of inclusion and exclusion by judges, 27 articles were selected and charted. The research revealed the following issues: what it was possible to establish by the process; problematic points in charting the path and prospects of decentralization. The following aspects were identified: increased access to primary care through increasing the number of professionals and family health teams; planning, evaluation and inter-sector aspects were seen as problematic; planning and management instruments are limited, and cities face difficulties in relation to medium and high complexity care. Funding is still a barrier to the advancement of decentralization, few studies have analyzed the guarantee of access to medium and high complexity care and studies that define the reality of small cities are needed. Several challenges were identified, such as the need for implementation of the regionalization process, shared management and an inter-federative network that ensures comprehensive access to health care. PMID:27166900

  4. [Problematic internet use (PIN)--a review of assessment questionnaires and risk factors].

    PubMed

    Bauernhofer, Kathrin; Papousek, Ilona; Fink, Andreas; Unterrainer, Human Friedrich; Weiss, Elisabeth M

    2016-03-01

    Internet is nowadays an integral part of our lives. However, excessive internet use, which is in many ways comparable to substance addictions and behavioral addictions, has become of growing interest in popular media, health policy and scientific research. Nevertheless, there is still considerable controversy with respect to diagnostic criteria and assessment questionnaires, and the diagnosis does not yet appear in any official diagnostic system such as the DSM-5 or ICD-10. Due to the lack of consistent diagnostic criteria for problematic internet use and both the use of different assessment questionnaires and classification systems, the reported prevalence rates vary significantly across studies. Thus, the comparison of study results is limited.In this review article a brief overview of the various diagnostic criteria and assessment questionnaires as well as the prevalence of problematic internet use (PIN) will be given. Furthermore, several usage-related and person-related risk factors of PIN will be discussed. With regards to the latter, the focus will be on both sociodemographic and psychiatric risk factors and on personality traits. PMID:26754664

  5. Chaos-order transition in foraging behavior of ants.

    PubMed

    Li, Lixiang; Peng, Haipeng; Kurths, Jürgen; Yang, Yixian; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim

    2014-06-10

    The study of the foraging behavior of group animals (especially ants) is of practical ecological importance, but it also contributes to the development of widely applicable optimization problem-solving techniques. Biologists have discovered that single ants exhibit low-dimensional deterministic-chaotic activities. However, the influences of the nest, ants' physical abilities, and ants' knowledge (or experience) on foraging behavior have received relatively little attention in studies of the collective behavior of ants. This paper provides new insights into basic mechanisms of effective foraging for social insects or group animals that have a home. We propose that the whole foraging process of ants is controlled by three successive strategies: hunting, homing, and path building. A mathematical model is developed to study this complex scheme. We show that the transition from chaotic to periodic regimes observed in our model results from an optimization scheme for group animals with a home. According to our investigation, the behavior of such insects is not represented by random but rather deterministic walks (as generated by deterministic dynamical systems, e.g., by maps) in a random environment: the animals use their intelligence and experience to guide them. The more knowledge an ant has, the higher its foraging efficiency is. When young insects join the collective to forage with old and middle-aged ants, it benefits the whole colony in the long run. The resulting strategy can even be optimal. PMID:24912159

  6. Caribbean Crazy Ants and their look-alikes in Florida

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Caribbean crazy ant (Nylanderia pubens) continues to grow as a nuisance pest problem in Florida. Homeowners and pest management professionals alike have difficulty in controlling the huge populations that can occur on infested properties. Key to dealing with any pest ant problem is to identify...

  7. Do long-lived ants affect soil microbial communities?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study was designed to test the hypothesis that desert ant species that build nests that remain viable at a particular point in space for more than a decade produce soil conditions that enhance microbial biomass and functional diversity. We studied the effects of a seed-harvester ant, Pogonomyrm...

  8. 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

  9. ACOUSTICAL ANALYSIS OF WINGBEAT FREQUENCIES FOR ALATE IMPORTED FIRE ANTS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The red imported fire ant (RIFA), Solenopsis invicta Buren and the black imported fire ant (BIFA), Solenopsis richteri Forel coexist in the state of Mississippi along with reproductively viable F1 hybrids of these two species. The objective of this study was to determine and compare the wingbeat fre...

  10. Path efficiency of ant foraging trails in an artificial network.

    PubMed

    Vittori, Karla; Talbot, Grégoire; Gautrais, Jacques; Fourcassié, Vincent; Araújo, Aluizio F R; Theraulaz, Guy

    2006-04-21

    In this paper we present an individual-based model describing the foraging behavior of ants moving in an artificial network of tunnels in which several interconnected paths can be used to reach a single food source. Ants lay a trail pheromone while moving in the network and this pheromone acts as a system of mass recruitment that attracts other ants in the network. The rules implemented in the model are based on measures of the decisions taken by ants at tunnel bifurcations during real experiments. The collective choice of the ants is estimated by measuring their probability to take a given path in the network. Overall, we found a good agreement between the results of the simulations and those of the experiments, showing that simple behavioral rules can lead ants to find the shortest paths in the network. The match between the experiments and the model, however, was better for nestbound than for outbound ants. A sensitivity study of the model suggests that the bias observed in the choice of the ants at asymmetrical bifurcations is a key behavior to reproduce the collective choice observed in the experiments. PMID:16199059

  11. The hyper-cube framework for ant colony optimization.

    PubMed

    Blum, Christian; Dorigo, Marco

    2004-04-01

    Ant colony optimization is a metaheuristic approach belonging to the class of model-based search algorithms. In this paper, we propose a new framework for implementing ant colony optimization algorithms called the hyper-cube framework for ant colony optimization. In contrast to the usual way of implementing ant colony optimization algorithms, this framework limits the pheromone values to the interval [0,1]. This is obtained by introducing changes in the pheromone value update rule. These changes can in general be applied to any pheromone value update rule used in ant colony optimization. We discuss the benefits coming with this new framework. The benefits are twofold. On the theoretical side, the new framework allows us to prove that in Ant System, the ancestor of all ant colony optimization algorithms, the average quality of the solutions produced increases in expectation over time when applied to unconstrained problems. On the practical side, the new framework automatically handles the scaling of the objective function values. We experimentally show that this leads on average to a more robust behavior of ant colony optimization algorithms. PMID:15376861

  12. Pre-adaptive cadmium tolerance in the black garden ant.

    PubMed

    Grześ, Irena M; Okrutniak, Mateusz

    2016-04-01

    The black garden ant Lasius niger is a common component of habitats subjected to anthropological stress. The species can develop very abundant populations in metal-polluted areas. In this study, we raised the question of its tolerance to Cd pollution. Workers of L. niger were collected from 54 colonies, originating from 19 sites located along an increasing gradient of Cd pollution in Poland. Ants were exposed to a range of dietary Cd concentrations in a controlled 14-day laboratory experiment in order to test Cd-sensitivity in the investigated ants. The level of ant mortality was recorded as the endpoint of the experiment. We used much higher concentrations of dietary Cd than those the ants are most likely exposed to in field conditions. The investigated ants were highly Cd-tolerant; even a very high dietary Cd concentration of approx. 1300 mg/kg did not affect mortality of workers when compared to the control. Mortality was unrelated to Cd-pollution along the pollution gradient, meaning that high Cd-tolerance can be found even in ants from unpolluted areas. The results stress the importance of pre-adaptive mechanisms in the development of metal tolerance in ants. PMID:26820778

  13. Dynamics and shape of large fire ant rafts

    PubMed Central

    Mlot, Nathan J.; Tovey, Craig; Hu, David L.

    2012-01-01

    To survive floods, fire ants link their bodies together to build waterproof rafts. Such rafts can be quite large, exceeding 100,000 individuals in size. In this study, we make two improvements on a previously reported model on the construction rate of rafts numbering between 3,000 and 10,000 individuals. That model was based upon experimental observations of randomly-directed linear ant trajectories atop the raft. Here, we report anomalous behavior of ants atop larger rafts of up to 23,000 ants. As rafts increase in size, the behavior of ants approaches diffusion, which is in closer alignment with other studies on the foraging and scouting patterns of ants. We incorporate this ant behavior into the model. Our modified model predicts more accurately the growth of large rafts. Our previous model also relied on an assumption of raft circularity. We show that this assumption is not necessary for large rafts, because it follows from the random directionality of the ant trajectories. Our predicted relationship between raft size and circularity closely fits experimental data. PMID:23336030

  14. The infrabuccal pellet piles of fungus-growing ants.

    PubMed

    Little, Ainslie E F; Murakami, Takahiro; Mueller, Ulrich G; Currie, Cameron R

    2003-12-01

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) live in an obligate mutualism with the fungi they cultivate for food. Because of the obligate nature of this relationship, the success of the ants is directly dependent on their ability to grow healthy fungus gardens. Attine ants have evolved complex disease management strategies to reduce their garden's exposure to potential parasitic microbes, to prevent the establishment of infection in their gardens, and to remove infected garden sections. The infrabuccal pocket, a filtering device located in the oral cavity of all ants, is an integral part of the mechanisms that leaf-cutter ants use to prevent the invasion and spread of general microbial parasites and the specific fungal-garden parasite Escovopsis. Fungus-growing ants carefully groom their garden, collecting general debris and pathogenic spores of Escovopsis in their infrabuccal pocket, the contents of which are later expelled in dump chambers inside the nest or externally. In this study we examined how a phylogenetically diverse collection of attine ants treat their infrabuccal pellets. Unlike leaf-cutters that deposit their infrabuccal pellets directly in refuse piles, ants of the more basal attine lineages stack their infrabuccal pellets in piles located close to their gardens, and a separate caste of workers is devoted to the construction, management, and eventual disposal of these piles. PMID:14676952

  15. Commercial agrochemical applications in vineyards do not influence ant communities.

    PubMed

    Chong, Chee Seng; Hoffmann, Ary A; Thomson, Linda J

    2007-12-01

    Ants have been widely used as bioindicators for various terrestrial monitoring and assessment programs but are seldom considered in evaluation of nontarget pesticide effect. Much chemical assessment has been biased toward laboratory and bioassay testing for control of specific pest ant species. Several field studies that did explore the nontarget impacts of pesticides on ants have reported contradictory findings. To address the impact of chemical applications on ants, we tested the response of epigeal ant assemblages and community structure to three pesticide gradients (cumulative International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control toxicity rating, chlorpyrifos use rate, and sulfur use rate) in 19 vineyards. Ordination analyses using nonmetric multidimensional scaling detected community structures at species and genus levels, but the structures were not explained by any pesticide variables. There was no consistent pattern in species and genus percentage complementarities and ant assemblages along pesticide gradients. In contrast, ant community structure was influenced by the presence of shelterbelts near the sampling area. Reasons for the resilience of ants to pesticides are given and assessment at the colony level instead of workers abundance is suggested. The presence of Linepithema humile (Mayr) is emphasized. PMID:18284765

  16. Acoustical mimicry in a predatory social parasite of ants.

    PubMed

    Barbero, F; Bonelli, S; Thomas, J A; Balletto, E; Schönrogge, K

    2009-12-01

    Rapid, effective communication between colony members is a key attribute that enables ants to live in dominant, fiercely protected societies. Their signals, however, may be mimicked by other insects that coexist as commensals with ants or interact with them as mutualists or social parasites. We consider the role of acoustics in ant communication and its exploitation by social parasites. Social parasitism has been studied mainly in the butterfly genus Maculinea, the final instar larvae of which are host-specific parasites of Myrmica ants, preying either on ant grubs (predatory Maculinea) or being fed by trophallaxis (cuckoo Maculinea). We found similar significant differences between the stridulations of model queen and worker ant castes in both Myrmica sabuleti and Myrmica scabrinodis to that previously reported for Myrmica schencki. However, the sounds made by queens of all three Myrmica species were indistinguishable, and among workers, stridulations did not differ significantly in two of three species-pairs tested. Sounds recorded from the predatory caterpillars and pupae of Maculinea arion had similar or closer patterns to the acoustics of their host Myrmica sabuleti than those previously reported for the cuckoo Maculinea rebeli and its host Myrmica schencki, even though Maculinea rebeli caterpillars live more intimately with their host. We conclude that chemical mimicry enables Maculinea larvae to be accepted as colony members by worker ants, but that caterpillars and pupae of both predatory and cuckoo butterflies employ acoustical mimicry of queen ant calls to elevate their status towards the highest attainable position within their host's social hierarchy. PMID:19946088

  17. ANT COMMUNITIES AND LIVESTOCK GRAZING IN THE GREAT BASIN, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objectives of this study were to determine if metrics for ant species assemblages can be used as indicators of rangeland condition, and to determine the influence of vegetation and ground cover variables, factors often influenced by livestock grazing, on ant communities. The ...

  18. 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

  19. Effect of Surfactants on Red Imported Fire Ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Eleven surfactants were evaluated for their immobilizing and killing effects against the red imported fire ant. Reported here are the data on workers. Research on other castes is in progress. Although fire ants can be immobilized in most aqueous surfactant solutions within minutes, they can recov...

  20. The genome of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ants have evolved very complex societies and are key ecosystem members. Some of them are also major pests, as exemplified by the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. We present here the draft genome of S. invicta, assembled from 454 and Illumina reads obtained from a focal haploid male and his brothers. In ...