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Sample records for artificial ant colonies

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Ant Colony Optimization with Cunning Ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsutsui, Shigeyoshi

    In this paper, we propose the cAS, a new ACO algorithm, and evaluate the performance using TSP instances available at TSPLIB. The results show that cAS works well on the test instances and has performance that may be one of the most promising ACO algorithms. We also evaluate cAS when it is combined with LK local search heuristic using larger sized TSP instances. The results also show promising performance. cAS introduced two important schemes. One is to use the colony model divided into units, which has a stronger exploitation feature while maintaining a certain degree of diversity among units. The other is to use a scheme, we call cunning, when constructing new solutions, which can prevent premature stagnation by reducing strong positive feedback to the trail density.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. An ant colony algorithm on continuous searching space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Jing; Cai, Chao

    2015-12-01

    Ant colony algorithm is heuristic, bionic and parallel. Because of it is property of positive feedback, parallelism and simplicity to cooperate with other method, it is widely adopted in planning on discrete space. But it is still not good at planning on continuous space. After a basic introduction to the basic ant colony algorithm, we will propose an ant colony algorithm on continuous space. Our method makes use of the following three tricks. We search for the next nodes of the route according to fixed-step to guarantee the continuity of solution. When storing pheromone, it discretizes field of pheromone, clusters states and sums up the values of pheromone of these states. When updating pheromone, it makes good resolutions measured in relative score functions leave more pheromone, so that ant colony algorithm can find a sub-optimal solution in shorter time. The simulated experiment shows that our ant colony algorithm can find sub-optimal solution in relatively shorter time.

  11. Remarks of Elliptic Curves Derived from Ant Colony Routing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Sangsu; Kim, Daeyeoul; Singh, Dhananjay

    2011-09-01

    We deal with an ant colony based routing model for wireless multi-hop networks. Our model adopts an elliptic curve equation, which is beneficial to design pheromone dynamics for load balancing and packet delivery robustness. Due to the attribute of an elliptic curve equation, our model prevents the over-utilization of a specific node, distinctively from conventional ant colony based schemes. Numerical simulations exhibit the characteristics of our model with respect to various parameters.

  12. 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.

  13. Ant Colonies Prefer Infected over Uninfected Nest Sites

    PubMed Central

    Pontieri, Luigi; Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Graham, Riley; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Linksvayer, Timothy A.

    2014-01-01

    During colony relocation, the selection of a new nest involves exploration and assessment of potential sites followed by colony movement on the basis of a collective decision making process. Hygiene and pathogen load of the potential nest sites are factors worker scouts might evaluate, given the high risk of epidemics in group-living animals. Choosing nest sites free of pathogens is hypothesized to be highly efficient in invasive ants as each of their introduced populations is often an open network of nests exchanging individuals (unicolonial) with frequent relocation into new nest sites and low genetic diversity, likely making these species particularly vulnerable to parasites and diseases. We investigated the nest site preference of the invasive pharaoh ant, Monomorium pharaonis, through binary choice tests between three nest types: nests containing dead nestmates overgrown with sporulating mycelium of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (infected nests), nests containing nestmates killed by freezing (uninfected nests), and empty nests. In contrast to the expectation pharaoh ant colonies preferentially (84%) moved into the infected nest when presented with the choice of an infected and an uninfected nest. The ants had an intermediate preference for empty nests. Pharaoh ants display an overall preference for infected nests during colony relocation. While we cannot rule out that the ants are actually manipulated by the pathogen, we propose that this preference might be an adaptive strategy by the host to “immunize” the colony against future exposure to the same pathogenic fungus. PMID:25372856

  14. Improving Emergency Management by Modeling Ant Colonies

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-03-01

    Charles D. Michener and Mary H. Michener, “American Social Insects: A Book About Bees, Ants, Wasps, and Termites ” (New York: D Van Nostrand, 1951...no. 2 (1978): 183–216. Michener, Charles D. and Mary H. Michener. American Social Insects: A Book About Bees, Ants, Wasps, and Termites . New York

  15. Improved ant colony algorithm for global path planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Pengfei; Wang, Hongbo; Li, Xiaogang

    2017-03-01

    The ant colony algorithm has many advantages compared with other algorithms in path planning, but its shortcomings still cannot be ignored. For example, the convergence speed is very low at initial stage, it is easy to fall into the local optimal solution, and the solution speed is slow and so on. In order to solve these problems and reduce the search time, this paper firstly makes the assignment of the main parameters of α, β, M and ρ in the ant colony algorithm through a large number of experimental data analysis. Then an improved ant colony algorithm based on dynamic parameters and new pheromone updating mechanism is proposed in this paper. Simulation results show that the improved ant colony algorithm can not only greatly shorten the algorithm running time, but also has greater probability to get the global optimal solution, and the convergence rate of algorithm is better than traditional ant colony algorithm. It is very advantageous for solving large-scale optimization problems.

  16. Hierarchy length in orphaned colonies of the ant Temnothorax nylanderi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinze, J.

    2008-08-01

    Workers of the ant Temnothorax nylanderi form dominance orders in orphaned colonies in which only one or a few top-ranking workers begin to produce males from unfertilized eggs. Between one and 11 individuals initiated 80% of all aggression in 14 queenless colonies. As predicted from inclusive fitness models (Molet M, van Baalen M, Monnin T, Insectes Soc 52:247 256, 2005), hierarchy length was found to first increase with colony size and then to level off at larger worker numbers. The frequency and skew of aggression decreased with increasing size, indicating that rank orders are less pronounced in larger colonies.

  17. Plant-derived differences in the composition of aphid honeydew and their effects on colonies of aphid-tending ants.

    PubMed

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Novo, Alexandria; Ableson, Ian; Barbehenn, Raymond V; Vannette, Rachel L

    2014-11-01

    In plant-ant-hemipteran interactions, ants visit plants to consume the honeydew produced by phloem-feeding hemipterans. If genetically based differences in plant phloem chemistry change the chemical composition of hemipteran honeydew, then the plant's genetic constitution could have indirect effects on ants via the hemipterans. If such effects change ant behavior, they could feed back to affect the plant itself. We compared the chemical composition of honeydews produced by Aphis nerii aphid clones on two milkweed congeners, Asclepias curassavica and Asclepias incarnata, and we measured the responses of experimental Linepithema humile ant colonies to these honeydews. The compositions of secondary metabolites, sugars, and amino acids differed significantly in the honeydews from the two plant species. Ant colonies feeding on honeydew derived from A. incarnata recruited in higher numbers to artificial diet, maintained higher queen and worker dry weight, and sustained marginally more workers than ants feeding on honeydew derived from A. curassavica. Ants feeding on honeydew from A. incarnata were also more exploratory in behavioral assays than ants feeding from A. curassavica. Despite performing better when feeding on the A. incarnata honeydew, ant workers marginally preferred honeydew from A. curassavica to honeydew from A. incarnata when given a choice. Our results demonstrate that plant congeners can exert strong indirect effects on ant colonies by means of plant-species-specific differences in aphid honeydew chemistry. Moreover, these effects changed ant behavior and thus could feed back to affect plant performance in the field.

  18. Colony-level impacts of parasitoid flies on fire ants.

    PubMed Central

    Mehdiabadi, Natasha J; Gilbert, Lawrence E

    2002-01-01

    The red imported fire ant is becoming a global ecological problem, having invaded the United States, Puerto Rico, New Zealand and, most recently, Australia. In its established areas, this pest is devastating natural biodiversity. Early attempts to halt fire ant expansion with pesticides actually enhanced its spread. Phorid fly parasitoids from South America have now been introduced into the United States as potential biological control agents of the red imported fire ant, but the impact of these flies on fire ant populations is currently unknown. In the laboratory, we show that an average phorid density of as little as one attacking fly per 200 foraging ants decreased colony protein consumption nearly twofold and significantly reduced numbers of large-sized workers 50 days later. The high impact of a single phorid occurred mainly because ants decreased foraging rates in the presence of the flies. Our experiments, the first (to our knowledge) to link indirect and direct effects of phorids on fire ants, demonstrate that colonies can be stressed with surprisingly low parasitoid densities. We interpret our findings with regard to the more complex fire ant-phorid interactions in the field. PMID:12204130

  19. Improved ant colony algorithm and its simulation study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zongjiang

    2013-03-01

    Ant colony algorithm is development a new heuristic algorithm through simulation ant foraging. For its convergence rate slow, easy to fall into local optimal solution proposed for the adjustment of key parameters, pheromone update to improve the way and through the issue of TSP experiments, results showed that the improved algorithm has better overall search capabilities and demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of this method.

  20. Plant-derived differences in the composition of aphid honeydew and their effects on colonies of aphid-tending ants

    PubMed Central

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Novo, Alexandria; Ableson, Ian; Barbehenn, Raymond V; Vannette, Rachel L

    2014-01-01

    In plant–ant–hemipteran interactions, ants visit plants to consume the honeydew produced by phloem-feeding hemipterans. If genetically based differences in plant phloem chemistry change the chemical composition of hemipteran honeydew, then the plant's genetic constitution could have indirect effects on ants via the hemipterans. If such effects change ant behavior, they could feed back to affect the plant itself. We compared the chemical composition of honeydews produced by Aphis nerii aphid clones on two milkweed congeners, Asclepias curassavica and Asclepias incarnata, and we measured the responses of experimental Linepithema humile ant colonies to these honeydews. The compositions of secondary metabolites, sugars, and amino acids differed significantly in the honeydews from the two plant species. Ant colonies feeding on honeydew derived from A. incarnata recruited in higher numbers to artificial diet, maintained higher queen and worker dry weight, and sustained marginally more workers than ants feeding on honeydew derived from A. curassavica. Ants feeding on honeydew from A. incarnata were also more exploratory in behavioral assays than ants feeding from A. curassavica. Despite performing better when feeding on the A. incarnata honeydew, ant workers marginally preferred honeydew from A. curassavica to honeydew from A. incarnata when given a choice. Our results demonstrate that plant congeners can exert strong indirect effects on ant colonies by means of plant-species-specific differences in aphid honeydew chemistry. Moreover, these effects changed ant behavior and thus could feed back to affect plant performance in the field. PMID:25505534

  1. Plant defense, herbivory, and the growth of Cordia alliodora trees and their symbiotic Azteca ant colonies.

    PubMed

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Gordon, Deborah M

    2012-11-01

    The effects of herbivory on plant fitness are integrated over a plant's lifetime, mediated by ontogenetic changes in plant defense, tolerance, and herbivore pressure. In symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms, plants provide nesting space and food for ants, and ants defend plants against herbivores. The benefit to the plant of sustaining the growth of symbiotic ant colonies depends on whether defense by the growing ant colony outpaces the plant's growth in defendable area and associated herbivore pressure. These relationships were investigated in the symbiotic mutualism between Cordia alliodora trees and Azteca pittieri ants in a Mexican tropical dry forest. As ant colonies grew, worker production remained constant relative to ant-colony size. As trees grew, leaf production increased relative to tree size. Moreover, larger trees hosted lower densities of ants, suggesting that ant-colony growth did not keep pace with tree growth. On leaves with ants experimentally excluded, herbivory per unit leaf area increased exponentially with tree size, indicating that larger trees experienced higher herbivore pressure per leaf area than smaller trees. Even with ant defense, herbivory increased with tree size. Therefore, although larger trees had larger ant colonies, ant density was lower in larger trees, and the ant colonies did not provide sufficient defense to compensate for the higher herbivore pressure in larger trees. These results suggest that in this system the tree can decrease herbivory by promoting ant-colony growth, i.e., sustaining space and food investment in ants, as long as the tree continues to grow.

  2. All-Optical Implementation of the Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Wenchao; Wu, Kan; Shum, Perry Ping; Zheludev, Nikolay I.; Soci, Cesare

    2016-01-01

    We report all-optical implementation of the optimization algorithm for the famous “ant colony” problem. Ant colonies progressively optimize pathway to food discovered by one of the ants through identifying the discovered route with volatile chemicals (pheromones) secreted on the way back from the food deposit. Mathematically this is an important example of graph optimization problem with dynamically changing parameters. Using an optical network with nonlinear waveguides to represent the graph and a feedback loop, we experimentally show that photons traveling through the network behave like ants that dynamically modify the environment to find the shortest pathway to any chosen point in the graph. This proof-of-principle demonstration illustrates how transient nonlinearity in the optical system can be exploited to tackle complex optimization problems directly, on the hardware level, which may be used for self-routing of optical signals in transparent communication networks and energy flow in photonic systems. PMID:27222098

  3. All-Optical Implementation of the Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Wenchao; Wu, Kan; Shum, Perry Ping; Zheludev, Nikolay I.; Soci, Cesare

    2016-05-01

    We report all-optical implementation of the optimization algorithm for the famous “ant colony” problem. Ant colonies progressively optimize pathway to food discovered by one of the ants through identifying the discovered route with volatile chemicals (pheromones) secreted on the way back from the food deposit. Mathematically this is an important example of graph optimization problem with dynamically changing parameters. Using an optical network with nonlinear waveguides to represent the graph and a feedback loop, we experimentally show that photons traveling through the network behave like ants that dynamically modify the environment to find the shortest pathway to any chosen point in the graph. This proof-of-principle demonstration illustrates how transient nonlinearity in the optical system can be exploited to tackle complex optimization problems directly, on the hardware level, which may be used for self-routing of optical signals in transparent communication networks and energy flow in photonic systems.

  4. Ant Colonies Do Not Trade-Off Reproduction against Maintenance.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Boris H; Schrempf, Alexandra; Scheuerlein, Alexander; Heinze, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    The question on how individuals allocate resources into maintenance and reproduction is one of the central questions in life history theory. Yet, resource allocation into maintenance on the organismic level can only be measured indirectly. This is different in a social insect colony, a "superorganism" where workers represent the soma and the queen the germ line of the colony. Here, we investigate whether trade-offs exist between maintenance and reproduction on two levels of biological organization, queens and colonies, by following single-queen colonies of the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior throughout the entire lifespan of the queen. Our results show that maintenance and reproduction are positively correlated on the colony level, and we confirm results of an earlier study that found no trade-off on the individual (queen) level. We attribute this unexpected outcome to the existence of a positive feedback loop where investment into maintenance (workers) increases the rate of resource acquisition under laboratory conditions. Even though food was provided ad libitum, variation in productivity among the colonies suggests that resources can only be utilized and invested into additional maintenance and reproduction by the colony if enough workers are available. The resulting relationship between per-capita and colony productivity in our study fits well with other studies conducted in the field, where decreasing per-capita productivity and the leveling off of colony productivity have been linked to density dependent effects due to competition among colonies. This suggests that the absence of trade-offs in our laboratory study might also be prevalent under natural conditions, leading to a positive association of maintenance, (= growth) and reproduction. In this respect, insect colonies resemble indeterminate growing organisms.

  5. Improved Robustness through Population Variance in Ant Colony Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthews, David C.; Sutton, Andrew M.; Hains, Doug; Whitley, L. Darrell

    Ant Colony Optimization algorithms are population-based Stochastic Local Search algorithms that mimic the behavior of ants, simulating pheromone trails to search for solutions to combinatorial optimization problems. This paper introduces Population Variance, a novel approach to ACO algorithms that allows parameters to vary across the population over time, leading to solution construction differences that are not strictly stochastic. The increased exploration appears to help the search escape from local optima, significantly improving the robustness of the algorithm with respect to suboptimal parameter settings.

  6. Response Ant Colony Optimization of End Milling Surface Roughness

    PubMed Central

    Kadirgama, K.; Noor, M. M.; Abd Alla, Ahmed N.

    2010-01-01

    Metal cutting processes are important due to increased consumer demands for quality metal cutting related products (more precise tolerances and better product surface roughness) that has driven the metal cutting industry to continuously improve quality control of metal cutting processes. This paper presents optimum surface roughness by using milling mould aluminium alloys (AA6061-T6) with Response Ant Colony Optimization (RACO). The approach is based on Response Surface Method (RSM) and Ant Colony Optimization (ACO). The main objectives to find the optimized parameters and the most dominant variables (cutting speed, feedrate, axial depth and radial depth). The first order model indicates that the feedrate is the most significant factor affecting surface roughness. PMID:22294914

  7. Modal parameters estimation using ant colony optimisation algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitarz, Piotr; Powałka, Bartosz

    2016-08-01

    The paper puts forward a new estimation method of modal parameters for dynamical systems. The problem of parameter estimation has been simplified to optimisation which is carried out using the ant colony system algorithm. The proposed method significantly constrains the solution space, determined on the basis of frequency plots of the receptance FRFs (frequency response functions) for objects presented in the frequency domain. The constantly growing computing power of readily accessible PCs makes this novel approach a viable solution. The combination of deterministic constraints of the solution space with modified ant colony system algorithms produced excellent results for systems in which mode shapes are defined by distinctly different natural frequencies and for those in which natural frequencies are similar. The proposed method is fully autonomous and the user does not need to select a model order. The last section of the paper gives estimation results for two sample frequency plots, conducted with the proposed method and the PolyMAX algorithm.

  8. A Hybrid Ant Colony Algorithm for Loading Pattern Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoareau, F.

    2014-06-01

    Electricité de France (EDF) operates 58 nuclear power plant (NPP), of the Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) type. The loading pattern (LP) optimization of these NPP is currently done by EDF expert engineers. Within this framework, EDF R&D has developed automatic optimization tools that assist the experts. The latter can resort, for instance, to a loading pattern optimization software based on ant colony algorithm. This paper presents an analysis of the search space of a few realistic loading pattern optimization problems. This analysis leads us to introduce a hybrid algorithm based on ant colony and a local search method. We then show that this new algorithm is able to generate loading patterns of good quality.

  9. Rationality in collective decision-making by ant colonies.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Susan C; Pratt, Stephen C

    2009-10-22

    Economic models of animal behaviour assume that decision-makers are rational, meaning that they assess options according to intrinsic fitness value and not by comparison with available alternatives. This expectation is frequently violated, but the significance of irrational behaviour remains controversial. One possibility is that irrationality arises from cognitive constraints that necessitate short cuts like comparative evaluation. If so, the study of whether and when irrationality occurs can illuminate cognitive mechanisms. We applied this logic in a novel setting: the collective decisions of insect societies. We tested for irrationality in colonies of Temnothorax ants choosing between two nest sites that varied in multiple attributes, such that neither site was clearly superior. In similar situations, individual animals show irrational changes in preference when a third relatively unattractive option is introduced. In contrast, we found no such effect in colonies. We suggest that immunity to irrationality in this case may result from the ants' decentralized decision mechanism. A colony's choice does not depend on site comparison by individuals, but instead self-organizes from the interactions of multiple ants, most of which are aware of only a single site. This strategy may filter out comparative effects, preventing systematic errors that would otherwise arise from the cognitive limitations of individuals.

  10. Random walk models of worker sorting in ant colonies.

    PubMed

    Sendova-Franks, Ana B; Van Lent, Jan

    2002-07-21

    Sorting can be an important mechanism for the transfer of information from one level of biological organization to another. Here we study the algorithm underlying worker sorting in Leptothorax ant colonies. Worker sorting is related to task allocation and therefore to the adaptive advantages associated with an efficient system for the division of labour in ant colonies. We considered four spatially explicit individual-based models founded on two-dimensional correlated random walk. Our aim was to establish whether sorting at the level of the worker population could occur with minimal assumptions about the behavioural algorithm of individual workers. The behaviour of an individual worker in the models could be summarized by the rule "move if you can, turn always". We assume that the turning angle of a worker is individually specific and negatively dependent on the magnitude of an internal parameter micro which could be regarded as a measure of individual experience or task specialization. All four models attained a level of worker sortedness that was compatible with results from experiments onLeptothorax ant colonies. We found that the presence of a sorting pivot, such as the nest wall or an attraction force towards the centre of the worker population, was crucial for sorting. We make a distinction between such pivots and templates and discuss the biological implications of their difference.

  11. Colony size predicts division of labour in attine ants

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson-Gow, Henry; Sumner, Seirian; Bourke, Andrew F. G.; Jones, Kate E.

    2014-01-01

    Division of labour is central to the ecological success of eusocial insects, yet the evolutionary factors driving increases in complexity in division of labour are little known. The size–complexity hypothesis proposes that, as larger colonies evolve, both non-reproductive and reproductive division of labour become more complex as workers and queens act to maximize inclusive fitness. Using a statistically robust phylogenetic comparative analysis of social and environmental traits of species within the ant tribe Attini, we show that colony size is positively related to both non-reproductive (worker size variation) and reproductive (queen–worker dimorphism) division of labour. The results also suggested that colony size acts on non-reproductive and reproductive division of labour in different ways. Environmental factors, including measures of variation in temperature and precipitation, had no significant effects on any division of labour measure or colony size. Overall, these results support the size–complexity hypothesis for the evolution of social complexity and division of labour in eusocial insects. Determining the evolutionary drivers of colony size may help contribute to our understanding of the evolution of social complexity. PMID:25165765

  12. Rationality in collective decision-making by ant colonies

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Susan C.; Pratt, Stephen C.

    2009-01-01

    Economic models of animal behaviour assume that decision-makers are rational, meaning that they assess options according to intrinsic fitness value and not by comparison with available alternatives. This expectation is frequently violated, but the significance of irrational behaviour remains controversial. One possibility is that irrationality arises from cognitive constraints that necessitate short cuts like comparative evaluation. If so, the study of whether and when irrationality occurs can illuminate cognitive mechanisms. We applied this logic in a novel setting: the collective decisions of insect societies. We tested for irrationality in colonies of Temnothorax ants choosing between two nest sites that varied in multiple attributes, such that neither site was clearly superior. In similar situations, individual animals show irrational changes in preference when a third relatively unattractive option is introduced. In contrast, we found no such effect in colonies. We suggest that immunity to irrationality in this case may result from the ants’ decentralized decision mechanism. A colony's choice does not depend on site comparison by individuals, but instead self-organizes from the interactions of multiple ants, most of which are aware of only a single site. This strategy may filter out comparative effects, preventing systematic errors that would otherwise arise from the cognitive limitations of individuals. PMID:19625319

  13. Annealing Ant Colony Optimization with Mutation Operator for Solving TSP.

    PubMed

    Mohsen, Abdulqader M

    2016-01-01

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) has been successfully applied to solve a wide range of combinatorial optimization problems such as minimum spanning tree, traveling salesman problem, and quadratic assignment problem. Basic ACO has drawbacks of trapping into local minimum and low convergence rate. Simulated annealing (SA) and mutation operator have the jumping ability and global convergence; and local search has the ability to speed up the convergence. Therefore, this paper proposed a hybrid ACO algorithm integrating the advantages of ACO, SA, mutation operator, and local search procedure to solve the traveling salesman problem. The core of algorithm is based on the ACO. SA and mutation operator were used to increase the ants population diversity from time to time and the local search was used to exploit the current search area efficiently. The comparative experiments, using 24 TSP instances from TSPLIB, show that the proposed algorithm outperformed some well-known algorithms in the literature in terms of solution quality.

  14. Annealing Ant Colony Optimization with Mutation Operator for Solving TSP

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) has been successfully applied to solve a wide range of combinatorial optimization problems such as minimum spanning tree, traveling salesman problem, and quadratic assignment problem. Basic ACO has drawbacks of trapping into local minimum and low convergence rate. Simulated annealing (SA) and mutation operator have the jumping ability and global convergence; and local search has the ability to speed up the convergence. Therefore, this paper proposed a hybrid ACO algorithm integrating the advantages of ACO, SA, mutation operator, and local search procedure to solve the traveling salesman problem. The core of algorithm is based on the ACO. SA and mutation operator were used to increase the ants population diversity from time to time and the local search was used to exploit the current search area efficiently. The comparative experiments, using 24 TSP instances from TSPLIB, show that the proposed algorithm outperformed some well-known algorithms in the literature in terms of solution quality. PMID:27999590

  15. Blind noisy image quality evaluation using a deformable ant colony algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Li; Huang, Xiaotong; Tian, Jing; Fu, Xiaowei

    2014-04-01

    The objective of blind noisy image quality assessment is to evaluate the quality of the degraded noisy image without the knowledge of the ground truth image. Its performance relies on the accuracy of the noise statistics estimated from homogenous blocks. The major challenge of block-based approaches lies in the block size selection, as it affects the local noise derivation. To tackle this challenge, a deformable ant colony optimization (DACO) approach is proposed in this paper to adaptively adjust the ant size for image block selection. The proposed DACO approach considers that the size of the ant is adjustable during foraging. For the smooth image blocks, more pheromone is deposited, and then the size of ant is increased. Therefore, this strategy enables the ants to have dynamic food-search capability, leading to more accurate selection of homogeneous blocks. Furthermore, the regression analysis is used to obtain image quality score by exploiting the above-estimated noise statistics. Experimental results are provided to justify that the proposed approach outperforms conventional approaches to provide more accurate noise statistics estimation and achieve a consistent image quality evaluation performance for both the artificially generated and real-world noisy images.

  16. Ant system: optimization by a colony of cooperating agents.

    PubMed

    Dorigo, M; Maniezzo, V; Colorni, A

    1996-01-01

    An analogy with the way ant colonies function has suggested the definition of a new computational paradigm, which we call ant system (AS). We propose it as a viable new approach to stochastic combinatorial optimization. The main characteristics of this model are positive feedback, distributed computation, and the use of a constructive greedy heuristic. Positive feedback accounts for rapid discovery of good solutions, distributed computation avoids premature convergence, and the greedy heuristic helps find acceptable solutions in the early stages of the search process. We apply the proposed methodology to the classical traveling salesman problem (TSP), and report simulation results. We also discuss parameter selection and the early setups of the model, and compare it with tabu search and simulated annealing using TSP. To demonstrate the robustness of the approach, we show how the ant system (AS) can be applied to other optimization problems like the asymmetric traveling salesman, the quadratic assignment and the job-shop scheduling. Finally we discuss the salient characteristics-global data structure revision, distributed communication and probabilistic transitions of the AS.

  17. Pseudacteon decapitating fly parasitism rates in fire ant colonies around Gainesville, Florida

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In order to assess the impacts of phorid flies on fire ants in the Gainesville area, we collected 3 g of worker ants from 36 colonies. A total of 672 parasitized workers were recovered from the 36 colony samples. Confirmed parasitism rates ranged from 0-5% with an average of about 0.5%. Including c...

  18. Dose response of red imported fire ant colonies treated with Solenopsis invicta virus 3

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Baiting tests were conducted to evaluate the effect of increasing Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3) doses on fire ant colonies. Actively growing, early stage, fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) laboratory colonies were pulse-exposed to six concentrations of SINV-3 in a 10% sucrose bait and monitored r...

  19. Strong Combination of Ant Colony Optimization with Constraint Programming Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khichane, Madjid; Albert, Patrick; Solnon, Christine

    We introduce an approach which combines ACO (Ant Colony Optimization) and IBM ILOG CP Optimizer for solving COPs (Combinatorial Optimization Problems). The problem is modeled using the CP Optimizer modeling API. Then, it is solved in a generic way by a two-phase algorithm. The first phase aims at creating a hot start for the second: it samples the solution space and applies reinforcement learning techniques as implemented in ACO to create pheromone trails. During the second phase, CP Optimizer performs a complete tree search guided by the pheromone trails previously accumulated. The first experimental results on knapsack, quadratic assignment and maximum independent set problems show that this new algorithm enhances the performance of CP Optimizer alone.

  20. Displacement back analysis for underground engineering based on immunized continuous ant colony optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Wei

    2016-05-01

    The objective function of displacement back analysis for rock parameters in underground engineering is a very complicated nonlinear multiple hump function. The global optimization method can solve this problem very well. However, many numerical simulations must be performed during the optimization process, which is very time consuming. Therefore, it is important to improve the computational efficiency of optimization back analysis. To improve optimization back analysis, a new global optimization, immunized continuous ant colony optimization, is proposed. This is an improved continuous ant colony optimization using the basic principles of an artificial immune system and evolutionary algorithm. Based on this new global optimization, a new displacement optimization back analysis for rock parameters is proposed. The computational performance of the new back analysis is verified through a numerical example and a real engineering example. The results show that this new method can be used to obtain suitable parameters of rock mass with higher accuracy and less effort than previous methods. Moreover, the new back analysis is very robust.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bockoven, Alison A.; Wilder, Shawn M.; Eubanks, Micky D.

    2015-01-01

    Individuals vary within a species in many ecologically important ways, but the causes and consequences of such variation are often poorly understood. Foraging behavior is among the most profitable and risky activities in which organisms engage and is expected to be under strong selection. Among social insects there is evidence that within-colony variation in traits such as foraging behavior can increase colony fitness, but variation between colonies and the potential consequences of such variation are poorly documented. In this study, we tested natural populations of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, for the existence of colony and regional variation in foraging behavior and tested the persistence of this variation over time and across foraging habitats. We also reared single-lineage colonies in standardized environments to explore the contribution of colony lineage. Fire ants from natural populations exhibited significant and persistent colony and regional-level variation in foraging behaviors such as extra-nest activity, exploration, and discovery of and recruitment to resources. Moreover, colony-level variation in extra-nest activity was significantly correlated with colony growth, suggesting that this variation has fitness consequences. Lineage of the colony had a significant effect on extra-nest activity and exploratory activity and explained approximately half of the variation observed in foraging behaviors, suggesting a heritable component to colony-level variation in behavior. PMID:26197456

  2. Solving optimum operation of single pump unit problem with ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Y.; Liu, C.

    2012-11-01

    For pumping stations, the effective scheduling of daily pump operations from solutions to the optimum design operation problem is one of the greatest potential areas for energy cost-savings, there are some difficulties in solving this problem with traditional optimization methods due to the multimodality of the solution region. In this case, an ACO model for optimum operation of pumping unit is proposed and the solution method by ants searching is presented by rationally setting the object function and constrained conditions. A weighted directed graph was constructed and feasible solutions may be found by iteratively searching of artificial ants, and then the optimal solution can be obtained by applying the rule of state transition and the pheromone updating. An example calculation was conducted and the minimum cost was found as 4.9979. The result of ant colony algorithm was compared with the result from dynamic programming or evolutionary solving method in commercial software under the same discrete condition. The result of ACO is better and the computing time is shorter which indicates that ACO algorithm can provide a high application value to the field of optimal operation of pumping stations and related fields.

  3. Ant colony clustering with fitness perception and pheromone diffusion for community detection in complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Junzhong; Song, Xiangjing; Liu, Chunnian; Zhang, Xiuzhen

    2013-08-01

    Community structure detection in complex networks has been intensively investigated in recent years. In this paper, we propose an adaptive approach based on ant colony clustering to discover communities in a complex network. The focus of the method is the clustering process of an ant colony in a virtual grid, where each ant represents a node in the complex network. During the ant colony search, the method uses a new fitness function to percept local environment and employs a pheromone diffusion model as a global information feedback mechanism to realize information exchange among ants. A significant advantage of our method is that the locations in the grid environment and the connections of the complex network structure are simultaneously taken into account in ants moving. Experimental results on computer-generated and real-world networks show the capability of our method to successfully detect community structures.

  4. Colony variation in the collective regulation of foraging by harvester ants

    PubMed Central

    Guetz, Adam; Greene, Michael J.; Holmes, Susan

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates variation in collective behavior in a natural population of colonies of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. Harvester ant colonies regulate foraging activity to adjust to current food availability; the rate at which inactive foragers leave the nest on the next trip depends on the rate at which successful foragers return with food. This study investigates differences among colonies in foraging activity and how these differences are associated with variation among colonies in the regulation of foraging. Colonies differ in the baseline rate at which patrollers leave the nest, without stimulation from returning ants. This baseline rate predicts a colony's foraging activity, suggesting there is a colony-specific activity level that influences how quickly any ant leaves the nest. When a colony's foraging activity is high, the colony is more likely to regulate foraging. Moreover, colonies differ in the propensity to adjust the rate of outgoing foragers to the rate of forager return. Naturally occurring variation in the regulation of foraging may lead to variation in colony survival and reproductive success. PMID:22479133

  5. A dynamic ant colony optimization for load balancing in MRN/MLN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Le; Huang, Shanguo; Gu, Wanyi

    2011-12-01

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is a popular research field these years. Ants choose paths where pheromone concentration is higher and modify the environment they visited. However, in the context of multi-service in multi-level and multi-domain optical network, the capacity of inter-domain links is limited. Congestion may be occurred at inter-domain links. In this paper, ant colony optimization algorithm based on load balancing is proposed. Ants follow paths not just depend on pheromone alone, we also take available resources on the link as a factor too. Simulations show the proposed method could reduce the traffic blocking probability, and realize load balancing within the network.

  6. Ant colony optimization for solving university facility layout problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohd Jani, Nurul Hafiza; Mohd Radzi, Nor Haizan; Ngadiman, Mohd Salihin

    2013-04-01

    Quadratic Assignment Problems (QAP) is classified as the NP hard problem. It has been used to model a lot of problem in several areas such as operational research, combinatorial data analysis and also parallel and distributed computing, optimization problem such as graph portioning and Travel Salesman Problem (TSP). In the literature, researcher use exact algorithm, heuristics algorithm and metaheuristic approaches to solve QAP problem. QAP is largely applied in facility layout problem (FLP). In this paper we used QAP to model university facility layout problem. There are 8 facilities that need to be assigned to 8 locations. Hence we have modeled a QAP problem with n ≤ 10 and developed an Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm to solve the university facility layout problem. The objective is to assign n facilities to n locations such that the minimum product of flows and distances is obtained. Flow is the movement from one to another facility, whereas distance is the distance between one locations of a facility to other facilities locations. The objective of the QAP is to obtain minimum total walking (flow) of lecturers from one destination to another (distance).

  7. CACONET: Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) Based Clustering Algorithm for VANET

    PubMed Central

    Bajwa, Khalid Bashir; Khan, Salabat; Chaudary, Nadeem Majeed; Akram, Adeel

    2016-01-01

    A vehicular ad hoc network (VANET) is a wirelessly connected network of vehicular nodes. A number of techniques, such as message ferrying, data aggregation, and vehicular node clustering aim to improve communication efficiency in VANETs. Cluster heads (CHs), selected in the process of clustering, manage inter-cluster and intra-cluster communication. The lifetime of clusters and number of CHs determines the efficiency of network. In this paper a Clustering algorithm based on Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) for VANETs (CACONET) is proposed. CACONET forms optimized clusters for robust communication. CACONET is compared empirically with state-of-the-art baseline techniques like Multi-Objective Particle Swarm Optimization (MOPSO) and Comprehensive Learning Particle Swarm Optimization (CLPSO). Experiments varying the grid size of the network, the transmission range of nodes, and number of nodes in the network were performed to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of these algorithms. For optimized clustering, the parameters considered are the transmission range, direction and speed of the nodes. The results indicate that CACONET significantly outperforms MOPSO and CLPSO. PMID:27149517

  8. Enhanced ant colony optimization for inventory routing problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Lily; Moin, Noor Hasnah

    2015-10-01

    The inventory routing problem (IRP) integrates and coordinates two important components of supply chain management which are transportation and inventory management. We consider a one-to-many IRP network for a finite planning horizon. The demand for each product is deterministic and time varying as well as a fleet of capacitated homogeneous vehicles, housed at a depot/warehouse, delivers the products from the warehouse to meet the demand specified by the customers in each period. The inventory holding cost is product specific and is incurred at the customer sites. The objective is to determine the amount of inventory and to construct a delivery routing that minimizes both the total transportation and inventory holding cost while ensuring each customer's demand is met over the planning horizon. The problem is formulated as a mixed integer programming problem and is solved using CPLEX 12.4 to get the lower and upper bound (best integer) for each instance considered. We propose an enhanced ant colony optimization (ACO) to solve the problem and the built route is improved by using local search. The computational experiments demonstrating the effectiveness of our approach is presented.

  9. CACONET: Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) Based Clustering Algorithm for VANET.

    PubMed

    Aadil, Farhan; Bajwa, Khalid Bashir; Khan, Salabat; Chaudary, Nadeem Majeed; Akram, Adeel

    2016-01-01

    A vehicular ad hoc network (VANET) is a wirelessly connected network of vehicular nodes. A number of techniques, such as message ferrying, data aggregation, and vehicular node clustering aim to improve communication efficiency in VANETs. Cluster heads (CHs), selected in the process of clustering, manage inter-cluster and intra-cluster communication. The lifetime of clusters and number of CHs determines the efficiency of network. In this paper a Clustering algorithm based on Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) for VANETs (CACONET) is proposed. CACONET forms optimized clusters for robust communication. CACONET is compared empirically with state-of-the-art baseline techniques like Multi-Objective Particle Swarm Optimization (MOPSO) and Comprehensive Learning Particle Swarm Optimization (CLPSO). Experiments varying the grid size of the network, the transmission range of nodes, and number of nodes in the network were performed to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of these algorithms. For optimized clustering, the parameters considered are the transmission range, direction and speed of the nodes. The results indicate that CACONET significantly outperforms MOPSO and CLPSO.

  10. Ant colony optimization-based firewall anomaly mitigation engine.

    PubMed

    Penmatsa, Ravi Kiran Varma; Vatsavayi, Valli Kumari; Samayamantula, Srinivas Kumar

    2016-01-01

    A firewall is the most essential component of network perimeter security. Due to human error and the involvement of multiple administrators in configuring firewall rules, there exist common anomalies in firewall rulesets such as Shadowing, Generalization, Correlation, and Redundancy. There is a need for research on efficient ways of resolving such anomalies. The challenge is also to see that the reordered or resolved ruleset conforms to the organization's framed security policy. This study proposes an ant colony optimization (ACO)-based anomaly resolution and reordering of firewall rules called ACO-based firewall anomaly mitigation engine. Modified strategies are also introduced to automatically detect these anomalies and to minimize manual intervention of the administrator. Furthermore, an adaptive reordering strategy is proposed to aid faster reordering when a new rule is appended. The proposed approach was tested with different firewall policy sets. The results were found to be promising in terms of the number of conflicts resolved, with minimal availability loss and marginal security risk. This work demonstrated the application of a metaheuristic search technique, ACO, in improving the performance of a packet-filter firewall with respect to mitigating anomalies in the rules, and at the same time demonstrated conformance to the security policy.

  11. Specialization and group size: brain and behavioural correlates of colony size in ants lacking morphological castes.

    PubMed

    Amador-Vargas, Sabrina; Gronenberg, Wulfila; Wcislo, William T; Mueller, Ulrich

    2015-02-22

    Group size in both multicellular organisms and animal societies can correlate with the degree of division of labour. For ants, the task specialization hypothesis (TSH) proposes that increased behavioural specialization enabled by larger group size corresponds to anatomical specialization of worker brains. Alternatively, the social brain hypothesis proposes that increased levels of social stimuli in larger colonies lead to enlarged brain regions in all workers, regardless of their task specialization. We tested these hypotheses in acacia ants (Pseudomyrmex spinicola), which exhibit behavioural but not morphological task specialization. In wild colonies, we marked, followed and tested ant workers involved in foraging tasks on the leaves (leaf-ants) and in defensive tasks on the host tree trunk (trunk-ants). Task specialization increased with colony size, especially in defensive tasks. The relationship between colony size and brain region volume was task-dependent, supporting the TSH. Specifically, as colony size increased, the relative size of regions within the mushroom bodies of the brain decreased in trunk-ants but increased in leaf-ants; those regions play important roles in learning and memory. Our findings suggest that workers specialized in defence may have reduced learning abilities relative to leaf-ants; these inferences remain to be tested. In societies with monomorphic workers, brain polymorphism enhanced by group size could be a mechanism by which division of labour is achieved.

  12. Artificial Bee Colony Optimization for Short-Term Hydrothermal Scheduling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, M.

    2014-12-01

    Artificial bee colony optimization is applied to determine the optimal hourly schedule of power generation in a hydrothermal system. Artificial bee colony optimization is a swarm-based algorithm inspired by the food foraging behavior of honey bees. The algorithm is tested on a multi-reservoir cascaded hydroelectric system having prohibited operating zones and thermal units with valve point loading. The ramp-rate limits of thermal generators are taken into consideration. The transmission losses are also accounted for through the use of loss coefficients. The algorithm is tested on two hydrothermal multi-reservoir cascaded hydroelectric test systems. The results of the proposed approach are compared with those of differential evolution, evolutionary programming and particle swarm optimization. From numerical results, it is found that the proposed artificial bee colony optimization based approach is able to provide better solution.

  13. Global energy gradients and size in colonial organisms: worker mass and worker number in ant colonies.

    PubMed

    Kaspari, Michael

    2005-04-05

    Body mass shapes processes from cell metabolism to community dynamics. Little is known, however, about how the average body mass of individuals varies among ecological communities. Ants alter colony mass by independently changing worker mass and/or worker number. In a survey of 49 ecosystems from tundra to tropical rainforest, average worker mass and worker number were uncorrelated (r(s) = 0.2, P > 0.14) and varied 100-fold. Data supported the hypothesis that higher mean monthly temperatures, T, reduce worker mass by increasing metabolic costs during worker development. In contrast, worker number was unimodal over a 1,000-fold gradient of net primary productivity (NPP, g of carbon per m2 per yr), a measure of organic carbon available to consumers. At the lowest levels of NPP colonies appeared to be carbon-limited; above 60 g of carbon per m2 per yr average worker number decreased to a global low. This decline in worker number with increasing NPP supports the hypothesis that abundant carbon ameliorates the Achilles heel of small taxa in competition with large taxa: their relatively high metabolic demands. Higher predation rates in resource-rich environments may also play a role in limiting worker number. In all, about half the global variation in worker mass and number was accounted for by gradients of NPP and T. Changes in global temperature and rainfall may thus mold gradients of ectotherm size, with consequences for the structure and function of the ecosystems.

  14. Information cascade, Kirman's ant colony model, and kinetic Ising model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hisakado, Masato; Mori, Shintaro

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we discuss a voting model in which voters can obtain information from a finite number of previous voters. There exist three groups of voters: (i) digital herders and independent voters, (ii) analog herders and independent voters, and (iii) tanh-type herders. In our previous paper Hisakado and Mori (2011), we used the mean field approximation for case (i). In that study, if the reference number r is above three, phase transition occurs and the solution converges to one of the equilibria. However, the conclusion is different from mean field approximation. In this paper, we show that the solution oscillates between the two states. A good (bad) equilibrium is where a majority of r select the correct (wrong) candidate. In this paper, we show that there is no phase transition when r is finite. If the annealing schedule is adequately slow from finite r to infinite r, the voting rate converges only to the good equilibrium. In case (ii), the state of reference votes is equivalent to that of Kirman's ant colony model, and it follows beta binomial distribution. In case (iii), we show that the model is equivalent to the finite-size kinetic Ising model. If the voters are rational, a simple herding experiment of information cascade is conducted. Information cascade results from the quenching of the kinetic Ising model. As case (i) is the limit of case (iii) when tanh function becomes a step function, the phase transition can be observed in infinite size limit. We can confirm that there is no phase transition when the reference number r is finite.

  15. Application of ant colony optimization to optimal foragaing theory: comparison of simulation and field results

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) refers to the family of algorithms inspired by the behavior of real ants and used to solve combinatorial problems such as the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP).Optimal Foraging Theory (OFT) is an evolutionary principle wherein foraging organisms or insect parasites seek ...

  16. A Colony Architecture for an Artificial Creature

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-08-01

    ORGANIZATION NAME AND ADDRESS 10. PROGAM .LFMENT, nnj’cT. TASK AREA G WORK UNIT NUMBERS Artificial Intelligence Laboratory 545 Technology Square Cambridge... Technology 1989 All Rights Reserved I II Acknowledgements Thanks to Rod Brooks for establishing a fine research laboratory, generating interesting ideas...Philosophy in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in September 1989. This report

  17. Ant Colony Optimization with Memory and Its Application to Traveling Salesman Problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Rong-Long; Zhao, Li-Qing; Zhou, Xiao-Fan

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is one of the most recent techniques for solving combinatorial optimization problems, and has been unexpectedly successful. Therefore, many improvements have been proposed to improve the performance of the ACO algorithm. In this paper an ant colony optimization with memory is proposed, which is applied to the classical traveling salesman problem (TSP). In the proposed algorithm, each ant searches the solution not only according to the pheromone and heuristic information but also based on the memory which is from the solution of the last iteration. A large number of simulation runs are performed, and simulation results illustrate that the proposed algorithm performs better than the compared algorithms.

  18. Improved packing of protein side chains with parallel ant colonies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The accurate packing of protein side chains is important for many computational biology problems, such as ab initio protein structure prediction, homology modelling, and protein design and ligand docking applications. Many of existing solutions are modelled as a computational optimisation problem. As well as the design of search algorithms, most solutions suffer from an inaccurate energy function for judging whether a prediction is good or bad. Even if the search has found the lowest energy, there is no certainty of obtaining the protein structures with correct side chains. Methods We present a side-chain modelling method, pacoPacker, which uses a parallel ant colony optimisation strategy based on sharing a single pheromone matrix. This parallel approach combines different sources of energy functions and generates protein side-chain conformations with the lowest energies jointly determined by the various energy functions. We further optimised the selected rotamers to construct subrotamer by rotamer minimisation, which reasonably improved the discreteness of the rotamer library. Results We focused on improving the accuracy of side-chain conformation prediction. For a testing set of 442 proteins, 87.19% of X1 and 77.11% of X12 angles were predicted correctly within 40° of the X-ray positions. We compared the accuracy of pacoPacker with state-of-the-art methods, such as CIS-RR and SCWRL4. We analysed the results from different perspectives, in terms of protein chain and individual residues. In this comprehensive benchmark testing, 51.5% of proteins within a length of 400 amino acids predicted by pacoPacker were superior to the results of CIS-RR and SCWRL4 simultaneously. Finally, we also showed the advantage of using the subrotamers strategy. All results confirmed that our parallel approach is competitive to state-of-the-art solutions for packing side chains. Conclusions This parallel approach combines various sources of searching intelligence and energy

  19. A cuckoo-like parasitic moth leads African weaver ant colonies to their ruin.

    PubMed

    Dejean, Alain; Orivel, Jérôme; Azémar, Frédéric; Hérault, Bruno; Corbara, Bruno

    2016-03-29

    In myrmecophilous Lepidoptera, mostly lycaenids and riodinids, caterpillars trick ants into transporting them to the ant nest where they feed on the brood or, in the more derived "cuckoo strategy", trigger regurgitations (trophallaxis) from the ants and obtain trophic eggs. We show for the first time that the caterpillars of a moth (Eublemma albifascia; Noctuidae; Acontiinae) also use this strategy to obtain regurgitations and trophic eggs from ants (Oecophylla longinoda). Females short-circuit the adoption process by laying eggs directly on the ant nests, and workers carry just-hatched caterpillars inside. Parasitized colonies sheltered 44 to 359 caterpillars, each receiving more trophallaxis and trophic eggs than control queens. The thus-starved queens lose weight, stop laying eggs (which transport the pheromones that induce infertility in the workers) and die. Consequently, the workers lay male-destined eggs before and after the queen's death, allowing the colony to invest its remaining resources in male production before it vanishes.

  20. Parasitoids and competitors influence colony-level responses in the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehdiabadi, Natasha J.; Kawazoe, Elizabeth A.; Gilbert, Lawrence E.

    2004-11-01

    Social insect colonies respond to challenges set by a variable environment by reallocating work among colony members. In many social insects, such colony-level task allocation strategies are achieved through individual decisions that produce a self-organized adapting group. We investigated colony responses to parasitoids and native ant competitors in the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta). Parasitoid flies affected fire ants by decreasing the proportion of workers engaged in foraging. Competitors also altered colony-level behaviours by reducing the proportion of foraging ants and by increasing the proportion of roaming majors, whose role is colony defence. Interestingly, the presence of both parasitism and competition almost always had similar effects on task allocation in comparison to each of the biotic factors on its own. Thus, our study uniquely demonstrates that the interactive effect of both parasitism and competition is not necessarily additive, implying that these biotic factors alter colony behaviour in distinct ways. More generally, our work demonstrates the importance of studying the dynamics of species interactions in a broader context.

  1. The Role of Non-Foraging Nests in Polydomous Wood Ant Colonies.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Samuel; Robinson, Elva J H

    2015-01-01

    A colony of red wood ants can inhabit more than one spatially separated nest, in a strategy called polydomy. Some nests within these polydomous colonies have no foraging trails to aphid colonies in the canopy. In this study we identify and investigate the possible roles of non-foraging nests in polydomous colonies of the wood ant Formica lugubris. To investigate the role of non-foraging nests we: (i) monitored colonies for three years; (ii) observed the resources being transported between non-foraging nests and the rest of the colony; (iii) measured the amount of extra-nest activity around non-foraging and foraging nests. We used these datasets to investigate the extent to which non-foraging nests within polydomous colonies are acting as: part of the colony expansion process; hunting and scavenging specialists; brood-development specialists; seasonal foragers; or a selfish strategy exploiting the foraging effort of the rest of the colony. We found that, rather than having a specialised role, non-foraging nests are part of the process of colony expansion. Polydomous colonies expand by founding new nests in the area surrounding the existing nests. Nests founded near food begin foraging and become part of the colony; other nests are not founded near food sources and do not initially forage. Some of these non-foraging nests eventually begin foraging; others do not and are abandoned. This is a method of colony growth not available to colonies inhabiting a single nest, and may be an important advantage of the polydomous nesting strategy, allowing the colony to expand into profitable areas.

  2. Extreme queen-mating frequency and colony fission in African army ants.

    PubMed

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Schoning, Caspar; Pedersen, Jes S; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Gadau, Jurgen

    2004-08-01

    Army ants have long been suspected to represent an independent origin of multiple queen-mating in the social Hymenoptera. Using microsatellite markers, we show that queens of the African army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus have the highest absolute (17.3) and effective (17.5) queen-mating frequencies reported so far for ants. This confirms that obligate multiple queen-mating in social insects is associated with large colony size and advanced social organization, but also raises several novel questions. First, these high estimates place army ants in the range of mating frequencies of honeybees, which have so far been regarded as odd exceptions within the social Hymenoptera. Army ants and honeybees are fundamentally different in morphology and life history, but are the only social insects known that combine obligate multiple mating with reproduction by colony fission and extremely male-biased sex ratios. This implies that the very high numbers of matings in both groups may be due partly to the relatively low costs of additional matings. Second, we were able to trace recent events of colony fission in four of the investigated colonies, where the genotypes of the two queens were only compatible with a mother-daughter relationship. A direct comparison of male production between colonies with offspring from one and two queens, respectively, suggested strongly that new queens do not produce a sexual brood until all workers of the old queen have died, which is consistent with kin selection theory.

  3. The scent of supercolonies: the discovery, synthesis and behavioural verification of ant colony recognition cues

    PubMed Central

    Brandt, Miriam; van Wilgenburg, Ellen; Sulc, Robert; Shea, Kenneth J; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2009-01-01

    Background Ants form highly social and cooperative colonies that compete, and often fight, against other such colonies, both intra- and interspecifically. Some invasive ants take sociality to an extreme, forming geographically massive 'supercolonies' across thousands of kilometres. The success of social insects generally, as well as invasive ants in particular, stems from the sophisticated mechanisms used to accurately and precisely distinguish colonymates from non-colonymates. Surprisingly, however, the specific chemicals used for this recognition are virtually undescribed. Results Here, we report the discovery, chemical synthesis and behavioural testing of the colonymate recognition cues used by the widespread and invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile). By synthesizing pure versions of these chemicals in the laboratory and testing them in behavioural assays, we show that these compounds trigger aggression among normally amicable nestmates, but control hydrocarbons do not. Furthermore, behavioural testing across multiple different supercolonies reveals that the reaction to individual compounds varies from colony to colony -- the expected reaction to true colony recognition labels. Our results also show that both quantitative and qualitative changes to cuticular hydrocarbon profiles can trigger aggression among nestmates. These data point the way for the development of new environmentally-friendly control strategies based on the species-specific manipulation of aggressive behaviour. Conclusion Overall, our findings reveal the identity of specific chemicals used for colonymate recognition by the invasive Argentine ants. Although the particular chemicals used by other ants may differ, the patterns reported here are likely to be true for ants generally. As almost all invasive ants display widespread unicoloniality in their introduced ranges, our findings are particularly relevant for our understanding of the biology of these damaging invaders. PMID:19863781

  4. Performance evaluation of ant colony optimization-based solution strategies on the mixed-model assembly line balancing problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akpinar, Sener; Mirac Bayhan, G.

    2014-06-01

    The aim of this article is to compare the performances of iterative ant colony optimization (ACO)-based solution strategies on a mixed-model assembly line balancing problem of type II (MMALBP-II) by addressing some particular features of real-world assembly line balancing problems such as parallel workstations and zoning constraints. To solve the problem, where the objective is to minimize the cycle time (i.e. maximize the production rate) for a predefined number of workstations in an existing assembly line, two ACO-based approaches which differ in the mission assigned to artificial ants are used. Furthermore, each ACO-based approach is conducted with two different pheromone release strategies: global and local pheromone updating rules. The four ACO-based approaches are used for solving 20 representative MMALBP-II to compare their performance in terms of computational time and solution quality. Detailed comparison results are presented.

  5. Dose response of red imported fire ant colonies to Solenopsis invicta virus 3.

    PubMed

    Valles, Steven M; Porter, Sanford D

    2015-10-01

    Baiting tests were conducted to evaluate the effect of increasing Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3) dose on fire ant colonies. Actively growing early-stage fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) laboratory colonies were pulse-exposed for 24 hours to six concentrations of SINV-3 (10(1), 10(3), 10(5), 10(7), 10(9) genome equivalents/μl) in 1 ml of a 10 % sucrose bait and monitored regularly for two months. SINV-3 concentration had a significant effect on colony health. Brood rating (proportion of brood to worker ants) began to depart from the control group at 19 days for the 10(9) concentration and 26 days for the 10(7) concentration. At 60 days, brood rating was significantly lower among colonies treated with 10(9), 10(7), and 10(5) SINV-3 concentrations. The intermediate concentration, 10(5), appeared to cause a chronic, low-level infection with one colony (n = 9) supporting virus replication. Newly synthesized virus was not detected in any fire ant colonies treated at the 10(1) concentration, indicating that active infections failed to be established at this level of exposure. The highest bait concentration chosen, 10(9), appeared most effective from a control aspect; mean colony brood rating at this concentration (1.1 ± 0.9 at the 60 day time point) indicated poor colony health with minimal brood production. No clear relationship was observed between the quantity of plus genome strand detected and brood rating. Conversely, there was a strong relationship between the presence of the replicative genome strand and declining brood rating, which may serve as a predictor of disease severity. Recommendations for field treatment levels to control fire ants with SINV-3 are discussed.

  6. Chaotic Artificial Bee Colony Used for Cluster Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yudong; Wu, Lenan; Wang, Shuihua; Huo, Yuankai

    A new approach based on artificial bee colony (ABC) with chaotic theory was proposed to solve the partitional clustering problem. We first investigate the optimization model including both the encoding strategy and the variance ratio criterion (VRC). Second, a chaotic ABC algorithm was developed based on the Rossler attractor. Experiments on three types of artificial data of different degrees of overlapping all demonstrate the CABC is superior to both genetic algorithm (GA) and combinatorial particle swarm optimization (CPSO) in terms of robustness and computation time.

  7. Eggs of Mallada desjardinsi (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) are protected by ants: the role of egg stalks in ant-tended aphid colonies.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Masayuki; Nomura, Masashi

    2014-08-01

    In ant-aphid mutualisms, ants usually attack and exclude enemies of aphids. However, larvae of the green lacewing Mallada desjardinsi (Navas) prey on ant-tended aphids without being excluded by ants; these larvae protect themselves from ants by carrying aphid carcasses on their backs. Eggs of M. desjardinsi laid at the tips of stalks have also been observed in ant-tended aphid colonies in the field. Here, we examined whether the egg stalks of M. desjardinsi protect the eggs from ants and predators. When exposed to ants, almost all eggs with intact stalks were untouched, whereas 50-80% of eggs in which stalks had been severed at their bases were destroyed by ants. In contrast, most eggs were preyed upon by larvae of the lacewing Chrysoperla nipponensis (Okamoto), an intraguild predator of M. desjardinsi, regardless of whether their stalks had been severed. These findings suggest that egg stalks provide protection from ants but not from C. nipponensis larvae. To test whether M. desjardinsi eggs are protected from predators by aphid-tending ants, we introduced C. nipponensis larvae onto plants colonized by ant-tended aphids. A significantly greater number of eggs survived in the presence of ants because aphid-tending ants excluded larvae of C. nipponensis. This finding indicates that M. desjardinsi eggs are indirectly protected from predators by ants in ant-tended aphid colonies.

  8. Opportunistic brood theft in the context of colony relocation in an Indian queenless ant

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Bishwarup; Paul, Manabi; Annagiri, Sumana

    2016-01-01

    Brood is a very valuable part of an ant colony and behaviours increasing its number with minimum investment is expected to be favoured by natural selection. Brood theft has been well documented in ants belonging to the subfamilies Myrmicinae and Formicinae. In this study we report opportunistic brood theft in the context of nest relocation in Diacamma indicum, belonging to the primitively eusocial subfamily Ponerinae. Pupae was the preferred stolen item both in laboratory conditions and in natural habitat and a small percentage of the members of a colony acting as thieves stole about 12% of the brood of the victim colony. Stolen brood were not consumed but became slaves. We propose a new dimension to the risks of relocation in the form of brood theft by conspecific neighbours and speculate that examination of this phenomenon in other primitively eusocial species will help understand the origin of brood theft in ants. PMID:27796350

  9. An ant colony based resilience approach to cascading failures in cluster supply network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yingcong; Xiao, Renbin

    2016-11-01

    Cluster supply chain network is a typical complex network and easily suffers cascading failures under disruption events, which is caused by the under-load of enterprises. Improving network resilience can increase the ability of recovery from cascading failures. Social resilience is found in ant colony and comes from ant's spatial fidelity zones (SFZ). Starting from the under-load failures, this paper proposes a resilience method to cascading failures in cluster supply chain network by leveraging on social resilience of ant colony. First, the mapping between ant colony SFZ and cluster supply chain network SFZ is presented. Second, a new cascading model for cluster supply chain network is constructed based on under-load failures. Then, the SFZ-based resilience method and index to cascading failures are developed according to ant colony's social resilience. Finally, a numerical simulation and a case study are used to verify the validity of the cascading model and the resilience method. Experimental results show that, the cluster supply chain network becomes resilient to cascading failures under the SFZ-based resilience method, and the cluster supply chain network resilience can be enhanced by improving the ability of enterprises to recover and adjust.

  10. Colony fusion and worker reproduction after queen loss in army ants

    PubMed Central

    Kronauer, Daniel J. C.; Schöning, Caspar; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2010-01-01

    Theory predicts that altruism is only evolutionarily stable if it is preferentially directed towards relatives, so that any such behaviour towards seemingly unrelated individuals requires scrutiny. Queenless army ant colonies, which have anecdotally been reported to fuse with queenright foreign colonies, are such an enigmatic case. Here we combine experimental queen removal with population genetics and cuticular chemistry analyses to show that colonies of the African army ant Dorylus molestus frequently merge with neighbouring colonies after queen loss. Merging colonies often have no direct co-ancestry, but are on average probably distantly related because of overall population viscosity. The alternative of male production by orphaned workers appears to be so inefficient that residual inclusive fitness of orphaned workers might be maximized by indiscriminately merging with neighbouring colonies to increase their reproductive success. We show that worker chemical recognition profiles remain similar after queen loss, but rapidly change into a mixed colony Gestalt odour after fusion, consistent with indiscriminate acceptance of alien workers that are no longer aggressive. We hypothesize that colony fusion after queen loss might be more widespread, especially in spatially structured populations of social insects where worker reproduction is not profitable. PMID:19889701

  11. Characterizing the Collective Personality of Ant Societies: Aggressive Colonies Do Not Abandon Their Home

    PubMed Central

    Fries, Stephan; Tirard, Claire; Foitzik, Susanne

    2012-01-01

    Animal groups can show consistent behaviors or personalities just like solitary animals. We studied the collective behavior of Temnothorax nylanderi ant colonies, including consistency in behavior and correlations between different behavioral traits. We focused on four collective behaviors (aggression against intruders, nest relocation, removal of infected corpses and nest reconstruction) and also tested for links to the immune defense level of a colony and a fitness component (per-capita productivity). Behaviors leading to an increased exposure of ants to micro-parasites were expected to be positively associated with immune defense measures and indeed colonies that often relocated to other nest sites showed increased immune defense levels. Besides, colonies that responded with low aggression to intruders or failed to remove infected corpses, showed a higher likelihood to move to a new nest site. This resembles the trade-off between aggression and relocation often observed in solitary animals. Finally, one of the behaviors, nest reconstruction, was positively linked to per-capita productivity, whereas other colony-level behaviors, such as aggression against intruders, showed no association, albeit all behaviors were expected to be important for fitness under field conditions. In summary, our study shows that ant societies exhibit complex personalities that can be associated to the physiology and fitness of the colony. Some of these behaviors are linked in suites of correlated behaviors, similar to personalities of solitary animals. PMID:22457751

  12. Adaptive Edge Detection Using Adjusted ANT Colony Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davoodianidaliki, M.; Abedini, A.; Shankayi, M.

    2013-09-01

    Edges contain important information in image and edge detection can be considered a low level process in image processing. Among different methods developed for this purpose traditional methods are simple and rather efficient. In Swarm Intelligent methods developed in last decade, ACO is more capable in this process. This paper uses traditional edge detection operators such as Sobel and Canny as input to ACO and turns overall process adaptive to application. Magnitude matrix or edge image can be used for initial pheromone and ant distribution. Image size reduction is proposed as an efficient smoothing method. A few parameters such as area and diameter of travelled path by ants are converted into rules in pheromone update process. All rules are normalized and final value is acquired by averaging.

  13. Differentiating causality and correlation in allometric scaling: ant colony size drives metabolic hypometry.

    PubMed

    Waters, James S; Ochs, Alison; Fewell, Jennifer H; Harrison, Jon F

    2017-02-22

    Metabolic rates of individual animals and social insect colonies generally scale hypometrically, with mass-specific metabolic rates decreasing with increasing size. Although this allometry has wide ranging effects on social behaviour, ecology and evolution, its causes remain controversial. Because it is difficult to experimentally manipulate body size of organisms, most studies of metabolic scaling depend on correlative data, limiting their ability to determine causation. To overcome this limitation, we experimentally reduced the size of harvester ant colonies (Pogonomyrmex californicus) and quantified the consequent increase in mass-specific metabolic rates. Our results clearly demonstrate a causal relationship between colony size and hypometric changes in metabolic rate that could not be explained by changes in physical density. These findings provide evidence against prominent models arguing that the hypometric scaling of metabolic rate is primarily driven by constraints on resource delivery or surface area/volume ratios, because colonies were provided with excess food and colony size does not affect individual oxygen or nutrient transport. We found that larger colonies had lower median walking speeds and relatively more stationary ants and including walking speed as a variable in the mass-scaling allometry greatly reduced the amount of residual variation in the model, reinforcing the role of behaviour in metabolic allometry. Following the experimental size reduction, however, the proportion of stationary ants increased, demonstrating that variation in locomotory activity cannot solely explain hypometric scaling of metabolic rates in these colonies. Based on prior studies of this species, the increase in metabolic rate in size-reduced colonies could be due to increased anabolic processes associated with brood care and colony growth.

  14. Parallelizing Ant Colony Optimization via Area of Expertise Learning

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-09-13

    Intelligent Robots and Systems [IROS]. Beijing, China, Oct. 2006. 2. Applegate, David L., Robert E. Bixby, Vasek Chvatal, and William Cook. The...Traveling Salesman Problem: A Computational Study. Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey, USA, 08540-5237, 2007. 3. Arabshahi...ManBirStuDor2006ants.pdf. 24. Michalewicz, Z. and D. Fogel . How to Solve It: Modern Heuristics. Springer, Verlag, Berlin, second edition, 2004. 102

  15. The Relationship between Canopy Cover and Colony Size of the Wood Ant Formica lugubris - Implications for the Thermal Effects on a Keystone Ant Species

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yi-Huei; Robinson, Elva J. H.

    2014-01-01

    Climate change may affect ecosystems and biodiversity through the impacts of rising temperature on species’ body size. In terms of physiology and genetics, the colony is the unit of selection for ants so colony size can be considered the body size of a colony. For polydomous ant species, a colony is spread across several nests. This study aims to clarify how climate change may influence an ecologically significant ant species group by investigating thermal effects on wood ant colony size. The strong link between canopy cover and the local temperatures of wood ant’s nesting location provides a feasible approach for our study. Our results showed that nests were larger in shadier areas where the thermal environment was colder and more stable compared to open areas. Colonies (sum of nests in a polydomous colony) also tended to be larger in shadier areas than in open areas. In addition to temperature, our results supported that food resource availability may be an additional factor mediating the relationship between canopy cover and nest size. The effects of canopy cover on total colony size may act at the nest level because of the positive relationship between total colony size and mean nest size, rather than at the colony level due to lack of link between canopy cover and number of nests per colony. Causal relationships between the environment and the life-history characteristics may suggest possible future impacts of climate change on these species. PMID:25551636

  16. Disease in the Society: Infectious Cadavers Result in Collapse of Ant Sub-Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Loreto, Raquel G.; Hughes, David P.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the growing number of experimental studies on mechanisms of social immunity in ant societies, little is known about how social behavior relates to disease progression within the nests of ants. In fact, when empirically studying disease in ant societies, it is common to remove dead ants from experiments to confirm infection by the studied parasite. This unfortunately does not allow disease to progress within the nest as it may be assumed would happen under natural conditions. Therefore, the approach taken so far has resulted in a limited knowledge of diseases dynamics within the nest environment. Here we introduced a single infectious cadaver killed by the fungus Beauveria bassiana into small nests of the ant Camponotus castaneus. We then observed the natural progression of the disease by not removing the corpses of the ants that died following the first entry of the disease. Because some behaviors such as social isolation of sick individuals or the removal of cadavers by nestmates are considered social immune functions and thus adaptations at the colony level that reduce disease spread, we also experimentally confined some sub-colonies to one or two chamber nests to prevent the expression of such behaviors. Based on 51 small nests and survival studies in 1,003 ants we found that a single introduced infectious cadaver was able to transmit within the nest, and social immunity did not prevent the collapse of the small sub-colonies here tested. This was true whether ants did or did not have the option to remove the infectious cadaver. Therefore, we found no evidence that the typically studied social immunity behaviors can reduce disease spread in the conditions here tested. PMID:27529548

  17. Disease in the Society: Infectious Cadavers Result in Collapse of Ant Sub-Colonies.

    PubMed

    Loreto, Raquel G; Hughes, David P

    2016-01-01

    Despite the growing number of experimental studies on mechanisms of social immunity in ant societies, little is known about how social behavior relates to disease progression within the nests of ants. In fact, when empirically studying disease in ant societies, it is common to remove dead ants from experiments to confirm infection by the studied parasite. This unfortunately does not allow disease to progress within the nest as it may be assumed would happen under natural conditions. Therefore, the approach taken so far has resulted in a limited knowledge of diseases dynamics within the nest environment. Here we introduced a single infectious cadaver killed by the fungus Beauveria bassiana into small nests of the ant Camponotus castaneus. We then observed the natural progression of the disease by not removing the corpses of the ants that died following the first entry of the disease. Because some behaviors such as social isolation of sick individuals or the removal of cadavers by nestmates are considered social immune functions and thus adaptations at the colony level that reduce disease spread, we also experimentally confined some sub-colonies to one or two chamber nests to prevent the expression of such behaviors. Based on 51 small nests and survival studies in 1,003 ants we found that a single introduced infectious cadaver was able to transmit within the nest, and social immunity did not prevent the collapse of the small sub-colonies here tested. This was true whether ants did or did not have the option to remove the infectious cadaver. Therefore, we found no evidence that the typically studied social immunity behaviors can reduce disease spread in the conditions here tested.

  18. Ant Colony Optimization Analysis on Overall Stability of High Arch Dam Basis of Field Monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaoli; Chen, Hong-Xin; Kim, Jinxie

    2014-01-01

    A dam ant colony optimization (D-ACO) analysis of the overall stability of high arch dams on complicated foundations is presented in this paper. A modified ant colony optimization (ACO) model is proposed for obtaining dam concrete and rock mechanical parameters. A typical dam parameter feedback problem is proposed for nonlinear back-analysis numerical model based on field monitoring deformation and ACO. The basic principle of the proposed model is the establishment of the objective function of optimizing real concrete and rock mechanical parameter. The feedback analysis is then implemented with a modified ant colony algorithm. The algorithm performance is satisfactory, and the accuracy is verified. The m groups of feedback parameters, used to run a nonlinear FEM code, and the displacement and stress distribution are discussed. A feedback analysis of the deformation of the Lijiaxia arch dam and based on the modified ant colony optimization method is also conducted. By considering various material parameters obtained using different analysis methods, comparative analyses were conducted on dam displacements, stress distribution characteristics, and overall dam stability. The comparison results show that the proposal model can effectively solve for feedback multiple parameters of dam concrete and rock material and basically satisfy assessment requirements for geotechnical structural engineering discipline. PMID:25025089

  19. Improved ant colony optimization for optimal crop and irrigation water allocation by incorporating domain knowledge

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An improved ant colony optimization (ACO) formulation for the allocation of crops and water to different irrigation areas is developed. The formulation enables dynamic adjustment of decision variable options and makes use of visibility factors (VFs, the domain knowledge that can be used to identify ...

  20. Assessment Guidelines for Ant Colony Algorithms when Solving Quadratic Assignment Problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    See, Phen Chiak; Yew Wong, Kuan; Komarudin, Komarudin

    2009-08-01

    To date, no consensus exists on how to evaluate the performance of a new Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm when solving Quadratic Assignment Problems (QAPs). Different performance measures and problems sets are used by researchers to evaluate their algorithms. This paper is aimed to provide a recapitulation of the relevant issues and suggest some guidelines for assessing the performance of new ACO algorithms.

  1. Sociogenomics of cooperation and conflict during colony foundation in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genomic state of an individual results from the interplay between its internal condition and the external environment, which may include the social environment. The link between genes and social environment is clearly visible during the process of colony founding in the fire ant Solenopsis invic...

  2. Biomantling and Bioturbation by Colonies of the Florida Harvester Ant, Pogonomyrmex badius

    PubMed Central

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2015-01-01

    In much of the world, soil-nesting ants are among the leading agents of biomantling and bioturbation, depositing excavated soil on the surface or in underground chambers. Colonies of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius excavate a new nest once a year on average, depositing 0.1 to 12 L (3 L average) of soil on the surface. Repeated surveys of a population of about 400 colonies yielded the frequency of moves (approximately once per year), the distance moved (mean 4 m), and the direction moved (random). The area of the soil disc correlated well with the volume and maximum depth of the nest, as determined by excavation and mapping of chambers. The population-wide frequency distribution of disc areas thus yielded the frequency distribution of nest volumes and maximum depths. For each surveyed colony, the volume of soil excavated from six specified depth ranges and deposited on the surface was estimated. These parameters were used in a simulation to estimate the amount of soil mantled over time by the observed population of P. badius colonies. Spread evenly, P. badius mantling would create a soil layer averaging 0.43 cm thick in a millennium, with 10–15% of the soil deriving from depths greater than 1 m. Biomantling by P. badius is discussed in the context of the ant community of which it is a part, and in relation to literature reports of ant biomantling. PMID:25794047

  3. Item Selection for the Development of Short Forms of Scales Using an Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leite, Walter L.; Huang, I-Chan; Marcoulides, George A.

    2008-01-01

    This article presents the use of an ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm for the development of short forms of scales. An example 22-item short form is developed for the Diabetes-39 scale, a quality-of-life scale for diabetes patients, using a sample of 265 diabetes patients. A simulation study comparing the performance of the ACO algorithm and…

  4. Ant colony optimization analysis on overall stability of high arch dam basis of field monitoring.

    PubMed

    Lin, Peng; Liu, Xiaoli; Chen, Hong-Xin; Kim, Jinxie

    2014-01-01

    A dam ant colony optimization (D-ACO) analysis of the overall stability of high arch dams on complicated foundations is presented in this paper. A modified ant colony optimization (ACO) model is proposed for obtaining dam concrete and rock mechanical parameters. A typical dam parameter feedback problem is proposed for nonlinear back-analysis numerical model based on field monitoring deformation and ACO. The basic principle of the proposed model is the establishment of the objective function of optimizing real concrete and rock mechanical parameter. The feedback analysis is then implemented with a modified ant colony algorithm. The algorithm performance is satisfactory, and the accuracy is verified. The m groups of feedback parameters, used to run a nonlinear FEM code, and the displacement and stress distribution are discussed. A feedback analysis of the deformation of the Lijiaxia arch dam and based on the modified ant colony optimization method is also conducted. By considering various material parameters obtained using different analysis methods, comparative analyses were conducted on dam displacements, stress distribution characteristics, and overall dam stability. The comparison results show that the proposal model can effectively solve for feedback multiple parameters of dam concrete and rock material and basically satisfy assessment requirements for geotechnical structural engineering discipline.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. Study on Increasing the Accuracy of Classification Based on Ant Colony algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, M.; Chen, D.-W.; Dai, C.-Y.; Li, Z.-L.

    2013-05-01

    The application for GIS advances the ability of data analysis on remote sensing image. The classification and distill of remote sensing image is the primary information source for GIS in LUCC application. How to increase the accuracy of classification is an important content of remote sensing research. Adding features and researching new classification methods are the ways to improve accuracy of classification. Ant colony algorithm based on mode framework defined, agents of the algorithms in nature-inspired computation field can show a kind of uniform intelligent computation mode. It is applied in remote sensing image classification is a new method of preliminary swarm intelligence. Studying the applicability of ant colony algorithm based on more features and exploring the advantages and performance of ant colony algorithm are provided with very important significance. The study takes the outskirts of Fuzhou with complicated land use in Fujian Province as study area. The multi-source database which contains the integration of spectral information (TM1-5, TM7, NDVI, NDBI) and topography characters (DEM, Slope, Aspect) and textural information (Mean, Variance, Homogeneity, Contrast, Dissimilarity, Entropy, Second Moment, Correlation) were built. Classification rules based different characters are discovered from the samples through ant colony algorithm and the classification test is performed based on these rules. At the same time, we compare with traditional maximum likelihood method, C4.5 algorithm and rough sets classifications for checking over the accuracies. The study showed that the accuracy of classification based on the ant colony algorithm is higher than other methods. In addition, the land use and cover changes in Fuzhou for the near term is studied and display the figures by using remote sensing technology based on ant colony algorithm. In addition, the land use and cover changes in Fuzhou for the near term is studied and display the figures by using

  7. ACOustic: A Nature-Inspired Exploration Indicator for Ant Colony Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Sagban, Rafid; Ku-Mahamud, Ku Ruhana; Abu Bakar, Muhamad Shahbani

    2015-01-01

    A statistical machine learning indicator, ACOustic, is proposed to evaluate the exploration behavior in the iterations of ant colony optimization algorithms. This idea is inspired by the behavior of some parasites in their mimicry to the queens' acoustics of their ant hosts. The parasites' reaction results from their ability to indicate the state of penetration. The proposed indicator solves the problem of robustness that results from the difference of magnitudes in the distance's matrix, especially when combinatorial optimization problems with rugged fitness landscape are applied. The performance of the proposed indicator is evaluated against the existing indicators in six variants of ant colony optimization algorithms. Instances for travelling salesman problem and quadratic assignment problem are used in the experimental evaluation. The analytical results showed that the proposed indicator is more informative and more robust. PMID:25954768

  8. ACOustic: A Nature-Inspired Exploration Indicator for Ant Colony Optimization.

    PubMed

    Sagban, Rafid; Ku-Mahamud, Ku Ruhana; Abu Bakar, Muhamad Shahbani

    2015-01-01

    A statistical machine learning indicator, ACOustic, is proposed to evaluate the exploration behavior in the iterations of ant colony optimization algorithms. This idea is inspired by the behavior of some parasites in their mimicry to the queens' acoustics of their ant hosts. The parasites' reaction results from their ability to indicate the state of penetration. The proposed indicator solves the problem of robustness that results from the difference of magnitudes in the distance's matrix, especially when combinatorial optimization problems with rugged fitness landscape are applied. The performance of the proposed indicator is evaluated against the existing indicators in six variants of ant colony optimization algorithms. Instances for travelling salesman problem and quadratic assignment problem are used in the experimental evaluation. The analytical results showed that the proposed indicator is more informative and more robust.

  9. Internest food sharing within wood ant colonies: resource redistribution behavior in a complex system

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Elva J.H.

    2016-01-01

    Resource sharing is an important cooperative behavior in many animals. Sharing resources is particularly important in social insect societies, as division of labor often results in most individuals including, importantly, the reproductives, relying on other members of the colony to provide resources. Sharing resources between individuals is therefore fundamental to the success of social insects. Resource sharing is complicated if a colony inhabits several spatially separated nests, a nesting strategy common in many ant species. Resources must be shared not only between individuals in a single nest but also between nests. We investigated the behaviors facilitating resource redistribution between nests in a dispersed-nesting population of wood ant Formica lugubris. We marked ants, in the field, as they transported resources along the trails between nests of a colony, to investigate how the behavior of individual workers relates to colony-level resource exchange. We found that workers from a particular nest “forage” to other nests in the colony, treating them as food sources. Workers treating other nests as food sources means that simple, pre-existing foraging behaviors are used to move resources through a distributed system. It may be that this simple behavioral mechanism facilitates the evolution of this complex life-history strategy. PMID:27004016

  10. Simulation Studies on Harnessing of Artificial Ecosystems in Space Colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyajima, Hiroyuki

    Space Colonies are an artificial habitation built in space, an idea first proposed by Gerard K. O'Neill in 1969. He suggested they be placed at Lagrange points which are points in space that balance out the gravitational attraction of the Earth and Moon. There are three types of space colonies proposed: Bernard, Cylinder, and Stanford Torus. The cylinder type, designed by Gerard K. O'Neill, is the most popular in concept at 6 km diameter and 30 km length, corresponding to about 845 cubic km, ten thousand people would potentially be able to reside these. The habitation area would be rotated to generate a quasi-gravitation by centrifugal force. It would be rotated at 0.55 rpm to generate a gravitation equivalent to that of the earth. In the space colony, there would be six areas axially, consisting of flooring and windows alternately. Mobile mirrors would be located outside the windows to reflect sun light toward the habitation areas and generate day, night, and seasons within the space colony. Thus an artificial ecosystem would be created allowing people live in much the same way as they do on the earth. According to my former research on micro ecosystems, it is very difficult to keep the environment balanced at all points due to the large volume of the habitation area and the thermal input of the mobile mirrors. It is predicted that there will be differences in the environment at each point of the cylinder due to the mirror angle. Although controlling the whole artificial ecosystem balance is important, local environment control at each point is also important for people to live and work comfortably. Therefore, it is needed to develop simulation models which can study the whole ecosystem as well as local environments at each point at the same time. This model has to be able to simulate dynamics of the whole system as well as the local environments. In this study, I have developed a new model to simulate the whole and local dynamics in a space colony by using a cell

  11. Artificial bee colony algorithm for constrained possibilistic portfolio optimization problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Wei

    2015-07-01

    In this paper, we discuss the portfolio optimization problem with real-world constraints under the assumption that the returns of risky assets are fuzzy numbers. A new possibilistic mean-semiabsolute deviation model is proposed, in which transaction costs, cardinality and quantity constraints are considered. Due to such constraints the proposed model becomes a mixed integer nonlinear programming problem and traditional optimization methods fail to find the optimal solution efficiently. Thus, a modified artificial bee colony (MABC) algorithm is developed to solve the corresponding optimization problem. Finally, a numerical example is given to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed model and the corresponding algorithm.

  12. Foraging pattern, colony distribution, and foraging range of the Florida harvester ant Pogonomyrmex badius

    SciTech Connect

    Harrison, J.S.; Gentry, J.B.

    1981-12-01

    This report describes the foraging pattern of the Florida harvester ant Pogonomyrmex badius in a high-density population of colonies. The foraging pattern has both promoted and been influenced by the colony distribution. Pogonomyrmex badius forages from short trails which extend into a surrounding foraging range. Direction of foraging trails is influenced by the location of a colony's near neighbors. Seasonal nest relocations always occur along a foraging trail, usually the main trail. Foraging ranges are not actively defended, but are used almost exclusively by foragers from a single colony. Foraging ranges will be extended into an area abondoned by neighboring foragers, indicating that forager presence may define each colony's range. Colony distribution has remained essentially the same for several years, despite seasonal nest relocations and addition of new colonies. Establishment of trails and exclusive foraging ranges by each colony minimizes encounters with neighboring foragers and guarantees access to available resources; this pattern also pomotes maintenance of the existing colony distribution and partitioning of resources.

  13. Foraging pattern, colony distribution, and foraging range of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius

    SciTech Connect

    Harrison, J.S.; Gentry, J.B.; Aiken, S.C.

    1981-12-01

    This report describes the foraging pattern of the Florida harvester ant Pogonomyrmex badius in a high-density population of colonies. The foraging pattern has both promoted and been influenced by the colony distribution. Pogonomyrmex badius forages from short trails which extend into a surrounding foraging range. Direction of foraging trails is influenced by the location of a colony's near neighbors. Seasonal nest relocations always occur along a foraging trail, usually the main trail. Foraging ranges are not actively defended, but are used almost exclusively by foragers from a single colony. Foraging ranges will be extended into an area abandoned by neighboring foragers, indicating that forager presence may define each colony's range. Colony distribution has remained essentially the same for several years, despite seasonal nest relocations and addition of new colonies. Establishment of trails and exclusive foraging ranges by each colony minimizes encounters with neighboring foragers and guarantees access to available resources; this pattern also promotes maintenance of the existing colony distribution and partitioning of resources.

  14. Variation in butterfly larval acoustics as a strategy to infiltrate and exploit host ant colony resources.

    PubMed

    Sala, Marco; Casacci, Luca Pietro; Balletto, Emilio; Bonelli, Simona; Barbero, Francesca

    2014-01-01

    About 10,000 arthropods live as ants' social parasites and have evolved a number of mechanisms allowing them to penetrate and survive inside the ant nests. Many of them can intercept and manipulate their host communication systems. This is particularly important for butterflies of the genus Maculinea, which spend the majority of their lifecycle inside Myrmica ant nests. Once in the colony, caterpillars of Maculinea "predatory species" directly feed on the ant larvae, while those of "cuckoo species" are fed primarily by attendance workers, by trophallaxis. It has been shown that Maculinea cuckoo larvae are able to reach a higher social status within the colony's hierarchy by mimicking the acoustic signals of their host queen ants. In this research we tested if, when and how myrmecophilous butterflies may change sound emissions depending on their integration level and on stages of their life cycle. We studied how a Maculinea predatory species (M. teleius) can acoustically interact with their host ants and highlighted differences with respect to a cuckoo species (M. alcon). We recorded sounds emitted by Maculinea larvae as well as by their Myrmica hosts, and performed playback experiments to assess the parasites' capacity to interfere with the host acoustic communication system. We found that, although varying between and within butterfly species, the larval acoustic emissions are more similar to queens' than to workers' stridulations. Nevertheless playback experiments showed that ant workers responded most strongly to the sounds emitted by the integrated (i.e. post-adoption) larvae of the cuckoo species, as well as by those of predatory species recorded before any contact with the host ants (i.e. in pre-adoption), thereby revealing the role of acoustic signals both in parasite integration and in adoption rituals. We discuss our findings in the broader context of parasite adaptations, comparing effects of acoustical and chemical mimicry.

  15. Variation in Butterfly Larval Acoustics as a Strategy to Infiltrate and Exploit Host Ant Colony Resources

    PubMed Central

    Sala, Marco; Casacci, Luca Pietro; Balletto, Emilio; Bonelli, Simona; Barbero, Francesca

    2014-01-01

    About 10,000 arthropods live as ants' social parasites and have evolved a number of mechanisms allowing them to penetrate and survive inside the ant nests. Many of them can intercept and manipulate their host communication systems. This is particularly important for butterflies of the genus Maculinea, which spend the majority of their lifecycle inside Myrmica ant nests. Once in the colony, caterpillars of Maculinea “predatory species” directly feed on the ant larvae, while those of “cuckoo species” are fed primarily by attendance workers, by trophallaxis. It has been shown that Maculinea cuckoo larvae are able to reach a higher social status within the colony's hierarchy by mimicking the acoustic signals of their host queen ants. In this research we tested if, when and how myrmecophilous butterflies may change sound emissions depending on their integration level and on stages of their life cycle. We studied how a Maculinea predatory species (M. teleius) can acoustically interact with their host ants and highlighted differences with respect to a cuckoo species (M. alcon). We recorded sounds emitted by Maculinea larvae as well as by their Myrmica hosts, and performed playback experiments to assess the parasites' capacity to interfere with the host acoustic communication system. We found that, although varying between and within butterfly species, the larval acoustic emissions are more similar to queens' than to workers' stridulations. Nevertheless playback experiments showed that ant workers responded most strongly to the sounds emitted by the integrated (i.e. post-adoption) larvae of the cuckoo species, as well as by those of predatory species recorded before any contact with the host ants (i.e. in pre-adoption), thereby revealing the role of acoustic signals both in parasite integration and in adoption rituals. We discuss our findings in the broader context of parasite adaptations, comparing effects of acoustical and chemical mimicry. PMID:24718496

  16. Ant-cuckoo colony optimization for feature selection in digital mammogram.

    PubMed

    Jona, J B; Nagaveni, N

    2014-01-15

    Digital mammogram is the only effective screening method to detect the breast cancer. Gray Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM) textural features are extracted from the mammogram. All the features are not essential to detect the mammogram. Therefore identifying the relevant feature is the aim of this work. Feature selection improves the classification rate and accuracy of any classifier. In this study, a new hybrid metaheuristic named Ant-Cuckoo Colony Optimization a hybrid of Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) and Cuckoo Search (CS) is proposed for feature selection in Digital Mammogram. ACO is a good metaheuristic optimization technique but the drawback of this algorithm is that the ant will walk through the path where the pheromone density is high which makes the whole process slow hence CS is employed to carry out the local search of ACO. Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier with Radial Basis Kernal Function (RBF) is done along with the ACO to classify the normal mammogram from the abnormal mammogram. Experiments are conducted in miniMIAS database. The performance of the new hybrid algorithm is compared with the ACO and PSO algorithm. The results show that the hybrid Ant-Cuckoo Colony Optimization algorithm is more accurate than the other techniques.

  17. The Role of Colony Size on Tunnel Branching Morphogenesis in Ant Nests

    PubMed Central

    Gautrais, Jacques; Buhl, Jérôme; Valverde, Sergi; Kuntz, Pascale; Theraulaz, Guy

    2014-01-01

    Many ant species excavate nests that are made up of chambers and interconnecting tunnels. There is a general trend of an increase in nest complexity with increasing population size. This complexity reflects a higher ramification and anastomosis of tunnels that can be estimated by the meshedness coefficient of the tunnelling networks. It has long been observed that meshedness increases with colony size within and across species, but no explanation has been provided so far. Since colony size is a strong factor controlling collective digging, a high value of the meshedness could simply be a side effect of a larger number of workers. To test this hypothesis, we study the digging dynamics in different group size of ants Messor sancta. We build a model of collective digging that is calibrated from the experimental data. Model's predictions successfully reproduce the topological properties of tunnelling networks observed in experiments, including the increase of the meshedness with group size. We then use the model to investigate situations in which collective digging progresses outward from a centre corresponding to the way tunnelling behaviour occurs in field conditions. Our model predicts that, when all other parameters are kept constant, an increase of the number of workers leads to a higher value of the meshedness and a transition from tree-like structures to highly meshed networks. Therefore we conclude that colony size is a key factor determining tunnelling network complexity in ant colonies. PMID:25330080

  18. A cuckoo-like parasitic moth leads African weaver ant colonies to their ruin

    PubMed Central

    Dejean, Alain; Orivel, Jérôme; Azémar, Frédéric; Hérault, Bruno; Corbara, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    In myrmecophilous Lepidoptera, mostly lycaenids and riodinids, caterpillars trick ants into transporting them to the ant nest where they feed on the brood or, in the more derived “cuckoo strategy”, trigger regurgitations (trophallaxis) from the ants and obtain trophic eggs. We show for the first time that the caterpillars of a moth (Eublemma albifascia; Noctuidae; Acontiinae) also use this strategy to obtain regurgitations and trophic eggs from ants (Oecophylla longinoda). Females short-circuit the adoption process by laying eggs directly on the ant nests, and workers carry just-hatched caterpillars inside. Parasitized colonies sheltered 44 to 359 caterpillars, each receiving more trophallaxis and trophic eggs than control queens. The thus-starved queens lose weight, stop laying eggs (which transport the pheromones that induce infertility in the workers) and die. Consequently, the workers lay male-destined eggs before and after the queen’s death, allowing the colony to invest its remaining resources in male production before it vanishes. PMID:27021621

  19. Presence of multiparasite infections within individual colonies of leaf-cutter ants.

    PubMed

    Taerum, S J; Cafaro, M J; Currie, C R

    2010-02-01

    Host-parasite dynamics can be altered when a host is infected by multiple parasite genotypes. The different strains of parasite are expected to compete for the limited host resources, potentially affecting the survival and reproduction of the host as well as the infecting parasites. Fungus-growing ants, including the well-known leaf-cutters, are an emerging model system for studying the evolution and ecology of symbiosis and host-parasite dynamics. We examine whether the fungus gardens of leaf-cutter ants can be simultaneously infected by multiple strains of the fungal pathogen Escovopsis. Intensive sampling of Escovopsis was conducted from individual gardens, as well as between different garden chambers within individual colonies of leaf-cutting ants. Isolates obtained were genotyped by DNA sequencing. We found that, minimally, 67% of the individual colonies of the leaf-cutter ant genera Atta and Acromyrmex and 50% of the At. colombica garden chambers studied were simultaneously infected by multiple distinct Escovopsis strains. Experimental challenges showed that different Escovopsis strains do not exhibit obvious antagonism toward each other, suggesting that coinfecting strains of the parasite do not engage in interference competition, although interactions were not studied at the cellular level. Further research is needed to understand interparasite interactions between coinfecting Escovopsis strains and to understand the impact of multiparasite infections on the survival of leaf-cutter ant gardens.

  20. A colony-level response to disease control in a leaf-cutting ant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, Adam; Bot, A. N. M.; Brown, Mark

    2002-03-01

    Parasites and pathogens often impose significant costs on their hosts. This is particularly true for social organisms, where the genetic structure of groups and the accumulation of contaminated waste facilitate disease transmission. In response, hosts have evolved many mechanisms of defence against parasites. Here we present evidence that Atta colombica, a leaf-cutting ant, may combat Escovopsis, a dangerous parasite of Atta's garden fungus, through a colony-level behavioural response. In A. colombica, garden waste is removed from within the colony and transported to the midden - an external waste dump - where it is processed by a group of midden workers. We found that colonies infected with Escovopsis have higher numbers of workers on the midden, where Escovopsis is deposited. Further, midden workers are highly effective in dispersing newly deposited waste away from the dumping site. Thus, the colony-level task allocation strategies of the Atta superorganism may change in response to the threat of disease to a third, essential party.

  1. High recombination frequency creates genotypic diversity in colonies of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior.

    PubMed

    Sirviö, A; Gadau, J; Rueppell, O; Lamatsch, D; Boomsma, J J; Pamilo, P; Page, R E

    2006-09-01

    Honeybees are known to have genetically diverse colonies because queens mate with many males and the recombination rate is extremely high. Genetic diversity among social insect workers has been hypothesized to improve general performance of large and complex colonies, but this idea has not been tested in other social insects. Here, we present a linkage map and an estimate of the recombination rate for Acromyrmex echinatior, a leaf-cutting ant that resembles the honeybee in having multiple mating of queens and colonies of approximately the same size. A map of 145 AFLP markers in 22 linkage groups yielded a total recombinational size of 2076 cM and an inferred recombination rate of 161 kb cM(-1) (or 6.2 cM Mb(-1)). This estimate is lower than in the honeybee but, as far as the mapping criteria can be compared, higher than in any other insect mapped so far. Earlier studies on A. echinatior have demonstrated that variation in division of labour and pathogen resistance has a genetic component and that genotypic diversity among workers may thus give colonies of this leaf-cutting ant a functional advantage. The present result is therefore consistent with the hypothesis that complex social life can select for an increased recombination rate through effects on genotypic diversity and colony performance.

  2. Stable isotope enrichment in laboratory ant colonies: effects of colony age, metamorphosis, diet, and fat storage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecologists use stable isotopes to infer diets and trophic levels of animals in food webs, yet some assumptions underlying these inferences have not been thoroughly tested. We used laboratory-reared colonies of Solenopsis invicta Buren (Formicidae: Solenopsidini) to test the effects of metamorphosis,...

  3. Application of the dynamic ant colony algorithm on the optimal operation of cascade reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, X. X.; Xu, W. S.; Wang, Y. F.; Zhang, Y. W.; Zhang, P. C.

    2016-08-01

    Due to the lack of dynamic adjustments between global searches and local optimization, it is difficult to maintain high diversity and overcome local optimum problems for Ant Colony Algorithms (ACA). Therefore, this paper proposes an improved ACA, Dynamic Ant Colony Algorithm (DACA). DACA applies dynamic adjustments on heuristic factor changes to balance global searches and local optimization in ACA, which decreases cosines. At the same time, by utilizing the randomness and ergodicity of the chaotic search, DACA implements the chaos disturbance on the path found in each ACA iteration to improve the algorithm's ability to jump out of the local optimum and avoid premature convergence. We conducted a case study with DACA for optimal joint operation of the Dadu River cascade reservoirs. The simulation results were compared with the results of the gradual optimization method and the standard ACA, which demonstrated the advantages of DACA in speed and precision.

  4. Routing in Wireless Sensor Networks Using an Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) Router Chip.

    PubMed

    Okdem, Selcuk; Karaboga, Dervis

    2009-01-01

    Wireless Sensor Networks consisting of nodes with limited power are deployed to gather useful information from the field. In WSNs it is critical to collect the information in an energy efficient manner. Ant Colony Optimization, a swarm intelligence based optimization technique, is widely used in network routing. A novel routing approach using an Ant Colony Optimization algorithm is proposed for Wireless Sensor Networks consisting of stable nodes. Illustrative examples, detailed descriptions and comparative performance test results of the proposed approach are included. The approach is also implemented to a small sized hardware component as a router chip. Simulation results show that proposed algorithm provides promising solutions allowing node designers to efficiently operate routing tasks.

  5. Ant workers die young and colonies collapse when fed a high-protein diet

    PubMed Central

    Dussutour, A.; Simpson, S. J.

    2012-01-01

    A key determinant of the relationship between diet and longevity is the balance of protein and carbohydrate in the diet. Eating excess protein relative to carbohydrate shortens lifespan in solitary insects. Here, we investigated the link between high-protein diet and longevity, both at the level of individual ants and colonies in black garden ants, Lasius niger. We explored how lifespan was affected by the dietary protein-to-carbohydrate ratio and the duration of exposure to a high-protein diet. We show that (i) restriction to high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets decreased worker lifespan by up to 10-fold; (ii) reduction in lifespan on such diets was mainly due to elevated intake of protein rather than lack of carbohydrate; and (iii) only one day of exposure to a high-protein diet had dire consequences for workers and the colony, reducing population size by more than 20 per cent. PMID:22357267

  6. Detection Of Ventricular Late Potentials Using Wavelet Transform And ANT Colony Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subramanian, A. Sankara; Gurusamy, G.; Selvakumar, G.

    2010-10-01

    Ventricular late Potentials (VLPs) are low-level high frequency signals that are usually found with in the terminal part of the QRS complex from patients after Myocardial Infraction. Patients with VLPs are at risk of developing Ventricular Tachycardia, which is the major cause of death if patients suffering from heart disease. In this paper the Discrete Wavelet Transform was used to detect VLPs and then ANT colony optimization (ACO) was applied to classify subjects with and without VLPs. A set of Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) coefficients is selected from the wavelet decomposition. Three standard parameters of VLPs such as QRST, D40 and V40 are also established. After that a novel clustering algorithm based on Ant Colony Optimization is developed for classifying arrhythmia types. The wavelet decomposition enabled us to perform the task efficiently and produced reliable results.

  7. Multi-Robot Dynamic Task Allocation Using Modified Ant Colony System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zhenzhen; Xia, Feng; Zhang, Xianchao

    This paper presents a dynamic task allocation algorithm for multiple robots to visit multiple targets. This algorithm is specifically designed for the environment where robots have dissimilar starting and ending locations. And the constraint of balancing the number of targets visited by each robot is considered. More importantly, this paper takes into account the dynamicity of multi-robot system and the obstacles in the environment. This problem is modeled as a constrained MTSP which can not be transformed to TSP and can not be solved by classical Ant Colony System (ACS). The Modified Ant Colony System (MACS) is presented to solve this problem and the unvisited targets are allocated to appropriate robots dynamically. The simulation results show that the output of the proposed algorithm can satisfy the constraints and dynamicity for the problem of multi-robot task allocation.

  8. Warring arthropod societies: Social spider colonies can delay annihilation by predatory ants via reduced apparency and increased group size.

    PubMed

    Keiser, Carl N; Wright, Colin M; Pruitt, Jonathan N

    2015-10-01

    Sociality provides individuals with benefits via collective foraging and anti-predator defense. One of the costs of living in large groups, however, is increased apparency to natural enemies. Here, we test how the individual-level and collective traits of spider societies can increase the risk of discovery and death by predatory ants. We transplanted colonies of the social spider Stegodyphus dumicola into a habitat dense with one of their top predators, the pugnacious ant Anoplolepis custodiens. With three different experiments, we test how colony-wide survivorship in a predator-dense habitat can be altered by colony apparency (i.e., the presence of a capture web), group size, and group composition (i.e., the proportion of bold and shy personality types present). We also test how spiders' social context (i.e., living solitarily vs. among conspecifics) modifies their behaviour toward ants in their capture web. Colonies with capture webs intact were discovered by predatory ants on average 25% faster than colonies with the capture web removed, and all discovered colonies eventually collapsed and succumbed to predation. However, the lag time from discovery by ants to colony collapse was greater for colonies containing more individuals. The composition of individual personality types in the group had no influence on survivorship. Spiders in a social group were more likely to approach ants caught in their web than were isolated spiders. Isolated spiders were more likely to attack a safe prey item (a moth) than they were to attack ants and were more likely to retreat from ants after contact than they were after contact with moths. Together, our data suggest that the physical structures produced by large animal societies can increase their apparency to natural enemies, though larger groups can facilitate a longer lag time between discovery and demise. Lastly, the interaction between spiders and predatory ants seems to depend on the social context in which spiders reside.

  9. An artificial bee colony algorithm for uncertain portfolio selection.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Portfolio selection is an important issue for researchers and practitioners. In this paper, under the assumption that security returns are given by experts' evaluations rather than historical data, we discuss the portfolio adjusting problem which takes transaction costs and diversification degree of portfolio into consideration. Uncertain variables are employed to describe the security returns. In the proposed mean-variance-entropy model, the uncertain mean value of the return is used to measure investment return, the uncertain variance of the return is used to measure investment risk, and the entropy is used to measure diversification degree of portfolio. In order to solve the proposed model, a modified artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm is designed. Finally, a numerical example is given to illustrate the modelling idea and the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

  10. Improved artificial bee colony algorithm based gravity matching navigation method.

    PubMed

    Gao, Wei; Zhao, Bo; Zhou, Guang Tao; Wang, Qiu Ying; Yu, Chun Yang

    2014-07-18

    Gravity matching navigation algorithm is one of the key technologies for gravity aided inertial navigation systems. With the development of intelligent algorithms, the powerful search ability of the Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm makes it possible to be applied to the gravity matching navigation field. However, existing search mechanisms of basic ABC algorithms cannot meet the need for high accuracy in gravity aided navigation. Firstly, proper modifications are proposed to improve the performance of the basic ABC algorithm. Secondly, a new search mechanism is presented in this paper which is based on an improved ABC algorithm using external speed information. At last, modified Hausdorff distance is introduced to screen the possible matching results. Both simulations and ocean experiments verify the feasibility of the method, and results show that the matching rate of the method is high enough to obtain a precise matching position.

  11. An Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm for Uncertain Portfolio Selection

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Portfolio selection is an important issue for researchers and practitioners. In this paper, under the assumption that security returns are given by experts' evaluations rather than historical data, we discuss the portfolio adjusting problem which takes transaction costs and diversification degree of portfolio into consideration. Uncertain variables are employed to describe the security returns. In the proposed mean-variance-entropy model, the uncertain mean value of the return is used to measure investment return, the uncertain variance of the return is used to measure investment risk, and the entropy is used to measure diversification degree of portfolio. In order to solve the proposed model, a modified artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm is designed. Finally, a numerical example is given to illustrate the modelling idea and the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. PMID:25089292

  12. Ant Colony Optimization with Genetic Operation and Its Application to Traveling Salesman Problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Rong-Long; Zhou, Xiao-Fan; Okazaki, Kozo

    Ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithms are a recently developed, population-based approach which has been successfully applied to optimization problems. However, in the ACO algorithms it is difficult to adjust the balance between intensification and diversification and thus the performance is not always very well. In this work, we propose an improved ACO algorithm in which some of ants can evolve by performing genetic operation, and the balance between intensification and diversification can be adjusted by numbers of ants which perform genetic operation. The proposed algorithm is tested by simulating the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP). Experimental studies show that the proposed ACO algorithm with genetic operation has superior performance when compared to other existing ACO algorithms.

  13. Coupling ant colony optimization and the extended great deluge algorithm for the discrete facility layout problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nourelfath, M.; Nahas, N.; Montreuil, B.

    2007-12-01

    This article uses a hybrid optimization approach to solve the discrete facility layout problem (FLP), modelled as a quadratic assignment problem (QAP). The idea of this approach design is inspired by the ant colony meta-heuristic optimization method, combined with the extended great deluge (EGD) local search technique. Comparative computational experiments are carried out on benchmarks taken from the QAP-library and from real life problems. The performance of the proposed algorithm is compared to construction and improvement heuristics such as H63, HC63-66, CRAFT and Bubble Search, as well as other existing meta-heuristics developed in the literature based on simulated annealing (SA), tabu search and genetic algorithms (GAs). This algorithm is compared also to other ant colony implementations for QAP. The experimental results show that the proposed ant colony optimization/extended great deluge (ACO/EGD) performs significantly better than the existing construction and improvement algorithms. The experimental results indicate also that the ACO/EGD heuristic methodology offers advantages over other algorithms based on meta-heuristics in terms of solution quality.

  14. Blending of heritable recognition cues among ant nestmates creates distinct colony gestalt odours but prevents within-colony nepotism.

    PubMed

    van Zweden, J S; Brask, J B; Christensen, J H; Boomsma, J J; Linksvayer, T A; d'Ettorre, P

    2010-07-01

    The evolution of sociality is facilitated by the recognition of close kin, but if kin recognition is too accurate, nepotistic behaviour within societies can dissolve social cohesion. In social insects, cuticular hydrocarbons act as nestmate recognition cues and are usually mixed among colony members to create a Gestalt odour. Although earlier studies have established that hydrocarbon profiles are influenced by heritable factors, transfer among nestmates and additional environmental factors, no studies have quantified these relative contributions for separate compounds. Here, we use the ant Formica rufibarbis in a cross-fostering design to test the degree to which hydrocarbons are heritably synthesized by young workers and transferred by their foster workers. Bioassays show that nestmate recognition has a significant heritable component. Multivariate quantitative analyses based on 38 hydrocarbons reveal that a subset of branched alkanes are heritably synthesized, but that these are also extensively transferred among nestmates. In contrast, especially linear alkanes are less heritable and little transferred; these are therefore unlikely to act as cues that allow within-colony nepotistic discrimination or as nestmate recognition cues. These results indicate that heritable compounds are suitable for establishing a genetic Gestalt for efficient nestmate recognition, but that recognition cues within colonies are insufficiently distinct to allow nepotistic kin discrimination.

  15. Training Spiking Neural Models Using Artificial Bee Colony

    PubMed Central

    Vazquez, Roberto A.; Garro, Beatriz A.

    2015-01-01

    Spiking neurons are models designed to simulate, in a realistic manner, the behavior of biological neurons. Recently, it has been proven that this type of neurons can be applied to solve pattern recognition problems with great efficiency. However, the lack of learning strategies for training these models do not allow to use them in several pattern recognition problems. On the other hand, several bioinspired algorithms have been proposed in the last years for solving a broad range of optimization problems, including those related to the field of artificial neural networks (ANNs). Artificial bee colony (ABC) is a novel algorithm based on the behavior of bees in the task of exploring their environment to find a food source. In this paper, we describe how the ABC algorithm can be used as a learning strategy to train a spiking neuron aiming to solve pattern recognition problems. Finally, the proposed approach is tested on several pattern recognition problems. It is important to remark that to realize the powerfulness of this type of model only one neuron will be used. In addition, we analyze how the performance of these models is improved using this kind of learning strategy. PMID:25709644

  16. Sociogenomics of Cooperation and Conflict during Colony Founding in the Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta

    PubMed Central

    Manfredini, Fabio; Riba-Grognuz, Oksana; Wurm, Yannick; Keller, Laurent; Shoemaker, DeWayne; Grozinger, Christina M.

    2013-01-01

    One of the fundamental questions in biology is how cooperative and altruistic behaviors evolved. The majority of studies seeking to identify the genes regulating these behaviors have been performed in systems where behavioral and physiological differences are relatively fixed, such as in the honey bee. During colony founding in the monogyne (one queen per colony) social form of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, newly-mated queens may start new colonies either individually (haplometrosis) or in groups (pleometrosis). However, only one queen (the “winner”) in pleometrotic associations survives and takes the lead of the young colony while the others (the “losers”) are executed. Thus, colony founding in fire ants provides an excellent system in which to examine the genes underpinning cooperative behavior and how the social environment shapes the expression of these genes. We developed a new whole genome microarray platform for S. invicta to characterize the gene expression patterns associated with colony founding behavior. First, we compared haplometrotic queens, pleometrotic winners and pleometrotic losers. Second, we manipulated pleometrotic couples in order to switch or maintain the social ranks of the two cofoundresses. Haplometrotic and pleometrotic queens differed in the expression of genes involved in stress response, aging, immunity, reproduction and lipid biosynthesis. Smaller sets of genes were differentially expressed between winners and losers. In the second experiment, switching social rank had a much greater impact on gene expression patterns than the initial/final rank. Expression differences for several candidate genes involved in key biological processes were confirmed using qRT-PCR. Our findings indicate that, in S. invicta, social environment plays a major role in the determination of the patterns of gene expression, while the queen's physiological state is secondary. These results highlight the powerful influence of social environment on

  17. A Stochastic Inversion Method for Potential Field Data: Ant Colony Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shuang; Hu, Xiangyun; Liu, Tianyou

    2014-07-01

    Simulating natural ants' foraging behavior, the ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm performs excellently in combinational optimization problems, for example the traveling salesman problem and the quadratic assignment problem. However, the ACO is seldom used to inverted for gravitational and magnetic data. On the basis of the continuous and multi-dimensional objective function for potential field data optimization inversion, we present the node partition strategy ACO (NP-ACO) algorithm for inversion of model variables of fixed shape and recovery of physical property distributions of complicated shape models. We divide the continuous variables into discrete nodes and ants directionally tour the nodes by use of transition probabilities. We update the pheromone trails by use of Gaussian mapping between the objective function value and the quantity of pheromone. It can analyze the search results in real time and promote the rate of convergence and precision of inversion. Traditional mapping, including the ant-cycle system, weaken the differences between ant individuals and lead to premature convergence. We tested our method by use of synthetic data and real data from scenarios involving gravity and magnetic anomalies. The inverted model variables and recovered physical property distributions were in good agreement with the true values. The ACO algorithm for binary representation imaging and full imaging can recover sharper physical property distributions than traditional linear inversion methods. The ACO has good optimization capability and some excellent characteristics, for example robustness, parallel implementation, and portability, compared with other stochastic metaheuristics.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Arboreal Ant Colonies as ‘Hot-Points’ of Cryptic Diversity for Myrmecophiles: The Weaver Ant Camponotus sp. aff. textor and Its Interaction Network with Its Associates

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela; Lachaud, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Systematic surveys of macrofaunal diversity within ant colonies are lacking, particularly for ants nesting in microhabitats that are difficult to sample. Species associated with ants are generally small and rarely collected organisms, which makes them more likely to be unnoticed. We assumed that this tendency is greater for arthropod communities in microhabitats with low accessibility, such as those found in the nests of arboreal ants that may constitute a source of cryptic biodiversity. Materials and Methods We investigated the invertebrate diversity associated with an undescribed, but already threatened, Neotropical Camponotus weaver ant. As most of the common sampling methods used in studies of ant diversity are not suited for evaluating myrmecophile diversity within ant nests, we evaluated the macrofauna within ant nests through exhaustive colony sampling of three nests and examination of more than 80,000 individuals. Results We identified invertebrates from three classes belonging to 18 taxa, some of which were new to science, and recorded the first instance of the co-occurrence of two brood parasitoid wasp families attacking the same ant host colony. This diversity of ant associates corresponded to a highly complex interaction network. Agonistic interactions prevailed, but the prevalence of myrmecophiles was remarkably low. Conclusions Our data support the hypothesis of the evolution of low virulence in a variety of symbionts associated with large insect societies. Because most myrmecophiles found in this work are rare, strictly specific, and exhibit highly specialized biology, the risk of extinction for these hitherto unknown invertebrates and their natural enemies is high. The cryptic, far unappreciated diversity within arboreal ant nests in areas at high risk of habitat loss qualifies these nests as ‘hot-points’ of biodiversity that urgently require special attention as a component of conservation and management programs. PMID:24941047

  20. Optimization of Straight Cylindrical Turning Using Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) Algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prasanth, Rajanampalli Seshasai Srinivasa; Hans Raj, Kandikonda

    2016-06-01

    Artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm, that mimics the intelligent foraging behavior of honey bees, is increasingly gaining acceptance in the field of process optimization, as it is capable of handling nonlinearity, complexity and uncertainty. Straight cylindrical turning is a complex and nonlinear machining process which involves the selection of appropriate cutting parameters that affect the quality of the workpiece. This paper presents the estimation of optimal cutting parameters of the straight cylindrical turning process using the ABC algorithm. The ABC algorithm is first tested on four benchmark problems of numerical optimization and its performance is compared with genetic algorithm (GA) and ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm. Results indicate that, the rate of convergence of ABC algorithm is better than GA and ACO. Then, the ABC algorithm is used to predict optimal cutting parameters such as cutting speed, feed rate, depth of cut and tool nose radius to achieve good surface finish. Results indicate that, the ABC algorithm estimated a comparable surface finish when compared with real coded genetic algorithm and differential evolution algorithm.

  1. Discrete artificial bee colony algorithm for lot-streaming flowshop with total flowtime minimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sang, Hongyan; Gao, Liang; Pan, Quanke

    2012-09-01

    Unlike a traditional flowshop problem where a job is assumed to be indivisible, in the lot-streaming flowshop problem, a job is allowed to overlap its operations between successive machines by splitting it into a number of smaller sub-lots and moving the completed portion of the sub-lots to downstream machine. In this way, the production is accelerated. This paper presents a discrete artificial bee colony (DABC) algorithm for a lot-streaming flowshop scheduling problem with total flowtime criterion. Unlike the basic ABC algorithm, the proposed DABC algorithm represents a solution as a discrete job permutation. An efficient initialization scheme based on the extended Nawaz-Enscore-Ham heuristic is utilized to produce an initial population with a certain level of quality and diversity. Employed and onlooker bees generate new solutions in their neighborhood, whereas scout bees generate new solutions by performing insert operator and swap operator to the best solution found so far. Moreover, a simple but effective local search is embedded in the algorithm to enhance local exploitation capability. A comparative experiment is carried out with the existing discrete particle swarm optimization, hybrid genetic algorithm, threshold accepting, simulated annealing and ant colony optimization algorithms based on a total of 160 randomly generated instances. The experimental results show that the proposed DABC algorithm is quite effective for the lot-streaming flowshop with total flowtime criterion in terms of searching quality, robustness and effectiveness. This research provides the references to the optimization research on lot-streaming flowshop.

  2. An Improved Artificial Bee Colony-Based Approach for Zoning Protected Ecological Areas

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Jing; Yang, Lina; Peng, Ling; Chi, Tianhe; Wang, Xiaomeng

    2015-01-01

    China is facing ecological and environmental challenges as its urban growth rate continues to rise, and zoning protected ecological areas is recognized as an effective response measure. Zoning inherently involves both site attributes and aggregation attributes, and the combination of mathematical models and heuristic algorithms have proven advantageous. In this article, an improved artificial bee colony (IABC)-based approach is proposed for zoning protected ecological areas at a regional scale. Three main improvements were made: the first is the use of multiple strategies to generate the initial bee population of a specific quality and diversity, the second is an exploitation search procedure to generate neighbor solutions combining “replace” and “alter” operations, and the third is a “swap” strategy to enable a local search for the iterative optimal solution. The IABC algorithm was verified using simulated data. Then it was applied to define an optimum scheme of protected ecological areas of Sanya (in the Hainan province of China), and a reasonable solution was obtained. Finally, a comparison experiment with other methods (agent-based land allocation model, ant colony optimization, and density slicing) was conducted and demonstrated that the IABC algorithm was more effective and efficient than the other methods. Through this study, we aimed to provide a scientifically sound, practical approach for zoning procedures. PMID:26394148

  3. An Improved Artificial Bee Colony-Based Approach for Zoning Protected Ecological Areas.

    PubMed

    Shao, Jing; Yang, Lina; Peng, Ling; Chi, Tianhe; Wang, Xiaomeng

    2015-01-01

    China is facing ecological and environmental challenges as its urban growth rate continues to rise, and zoning protected ecological areas is recognized as an effective response measure. Zoning inherently involves both site attributes and aggregation attributes, and the combination of mathematical models and heuristic algorithms have proven advantageous. In this article, an improved artificial bee colony (IABC)-based approach is proposed for zoning protected ecological areas at a regional scale. Three main improvements were made: the first is the use of multiple strategies to generate the initial bee population of a specific quality and diversity, the second is an exploitation search procedure to generate neighbor solutions combining "replace" and "alter" operations, and the third is a "swap" strategy to enable a local search for the iterative optimal solution. The IABC algorithm was verified using simulated data. Then it was applied to define an optimum scheme of protected ecological areas of Sanya (in the Hainan province of China), and a reasonable solution was obtained. Finally, a comparison experiment with other methods (agent-based land allocation model, ant colony optimization, and density slicing) was conducted and demonstrated that the IABC algorithm was more effective and efficient than the other methods. Through this study, we aimed to provide a scientifically sound, practical approach for zoning procedures.

  4. Experimental manipulation of queen number affects colony sex ratio investment in the highly polygynous ant Formica exsecta

    PubMed Central

    Kümmerli, Rolf; Helms, Ken R; Keller, Laurent

    2005-01-01

    In polygynous (multiple queens per nest) ants, queen dispersal is often limited with young queens being recruited within the parental colony. This mode of dispersal leads to local resource competition between nestmate queens and is frequently associated with extremely male-biased sex ratios at the population level. The queen-replenishment hypothesis has been recently proposed to explain colony sex ratio investment under such conditions. It predicts that colonies containing many queens (subject to high local resource competition) should only produce males, whereas colonies hosting few queens (reduced or no local resource competition) should produce new queens in addition to males. We experimentally tested this hypothesis in the ant Formica exsecta by manipulating queen number over three consecutive years in 120 colonies of a highly polygynous population. Queens were transferred from 40 colonies into another 40 colonies while queen number was not manipulated in 40 control colonies. Genetic analyses of worker offspring revealed that our treatment significantly changed the number of reproductive queens. The sex ratio of colonies was significantly different between treatments in the third breeding season following the experiment initiation. We found that, as predicted by the queen-replenishment hypothesis, queen removal resulted in a significant increase in the proportion of colonies that produced new queens. These results provide the first experimental evidence for the queen-replenishment hypothesis, which might account for sex ratio specialization in many highly polygynous ant species. PMID:16096090

  5. Successful transmission of Solenopsis invicta virus 3 to Solenopsis invicta fire ant colonies in oil, sugar, and cricket bait formulations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tests were conducted to evaluate whether Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3) could be delivered in various bait formulations to fire ant colonies and measure the corresponding colony health changes associated with virus infection in Solenopsis invicta. Three bait formulations (10% sugar solution, c...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. Colony-Level Differences in the Scaling Rules Governing Wood Ant Compound Eye Structure

    PubMed Central

    Perl, Craig D.; Niven, Jeremy E.

    2016-01-01

    Differential organ growth during development is essential for adults to maintain the correct proportions and achieve their characteristic shape. Organs scale with body size, a process known as allometry that has been studied extensively in a range of organisms. Such scaling rules, typically studied from a limited sample, are assumed to apply to all members of a population and/or species. Here we study scaling in the compound eyes of workers of the wood ant, Formica rufa, from different colonies within a single population. Workers’ eye area increased with body size in all the colonies showing a negative allometry. However, both the slope and intercept of some allometric scaling relationships differed significantly among colonies. Moreover, though mean facet diameter and facet number increased with body size, some colonies primarily increased facet number whereas others increased facet diameter, showing that the cellular level processes underlying organ scaling differed among colonies. Thus, the rules that govern scaling at the organ and cellular levels can differ even within a single population. PMID:27068571

  8. Be meek or be bold? A colony-level behavioural syndrome in ants

    PubMed Central

    Bengston, S. E.; Dornhaus, A.

    2014-01-01

    Consistent individual variation in animal behaviour is nearly ubiquitous and has important ecological and evolutionary implications. Additionally, suites of behavioural traits are often correlated, forming behavioural syndromes in both humans and other species. Such syndromes are often described by testing for variation in traits across commonly described dimensions (e.g. aggression and neophobia), independent of whether this variation is ecologically relevant to the focal species. Here, we use a variety of ecologically relevant behavioural traits to test for a colony-level behavioural syndrome in rock ants (Temnothorax rugatulus). Specifically, we combine field and laboratory assays to measure foraging effort, how colonies respond to different types of resources, activity level, response to threat and aggression level. We find evidence for a colony level syndrome that suggests colonies consistently differ in coping style—some are more risk-prone, whereas others are more risk-averse. Additionally, by collecting data across the North American range of this species, we show that environmental variation may affect how different populations maintain consistent variation in colony behaviour. PMID:25100691

  9. Flood risk zoning using a rule mining based on ant colony algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Chengguang; Shao, Quanxi; Chen, Xiaohong; Wang, Zhaoli; Zhou, Xiaowen; Yang, Bing; Zhang, Lilan

    2016-11-01

    Risk assessment is a preliminary step in flood management and mitigation, and risk zoning provides a quantitative measure of flood risk. The difficulty in flood risk zoning is to deal with the complicated non-linear relationship among indices and risk levels. To solve this problem, the ant colony algorithm based on rule mining (Ant-Miner) is promoted in this paper to map the regional flood risk at grid scale. For the case study in the Dongjiang River Basin in Southern China, 11 and 14 indices (without and with the socio-economic indices considered) are respectively chosen to construct the zoning model based on Ant-Miner. The results show that Ant-Miner exhibits higher accuracy and more simple rules that can be used to generate flood risk zoning map quickly and easily than decision tree method (DT); compared to random forest (RF) and fuzzy comprehensive evaluation (FCE), Ant-Miner has significant advantages both in implementation step-reducing and computing time-saving. Although the comprehensive measure and natural hazard measure of flood risk distributed similarly over the entire region, the former one which considered the socio-economic indices is more reasonable in term of real impact to natural and socio-economy. The areas with high-risk level obtained in this paper matched well with the integrated risk zoning map and the inundation areas of historical floods, suggesting that the proposed Ant-Miner method is capable of zoning the flood risk at grid scale. This study shows the potential to provide a novel and successful approach to flood risk zoning. Evaluation results provide a reference for flood risk management, prevention, and reduction of natural disasters in the study basin.

  10. Lévy flight artificial bee colony algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Harish; Bansal, Jagdish Chand; Arya, K. V.; Yang, Xin-She

    2016-08-01

    Artificial bee colony (ABC) optimisation algorithm is a relatively simple and recent population-based probabilistic approach for global optimisation. The solution search equation of ABC is significantly influenced by a random quantity which helps in exploration at the cost of exploitation of the search space. In the ABC, there is a high chance to skip the true solution due to its large step sizes. In order to balance between diversity and convergence in the ABC, a Lévy flight inspired search strategy is proposed and integrated with ABC. The proposed strategy is named as Lévy Flight ABC (LFABC) has both the local and global search capability simultaneously and can be achieved by tuning the Lévy flight parameters and thus automatically tuning the step sizes. In the LFABC, new solutions are generated around the best solution and it helps to enhance the exploitation capability of ABC. Furthermore, to improve the exploration capability, the numbers of scout bees are increased. The experiments on 20 test problems of different complexities and five real-world engineering optimisation problems show that the proposed strategy outperforms the basic ABC and recent variants of ABC, namely, Gbest-guided ABC, best-so-far ABC and modified ABC in most of the experiments.

  11. Hierarchical artificial bee colony algorithm for RFID network planning optimization.

    PubMed

    Ma, Lianbo; Chen, Hanning; Hu, Kunyuan; Zhu, Yunlong

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a novel optimization algorithm, namely, hierarchical artificial bee colony optimization, called HABC, to tackle the radio frequency identification network planning (RNP) problem. In the proposed multilevel model, the higher-level species can be aggregated by the subpopulations from lower level. In the bottom level, each subpopulation employing the canonical ABC method searches the part-dimensional optimum in parallel, which can be constructed into a complete solution for the upper level. At the same time, the comprehensive learning method with crossover and mutation operators is applied to enhance the global search ability between species. Experiments are conducted on a set of 10 benchmark optimization problems. The results demonstrate that the proposed HABC obtains remarkable performance on most chosen benchmark functions when compared to several successful swarm intelligence and evolutionary algorithms. Then HABC is used for solving the real-world RNP problem on two instances with different scales. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm is superior for solving RNP, in terms of optimization accuracy and computation robustness.

  12. A hybrid artificial bee colony algorithm for numerical function optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alqattan, Zakaria N.; Abdullah, Rosni

    2015-02-01

    Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm is one of the swarm intelligence algorithms; it has been introduced by Karaboga in 2005. It is a meta-heuristic optimization search algorithm inspired from the intelligent foraging behavior of the honey bees in nature. Its unique search process made it as one of the most competitive algorithm with some other search algorithms in the area of optimization, such as Genetic algorithm (GA) and Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO). However, the ABC performance of the local search process and the bee movement or the solution improvement equation still has some weaknesses. The ABC is good in avoiding trapping at the local optimum but it spends its time searching around unpromising random selected solutions. Inspired by the PSO, we propose a Hybrid Particle-movement ABC algorithm called HPABC, which adapts the particle movement process to improve the exploration of the original ABC algorithm. Numerical benchmark functions were used in order to experimentally test the HPABC algorithm. The results illustrate that the HPABC algorithm can outperform the ABC algorithm in most of the experiments (75% better in accuracy and over 3 times faster).

  13. A modify ant colony optimization for the grid jobs scheduling problem with QoS requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pu, Xun; Lu, XianLiang

    2011-10-01

    Job scheduling with customers' quality of service (QoS) requirement is challenging in grid environment. In this paper, we present a modify Ant colony optimization (MACO) for the Job scheduling problem in grid. Instead of using the conventional construction approach to construct feasible schedules, the proposed algorithm employs a decomposition method to satisfy the customer's deadline and cost requirements. Besides, a new mechanism of service instances state updating is embedded to improve the convergence of MACO. Experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

  14. An Approach to Feature Selection Based on Ant Colony Optimization and Rough Set

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Junyun; Qiu, Taorong; Wang, Lu; Huang, Haiquan

    Feature selection plays an important role in many fields. This paper proposes a method for feature selection which combined the rough set method and ant colony optimization algorithm. The algorithm used the attribute dependence and the attribute importance as the inspiration factor which applied to the transfer rules. For further, the quality of classification based on rough set method and the length of the feature subset were used to build the pheromone update strategy. Through the test of data set, results show that the proposed method is feasible.

  15. Ant colony system algorithm for the optimization of beer fermentation control.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Jie; Zhou, Ze-Kui; Zhang, Guang-Xin

    2004-12-01

    Beer fermentation is a dynamic process that must be guided along a temperature profile to obtain the desired results. Ant colony system algorithm was applied to optimize the kinetic model of this process. During a fixed period of fermentation time, a series of different temperature profiles of the mixture were constructed. An optimal one was chosen at last. Optimal temperature profile maximized the final ethanol production and minimized the byproducts concentration and spoilage risk. The satisfactory results obtained did not require much computation effort.

  16. Application of the artificial bee colony algorithm for solving the set covering problem.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Broderick; Soto, Ricardo; Cuesta, Rodrigo; Paredes, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    The set covering problem is a formal model for many practical optimization problems. In the set covering problem the goal is to choose a subset of the columns of minimal cost that covers every row. Here, we present a novel application of the artificial bee colony algorithm to solve the non-unicost set covering problem. The artificial bee colony algorithm is a recent swarm metaheuristic technique based on the intelligent foraging behavior of honey bees. Experimental results show that our artificial bee colony algorithm is competitive in terms of solution quality with other recent metaheuristic approaches for the set covering problem.

  17. Application of the Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm for Solving the Set Covering Problem

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Broderick; Soto, Ricardo; Cuesta, Rodrigo; Paredes, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    The set covering problem is a formal model for many practical optimization problems. In the set covering problem the goal is to choose a subset of the columns of minimal cost that covers every row. Here, we present a novel application of the artificial bee colony algorithm to solve the non-unicost set covering problem. The artificial bee colony algorithm is a recent swarm metaheuristic technique based on the intelligent foraging behavior of honey bees. Experimental results show that our artificial bee colony algorithm is competitive in terms of solution quality with other recent metaheuristic approaches for the set covering problem. PMID:24883356

  18. Toxicity Profiles and Colony Effects of Liquid Baits on Tawny Crazy Ants (plus an update on their U.S. distribution)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tawny crazy ants, Nylanderia fulva, is an invasive ant that are known to readily forage on the liquid, carbohydrate rich honeydew produced by hemipterans such as aphids and scales. There is interest in developing liquid ant baits that can eliminate tawny crazy ant colonies. Preliminary and anecdot...

  19. A colony-level response to disease control in a leaf-cutting ant.

    PubMed

    Hart, Adam G; Bot, A N M; Brown, Mark J F

    2002-06-01

    Parasites and pathogens often impose significant costs on their hosts. This is particularly true for social organisms, where the genetic structure of groups and the accumulation of contaminated waste facilitate disease transmission. In response, hosts have evolved many mechanisms of defence against parasites. Here we present evidence that Atta colombica, a leaf-cutting ant, may combat Escovopsis, a dangerous parasite of Atta's garden fungus, through a colony-level behavioural response. In A. colombica, garden waste is removed from within the colony and transported to the midden--an external waste dump--where it is processed by a group of midden workers. We found that colonies infected with Escovopsis have higher numbers of workers on the midden, where Escovopsis is deposited. Further, midden workers are highly effective in dispersing newly deposited waste away from the dumping site. Thus, the colony-level task allocation strategies of the Atta superorganism may change in response to the threat of disease to a third, essential party.

  20. Solving NP-Hard Problems with Physarum-Based Ant Colony System.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuxin; Gao, Chao; Zhang, Zili; Lu, Yuxiao; Chen, Shi; Liang, Mingxin; Tao, Li

    2017-01-01

    NP-hard problems exist in many real world applications. Ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithms can provide approximate solutions for those NP-hard problems, but the performance of ACO algorithms is significantly reduced due to premature convergence and weak robustness, etc. With these observations in mind, this paper proposes a Physarum-based pheromone matrix optimization strategy in ant colony system (ACS) for solving NP-hard problems such as traveling salesman problem (TSP) and 0/1 knapsack problem (0/1 KP). In the Physarum-inspired mathematical model, one of the unique characteristics is that critical tubes can be reserved in the process of network evolution. The optimized updating strategy employs the unique feature and accelerates the positive feedback process in ACS, which contributes to the quick convergence of the optimal solution. Some experiments were conducted using both benchmark and real datasets. The experimental results show that the optimized ACS outperforms other meta-heuristic algorithms in accuracy and robustness for solving TSPs. Meanwhile, the convergence rate and robustness for solving 0/1 KPs are better than those of classical ACS.

  1. Adapting an Ant Colony Metaphor for Multi-Robot Chemical Plume Tracing

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Qing-Hao; Yang, Wei-Xing; Wang, Yang; Li, Fei; Zeng, Ming

    2012-01-01

    We consider chemical plume tracing (CPT) in time-varying airflow environments using multiple mobile robots. The purpose of CPT is to approach a gas source with a previously unknown location in a given area. Therefore, the CPT could be considered as a dynamic optimization problem in continuous domains. The traditional ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm has been successfully used for combinatorial optimization problems in discrete domains. To adapt the ant colony metaphor to the multi-robot CPT problem, the two-dimension continuous search area is discretized into grids and the virtual pheromone is updated according to both the gas concentration and wind information. To prevent the adapted ACO algorithm from being prematurely trapped in a local optimum, the upwind surge behavior is adopted by the robots with relatively higher gas concentration in order to explore more areas. The spiral surge (SS) algorithm is also examined for comparison. Experimental results using multiple real robots in two indoor natural ventilated airflow environments show that the proposed CPT method performs better than the SS algorithm. The simulation results for large-scale advection-diffusion plume environments show that the proposed method could also work in outdoor meandering plume environments. PMID:22666056

  2. Adapting an ant colony metaphor for multi-robot chemical plume tracing.

    PubMed

    Meng, Qing-Hao; Yang, Wei-Xing; Wang, Yang; Li, Fei; Zeng, Ming

    2012-01-01

    We consider chemical plume tracing (CPT) in time-varying airflow environments using multiple mobile robots. The purpose of CPT is to approach a gas source with a previously unknown location in a given area. Therefore, the CPT could be considered as a dynamic optimization problem in continuous domains. The traditional ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm has been successfully used for combinatorial optimization problems in discrete domains. To adapt the ant colony metaphor to the multi-robot CPT problem, the two-dimension continuous search area is discretized into grids and the virtual pheromone is updated according to both the gas concentration and wind information. To prevent the adapted ACO algorithm from being prematurely trapped in a local optimum, the upwind surge behavior is adopted by the robots with relatively higher gas concentration in order to explore more areas. The spiral surge (SS) algorithm is also examined for comparison. Experimental results using multiple real robots in two indoor natural ventilated airflow environments show that the proposed CPT method performs better than the SS algorithm. The simulation results for large-scale advection-diffusion plume environments show that the proposed method could also work in outdoor meandering plume environments.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  4. Improved multi-objective ant colony optimization algorithm and its application in complex reasoning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xinqing; Zhao, Yang; Wang, Dong; Zhu, Huijie; Zhang, Qing

    2013-09-01

    The problem of fault reasoning has aroused great concern in scientific and engineering fields. However, fault investigation and reasoning of complex system is not a simple reasoning decision-making problem. It has become a typical multi-constraint and multi-objective reticulate optimization decision-making problem under many influencing factors and constraints. So far, little research has been carried out in this field. This paper transforms the fault reasoning problem of complex system into a paths-searching problem starting from known symptoms to fault causes. Three optimization objectives are considered simultaneously: maximum probability of average fault, maximum average importance, and minimum average complexity of test. Under the constraints of both known symptoms and the causal relationship among different components, a multi-objective optimization mathematical model is set up, taking minimizing cost of fault reasoning as the target function. Since the problem is non-deterministic polynomial-hard(NP-hard), a modified multi-objective ant colony algorithm is proposed, in which a reachability matrix is set up to constrain the feasible search nodes of the ants and a new pseudo-random-proportional rule and a pheromone adjustment mechinism are constructed to balance conflicts between the optimization objectives. At last, a Pareto optimal set is acquired. Evaluation functions based on validity and tendency of reasoning paths are defined to optimize noninferior set, through which the final fault causes can be identified according to decision-making demands, thus realize fault reasoning of the multi-constraint and multi-objective complex system. Reasoning results demonstrate that the improved multi-objective ant colony optimization(IMACO) can realize reasoning and locating fault positions precisely by solving the multi-objective fault diagnosis model, which provides a new method to solve the problem of multi-constraint and multi-objective fault diagnosis and

  5. Combining support vector regression and ant colony optimization to reduce NOx emissions in coal-fired utility boilers

    SciTech Connect

    Ligang Zheng; Hao Zhou; Chunlin Wang; Kefa Cen

    2008-03-15

    Combustion optimization has recently demonstrated its potential to reduce NOx emissions in high capacity coal-fired utility boilers. In the present study, support vector regression (SVR), as well as artificial neural networks (ANN), was proposed to model the relationship between NOx emissions and operating parameters of a 300 MW coal-fired utility boiler. The predicted NOx emissions from the SVR model, by comparing with that of the ANN-based model, showed better agreement with the values obtained in the experimental tests on this boiler operated at different loads and various other operating parameters. The mean modeling error and the correlation factor were 1.58% and 0.94, respectively. Then, the combination of the SVR model with ant colony optimization (ACO) to reduce NOx emissions was presented in detail. The experimental results showed that the proposed approach can effectively reduce NOx emissions from the coal-fired utility boiler by about 18.69% (65 ppm). A time period of less than 6 min was required for NOx emissions modeling, and 2 min was required for a run of optimization under a PC system. The computing times are suitable for the online application of the proposed method to actual power plants. 37 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  6. An ant colony optimization heuristic for an integrated production and distribution scheduling problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Yung-Chia; Li, Vincent C.; Chiang, Chia-Ju

    2014-04-01

    Make-to-order or direct-order business models that require close interaction between production and distribution activities have been adopted by many enterprises in order to be competitive in demanding markets. This article considers an integrated production and distribution scheduling problem in which jobs are first processed by one of the unrelated parallel machines and then distributed to corresponding customers by capacitated vehicles without intermediate inventory. The objective is to find a joint production and distribution schedule so that the weighted sum of total weighted job delivery time and the total distribution cost is minimized. This article presents a mathematical model for describing the problem and designs an algorithm using ant colony optimization. Computational experiments illustrate that the algorithm developed is capable of generating near-optimal solutions. The computational results also demonstrate the value of integrating production and distribution in the model for the studied problem.

  7. 3D sensor placement strategy using the full-range pheromone ant colony system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuo, Feng; Jingqing, Jia

    2016-07-01

    An optimized sensor placement strategy will be extremely beneficial to ensure the safety and cost reduction considerations of structural health monitoring (SHM) systems. The sensors must be placed such that important dynamic information is obtained and the number of sensors is minimized. The practice is to select individual sensor directions by several 1D sensor methods and the triaxial sensors are placed in these directions for monitoring. However, this may lead to non-optimal placement of many triaxial sensors. In this paper, a new method, called FRPACS, is proposed based on the ant colony system (ACS) to solve the optimal placement of triaxial sensors. The triaxial sensors are placed as single units in an optimal fashion. And then the new method is compared with other algorithms using Dalian North Bridge. The computational precision and iteration efficiency of the FRPACS has been greatly improved compared with the original ACS and EFI method.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Designing Daily Patrol Routes for Policing Based on ANT Colony Algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, H.; Cheng, T.; Wise, S.

    2015-07-01

    In this paper, we address the problem of planning police patrol routes to regularly cover street segments of high crime density (hotspots) with limited police forces. A good patrolling strategy is required to minimise the average time lag between two consecutive visits to hotspots, as well as coordinating multiple patrollers and imparting unpredictability in patrol routes. Previous studies have designed different police patrol strategies for routing police patrol, but these strategies have difficulty in generalising to real patrolling and meeting various requirements. In this research we develop a new police patrolling strategy based on Bayesian method and ant colony algorithm. In this strategy, virtual marker (pheromone) is laid to mark the visiting history of each crime hotspot, and patrollers continuously decide which hotspot to patrol next based on pheromone level and other variables. Simulation results using real data testifies the effective, scalable, unpredictable and extensible nature of this strategy.

  10. Ant colony optimization with selective evaluation for feature selection in character recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Il-Seok; Lee, Jin-Seon

    2010-01-01

    This paper analyzes the size characteristics of character recognition domain with the aim of developing a feature selection algorithm adequate for the domain. Based on the results, we further analyze the timing requirements of three popular feature selection algorithms, greedy algorithm, genetic algorithm, and ant colony optimization. For a rigorous timing analysis, we adopt the concept of atomic operation. We propose a novel scheme called selective evaluation to improve convergence of ACO. The scheme cut down the computational load by excluding the evaluation of unnecessary or less promising candidate solutions. The scheme is realizable in ACO due to the valuable information, pheromone trail which helps identify those solutions. Experimental results showed that the ACO with selective evaluation was promising both in timing requirement and recognition performance.

  11. A convenient and robust edge detection method based on ant colony optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xiaochen; Fang, Suping

    2015-10-01

    Edge detection is usually used as a preprocessing operation in many machine vision industrial applications. Recently, ant colony optimization (ACO) as a relatively new meta-heuristic approach has been used to tackle the edge detection problem. In this work, a convenient and robust method for edge detection based on ACO is proposed, which employs a new heuristic function, adopts a user-defined threshold in pheromone update process and provides a group of suitable parameter values. Experimental results clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed method, and at the same time, in the presence of noise, the proposed approach outperforms other two ACO-based edge detection techniques and four conventional edge detectors.

  12. A Novel Method of Failure Sample Selection for Electrical Systems Using Ant Colony Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Shulin; Yang, Chenglin; Liu, Cheng

    2016-01-01

    The influence of failure propagation is ignored in failure sample selection based on traditional testability demonstration experiment method. Traditional failure sample selection generally causes the omission of some failures during the selection and this phenomenon could lead to some fearful risks of usage because these failures will lead to serious propagation failures. This paper proposes a new failure sample selection method to solve the problem. First, the method uses a directed graph and ant colony optimization (ACO) to obtain a subsequent failure propagation set (SFPS) based on failure propagation model and then we propose a new failure sample selection method on the basis of the number of SFPS. Compared with traditional sampling plan, this method is able to improve the coverage of testing failure samples, increase the capacity of diagnosis, and decrease the risk of using. PMID:27738424

  13. A Novel Artificial Bee Colony Based Clustering Algorithm for Categorical Data

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Data with categorical attributes are ubiquitous in the real world. However, existing partitional clustering algorithms for categorical data are prone to fall into local optima. To address this issue, in this paper we propose a novel clustering algorithm, ABC-K-Modes (Artificial Bee Colony clustering based on K-Modes), based on the traditional k-modes clustering algorithm and the artificial bee colony approach. In our approach, we first introduce a one-step k-modes procedure, and then integrate this procedure with the artificial bee colony approach to deal with categorical data. In the search process performed by scout bees, we adopt the multi-source search inspired by the idea of batch processing to accelerate the convergence of ABC-K-Modes. The performance of ABC-K-Modes is evaluated by a series of experiments in comparison with that of the other popular algorithms for categorical data. PMID:25993469

  14. Enhancing Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm with Self-Adaptive Searching Strategy and Artificial Immune Network Operators for Global Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Tinggui; Xiao, Renbin

    2014-01-01

    Artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm, inspired by the intelligent foraging behavior of honey bees, was proposed by Karaboga. It has been shown to be superior to some conventional intelligent algorithms such as genetic algorithm (GA), artificial colony optimization (ACO), and particle swarm optimization (PSO). However, the ABC still has some limitations. For example, ABC can easily get trapped in the local optimum when handing in functions that have a narrow curving valley, a high eccentric ellipse, or complex multimodal functions. As a result, we proposed an enhanced ABC algorithm called EABC by introducing self-adaptive searching strategy and artificial immune network operators to improve the exploitation and exploration. The simulation results tested on a suite of unimodal or multimodal benchmark functions illustrate that the EABC algorithm outperforms ACO, PSO, and the basic ABC in most of the experiments. PMID:24772023

  15. Routing and spectrum assignment based on ant colony optimization of minimum consecutiveness loss in elastic optical networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Fu; Liu, Bo; Zhang, Lijia; Xin, Xiangjun; Tian, Qinghua; Zhang, Qi; Rao, Lan; Tian, Feng; Luo, Biao; Liu, Yingjun; Tang, Bao

    2016-10-01

    Elastic Optical Networks are considered to be a promising technology for future high-speed network. In this paper, we propose a RSA algorithm based on the ant colony optimization of minimum consecutiveness loss (ACO-MCL). Based on the effect of the spectrum consecutiveness loss on the pheromone in the ant colony optimization, the path and spectrum of the minimal impact on the network are selected for the service request. When an ant arrives at the destination node from the source node along a path, we assume that this path is selected for the request. We calculate the consecutiveness loss of candidate-neighbor link pairs along this path after the routing and spectrum assignment. Then, the networks update the pheromone according to the value of the consecutiveness loss. We save the path with the smallest value. After multiple iterations of the ant colony optimization, the final selection of the path is assigned for the request. The algorithms are simulated in different networks. The results show that ACO-MCL algorithm performs better in blocking probability and spectrum efficiency than other algorithms. Moreover, the ACO-MCL algorithm can effectively decrease spectrum fragmentation and enhance available spectrum consecutiveness. Compared with other algorithms, the ACO-MCL algorithm can reduce the blocking rate by at least 5.9% in heavy load.

  16. Identifying robustness in the regulation of collective foraging of ant colonies using an interaction-based model with backward bifurcation.

    PubMed

    Udiani, Oyita; Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Kang, Yun

    2015-02-21

    Collective behaviors in social insect societies often emerge from simple local rules. However, little is known about how these behaviors are dynamically regulated in response to environmental changes. Here, we use a compartmental modeling approach to identify factors that allow harvester ant colonies to regulate collective foraging activity in response to their environment. We propose a set of differential equations describing the dynamics of: (1) available foragers inside the nest, (2) active foragers outside the nest, and (3) successful returning foragers, to understand how colony-specific parameters, such as baseline number of foragers, interactions among foragers, food discovery rates, successful forager return rates, and foraging duration might influence collective foraging dynamics, while maintaining functional robustness to perturbations. Our analysis indicates that the model can undergo a forward (transcritical) bifurcation or a backward bifurcation depending on colony-specific parameters. In the former case, foraging activity persists when the average number of recruits per successful returning forager is larger than one. In the latter case, the backward bifurcation creates a region of bistability in which the size and fate of foraging activity depends on the distribution of the foraging workforce among the model's compartments. We validate the model with experimental data from harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) and perform sensitivity analysis. Our model provides insights on how simple, local interactions can achieve an emergent and robust regulatory system of collective foraging activity in ant colonies.

  17. Predation of artificial ground nests on white-tailed prairie dog colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, B.W.; Stanley, T.R.; Sedgwick, J.A.

    1999-01-01

    Prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies are unique to prairie and shrub-steppe landscapes. However, widespread eradication, habitat loss, and sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) have reduced their numbers by 98% since historical times. Birds associated with prairie dogs also are declining. Potential nest predators, such as coyotes (Canis latrans), swift foxes (Vulpes velox), and badgers (Taxidea taxus), may be attracted to colonies where a high concentration of prairie dogs serve as available prey. Increased abundance of small mammals, including prairie dogs, also may increase the risk of predation for birds nesting on colonies. Finally, because grazing by prairie dogs may decrease vegetation height and canopy cover, bird nests may be easier for predators to locate. In this study, we placed 1,444 artificial ground nests on and off 74 white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) colonies to test the hypothesis that nest predation rates are higher on colonies than at nearby off sites (i.e., uncolonized habitat). We sampled colonies from 27 May to 16 July 1997 at the following 3 complexes: Coyote Basin, Utah and Colorado; Moxa Arch, Wyoming; and Shirley Basin, Wyoming. Differences in daily predation rates between colonies and paired off sites averaged 1.0% (P = 0.060). When converted to a typical 14-day incubation period, predation rates averaged 14% higher on colonies (57.7 ?? 2.7%; ?? ?? SE) than at off sites (50.4 ?? 3.1%). Comparisons of habitat variables on colonies to off sites showed percent canopy cover of vegetation was similar (P = 0.114), percent bare ground was higher on colonies (P 0.288). Although we found the risk of nest predation was higher on white-tailed prairie dog colonies than at off sites, fitness of birds nesting on colonies might depend on other factors that influence foraging success, reproductive success, or nestling survival.

  18. Optimal management of substrates in anaerobic co-digestion: An ant colony algorithm approach.

    PubMed

    Verdaguer, Marta; Molinos-Senante, María; Poch, Manel

    2016-04-01

    Sewage sludge (SWS) is inevitably produced in urban wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The treatment of SWS on site at small WWTPs is not economical; therefore, the SWS is typically transported to an alternative SWS treatment center. There is increased interest in the use of anaerobic digestion (AnD) with co-digestion as an SWS treatment alternative. Although the availability of different co-substrates has been ignored in most of the previous studies, it is an essential issue for the optimization of AnD co-digestion. In a pioneering approach, this paper applies an Ant-Colony-Optimization (ACO) algorithm that maximizes the generation of biogas through AnD co-digestion in order to optimize the discharge of organic waste from different waste sources in real-time. An empirical application is developed based on a virtual case study that involves organic waste from urban WWTPs and agrifood activities. The results illustrate the dominate role of toxicity levels in selecting contributions to the AnD input. The methodology and case study proposed in this paper demonstrate the usefulness of the ACO approach in supporting a decision process that contributes to improving the sustainability of organic waste and SWS management.

  19. Intelligent Method for Diagnosing Structural Faults of Rotating Machinery Using Ant Colony Optimization

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ke; Chen, Peng

    2011-01-01

    Structural faults, such as unbalance, misalignment and looseness, etc., often occur in the shafts of rotating machinery. These faults may cause serious machine accidents and lead to great production losses. This paper proposes an intelligent method for diagnosing structural faults of rotating machinery using ant colony optimization (ACO) and relative ratio symptom parameters (RRSPs) in order to detect faults and distinguish fault types at an early stage. New symptom parameters called “relative ratio symptom parameters” are defined for reflecting the features of vibration signals measured in each state. Synthetic detection index (SDI) using statistical theory has also been defined to evaluate the applicability of the RRSPs. The SDI can be used to indicate the fitness of a RRSP for ACO. Lastly, this paper also compares the proposed method with the conventional neural networks (NN) method. Practical examples of fault diagnosis for a centrifugal fan are provided to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. The verification results show that the structural faults often occurring in the centrifugal fan, such as unbalance, misalignment and looseness states are effectively identified by the proposed method, while these faults are difficult to detect using conventional neural networks. PMID:22163833

  20. A Multipath Routing Protocol Based on Clustering and Ant Colony Optimization for Wireless Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jing; Xu, Mai; Zhao, Wei; Xu, Baoguo

    2010-01-01

    For monitoring burst events in a kind of reactive wireless sensor networks (WSNs), a multipath routing protocol (MRP) based on dynamic clustering and ant colony optimization (ACO) is proposed. Such an approach can maximize the network lifetime and reduce the energy consumption. An important attribute of WSNs is their limited power supply, and therefore some metrics (such as energy consumption of communication among nodes, residual energy, path length) were considered as very important criteria while designing routing in the MRP. Firstly, a cluster head (CH) is selected among nodes located in the event area according to some parameters, such as residual energy. Secondly, an improved ACO algorithm is applied in the search for multiple paths between the CH and sink node. Finally, the CH dynamically chooses a route to transmit data with a probability that depends on many path metrics, such as energy consumption. The simulation results show that MRP can prolong the network lifetime, as well as balance of energy consumption among nodes and reduce the average energy consumption effectively. PMID:22399890

  1. Ant Colony Optimization Based Feature Selection Method for QEEG Data Classification

    PubMed Central

    Ozekes, Serhat; Gultekin, Selahattin; Tarhan, Nevzat

    2014-01-01

    Objective Many applications such as biomedical signals require selecting a subset of the input features in order to represent the whole set of features. A feature selection algorithm has recently been proposed as a new approach for feature subset selection. Methods Feature selection process using ant colony optimization (ACO) for 6 channel pre-treatment electroencephalogram (EEG) data from theta and delta frequency bands is combined with back propagation neural network (BPNN) classification method for 147 major depressive disorder (MDD) subjects. Results BPNN classified R subjects with 91.83% overall accuracy and 95.55% subjects detection sensitivity. Area under ROC curve (AUC) value after feature selection increased from 0.8531 to 0.911. The features selected by the optimization algorithm were Fp1, Fp2, F7, F8, F3 for theta frequency band and eliminated 7 features from 12 to 5 feature subset. Conclusion ACO feature selection algorithm improves the classification accuracy of BPNN. Using other feature selection algorithms or classifiers to compare the performance for each approach is important to underline the validity and versatility of the designed combination. PMID:25110496

  2. MATLAB Simulation of UPQC for Power Quality Mitigation Using an Ant Colony Based Fuzzy Control Technique

    PubMed Central

    Kumarasabapathy, N.; Manoharan, P. S.

    2015-01-01

    This paper proposes a fuzzy logic based new control scheme for the Unified Power Quality Conditioner (UPQC) for minimizing the voltage sag and total harmonic distortion in the distribution system consequently to improve the power quality. UPQC is a recent power electronic module which guarantees better power quality mitigation as it has both series-active and shunt-active power filters (APFs). The fuzzy logic controller has recently attracted a great deal of attention and possesses conceptually the quality of the simplicity by tackling complex systems with vagueness and ambiguity. In this research, the fuzzy logic controller is utilized for the generation of reference signal controlling the UPQC. To enable this, a systematic approach for creating the fuzzy membership functions is carried out by using an ant colony optimization technique for optimal fuzzy logic control. An exhaustive simulation study using the MATLAB/Simulink is carried out to investigate and demonstrate the performance of the proposed fuzzy logic controller and the simulation results are compared with the PI controller in terms of its performance in improving the power quality by minimizing the voltage sag and total harmonic distortion. PMID:26504895

  3. An ant colony optimization based feature selection for web page classification.

    PubMed

    Saraç, Esra; Özel, Selma Ayşe

    2014-01-01

    The increased popularity of the web has caused the inclusion of huge amount of information to the web, and as a result of this explosive information growth, automated web page classification systems are needed to improve search engines' performance. Web pages have a large number of features such as HTML/XML tags, URLs, hyperlinks, and text contents that should be considered during an automated classification process. The aim of this study is to reduce the number of features to be used to improve runtime and accuracy of the classification of web pages. In this study, we used an ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm to select the best features, and then we applied the well-known C4.5, naive Bayes, and k nearest neighbor classifiers to assign class labels to web pages. We used the WebKB and Conference datasets in our experiments, and we showed that using the ACO for feature selection improves both accuracy and runtime performance of classification. We also showed that the proposed ACO based algorithm can select better features with respect to the well-known information gain and chi square feature selection methods.

  4. Semivariogram Estimation Using Ant Colony Optimization and Ensemble Kriging Accounting for Parameter Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardiff, M. A.; Kitanidis, P. K.

    2005-12-01

    In this presentation we revisit the problem of semivariogram estimation and present a modular, reusable, and encapsulated set of MATLAB programs that use a hybrid Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) heuristic to solve the "optimal fit" problem. Though the ACO heuristic involves a stochastic component, advantages of the heuristic over traditional gradient-search methods, like the Gauss-Newton method, include the ability to estimate model semivariogram parameters accurately without initial guesses input by the user. The ACO heuristic is also superiorly suited for strongly nonlinear optimization over spaces that may contain several local minima. The presentation will focus on the application of ACO to existing weighted least squares and restricted maximum likelihood estimation methods with a comparison of results. The presentation will also discuss parameter uncertainty, particularly in the context of restricted maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods. We compare the local linearized parameter estimates (or Cramer-Rao lower bounds) with modern Monte Carlo methods, such as acceptance-rejection. Finally, we present ensemble kriging in which conditional realizations are generated in a way that uncertainty in semi-variogram parameters is fully accounted for. Results for a variety of sample problems will be presented along with a discussion of solution accuracy and computational efficiency.

  5. Evaluation of Anaerobic Biofilm Reactor Kinetic Parameters Using Ant Colony Optimization.

    PubMed

    Satya, Eswari Jujjavarapu; Venkateswarlu, Chimmiri

    2013-09-01

    Fixed bed reactors with naturally attached biofilms are increasingly used for anaerobic treatment of industry wastewaters due their effective treatment performance. The complex nature of biological reactions in biofilm processes often poses difficulty in analyzing them experimentally, and mathematical models could be very useful for their design and analysis. However, effective application of biofilm reactor models to practical problems suffers due to the lack of knowledge of accurate kinetic models and uncertainty in model parameters. In this work, an inverse modeling approach based on ant colony optimization is proposed and applied to estimate the kinetic and film thickness model parameters of wastewater treatment process in an anaerobic fixed bed biofilm reactor. Experimental data of pharmaceutical industry wastewater treatment process are used to determine the model parameters as a consequence of the solution of the rigorous mathematical models of the process. Results were evaluated for different modeling configurations derived from the combination of mathematical models, kinetic expressions, and optimization algorithms. Analysis of results showed that the two-dimensional mathematical model with Haldane kinetics better represents the pharmaceutical wastewater treatment in the biofilm reactor. The mathematical and kinetic modeling of this work forms a useful basis for the design and optimization of industry wastewater treating biofilm reactors.

  6. MATLAB Simulation of UPQC for Power Quality Mitigation Using an Ant Colony Based Fuzzy Control Technique.

    PubMed

    Kumarasabapathy, N; Manoharan, P S

    2015-01-01

    This paper proposes a fuzzy logic based new control scheme for the Unified Power Quality Conditioner (UPQC) for minimizing the voltage sag and total harmonic distortion in the distribution system consequently to improve the power quality. UPQC is a recent power electronic module which guarantees better power quality mitigation as it has both series-active and shunt-active power filters (APFs). The fuzzy logic controller has recently attracted a great deal of attention and possesses conceptually the quality of the simplicity by tackling complex systems with vagueness and ambiguity. In this research, the fuzzy logic controller is utilized for the generation of reference signal controlling the UPQC. To enable this, a systematic approach for creating the fuzzy membership functions is carried out by using an ant colony optimization technique for optimal fuzzy logic control. An exhaustive simulation study using the MATLAB/Simulink is carried out to investigate and demonstrate the performance of the proposed fuzzy logic controller and the simulation results are compared with the PI controller in terms of its performance in improving the power quality by minimizing the voltage sag and total harmonic distortion.

  7. A modified ant colony optimization to solve multi products inventory routing problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Lily; Moin, Noor Hasnah

    2014-07-01

    This study considers a one-to-many inventory routing problem (IRP) network consisting of a manufacturer that produces multi products to be transported to many geographically dispersed customers. We consider a finite horizon where a fleet of capacitated homogeneous vehicles, housed at a depot/warehouse, transport products from the warehouse to meet the demand specified by the customers in each period. The demand for each product is deterministic and time varying and each customer requests a distinct product. The inventory holding cost is product specific and is incurred at the customer sites. The objective is to determine the amount on inventory and to construct a delivery schedule that minimizes both the total transportation and inventory holding costs while ensuring each customer's demand is met over the planning horizon. The problem is formulated as a mixed integer programming problem and is solved using CPLEX 12.4 to get the lower and upper bound (best integer solution) for each problem considered. We propose a modified ant colony optimization (ACO) to solve the problem and the built route is improved by using local search. ACO performs better on large instances compared to the upper bound.

  8. Ant Colony Optimization for Mapping, Scheduling and Placing in Reconfigurable Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrandi, Fabrizio; Lanzi, Pier Luca; Pilato, Christian; Sciuto, Donatella; Tumeo, Antonino

    2013-06-24

    Modern heterogeneous embedded platforms, com- posed of several digital signal, application specific and general purpose processors, also include reconfigurable devices support- ing partial dynamic reconfiguration. These devices can change the behavior of some of their parts during execution, allowing hardware acceleration of more sections of the applications. Never- theless, partial dynamic reconfiguration imposes severe overheads in terms of latency. For such systems, a critical part of the design phase is deciding on which processing elements (mapping) and when (scheduling) executing a task, but also how to place them on the reconfigurable device to guarantee the most efficient reuse of the programmable logic. In this paper we propose an algorithm based on Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) that simultaneously executes the scheduling, the mapping and the linear placing of tasks, hiding reconfiguration overheads through prefetching. Our heuristic gradually constructs solutions and then searches around the best ones, cutting out non-promising areas of the design space. We show how to consider the partial dynamic reconfiguration constraints in the scheduling, placing and mapping problems and compare our formulation to other heuristics that address the same problems. We demonstrate that our proposal is more general and robust, and finds better solutions (16.5% in average) with respect to competing solutions.

  9. Fuzzy Random λ-Mean SAD Portfolio Selection Problem: An Ant Colony Optimization Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thakur, Gour Sundar Mitra; Bhattacharyya, Rupak; Mitra, Swapan Kumar

    2010-10-01

    To reach the investment goal, one has to select a combination of securities among different portfolios containing large number of securities. Only the past records of each security do not guarantee the future return. As there are many uncertain factors which directly or indirectly influence the stock market and there are also some newer stock markets which do not have enough historical data, experts' expectation and experience must be combined with the past records to generate an effective portfolio selection model. In this paper the return of security is assumed to be Fuzzy Random Variable Set (FRVS), where returns are set of random numbers which are in turn fuzzy numbers. A new λ-Mean Semi Absolute Deviation (λ-MSAD) portfolio selection model is developed. The subjective opinions of the investors to the rate of returns of each security are taken into consideration by introducing a pessimistic-optimistic parameter vector λ. λ-Mean Semi Absolute Deviation (λ-MSAD) model is preferred as it follows absolute deviation of the rate of returns of a portfolio instead of the variance as the measure of the risk. As this model can be reduced to Linear Programming Problem (LPP) it can be solved much faster than quadratic programming problems. Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is used for solving the portfolio selection problem. ACO is a paradigm for designing meta-heuristic algorithms for combinatorial optimization problem. Data from BSE is used for illustration.

  10. Meta-Heuristics in Short Scale Construction: Ant Colony Optimization and Genetic Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Schroeders, Ulrich; Wilhelm, Oliver; Olaru, Gabriel

    2016-01-01

    The advent of large-scale assessment, but also the more frequent use of longitudinal and multivariate approaches to measurement in psychological, educational, and sociological research, caused an increased demand for psychometrically sound short scales. Shortening scales economizes on valuable administration time, but might result in inadequate measures because reducing an item set could: a) change the internal structure of the measure, b) result in poorer reliability and measurement precision, c) deliver measures that cannot effectively discriminate between persons on the intended ability spectrum, and d) reduce test-criterion relations. Different approaches to abbreviate measures fare differently with respect to the above-mentioned problems. Therefore, we compare the quality and efficiency of three item selection strategies to derive short scales from an existing long version: a Stepwise COnfirmatory Factor Analytical approach (SCOFA) that maximizes factor loadings and two metaheuristics, specifically an Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) with a tailored user-defined optimization function and a Genetic Algorithm (GA) with an unspecific cost-reduction function. SCOFA compiled short versions were highly reliable, but had poor validity. In contrast, both metaheuristics outperformed SCOFA and produced efficient and psychometrically sound short versions (unidimensional, reliable, sensitive, and valid). We discuss under which circumstances ACO and GA produce equivalent results and provide recommendations for conditions in which it is advisable to use a metaheuristic with an unspecific out-of-the-box optimization function. PMID:27893845

  11. Integrating geological uncertainty in long-term open pit mine production planning by ant colony optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilani, Seyed-Omid; Sattarvand, Javad

    2016-02-01

    Meeting production targets in terms of ore quantity and quality is critical for a successful mining operation. In-situ grade uncertainty causes both deviations from production targets and general financial deficits. A new stochastic optimization algorithm based on ant colony optimization (ACO) approach is developed herein to integrate geological uncertainty described through a series of the simulated ore bodies. Two different strategies were developed based on a single predefined probability value (Prob) and multiple probability values (Pro bnt) , respectively in order to improve the initial solutions that created by deterministic ACO procedure. Application at the Sungun copper mine in the northwest of Iran demonstrate the abilities of the stochastic approach to create a single schedule and control the risk of deviating from production targets over time and also increase the project value. A comparison between two strategies and traditional approach illustrates that the multiple probability strategy is able to produce better schedules, however, the single predefined probability is more practical in projects requiring of high flexibility degree.

  12. A multiple classifier system based on Ant-Colony Optimization for Hyperspectral image classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Ke; Xie, Li; Li, Guangyao

    2017-01-01

    Hyperspectral images which hold a large quantity of land information enables image classification. Traditional classification methods usually works on multispectral images. However, the high dimensionality in feature space influences the accuracy while using these classification algorithms, such as statistical classifiers or decision trees. This paper proposes a multiple classifier system (MCS) based on ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm to improve the classification ability. ACO method has been implemented on multispectral images in researches, but seldom to hyperspectral images. In order to overcome the limitation of ACO method on dealing with high dimensionality, MCS is introduced to combine the outputs of each single ACO classifier based on the credibility of rules. Mutual information is applied to discretizing features from the data set and provides the criterion of band selection and band grouping algorithms. The performance of the proposed method is validated with ROSIS Pavia data set, and compared to k-nearest neighbour (KNN) algorithm. Experimental results prove that the proposed method is feasible to classify hyperspectral images.

  13. A multiuser detector based on artificial bee colony algorithm for DS-UWB systems.

    PubMed

    Yin, Zhendong; Liu, Xiaohui; Wu, Zhilu

    2013-01-01

    Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm is an optimization algorithm based on the intelligent behavior of honey bee swarm. The ABC algorithm was developed to solve optimizing numerical problems and revealed premising results in processing time and solution quality. In ABC, a colony of artificial bees search for rich artificial food sources; the optimizing numerical problems are converted to the problem of finding the best parameter which minimizes an objective function. Then, the artificial bees randomly discover a population of initial solutions and then iteratively improve them by employing the behavior: moving towards better solutions by means of a neighbor search mechanism while abandoning poor solutions. In this paper, an efficient multiuser detector based on a suboptimal code mapping multiuser detector and artificial bee colony algorithm (SCM-ABC-MUD) is proposed and implemented in direct-sequence ultra-wideband (DS-UWB) systems under the additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) channel. The simulation results demonstrate that the BER and the near-far effect resistance performances of this proposed algorithm are quite close to those of the optimum multiuser detector (OMD) while its computational complexity is much lower than that of OMD. Furthermore, the BER performance of SCM-ABC-MUD is not sensitive to the number of active users and can obtain a large system capacity.

  14. Protein levels and colony development of Africanized and European honey bees fed natural and artificial diets.

    PubMed

    Morais, M M; Turcatto, A P; Pereira, R A; Francoy, T M; Guidugli-Lazzarini, K R; Gonçalves, L S; de Almeida, J M V; Ellis, J D; De Jong, D

    2013-12-19

    Pollen substitute diets are a valuable resource for maintaining strong and health honey bee colonies. Specific diets may be useful in one region or country and inadequate or economically unviable in others. We compared two artificial protein diets that had been formulated from locally-available ingredients in Brazil with bee bread and a non-protein sucrose diet. Groups of 100 newly-emerged, adult workers of Africanized honey bees in Brazil and European honey bees in the USA were confined in small cages and fed on one of four diets for seven days. The artificial diets included a high protein diet made of soy milk powder and albumin, and a lower protein level diet consisting of soy milk powder, brewer's yeast and rice bran. The initial protein levels in newly emerged bees were approximately 18-21 µg/µL hemolymph. After feeding on the diets for seven days, the protein levels in the hemolymph were similar among the protein diet groups (~37-49 µg/µL after seven days), although Africanized bees acquired higher protein levels, increasing 145 and 100% on diets D1 and D2, respectively, versus 83 and 60% in the European bees. All the protein diets resulted in significantly higher levels of protein than sucrose solution alone. In the field, the two pollen substitute diets were tested during periods of low pollen availability in the field in two regions of Brazil. Food consumption, population development, colony weight, and honey production were evaluated to determine the impact of the diets on colony strength parameters. The colonies fed artificial diets had a significant improvement in all parameters, while control colonies dwindled during the dearth period. We conclude that these two artificial protein diets have good potential as pollen substitutes during dearth periods and that Africanized bees more efficiently utilize artificial protein diets than do European honey bees.

  15. Recursive Ant Colony Global Optimization: a new technique for the inversion of geophysical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, D. K.; Gupta, J. P.; Arora, Y.; Singh, U. K.

    2011-12-01

    We present a new method called Recursive Ant Colony Global Optimization (RACO) technique, a modified form of general ACO, which can be used to find the best solutions to inversion problems in geophysics. RACO simulates the social behaviour of ants to find the best path between the nest and the food source. A new term depth has been introduced, which controls the extent of recursion. A selective number of cities get qualified for the successive depth. The results of one depth are used to construct the models for the next depth and the range of values for each of the parameters is reduced without any change to the number of models. The three additional steps performed after each depth, are the pheromone tracking, pheromone updating and city selection. One of the advantages of RACO over ACO is that if a problem has multiple solutions, then pheromone accumulation will take place at more than one city thereby leading to formation of multiple nested ACO loops within the ACO loop of the previous depth. Also, while the convergence of ACO is almost linear, RACO shows exponential convergence and hence is faster than the ACO. RACO proves better over some other global optimization techniques, as it does not require any initial values to be assigned to the parameters function. The method has been tested on some mathematical functions, synthetic self-potential (SP) and synthetic gravity data. The obtained results reveal the efficiency and practicability of the method. The method is found to be efficient enough to solve the problems of SP and gravity anomalies due to a horizontal cylinder, a sphere, an inclined sheet and multiple idealized bodies buried inside the earth. These anomalies with and without noise were inverted using the RACO algorithm. The obtained results were compared with those obtained from the conventional methods and it was found that RACO results are more accurate. Finally this optimization technique was applied to real field data collected over the Surda

  16. Forced evolution in silico by artificial transposons and their genetic operators: The ant navigation problem.

    PubMed

    Zamdborg, Leonid; Holloway, David M; Merelo, Juan J; Levchenko, Vladimir F; Spirov, Alexander V

    2015-06-10

    Modern evolutionary computation utilizes heuristic optimizations based upon concepts borrowed from the Darwinian theory of natural selection. Their demonstrated efficacy has reawakened an interest in other aspects of contemporary biology as an inspiration for new algorithms. However, amongst the many excellent candidates for study, contemporary models of biological macroevolution attract special attention. We believe that a vital direction in this field must be algorithms that model the activity of "genomic parasites", such as transposons, in biological evolution. Many evolutionary biologists posit that it is the co-evolution of populations with their genomic parasites that permits the high efficiency of evolutionary searches found in the living world. This publication is our first step in the direction of developing a minimal assortment of algorithms that simulate the role of genomic parasites. Specifically, we started in the domain of genetic algorithms (GA) and selected the Artificial Ant Problem as a test case. This navigation problem is widely known as a classical benchmark test and possesses a large body of literature. We add new objects to the standard toolkit of GA - artificial transposons and a collection of operators that operate on them. We define these artificial transposons as a fragment of an ant's code with properties that cause it to stand apart from the rest. The minimal set of operators for transposons is a transposon mutation operator, and a transposon reproduction operator that causes a transposon to multiply within the population of hosts. An analysis of the population dynamics of transposons within the course of ant evolution showed that transposons are involved in the processes of propagation and selection of blocks of ant navigation programs. During this time, the speed of evolutionary search increases significantly. We concluded that artificial transposons, analogous to real transposons, are truly capable of acting as intelligent mutators

  17. Forced evolution in silico by artificial transposons and their genetic operators: The ant navigation problem

    PubMed Central

    Zamdborg, Leonid; Holloway, David M.; Merelo, Juan J.; Levchenko, Vladimir F.; Spirov, Alexander V.

    2015-01-01

    Modern evolutionary computation utilizes heuristic optimizations based upon concepts borrowed from the Darwinian theory of natural selection. Their demonstrated efficacy has reawakened an interest in other aspects of contemporary biology as an inspiration for new algorithms. However, amongst the many excellent candidates for study, contemporary models of biological macroevolution attract special attention. We believe that a vital direction in this field must be algorithms that model the activity of “genomic parasites”, such as transposons, in biological evolution. Many evolutionary biologists posit that it is the co-evolution of populations with their genomic parasites that permits the high efficiency of evolutionary searches found in the living world. This publication is our first step in the direction of developing a minimal assortment of algorithms that simulate the role of genomic parasites. Specifically, we started in the domain of genetic algorithms (GA) and selected the Artificial Ant Problem as a test case. This navigation problem is widely known as a classical benchmark test and possesses a large body of literature. We add new objects to the standard toolkit of GA - artificial transposons and a collection of operators that operate on them. We define these artificial transposons as a fragment of an ant's code with properties that cause it to stand apart from the rest. The minimal set of operators for transposons is a transposon mutation operator, and a transposon reproduction operator that causes a transposon to multiply within the population of hosts. An analysis of the population dynamics of transposons within the course of ant evolution showed that transposons are involved in the processes of propagation and selection of blocks of ant navigation programs. During this time, the speed of evolutionary search increases significantly. We concluded that artificial transposons, analogous to real transposons, are truly capable of acting as intelligent

  18. Seasonal variation and the co-occurence of four pathogens and a group of parasites among monogyne and polygyne fire ant colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A year-long survey of was conducted to determine the seasonality and co-occurrence of four pathogens and a group of parasites in colonies of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, in north-central Florida. S. invicta colonies were sampled and examined for the presence of Pseudacteon spp. (P...

  19. Scaling of differentiation in networks: nervous systems, organisms, ant colonies, ecosystems, businesses, universities, cities, electronic circuits, and Legos.

    PubMed

    Changizi, M A; McDannald, M A; Widders, D

    2002-09-21

    Nodes in networks are often of different types, and in this sense networks are differentiated. Here we examine the relationship between network differentiation and network size in networks under economic or natural selective pressure, such as electronic circuits (networks of electronic components), Legos (networks of Lego pieces), businesses (networks of employees), universities (networks of faculty), organisms (networks of cells), ant colonies (networks of ants), and nervous systems (networks of neurons). For each of these we find that (i) differentiation increases with network size, and (ii) the relationship is consistent with a power law. These results are explained by a hypothesis that, because nodes are costly to build and maintain in such "selected networks", network size is optimized, and from this the power-law relationship may be derived. The scaling exponent depends on the particular kind of network, and is determined by the degree to which nodes are used in a combinatorial fashion to carry out network-level functions. We find that networks under natural selection (organisms, ant colonies, and nervous systems) have much higher combinatorial abilities than the networks for which human ingenuity is involved (electronic circuits, Legos, businesses, and universities). A distinct but related optimization hypothesis may be used to explain scaling of differentiation in competitive networks (networks where the nodes themselves, rather than the entire network, are under selective pressure) such as ecosystems (networks of organisms).

  20. Gas ultrasonic flow rate measurement through genetic-ant colony optimization based on the ultrasonic pulse received signal model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Huirang; Zheng, Dandan; Nie, Laixiao

    2015-04-01

    For gas ultrasonic flowmeters, the signals received by ultrasonic sensors are susceptible to noise interference. If signals are mingled with noise, a large error in flow measurement can be caused by triggering mistakenly using the traditional double-threshold method. To solve this problem, genetic-ant colony optimization (GACO) based on the ultrasonic pulse received signal model is proposed. Furthermore, in consideration of the real-time performance of the flow measurement system, the improvement of processing only the first three cycles of the received signals rather than the whole signal is proposed. Simulation results show that the GACO algorithm has the best estimation accuracy and ant-noise ability compared with the genetic algorithm, ant colony optimization, double-threshold and enveloped zero-crossing. Local convergence doesn’t appear with the GACO algorithm until -10 dB. For the GACO algorithm, the converging accuracy and converging speed and the amount of computation are further improved when using the first three cycles (called GACO-3cycles). Experimental results involving actual received signals show that the accuracy of single-gas ultrasonic flow rate measurement can reach 0.5% with GACO-3 cycles, which is better than with the double-threshold method.

  1. Probabilistic dynamic deployment of wireless sensor networks by artificial bee colony algorithm.

    PubMed

    Ozturk, Celal; Karaboga, Dervis; Gorkemli, Beyza

    2011-01-01

    As the usage and development of wireless sensor networks are increasing, the problems related to these networks are being realized. Dynamic deployment is one of the main topics that directly affect the performance of the wireless sensor networks. In this paper, the artificial bee colony algorithm is applied to the dynamic deployment of stationary and mobile sensor networks to achieve better performance by trying to increase the coverage area of the network. A probabilistic detection model is considered to obtain more realistic results while computing the effectively covered area. Performance of the algorithm is compared with that of the particle swarm optimization algorithm, which is also a swarm based optimization technique and formerly used in wireless sensor network deployment. Results show artificial bee colony algorithm can be preferable in the dynamic deployment of wireless sensor networks.

  2. Ant colonies outperform individuals when a sensory discrimination task is difficult but not when it is easy.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Takao; Granovskiy, Boris; Mann, Richard P; Sumpter, David J T; Pratt, Stephen C

    2013-08-20

    "Collective intelligence" and "wisdom of crowds" refer to situations in which groups achieve more accurate perception and better decisions than solitary agents. Whether groups outperform individuals should depend on the kind of task and its difficulty, but the nature of this relationship remains unknown. Here we show that colonies of Temnothorax ants outperform individuals for a difficult perception task but that individuals do better than groups when the task is easy. Subjects were required to choose the better of two nest sites as the quality difference was varied. For small differences, colonies were more likely than isolated ants to choose the better site, but this relationship was reversed for large differences. We explain these results using a mathematical model, which shows that positive feedback between group members effectively integrates information and sharpens the discrimination of fine differences. When the task is easier the same positive feedback can lock the colony into a suboptimal choice. These results suggest the conditions under which crowds do or do not become wise.

  3. On the Effects of Artificial Feeding on Bee Colony Dynamics: A Mathematical Model

    PubMed Central

    Paiva, Juliana Pereira Lisboa Mohallem; Paiva, Henrique Mohallem; Esposito, Elisa; Morais, Michelle Manfrini

    2016-01-01

    This paper proposes a new mathematical model to evaluate the effects of artificial feeding on bee colony population dynamics. The proposed model is based on a classical framework and contains differential equations that describe the changes in the number of hive bees, forager bees, and brood cells, as a function of amounts of natural and artificial food. The model includes the following elements to characterize the artificial feeding scenario: a function to model the preference of the bees for natural food over artificial food; parameters to quantify the quality and palatability of artificial diets; a function to account for the efficiency of the foragers in gathering food under different environmental conditions; and a function to represent different approaches used by the beekeeper to feed the hive with artificial food. Simulated results are presented to illustrate the main characteristics of the model and its behavior under different scenarios. The model results are validated with experimental data from the literature involving four different artificial diets. A good match between simulated and experimental results was achieved. PMID:27875589

  4. On the Effects of Artificial Feeding on Bee Colony Dynamics: A Mathematical Model.

    PubMed

    Paiva, Juliana Pereira Lisboa Mohallem; Paiva, Henrique Mohallem; Esposito, Elisa; Morais, Michelle Manfrini

    2016-01-01

    This paper proposes a new mathematical model to evaluate the effects of artificial feeding on bee colony population dynamics. The proposed model is based on a classical framework and contains differential equations that describe the changes in the number of hive bees, forager bees, and brood cells, as a function of amounts of natural and artificial food. The model includes the following elements to characterize the artificial feeding scenario: a function to model the preference of the bees for natural food over artificial food; parameters to quantify the quality and palatability of artificial diets; a function to account for the efficiency of the foragers in gathering food under different environmental conditions; and a function to represent different approaches used by the beekeeper to feed the hive with artificial food. Simulated results are presented to illustrate the main characteristics of the model and its behavior under different scenarios. The model results are validated with experimental data from the literature involving four different artificial diets. A good match between simulated and experimental results was achieved.

  5. The Effect of Symbiotic Ant Colonies on Plant Growth: A Test Using an Azteca-Cecropia System

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Karla N.; Coley, Phyllis D.; Kursar, Thomas A.; Kaminski, Lucas A.; Moreira, Marcelo Z.; Campos, Ricardo I.

    2015-01-01

    In studies of ant-plant mutualisms, the role that ants play in increasing the growth rates of their plant partners is potentially a key beneficial service. In the field, we measured the growth of Cecropia glaziovii saplings and compared individuals that were naturally colonized by Azteca muelleri ants with uncolonized plants in different seasons (wet and dry). We also measured light availability as well as attributes that could be influenced by the presence of Azteca colonies, such as herbivory, leaf nutrients (total nitrogen and δ15N), and investments in defense (total phenolics and leaf mass per area). We found that colonized plants grew faster than uncolonized plants and experienced a lower level of herbivory in both the wet and dry seasons. Colonized plants had higher nitrogen content than uncolonized plants, although the δ15N, light environment, total phenolics and leaf mass per area, did not differ between colonized and uncolonized plants. Since colonized and uncolonized plants did not differ in the direct defenses that we evaluated, yet herbivory was lower in colonized plants, we conclude that biotic defenses were the most effective protection against herbivores in our system. This result supports the hypothesis that protection provided by ants is an important factor promoting plant growth. Since C. glaziovii is widely distributed among a variety of forests and ecotones, and since we demonstrated a strong relationship with their ant partners, this system can be useful for comparative studies of ant-plant interactions in different habitats. Also, given this study was carried out near the transition to the subtropics, these results help generalize the geographic distribution of this mutualism and may shed light on the persistence of the interactions in the face of climate change. PMID:25811369

  6. The effect of symbiotic ant colonies on plant growth: a test using an Azteca-Cecropia system.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Karla N; Coley, Phyllis D; Kursar, Thomas A; Kaminski, Lucas A; Moreira, Marcelo Z; Campos, Ricardo I

    2015-01-01

    In studies of ant-plant mutualisms, the role that ants play in increasing the growth rates of their plant partners is potentially a key beneficial service. In the field, we measured the growth of Cecropia glaziovii saplings and compared individuals that were naturally colonized by Azteca muelleri ants with uncolonized plants in different seasons (wet and dry). We also measured light availability as well as attributes that could be influenced by the presence of Azteca colonies, such as herbivory, leaf nutrients (total nitrogen and δ(15)N), and investments in defense (total phenolics and leaf mass per area). We found that colonized plants grew faster than uncolonized plants and experienced a lower level of herbivory in both the wet and dry seasons. Colonized plants had higher nitrogen content than uncolonized plants, although the δ(15)N, light environment, total phenolics and leaf mass per area, did not differ between colonized and uncolonized plants. Since colonized and uncolonized plants did not differ in the direct defenses that we evaluated, yet herbivory was lower in colonized plants, we conclude that biotic defenses were the most effective protection against herbivores in our system. This result supports the hypothesis that protection provided by ants is an important factor promoting plant growth. Since C. glaziovii is widely distributed among a variety of forests and ecotones, and since we demonstrated a strong relationship with their ant partners, this system can be useful for comparative studies of ant-plant interactions in different habitats. Also, given this study was carried out near the transition to the subtropics, these results help generalize the geographic distribution of this mutualism and may shed light on the persistence of the interactions in the face of climate change.

  7. Conserved microsatellites in ants enable population genetic and colony pedigree studies across a wide range of species.

    PubMed

    Butler, Ian A; Siletti, Kimberly; Oxley, Peter R; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2014-01-01

    Broadly applicable polymorphic genetic markers are essential tools for population genetics, and different types of markers have been developed for this purpose. Microsatellites have been employed as particularly polymorphic markers for over 20 years. However, PCR primers for microsatellite loci are often not useful outside the species for which they were designed. This implies that a new set of loci has to be identified and primers developed for every new study species. To overcome this constraint, we identified 45 conserved microsatellite loci based on the eight currently available ant genomes and designed primers for PCR amplification. Among these loci, we chose 24 for in-depth study in six species covering six different ant subfamilies. On average, 11.16 of these 24 loci were polymorphic and in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in any given species. The average number of alleles for these polymorphic loci within single populations of the different species was 4.59. This set of genetic markers will thus be useful for population genetic and colony pedigree studies across a wide range of ant species, supplementing the markers available for previously studied species and greatly facilitating the study of the many ant species lacking genetic markers. Our study shows that it is possible to develop microsatellite loci that are both conserved over a broad range of taxa, yet polymorphic within species. This should encourage researchers to develop similar tools for other large taxonomic groups.

  8. Conserved Microsatellites in Ants Enable Population Genetic and Colony Pedigree Studies across a Wide Range of Species

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Ian A.; Siletti, Kimberly; Oxley, Peter R.; Kronauer, Daniel J. C.

    2014-01-01

    Broadly applicable polymorphic genetic markers are essential tools for population genetics, and different types of markers have been developed for this purpose. Microsatellites have been employed as particularly polymorphic markers for over 20 years. However, PCR primers for microsatellite loci are often not useful outside the species for which they were designed. This implies that a new set of loci has to be identified and primers developed for every new study species. To overcome this constraint, we identified 45 conserved microsatellite loci based on the eight currently available ant genomes and designed primers for PCR amplification. Among these loci, we chose 24 for in-depth study in six species covering six different ant subfamilies. On average, 11.16 of these 24 loci were polymorphic and in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in any given species. The average number of alleles for these polymorphic loci within single populations of the different species was 4.59. This set of genetic markers will thus be useful for population genetic and colony pedigree studies across a wide range of ant species, supplementing the markers available for previously studied species and greatly facilitating the study of the many ant species lacking genetic markers. Our study shows that it is possible to develop microsatellite loci that are both conserved over a broad range of taxa, yet polymorphic within species. This should encourage researchers to develop similar tools for other large taxonomic groups. PMID:25244681

  9. Tight knit under stress: colony resilience to the loss of tandem leaders during relocation in an Indian ant

    PubMed Central

    Kolay, Swetashree; Annagiri, Sumana

    2015-01-01

    The movement of colonies from one nest to another is a frequent event in the lives of many social insects and is important for their survival and propagation. This goal-oriented task is accomplished by means of tandem running in some ant species, such as Diacamma indicum. Tandem leaders are central to this process as they know the location of the new nest and lead colony members to it. Relocations involving targeted removal of leaders were compared with unmanipulated and random member removal relocations. Behavioural observations were integrated with network analysis to examine the differences in the pattern of task organization at the level of individuals and that of the colony. All colonies completed relocation successfully and leaders who substituted the removed tandem leaders conducted the task at a similar rate having redistributed the task in a less skewed manner. In terms of network structure, this resilience was due to significantly higher density and outcloseness indicating increased interaction between substitute leaders. By contrast, leader–follower interactions and random removal networks showed no discernible changes. Similar explorations of other goal-oriented tasks in other societies will possibly unveil new facets in the interplay between individuals that enable the group to respond effectively to stress. PMID:26473038

  10. Tight knit under stress: colony resilience to the loss of tandem leaders during relocation in an Indian ant.

    PubMed

    Kolay, Swetashree; Annagiri, Sumana

    2015-09-01

    The movement of colonies from one nest to another is a frequent event in the lives of many social insects and is important for their survival and propagation. This goal-oriented task is accomplished by means of tandem running in some ant species, such as Diacamma indicum. Tandem leaders are central to this process as they know the location of the new nest and lead colony members to it. Relocations involving targeted removal of leaders were compared with unmanipulated and random member removal relocations. Behavioural observations were integrated with network analysis to examine the differences in the pattern of task organization at the level of individuals and that of the colony. All colonies completed relocation successfully and leaders who substituted the removed tandem leaders conducted the task at a similar rate having redistributed the task in a less skewed manner. In terms of network structure, this resilience was due to significantly higher density and outcloseness indicating increased interaction between substitute leaders. By contrast, leader-follower interactions and random removal networks showed no discernible changes. Similar explorations of other goal-oriented tasks in other societies will possibly unveil new facets in the interplay between individuals that enable the group to respond effectively to stress.

  11. Artificial selection on ant female caste ratio uncovers a link between female-biased sex ratios and infection by Wolbachia endosymbionts.

    PubMed

    Pontieri, L; Schmidt, A M; Singh, R; Pedersen, J S; Linksvayer, T A

    2017-02-01

    Social insect sex and caste ratios are well-studied targets of evolutionary conflicts, but the heritable factors affecting these traits remain unknown. To elucidate these factors, we carried out a short-term artificial selection study on female caste ratio in the ant Monomorium pharaonis. Across three generations of bidirectional selection, we observed no response for caste ratio, but sex ratios rapidly became more female-biased in the two replicate high selection lines and less female-biased in the two replicate low selection lines. We hypothesized that this rapid divergence for sex ratio was caused by changes in the frequency of infection by the heritable bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia, because the initial breeding stock varied for Wolbachia infection, and Wolbachia is known to cause female-biased sex ratios in other insects. Consistent with this hypothesis, the proportions of Wolbachia-infected colonies in the selection lines changed rapidly, mirroring the sex ratio changes. Moreover, the estimated effect of Wolbachia on sex ratio (~13% female bias) was similar in colonies before and during artificial selection, indicating that this Wolbachia effect is likely independent of the effects of artificial selection on other heritable factors. Our study provides evidence for the first case of endosymbiont sex ratio manipulation in a social insect.

  12. Correlation between virulence and genetic structure of Escovopsis strains from leaf-cutting ant colonies in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Diego E Elizondo; Asensio, Juan G Vargas; Tomás, Adrián A Pinto

    2014-08-01

    Leaf-cutting ants (genera Atta and Acromyrmex) cultivate a specialized fungus for food in underground chambers employing cut plant material as substrate. Parasitism occurs in this agricultural system and plays an important role in colony fitness. The microfungi Escovopsis, a specialized mycoparasite of the fungal cultivar, is highly prevalent among colonies. In this study, we tested the antagonistic activity of several Escovopsis strains from different geographical areas in Costa Rica. We employed a combination of laboratory tests to evaluate virulence, including pure culture challenges, toxicity to fungus garden pieces and subcolony bioassays. We also performed a phylogenetic analysis of these strains in order to correlate their virulence with the genetic structure of this population. The bioassays yielded results consistent between each other and showed significant differences in antagonistic activity among the parasites evaluated. However, no significant differences were found when comparing the results of the bioassays according to the source of the ants' fungal cultivar. The phylogenetic analyses were consistent with these results: whilst the fungal cultivar phylogeny showed a single clade with limited molecular variation, the Escovopsis phylogeny yielded several clades with the most virulent isolates grouping in the same well-supported clade. These results indicate that there are Escovopsis strains better suited to establish their antagonistic effect, whilst the genetic homogeneity of the fungal cultivars limits their ability to modulate Escovopsis antagonism. These findings should be taken into consideration when evaluating the potential of Escovopsis isolates as biocontrol agents for this important agricultural pest in the Neotropics.

  13. Application of Ant-Colony-Optimization algorithm for improved management of first flush effects in urban wastewater systems.

    PubMed

    Verdaguer, M; Clara, N; Gutiérrez, O; Poch, M

    2014-07-01

    The first flush effect in combined sewer systems during storm events often causes overflows and overloads of the sewage treatment, which reduces the efficiency of the sewage treatment and decreases the quality of the receiving waters due to the pollutants that are contributed. The use of retention tanks constitutes a widely used way to mitigate this effect. However, the management of the pollutant loads encounters difficulties when the retention tanks are emptied. A new approach is proposed to solve this problem by fulfilling the treatment requirements in real time, focussing on the characteristics of the wastewater. The method is based on the execution of an Ant Colony Optimisation algorithm to obtain a satisfactory sequence for the discharge of the retention tanks. The discharge sequence considers the volume of stormwater and its concentration of pollutants including Suspended Solids, Biological Oxygen Demand and Chemical Oxygen Demand, Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphorus. The Ant Colony Optimisation algorithm was applied successfully to a case study with overall reduction of pollutant loads stored in retention tanks. The algorithm can be adapted in a simple way to the different scenarios, infrastructures and controllers of sewer systems.

  14. Improved understanding of the searching behavior of ant colony optimization algorithms applied to the water distribution design problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zecchin, A. C.; Simpson, A. R.; Maier, H. R.; Marchi, A.; Nixon, J. B.

    2012-09-01

    Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) have been applied successfully to many water resource problems, such as system design, management decision formulation, and model calibration. The performance of an EA with respect to a particular problem type is dependent on how effectively its internal operators balance the exploitation/exploration trade-off to iteratively find solutions of an increasing quality. For a given problem, different algorithms are observed to produce a variety of different final performances, but there have been surprisingly few investigations into characterizing how the different internal mechanisms alter the algorithm's searching behavior, in both the objective and decision space, to arrive at this final performance. This paper presents metrics for analyzing the searching behavior of ant colony optimization algorithms, a particular type of EA, for the optimal water distribution system design problem, which is a classical NP-hard problem in civil engineering. Using the proposed metrics, behavior is characterized in terms of three different attributes: (1) the effectiveness of the search in improving its solution quality and entering into optimal or near-optimal regions of the search space, (2) the extent to which the algorithm explores as it converges to solutions, and (3) the searching behavior with respect to the feasible and infeasible regions. A range of case studies is considered, where a number of ant colony optimization variants are applied to a selection of water distribution system optimization problems. The results demonstrate the utility of the proposed metrics to give greater insight into how the internal operators affect each algorithm's searching behavior.

  15. Dynamic changes in host-virus interactions associated with colony founding and social environment in fire ant queens (Solenopsis invicta).

    PubMed

    Manfredini, Fabio; Shoemaker, DeWayne; Grozinger, Christina M

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of host-parasite interactions can change dramatically over the course of a chronic infection as the internal (physiological) and external (environmental) conditions of the host change. When queens of social insects found a colony, they experience changes in both their physiological state (they develop their ovaries and begin laying eggs) and the social environment (they suddenly stop interacting with the other members of the mother colony), making this an excellent model system for examining how these factors interact with chronic infections. We investigated the dynamics of host-viral interactions in queens of Solenopsis invicta (fire ant) as they transition from mating to colony founding/brood rearing to the emergence of the first workers. We examined these dynamics in naturally infected queens in two different social environments, where queens either founded colonies as individuals or as pairs. We hypothesized that stress associated with colony founding plays an important role in the dynamics of host-parasite interactions. We also hypothesized that different viruses have different modalities of interaction with the host that can be quantified by physiological measures and genomic analysis of gene expression in the host. We found that the two most prevalent viruses, SINV-1 and SINV-2, are associated with different fitness costs that are mirrored by different patterns of gene expression in the host. In fact SINV-2, the virus that imposes the significant reduction of a queen's reproductive output is also associated with larger changes of global gene expression in the host. These results show the complexity of interactions between S. invicta and two viral parasites. Our findings also show that chronic infections by viral parasites in insects are dynamic processes that may pose different challenges in the host, laying the groundwork for interesting ecological and evolutionary considerations.

  16. Partially constrained ant colony optimization algorithm for the solution of constrained optimization problems: Application to storm water network design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afshar, M. H.

    2007-04-01

    This paper exploits the unique feature of the Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm (ACOA), namely incremental solution building mechanism, to develop partially constraint ACO algorithms for the solution of optimization problems with explicit constraints. The method is based on the provision of a tabu list for each ant at each decision point of the problem so that some constraints of the problem are satisfied. The application of the method to the problem of storm water network design is formulated and presented. The network nodes are considered as the decision points and the nodal elevations of the network are used as the decision variables of the optimization problem. Two partially constrained ACO algorithms are formulated and applied to a benchmark example of storm water network design and the results are compared with those of the original unconstrained algorithm and existing methods. In the first algorithm the positive slope constraints are satisfied explicitly and the rest are satisfied by using the penalty method while in the second one the satisfaction of constraints regarding the maximum ratio of flow depth to the diameter are also achieved explicitly via the tabu list. The method is shown to be very effective and efficient in locating the optimal solutions and in terms of the convergence characteristics of the resulting ACO algorithms. The proposed algorithms are also shown to be relatively insensitive to the initial colony used compared to the original algorithm. Furthermore, the method proves itself capable of finding an optimal or near-optimal solution, independent of the discretisation level and the size of the colony used.

  17. Research on WNN modeling for gold price forecasting based on improved artificial bee colony algorithm.

    PubMed

    Li, Bai

    2014-01-01

    Gold price forecasting has been a hot issue in economics recently. In this work, wavelet neural network (WNN) combined with a novel artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm is proposed for this gold price forecasting issue. In this improved algorithm, the conventional roulette selection strategy is discarded. Besides, the convergence statuses in a previous cycle of iteration are fully utilized as feedback messages to manipulate the searching intensity in a subsequent cycle. Experimental results confirm that this new algorithm converges faster than the conventional ABC when tested on some classical benchmark functions and is effective to improve modeling capacity of WNN regarding the gold price forecasting scheme.

  18. A Y-like social chromosome causes alternative colony organization in fire ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Intraspecific variability in social organization is common, yet the underlying causes are rarely known1-3. In the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, the existence of two divergent forms of social organisation is under the control of a single Mendelian genomic element marked by two variants of an odorant b...

  19. A New Modified Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm with Exponential Function Adaptive Steps.

    PubMed

    Mao, Wei; Lan, Heng-You; Li, Hao-Ru

    2016-01-01

    As one of the most recent popular swarm intelligence techniques, artificial bee colony algorithm is poor at exploitation and has some defects such as slow search speed, poor population diversity, the stagnation in the working process, and being trapped into the local optimal solution. The purpose of this paper is to develop a new modified artificial bee colony algorithm in view of the initial population structure, subpopulation groups, step updating, and population elimination. Further, depending on opposition-based learning theory and the new modified algorithms, an improved S-type grouping method is proposed and the original way of roulette wheel selection is substituted through sensitivity-pheromone way. Then, an adaptive step with exponential functions is designed for replacing the original random step. Finally, based on the new test function versions CEC13, six benchmark functions with the dimensions D = 20 and D = 40 are chosen and applied in the experiments for analyzing and comparing the iteration speed and accuracy of the new modified algorithms. The experimental results show that the new modified algorithm has faster and more stable searching and can quickly increase poor population diversity and bring out the global optimal solutions.

  20. A New Modified Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm with Exponential Function Adaptive Steps

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Wei; Li, Hao-ru

    2016-01-01

    As one of the most recent popular swarm intelligence techniques, artificial bee colony algorithm is poor at exploitation and has some defects such as slow search speed, poor population diversity, the stagnation in the working process, and being trapped into the local optimal solution. The purpose of this paper is to develop a new modified artificial bee colony algorithm in view of the initial population structure, subpopulation groups, step updating, and population elimination. Further, depending on opposition-based learning theory and the new modified algorithms, an improved S-type grouping method is proposed and the original way of roulette wheel selection is substituted through sensitivity-pheromone way. Then, an adaptive step with exponential functions is designed for replacing the original random step. Finally, based on the new test function versions CEC13, six benchmark functions with the dimensions D = 20 and D = 40 are chosen and applied in the experiments for analyzing and comparing the iteration speed and accuracy of the new modified algorithms. The experimental results show that the new modified algorithm has faster and more stable searching and can quickly increase poor population diversity and bring out the global optimal solutions. PMID:27293426

  1. Male fighting and ``territoriality'' within colonies of the ant Cardiocondyla venustula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frohschammer, Sabine; Heinze, Jürgen

    2009-01-01

    The ant genus Cardiocondyla is characterized by a bizarre male polymorphism with wingless fighter males and winged disperser males. Winged males have been lost convergently in several clades, and in at least one of them, wingless males have evolved mutual tolerance. To better understand the evolutionary pathways of reproductive tactics, we investigated Cardiocondyla venustula, a species, which in a phylogenetic analysis clusters with species with fighting and species with mutually tolerant, wingless males. Wingless males of C. venustula use their strong mandibles to kill freshly eclosed rival males and also engage in short fights with other adult males, but in addition show a novel behavior hitherto not reported from social insect males: they spread out in the natal nest and defend “territories” against other males. Ant males therefore show a much larger variety of reproductive tactics than previously assumed.

  2. Detection and Length Estimation of Linear Scratch on Solid Surfaces Using an Angle Constrained Ant Colony Technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pal, Siddharth; Basak, Aniruddha; Das, Swagatam

    In many manufacturing areas the detection of surface defects is one of the most important processes in quality control. Currently in order to detect small scratches on solid surfaces most of the industries working on material manufacturing rely on visual inspection primarily. In this article we propose a hybrid computational intelligence technique to automatically detect a linear scratch from a solid surface and estimate its length (in pixel unit) simultaneously. The approach is based on a swarm intelligence algorithm called Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) and image preprocessing with Wiener and Sobel filters as well as the Canny edge detector. The ACO algorithm is mostly used to compensate for the broken parts of the scratch. Our experimental results confirm that the proposed technique can be used for detecting scratches from noisy and degraded images, even when it is very difficult for conventional image processing to distinguish the scratch area from its background.

  3. A Global Approach to the Optimal Trajectory Based on an Improved Ant Colony Algorithm for Cold Spray

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Zhenhua; Chen, Tingyang; Zeng, Chunnian; Guo, Xueping; Lian, Huijuan; Zheng, You; Wei, Xiaoxu

    2016-12-01

    This paper is concerned with finding a global approach to obtain the shortest complete coverage trajectory on complex surfaces for cold spray applications. A slicing algorithm is employed to decompose the free-form complex surface into several small pieces of simple topological type. The problem of finding the optimal arrangement of the pieces is translated into a generalized traveling salesman problem (GTSP). Owing to its high searching capability and convergence performance, an improved ant colony algorithm is then used to solve the GTSP. Through off-line simulation, a robot trajectory is generated based on the optimized result. The approach is applied to coat real components with a complex surface by using the cold spray system with copper as the spraying material.

  4. A hybrid gene selection approach for microarray data classification using cellular learning automata and ant colony optimization.

    PubMed

    Vafaee Sharbaf, Fatemeh; Mosafer, Sara; Moattar, Mohammad Hossein

    2016-06-01

    This paper proposes an approach for gene selection in microarray data. The proposed approach consists of a primary filter approach using Fisher criterion which reduces the initial genes and hence the search space and time complexity. Then, a wrapper approach which is based on cellular learning automata (CLA) optimized with ant colony method (ACO) is used to find the set of features which improve the classification accuracy. CLA is applied due to its capability to learn and model complicated relationships. The selected features from the last phase are evaluated using ROC curve and the most effective while smallest feature subset is determined. The classifiers which are evaluated in the proposed framework are K-nearest neighbor; support vector machine and naïve Bayes. The proposed approach is evaluated on 4 microarray datasets. The evaluations confirm that the proposed approach can find the smallest subset of genes while approaching the maximum accuracy.

  5. A universal optimization strategy for ant colony optimization algorithms based on the Physarum-inspired mathematical model.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zili; Gao, Chao; Liu, Yuxin; Qian, Tao

    2014-09-01

    Ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithms often fall into the local optimal solution and have lower search efficiency for solving the travelling salesman problem (TSP). According to these shortcomings, this paper proposes a universal optimization strategy for updating the pheromone matrix in the ACO algorithms. The new optimization strategy takes advantages of the unique feature of critical paths reserved in the process of evolving adaptive networks of the Physarum-inspired mathematical model (PMM). The optimized algorithms, denoted as PMACO algorithms, can enhance the amount of pheromone in the critical paths and promote the exploitation of the optimal solution. Experimental results in synthetic and real networks show that the PMACO algorithms are more efficient and robust than the traditional ACO algorithms, which are adaptable to solve the TSP with single or multiple objectives. Meanwhile, we further analyse the influence of parameters on the performance of the PMACO algorithms. Based on these analyses, the best values of these parameters are worked out for the TSP.

  6. Three-Dimensional Path Planning and Guidance of Leg Vascular Based on Improved Ant Colony Algorithm in Augmented Reality.

    PubMed

    Gao, Ming-ke; Chen, Yi-min; Liu, Quan; Huang, Chen; Li, Ze-yu; Zhang, Dian-hua

    2015-11-01

    Preoperative path planning plays a critical role in vascular access surgery. Vascular access surgery has superior difficulties and requires long training periods as well as precise operation. Yet doctors are on different leves, thus bulky size of blood vessels is usually chosen to undergo surgery and other possible optimal path is not considered. Moreover, patients and surgeons will suffer from X-ray radiation during the surgical procedure. The study proposed an improved ant colony algorithm to plan a vascular optimal three-dimensional path with overall consideration of factors such as catheter diameter, vascular length, diameter as well as the curvature and torsion. To protect the doctor and patient from exposing to X-ray long-term, the paper adopted augmented reality technology to register the reconstructed vascular model and physical model meanwhile, locate catheter by the electromagnetic tracking system and used Head Mounted Display to show the planning path in real time and monitor catheter push procedure. The experiment manifests reasonableness of preoperative path planning and proves the reliability of the algorithm. The augmented reality experiment real time and accurately displays the vascular phantom model, planning path and the catheter trajectory and proves the feasibility of this method. The paper presented a useful and feasible surgical scheme which was based on the improved ant colony algorithm to plan vascular three-dimensional path in augmented reality. The study possessed practical guiding significance in preoperative path planning, intraoperative catheter guiding and surgical training, which provided a theoretical method of path planning for vascular access surgery. It was a safe and reliable path planning approach and possessed practical reference value.

  7. Sting, Carry and Stock: How Corpse Availability Can Regulate De-Centralized Task Allocation in a Ponerine Ant Colony

    PubMed Central

    Schmickl, Thomas; Karsai, Istvan

    2014-01-01

    We develop a model to produce plausible patterns of task partitioning in the ponerine ant Ectatomma ruidum based on the availability of living prey and prey corpses. The model is based on the organizational capabilities of a “common stomach” through which the colony utilizes the availability of a natural (food) substance as a major communication channel to regulate the income and expenditure of the very same substance. This communication channel has also a central role in regulating task partitioning of collective hunting behavior in a supply&demand-driven manner. Our model shows that task partitioning of the collective hunting behavior in E. ruidum can be explained by regulation due to a common stomach system. The saturation of the common stomach provides accessible information to individual ants so that they can adjust their hunting behavior accordingly by engaging in or by abandoning from stinging or transporting tasks. The common stomach is able to establish and to keep stabilized an effective mix of workforce to exploit the prey population and to transport food into the nest. This system is also able to react to external perturbations in a de-centralized homeostatic way, such as to changes in the prey density or to accumulation of food in the nest. In case of stable conditions the system develops towards an equilibrium concerning colony size and prey density. Our model shows that organization of work through a common stomach system can allow Ectatomma ruidum to collectively forage for food in a robust, reactive and reliable way. The model is compared to previously published models that followed a different modeling approach. Based on our model analysis we also suggest a series of experiments for which our model gives plausible predictions. These predictions are used to formulate a set of testable hypotheses that should be investigated empirically in future experimentation. PMID:25493558

  8. Effect of land cover, habitat fragmentation and ant colonies on the distribution and abundance of shrews in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laakkonen, Juha; Fisher, Robert N.; Case, Ted J.

    2001-01-01

    Because effects of habitat fragmentation and anthropogenic disturbance on native animals have been relatively little studied in arid areas and in insectivores, we investigated the roles of different land covers, habitat fragmentation and ant colonies on the distribution and abundance of shrews, Notiosorex crawfordi and Sorex ornatus, in southern California.Notiosorex crawfordi was the numerically dominant species (trap-success rate 0·52) occurring in 21 of the 22 study sites in 85% of the 286 pitfall arrays used in this study.Sorex ornatus was captured in 14 of the sites, in 52% of the arrays with a total trap-success rate of 0·2. Neither of the species was found in one of the sites.The population dynamics of the two shrew species were relatively synchronous during the 4–5-year study; the peak densities usually occurred during the spring. Precipitation had a significant positive effect, and maximum temperature a significant negative effect on the trap-success rate of S. ornatus.Occurrence and abundance of shrews varied significantly between sites and years but the size of the landscape or the study site had no effect on the abundance of shrews. The amount of urban edge had no significant effect on the captures of shrews but increased edge allows invasion of the Argentine ants, which had a highly significant negative impact on the abundance of N. crawfordi.At the trap array level, the percentage of coastal sage scrub flora had a significant positive, and the percentage of other flora had a significant negative effect on the abundance of N. crawfordi. The mean canopy height and the abundance of N. crawfordi had a significant positive effect on the occurrence of S. ornatus.Our study suggests that the loss of native coastal sage scrub flora and increasing presence of Argentine ant colonies may significantly effect the distribution and abundance of N. crawfordi. The very low overall population densities of both shrew species in most study sites make both species

  9. Preimaginal learning as a basis of colony-brood recognition in the ant Cataglyphis cursor

    PubMed Central

    Isingrini, Michel; Lenoir, Alain; Jaisson, Pierre

    1985-01-01

    In most circumstances, social insects recognize their nestmates. They can discriminate against alien adults and also against alien larvae. Results presented here indicate that the mechanism of colony-brood recognition is acquired in large part during larval life and persists through the metamorphosis into the adult stage. During the first days after emergence of the adult, a weaker form of learning can also occur. These phenomena are discussed in relation to kinship theory. It appears that kin recognition is determined not so much by genetic relatedness as by spatial proximity of the individuals during the early stages of life. PMID:16593637

  10. A new improved artificial bee colony algorithm for ship hull form optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Fuxin; Wang, Lijue; Yang, Chi

    2016-04-01

    The artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm is a relatively new swarm intelligence-based optimization algorithm. Its simplicity of implementation, relatively few parameter settings and promising optimization capability make it widely used in different fields. However, it has problems of slow convergence due to its solution search equation. Here, a new solution search equation based on a combination of the elite solution pool and the block perturbation scheme is proposed to improve the performance of the algorithm. In addition, two different solution search equations are used by employed bees and onlooker bees to balance the exploration and exploitation of the algorithm. The developed algorithm is validated by a set of well-known numerical benchmark functions. It is then applied to optimize two ship hull forms with minimum resistance. The tested results show that the proposed new improved ABC algorithm can outperform the ABC algorithm in most of the tested problems.

  11. Weighted Global Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm Makes Gas Sensor Deployment Efficient

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ye; He, Ziqing; Li, Yanhai; Xu, Zhengyi; Wei, Jianming

    2016-01-01

    This paper proposes an improved artificial bee colony algorithm named Weighted Global ABC (WGABC) algorithm, which is designed to improve the convergence speed in the search stage of solution search equation. The new method not only considers the effect of global factors on the convergence speed in the search phase, but also provides the expression of global factor weights. Experiment on benchmark functions proved that the algorithm can improve the convergence speed greatly. We arrive at the gas diffusion concentration based on the theory of CFD and then simulate the gas diffusion model with the influence of buildings based on the algorithm. Simulation verified the effectiveness of the WGABC algorithm in improving the convergence speed in optimal deployment scheme of gas sensors. Finally, it is verified that the optimal deployment method based on WGABC algorithm can improve the monitoring efficiency of sensors greatly as compared with the conventional deployment methods. PMID:27322262

  12. A hybrid artificial bee colony optimization and quantum evolutionary algorithm for continuous optimization problems.

    PubMed

    Duan, Hai-Bin; Xu, Chun-Fang; Xing, Zhi-Hui

    2010-02-01

    In this paper, a novel hybrid Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) and Quantum Evolutionary Algorithm (QEA) is proposed for solving continuous optimization problems. ABC is adopted to increase the local search capacity as well as the randomness of the populations. In this way, the improved QEA can jump out of the premature convergence and find the optimal value. To show the performance of our proposed hybrid QEA with ABC, a number of experiments are carried out on a set of well-known Benchmark continuous optimization problems and the related results are compared with two other QEAs: the QEA with classical crossover operation, and the QEA with 2-crossover strategy. The experimental comparison results demonstrate that the proposed hybrid ABC and QEA approach is feasible and effective in solving complex continuous optimization problems.

  13. New Enhanced Artificial Bee Colony (JA-ABC5) Algorithm with Application for Reactive Power Optimization

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The standard artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm involves exploration and exploitation processes which need to be balanced for enhanced performance. This paper proposes a new modified ABC algorithm named JA-ABC5 to enhance convergence speed and improve the ability to reach the global optimum by balancing exploration and exploitation processes. New stages have been proposed at the earlier stages of the algorithm to increase the exploitation process. Besides that, modified mutation equations have also been introduced in the employed and onlooker-bees phases to balance the two processes. The performance of JA-ABC5 has been analyzed on 27 commonly used benchmark functions and tested to optimize the reactive power optimization problem. The performance results have clearly shown that the newly proposed algorithm has outperformed other compared algorithms in terms of convergence speed and global optimum achievement. PMID:25879054

  14. Application of Artificial Bee Colony algorithm in TEC seismo-ionospheric anomalies detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akhoondzadeh, M.

    2015-09-01

    In this study, the efficiency of Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm is investigated to detect the TEC (Total Electron Content) seismo-ionospheric anomalies around the time of some strong earthquakes including Chile (27 February 2010; 01 April 2014), Varzeghan (11 August 2012), Saravan (16 April 2013) and Papua New Guinea (29 March 2015). In comparison with other anomaly detection algorithms, ABC has a number of advantages which can be numerated as (1) detection of discord patterns in a large non linear data during a short time, (2) simplicity, (3) having less control parameters and (4) efficiently for solving multimodal and multidimensional optimization problems. Also the results of this study acknowledge the TEC time-series as a robust earthquake precursor.

  15. Efficient implementation and application of the artificial bee colony algorithm to low-dimensional optimization problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Rudorff, Guido Falk; Wehmeyer, Christoph; Sebastiani, Daniel

    2014-06-01

    We adapt a swarm-intelligence-based optimization method (the artificial bee colony algorithm, ABC) to enhance its parallel scaling properties and to improve the escaping behavior from deep local minima. Specifically, we apply the approach to the geometry optimization of Lennard-Jones clusters. We illustrate the performance and the scaling properties of the parallelization scheme for several system sizes (5-20 particles). Our main findings are specific recommendations for ranges of the parameters of the ABC algorithm which yield maximal performance for Lennard-Jones clusters and Morse clusters. The suggested parameter ranges for these different interaction potentials turn out to be very similar; thus, we believe that our reported values are fairly general for the ABC algorithm applied to chemical optimization problems.

  16. A New Collaborative Recommendation Approach Based on Users Clustering Using Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Ju, Chunhua

    2013-01-01

    Although there are many good collaborative recommendation methods, it is still a challenge to increase the accuracy and diversity of these methods to fulfill users' preferences. In this paper, we propose a novel collaborative filtering recommendation approach based on K-means clustering algorithm. In the process of clustering, we use artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm to overcome the local optimal problem caused by K-means. After that we adopt the modified cosine similarity to compute the similarity between users in the same clusters. Finally, we generate recommendation results for the corresponding target users. Detailed numerical analysis on a benchmark dataset MovieLens and a real-world dataset indicates that our new collaborative filtering approach based on users clustering algorithm outperforms many other recommendation methods. PMID:24381525

  17. An Improved Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm for Solving Hybrid Flexible Flowshop With Dynamic Operation Skipping.

    PubMed

    Li, Jun-Qing; Pan, Quan-Ke; Duan, Pei-Yong

    2016-06-01

    In this paper, we propose an improved discrete artificial bee colony (DABC) algorithm to solve the hybrid flexible flowshop scheduling problem with dynamic operation skipping features in molten iron systems. First, each solution is represented by a two-vector-based solution representation, and a dynamic encoding mechanism is developed. Second, a flexible decoding strategy is designed. Next, a right-shift strategy considering the problem characteristics is developed, which can clearly improve the solution quality. In addition, several skipping and scheduling neighborhood structures are presented to balance the exploration and exploitation ability. Finally, an enhanced local search is embedded in the proposed algorithm to further improve the exploitation ability. The proposed algorithm is tested on sets of the instances that are generated based on the realistic production. Through comprehensive computational comparisons and statistical analysis, the highly effective performance of the proposed DABC algorithm is favorably compared against several presented algorithms, both in solution quality and efficiency.

  18. A self adaptive hybrid enhanced artificial bee colony algorithm for continuous optimization problems.

    PubMed

    Shan, Hai; Yasuda, Toshiyuki; Ohkura, Kazuhiro

    2015-06-01

    The artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm is one of popular swarm intelligence algorithms that inspired by the foraging behavior of honeybee colonies. To improve the convergence ability, search speed of finding the best solution and control the balance between exploration and exploitation using this approach, we propose a self adaptive hybrid enhanced ABC algorithm in this paper. To evaluate the performance of standard ABC, best-so-far ABC (BsfABC), incremental ABC (IABC), and the proposed ABC algorithms, we implemented numerical optimization problems based on the IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC) 2014 test suite. Our experimental results show the comparative performance of standard ABC, BsfABC, IABC, and the proposed ABC algorithms. According to the results, we conclude that the proposed ABC algorithm is competitive to those state-of-the-art modified ABC algorithms such as BsfABC and IABC algorithms based on the benchmark problems defined by CEC 2014 test suite with dimension sizes of 10, 30, and 50, respectively.

  19. Coming of age in an ant colony: cephalic muscle maturation accompanies behavioral development in Pheidole dentata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muscedere, Mario L.; Traniello, James F. A.; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2011-09-01

    Although several neurobiological and genetic correlates of aging and behavioral development have been identified in social insect workers, little is known about how other age-related physiological processes, such as muscle maturation, contribute to task performance. We examined post-eclosion growth of three major muscles of the head capsule in major and minor workers of the ant Pheidole dentata using workers of different ages with distinct task repertoires. Mandible closer muscle fibers, which provide bite force and are thus critical for the use of the mandibles for biting and load carrying, fill the posterio-lateral portions of the head capsule in mature, older workers of both subcastes. Mandible closer fibers of newly eclosed workers, in contrast, are significantly thinner in both subcastes and grow during at least the next 6 days in minor workers, suggesting this muscle has reduced functionality for a substantial period of adult life and thus constrains task performance capability. Fibers of the antennal muscles and the pharynx dilator, which control antennal movements and food intake, respectively, also increase significantly in thickness with age. However, these fibers are only slightly thinner in newly eclosed workers and attain their maximum thickness over a shorter time span in minors. The different growth rates of these functionally distinct muscles likely have consequences for how adult P. dentata workers, particularly minors, develop their full and diverse task repertoire as they age. Workers may be capable of feeding and interacting socially soon after eclosion, but require a longer period of development to effectively use their mandibles, which enable the efficient performance of tasks ranging from nursing to foraging and defense.

  20. Optimal angle of polycrystalline silicon solar panels placed in a building using the ant colony optimization algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saouane, I.; Chaker, A.; Zaidi, B.; Shekhar, C.

    2017-03-01

    This paper describes the mathematical model used to determine the amount of solar radiation received on an inclined solar photovoltaic panel. The optimum slope angles for each month, season, and year have also been calculated for a solar photovoltaic panel. The optimization of the procedure to maximize the solar energy collected by the solar panel by varying the tilt angle is also presented. As a first step, the global solar radiation on the horizontal surface of a thermal photovoltaic panel during clear sky is estimated. Thereafter, the Muneer model, which provides the most accurate estimation of the total solar radiation at a given geographical point has been used to determine the optimum collector slope. Also, the Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithm was applied to obtain the optimum tilt angle settings for PV collector to improve the PV collector efficiency. The results show good agreement between calculated and predicted results. Additionally, this paper presents studies carried out on the polycrystalline silicon solar panels for electrical energy generation in the city of Ghardaia. The electrical energy generation has been studied as a function of amount of irradiation received and the angle of optimum orientation of the solar panels.

  1. Bus Stops Location and Bus Route Planning Using Mean Shift Clustering and Ant Colony in West Jakarta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Supangat, Kenny; Eko Soelistio, Yustinus

    2017-03-01

    Traffic Jam has been a daily problem for people in Jakarta which is one of the busiest city in Indonesia up until now. Even though the official government has tried to reduce the impact of traffic issues by developing a new public transportation which takes up a lot of resources and time, it failed to diminish the problem. The actual concern to this problem actually lies in how people move between places in Jakarta where they always using their own vehicle like cars, and motorcycles that fill most of the street in Jakarta. Among much other public transportations that roams the street of Jakarta, Buses is believed to be an efficient transportation that can move many people at once. However, the location of the bus stop is now have moved to the middle of the main road, and its too far for the nearby residence to access to it. This paper proposes an optimal location of optimal bus stops in West Jakarta that is experimentally proven to have a maximal distance of 350 m. The optimal location is estimated by means of mean shift clustering method while the optimal routes are calculated using Ant Colony algorithm. The bus stops locations rate of error is 0.07% with overall route area of 32 km. Based on our experiments, we believe our proposed bus stop plan can be an interesting alternative to reduce traffic congestion in West Jakarta.

  2. Multi-Sensor Data Fusion Using a Relevance Vector Machine Based on an Ant Colony for Gearbox Fault Detection

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhiwen; Guo, Wei; Tang, Zhangchun; Chen, Yongqiang

    2015-01-01

    Sensors play an important role in the modern manufacturing and industrial processes. Their reliability is vital to ensure reliable and accurate information for condition based maintenance. For the gearbox, the critical machine component in the rotating machinery, the vibration signals collected by sensors are usually noisy. At the same time, the fault detection results based on the vibration signals from a single sensor may be unreliable and unstable. To solve this problem, this paper proposes an intelligent multi-sensor data fusion method using the relevance vector machine (RVM) based on an ant colony optimization algorithm (ACO-RVM) for gearboxes’ fault detection. RVM is a sparse probability model based on support vector machine (SVM). RVM not only has higher detection accuracy, but also better real-time accuracy compared with SVM. The ACO algorithm is used to determine kernel parameters of RVM. Moreover, the ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) is applied to preprocess the raw vibration signals to eliminate the influence caused by noise and other unrelated signals. The distance evaluation technique (DET) is employed to select dominant features as input of the ACO-RVM, so that the redundancy and inference in a large amount of features can be removed. Two gearboxes are used to demonstrate the performance of the proposed method. The experimental results show that the ACO-RVM has higher fault detection accuracy than the RVM with normal the cross-validation (CV). PMID:26334280

  3. Facilitating the 3D Indoor Search and Rescue Problem: An Overview of the Problem and an Ant Colony Solution Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tashakkori, H.; Rajabifard, A.; Kalantari, M.

    2016-10-01

    Search and rescue procedures for indoor environments are quite complicated due to the fact that much of the indoor information is unavailable to rescuers before physical entrance to the incident scene. Thus, decision making regarding the number of crew required and the way they should be dispatched in the building considering the various access points and complexities in the buildings in order to cover the search area in minimum time is dependent on prior knowledge and experience of the emergency commanders. Hence, this paper introduces the Search and Rescue Problem (SRP) which aims at finding best search and rescue routes that minimize the overall search time in the buildings. 3D BIM-oriented indoor GIS is integrated in the indoor route graph to find accurate routes based on the building geometric and semantic information. An Ant Colony Based Algorithm is presented that finds the number of first responders required and their individual routes to search all rooms and points of interest inside the building to minimize the overall time spent by all rescuers inside the disaster area. The evaluation of the proposed model for a case study building shows a significant improve in search and rescue time which will lead to a higher chance of saving lives and less exposure of emergency crew to danger.

  4. Inverse estimation of the spheroidal particle size distribution using Ant Colony Optimization algorithms in multispectral extinction technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Zhenzong; Qi, Hong; Wang, Yuqing; Ruan, Liming

    2014-10-01

    Four improved Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithms, i.e. the probability density function based ACO (PDF-ACO) algorithm, the Region ACO (RACO) algorithm, Stochastic ACO (SACO) algorithm and Homogeneous ACO (HACO) algorithm, are employed to estimate the particle size distribution (PSD) of the spheroidal particles. The direct problems are solved by the extended Anomalous Diffraction Approximation (ADA) and the Lambert-Beer law. Three commonly used monomodal distribution functions i.e. the Rosin-Rammer (R-R) distribution function, the normal (N-N) distribution function, and the logarithmic normal (L-N) distribution function are estimated under dependent model. The influence of random measurement errors on the inverse results is also investigated. All the results reveal that the PDF-ACO algorithm is more accurate than the other three ACO algorithms and can be used as an effective technique to investigate the PSD of the spheroidal particles. Furthermore, the Johnson's SB (J-SB) function and the modified beta (M-β) function are employed as the general distribution functions to retrieve the PSD of spheroidal particles using PDF-ACO algorithm. The investigation shows a reasonable agreement between the original distribution function and the general distribution function when only considering the variety of the length of the rotational semi-axis.

  5. At-Least Version of the Generalized Minimum Spanning Tree Problem: Optimization Through Ant Colony System and Genetic Algorithms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Janich, Karl W.

    2005-01-01

    The At-Least version of the Generalized Minimum Spanning Tree Problem (L-GMST) is a problem in which the optimal solution connects all defined clusters of nodes in a given network at a minimum cost. The L-GMST is NPHard; therefore, metaheuristic algorithms have been used to find reasonable solutions to the problem as opposed to computationally feasible exact algorithms, which many believe do not exist for such a problem. One such metaheuristic uses a swarm-intelligent Ant Colony System (ACS) algorithm, in which agents converge on a solution through the weighing of local heuristics, such as the shortest available path and the number of agents that recently used a given path. However, in a network using a solution derived from the ACS algorithm, some nodes may move around to different clusters and cause small changes in the network makeup. Rerunning the algorithm from the start would be somewhat inefficient due to the significance of the changes, so a genetic algorithm based on the top few solutions found in the ACS algorithm is proposed to quickly and efficiently adapt the network to these small changes.

  6. Multi-Sensor Data Fusion Using a Relevance Vector Machine Based on an Ant Colony for Gearbox Fault Detection.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhiwen; Guo, Wei; Tang, Zhangchun; Chen, Yongqiang

    2015-08-31

    Sensors play an important role in the modern manufacturing and industrial processes. Their reliability is vital to ensure reliable and accurate information for condition based maintenance. For the gearbox, the critical machine component in the rotating machinery, the vibration signals collected by sensors are usually noisy. At the same time, the fault detection results based on the vibration signals from a single sensor may be unreliable and unstable. To solve this problem, this paper proposes an intelligent multi-sensor data fusion method using the relevance vector machine (RVM) based on an ant colony optimization algorithm (ACO-RVM) for gearboxes' fault detection. RVM is a sparse probability model based on support vector machine (SVM). RVM not only has higher detection accuracy, but also better real-time accuracy compared with SVM. The ACO algorithm is used to determine kernel parameters of RVM. Moreover, the ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) is applied to preprocess the raw vibration signals to eliminate the influence caused by noise and other unrelated signals. The distance evaluation technique (DET) is employed to select dominant features as input of the ACO-RVM, so that the redundancy and inference in a large amount of features can be removed. Two gearboxes are used to demonstrate the performance of the proposed method. The experimental results show that the ACO-RVM has higher fault detection accuracy than the RVM with normal the cross-validation (CV).

  7. Technological approaches to optimize colonial resistance control for humans in artificial environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viacheslav, Ilyin; Skedina, Marina; Muokhamedieva, Lana; Gegenava, Anna; Mardanov, Robert

    microflora in spaceflight, which was comparable to data obtained by classic bacteriology methods. The testings results allow to recommend this technology for colonial resistance control for humans in artificial environment.

  8. 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)

  9. A novel artificial bee colony approach of live virtual machine migration policy using Bayes theorem.

    PubMed

    Xu, Gaochao; Ding, Yan; Zhao, Jia; Hu, Liang; Fu, Xiaodong

    2013-01-01

    Green cloud data center has become a research hotspot of virtualized cloud computing architecture. Since live virtual machine (VM) migration technology is widely used and studied in cloud computing, we have focused on the VM placement selection of live migration for power saving. We present a novel heuristic approach which is called PS-ABC. Its algorithm includes two parts. One is that it combines the artificial bee colony (ABC) idea with the uniform random initialization idea, the binary search idea, and Boltzmann selection policy to achieve an improved ABC-based approach with better global exploration's ability and local exploitation's ability. The other one is that it uses the Bayes theorem to further optimize the improved ABC-based process to faster get the final optimal solution. As a result, the whole approach achieves a longer-term efficient optimization for power saving. The experimental results demonstrate that PS-ABC evidently reduces the total incremental power consumption and better protects the performance of VM running and migrating compared with the existing research. It makes the result of live VM migration more high-effective and meaningful.

  10. Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm for Transient Performance Augmentation of Grid Connected Distributed Generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, A.; Ghoshal, S. P.; Mukherjee, V.

    In this paper, a conventional thermal power system equipped with automatic voltage regulator, IEEE type dual input power system stabilizer (PSS) PSS3B and integral controlled automatic generation control loop is considered. A distributed generation (DG) system consisting of aqua electrolyzer, photovoltaic cells, diesel engine generator, and some other energy storage devices like flywheel energy storage system and battery energy storage system is modeled. This hybrid distributed system is connected to the grid. While integrating this DG with the onventional thermal power system, improved transient performance is noticed. Further improvement in the transient performance of this grid connected DG is observed with the usage of superconducting magnetic energy storage device. The different tunable parameters of the proposed hybrid power system model are optimized by artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm. The optimal solutions offered by the ABC algorithm are compared with those offered by genetic algorithm (GA). It is also revealed that the optimizing performance of the ABC is better than the GA for this specific application.

  11. An efficient artificial bee colony algorithm with application to nonlinear predictive control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ait Sahed, Oussama; Kara, Kamel; Benyoucef, Abousoufyane; Laid Hadjili, Mohamed

    2016-05-01

    In this paper a constrained nonlinear predictive control algorithm, that uses the artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm to solve the optimization problem, is proposed. The main objective is to derive a simple and efficient control algorithm that can solve the nonlinear constrained optimization problem with minimal computational time. Indeed, a modified version, enhancing the exploring and the exploitation capabilities, of the ABC algorithm is proposed and used to design a nonlinear constrained predictive controller. This version allows addressing the premature and the slow convergence drawbacks of the standard ABC algorithm, using a modified search equation, a well-known organized distribution mechanism for the initial population and a new equation for the limit parameter. A convergence statistical analysis of the proposed algorithm, using some well-known benchmark functions is presented and compared with several other variants of the ABC algorithm. To demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed algorithm in solving engineering problems, the constrained nonlinear predictive control of the model of a Multi-Input Multi-Output industrial boiler is considered. The control performances of the proposed ABC algorithm-based controller are also compared to those obtained using some variants of the ABC algorithms.

  12. Improved artificial bee colony algorithm for wavefront sensor-less system in free space optical communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, Chaojun; Han, Xiang'e.

    2015-10-01

    Adaptive optics (AO) technology is an effective way to alleviate the effect of turbulence on free space optical communication (FSO). A new adaptive compensation method can be used without a wave-front sensor. Artificial bee colony algorithm (ABC) is a population-based heuristic evolutionary algorithm inspired by the intelligent foraging behaviour of the honeybee swarm with the advantage of simple, good convergence rate, robust and less parameter setting. In this paper, we simulate the application of the improved ABC to correct the distorted wavefront and proved its effectiveness. Then we simulate the application of ABC algorithm, differential evolution (DE) algorithm and stochastic parallel gradient descent (SPGD) algorithm to the FSO system and analyze the wavefront correction capabilities by comparison of the coupling efficiency, the error rate and the intensity fluctuation in different turbulence before and after the correction. The results show that the ABC algorithm has much faster correction speed than DE algorithm and better correct ability for strong turbulence than SPGD algorithm. Intensity fluctuation can be effectively reduced in strong turbulence, but not so effective in week turbulence.

  13. A novel artificial bee colony algorithm based on internal-feedback strategy for image template matching.

    PubMed

    Li, Bai; Gong, Li-Gang; Li, Ya

    2014-01-01

    Image template matching refers to the technique of locating a given reference image over a source image such that they are the most similar. It is a fundamental mission in the field of visual target recognition. In general, there are two critical aspects of a template matching scheme. One is similarity measurement and the other is best-match location search. In this work, we choose the well-known normalized cross correlation model as a similarity criterion. The searching procedure for the best-match location is carried out through an internal-feedback artificial bee colony (IF-ABC) algorithm. IF-ABC algorithm is highlighted by its effort to fight against premature convergence. This purpose is achieved through discarding the conventional roulette selection procedure in the ABC algorithm so as to provide each employed bee an equal chance to be followed by the onlooker bees in the local search phase. Besides that, we also suggest efficiently utilizing the internal convergence states as feedback guidance for searching intensity in the subsequent cycles of iteration. We have investigated four ideal template matching cases as well as four actual cases using different searching algorithms. Our simulation results show that the IF-ABC algorithm is more effective and robust for this template matching mission than the conventional ABC and two state-of-the-art modified ABC algorithms do.

  14. Modified artificial bee colony for the vehicle routing problems with time windows.

    PubMed

    Alzaqebah, Malek; Abdullah, Salwani; Jawarneh, Sana

    2016-01-01

    The natural behaviour of the honeybee has attracted the attention of researchers in recent years and several algorithms have been developed that mimic swarm behaviour to solve optimisation problems. This paper introduces an artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm for the vehicle routing problem with time windows (VRPTW). A Modified ABC algorithm is proposed to improve the solution quality of the original ABC. The high exploration ability of the ABC slows-down its convergence speed, which may due to the mechanism used by scout bees in replacing abandoned (unimproved) solutions with new ones. In the Modified ABC a list of abandoned solutions is used by the scout bees to memorise the abandoned solutions, then the scout bees select a solution from the list based on roulette wheel selection and replace by a new solution with random routs selected from the best solution. The performance of the Modified ABC is evaluated on Solomon benchmark datasets and compared with the original ABC. The computational results demonstrate that the Modified ABC outperforms the original ABC also produce good solutions when compared with the best-known results in the literature. Computational investigations show that the proposed algorithm is a good and promising approach for the VRPTW.

  15. An Enhanced Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm with Solution Acceptance Rule and Probabilistic Multisearch.

    PubMed

    Yurtkuran, Alkın; Emel, Erdal

    2016-01-01

    The artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm is a popular swarm based technique, which is inspired from the intelligent foraging behavior of honeybee swarms. This paper proposes a new variant of ABC algorithm, namely, enhanced ABC with solution acceptance rule and probabilistic multisearch (ABC-SA) to address global optimization problems. A new solution acceptance rule is proposed where, instead of greedy selection between old solution and new candidate solution, worse candidate solutions have a probability to be accepted. Additionally, the acceptance probability of worse candidates is nonlinearly decreased throughout the search process adaptively. Moreover, in order to improve the performance of the ABC and balance the intensification and diversification, a probabilistic multisearch strategy is presented. Three different search equations with distinctive characters are employed using predetermined search probabilities. By implementing a new solution acceptance rule and a probabilistic multisearch approach, the intensification and diversification performance of the ABC algorithm is improved. The proposed algorithm has been tested on well-known benchmark functions of varying dimensions by comparing against novel ABC variants, as well as several recent state-of-the-art algorithms. Computational results show that the proposed ABC-SA outperforms other ABC variants and is superior to state-of-the-art algorithms proposed in the literature.

  16. Enhanced probability-selection artificial bee colony algorithm for economic load dispatch: A comprehensive analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghani Abro, Abdul; Mohamad-Saleh, Junita

    2014-10-01

    The prime motive of economic load dispatch (ELD) is to optimize the production cost of electrical power generation through appropriate division of load demand among online generating units. Bio-inspired optimization algorithms have outperformed classical techniques for optimizing the production cost. Probability-selection artificial bee colony (PS-ABC) algorithm is a recently proposed variant of ABC optimization algorithm. PS-ABC generates optimal solutions using three different mutation equations simultaneously. The results show improved performance of PS-ABC over the ABC algorithm. Nevertheless, all the mutation equations of PS-ABC are excessively self-reinforced and, hence, PS-ABC is prone to premature convergence. Therefore, this research work has replaced the mutation equations and has improved the scout-bee stage of PS-ABC for enhancing the algorithm's performance. The proposed algorithm has been compared with many ABC variants and numerous other optimization algorithms on benchmark functions and ELD test cases. The adapted ELD test cases comprise of transmission losses, multiple-fuel effect, valve-point effect and toxic gases emission constraints. The results reveal that the proposed algorithm has the best capability to yield the optimal solution for the problem among the compared algorithms.

  17. Using ant colony optimization on the quadratic assignment problem to achieve low energy cost in geo-distributed data centers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osei, Richard

    There are many problems associated with operating a data center. Some of these problems include data security, system performance, increasing infrastructure complexity, increasing storage utilization, keeping up with data growth, and increasing energy costs. Energy cost differs by location, and at most locations fluctuates over time. The rising cost of energy makes it harder for data centers to function properly and provide a good quality of service. With reduced energy cost, data centers will have longer lasting servers/equipment, higher availability of resources, better quality of service, a greener environment, and reduced service and software costs for consumers. Some of the ways that data centers have tried to using to reduce energy costs include dynamically switching on and off servers based on the number of users and some predefined conditions, the use of environmental monitoring sensors, and the use of dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS), which enables processors to run at different combinations of frequencies with voltages to reduce energy cost. This thesis presents another method by which energy cost at data centers could be reduced. This method involves the use of Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) on a Quadratic Assignment Problem (QAP) in assigning user request to servers in geo-distributed data centers. In this paper, an effort to reduce data center energy cost involves the use of front portals, which handle users' requests, were used as ants to find cost effective ways to assign users requests to a server in heterogeneous geo-distributed data centers. The simulation results indicate that the ACO for Optimal Server Activation and Task Placement algorithm reduces energy cost on a small and large number of users' requests in a geo-distributed data center and its performance increases as the input data grows. In a simulation with 3 geo-distributed data centers, and user's resource request ranging from 25,000 to 25,000,000, the ACO algorithm was able

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

    PubMed

    Mitrus, S

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

  19. Optimization on Paddy Crops in Central Java (with Solver, SVD on Least Square and ACO (Ant Colony Algorithm))

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parhusip, H. A.; Trihandaru, S.; Susanto, B.; Prasetyo, S. Y. J.; Agus, Y. H.; Simanjuntak, B. H.

    2017-03-01

    Several algorithms and objective functions on paddy crops have been studied to get optimal paddy crops in Central Java based on the data given from Surakarta and Boyolali. The algorithms are linear solver, least square and Ant Colony Algorithms (ACO) to develop optimization procedures on paddy crops modelled with Modified GSTAR (Generalized Space-Time Autoregressive) and nonlinear models where the nonlinear models are quadratic and power functions. The studied data contain paddy crops from Surakarta and Boyolali determining the best period of planting in the year 1992-2012 for Surakarta where 3 periods for planting are known and the optimal amount of paddy crops in Boyolali in the year 2008-2013. Having these analyses may guide the local agriculture government to give a decision on rice sustainability in its region. The best period for planting in Surakarta is observed, i.e. the best period is in September-December based on the data 1992-2012 by considering the planting area, the cropping area, and the paddy crops are the most important factors to be taken into account. As a result, we can refer the paddy crops in this best period (about 60.4 thousand tons per year) as the optimal results in 1992-2012 where the used objective function is quadratic. According to the research, the optimal paddy crops in Boyolali about 280 thousand tons per year where the studied factors are the amount of rainfalls, the harvested area and the paddy crops in 2008-2013. In this case, linear and power functions are studied to be the objective functions. Compared to all studied algorithms, the linear solver is still recommended to be an optimization tool for a local agriculture government to predict paddy crops in future.

  20. An ant colony optimisation algorithm for the 2D and 3D hydrophobic polar protein folding problem

    PubMed Central

    Shmygelska, Alena; Hoos, Holger H

    2005-01-01

    Background The protein folding problem is a fundamental problems in computational molecular biology and biochemical physics. Various optimisation methods have been applied to formulations of the ab-initio folding problem that are based on reduced models of protein structure, including Monte Carlo methods, Evolutionary Algorithms, Tabu Search and hybrid approaches. In our work, we have introduced an ant colony optimisation (ACO) algorithm to address the non-deterministic polynomial-time hard (NP-hard) combinatorial problem of predicting a protein's conformation from its amino acid sequence under a widely studied, conceptually simple model – the 2-dimensional (2D) and 3-dimensional (3D) hydrophobic-polar (HP) model. Results We present an improvement of our previous ACO algorithm for the 2D HP model and its extension to the 3D HP model. We show that this new algorithm, dubbed ACO-HPPFP-3, performs better than previous state-of-the-art algorithms on sequences whose native conformations do not contain structural nuclei (parts of the native fold that predominantly consist of local interactions) at the ends, but rather in the middle of the sequence, and that it generally finds a more diverse set of native conformations. Conclusions The application of ACO to this bioinformatics problem compares favourably with specialised, state-of-the-art methods for the 2D and 3D HP protein folding problem; our empirical results indicate that our rather simple ACO algorithm scales worse with sequence length but usually finds a more diverse ensemble of native states. Therefore the development of ACO algorithms for more complex and realistic models of protein structure holds significant promise. PMID:15710037

  1. Colony density and activity times of the ant Camponotus semitestaceus (Hymenoptera: formicidae) in a shrub steppe community

    SciTech Connect

    Gano, K.A.; Rogers, L.E.

    1983-11-01

    Colony densities and above-ground activity periods were determined for Camponotus semitestaceus colonies within a shrub-steppe community. Colony densities (anti-x +/- SD) averaged 0.088 +/- 0.032 per m/sup 2/ and 0.048 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on two sagebrush-bunchgrass sites an

  2. Optimization of Spherical Roller Bearing Design Using Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm and Grid Search Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiwari, Rajiv; Waghole, Vikas

    2015-07-01

    Bearing standards impose restrictions on the internal geometry of spherical roller bearings. Geometrical and strength constraints conditions have been formulated for the optimization of bearing design. The long fatigue life is one of the most important criteria in the optimum design of bearing. The life is directly proportional to the dynamic capacity; hence, the objective function has been chosen as the maximization of dynamic capacity. The effect of speed and static loads acting on the bearing are also taken into account. Design variables for the bearing include five geometrical parameters: the roller diameter, the roller length, the bearing pitch diameter, the number of rollers, and the contact angle. There are a few design constraint parameters which are also included in the optimization, the bounds of which are obtained by initial runs of the optimization. The optimization program is made to run for different values of these design constraint parameters and a range of the parameters is obtained for which the objective function has a higher value. The artificial bee colony algorithm (ABCA) has been used to solve the constrained optimized problem and the optimum design is compared with the one obtained from the grid search method (GSM), both operating independently. Both the ABCA and the GSM have been finally combined together to reach the global optimum point. A constraint violation study has also been carried out to give priority to the constraint having greater possibility of violations. Optimized bearing designs show a better performance parameter with those specified in bearing catalogs. The sensitivity analysis of bearing parameters has also been carried out to see the effect of manufacturing tolerance on the objective function.

  3. Urban Growth Modeling Using Cellular Automata with Multi-Temporal Remote Sensing Images Calibrated by the Artificial Bee Colony Optimization Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Naghibi, Fereydoun; Delavar, Mahmoud Reza; Pijanowski, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    Cellular Automata (CA) is one of the most common techniques used to simulate the urbanization process. CA-based urban models use transition rules to deliver spatial patterns of urban growth and urban dynamics over time. Determining the optimum transition rules of the CA is a critical step because of the heterogeneity and nonlinearities existing among urban growth driving forces. Recently, new CA models integrated with optimization methods based on swarm intelligence algorithms were proposed to overcome this drawback. The Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm is an advanced meta-heuristic swarm intelligence-based algorithm. Here, we propose a novel CA-based urban change model that uses the ABC algorithm to extract optimum transition rules. We applied the proposed ABC-CA model to simulate future urban growth in Urmia (Iran) with multi-temporal Landsat images from 1997, 2006 and 2015. Validation of the simulation results was made through statistical methods such as overall accuracy, the figure of merit and total operating characteristics (TOC). Additionally, we calibrated the CA model by ant colony optimization (ACO) to assess the performance of our proposed model versus similar swarm intelligence algorithm methods. We showed that the overall accuracy and the figure of merit of the ABC-CA model are 90.1% and 51.7%, which are 2.9% and 8.8% higher than those of the ACO-CA model, respectively. Moreover, the allocation disagreement of the simulation results for the ABC-CA model is 9.9%, which is 2.9% less than that of the ACO-CA model. Finally, the ABC-CA model also outperforms the ACO-CA model with fewer quantity and allocation errors and slightly more hits. PMID:27983633

  4. Urban Growth Modeling Using Cellular Automata with Multi-Temporal Remote Sensing Images Calibrated by the Artificial Bee Colony Optimization Algorithm.

    PubMed

    Naghibi, Fereydoun; Delavar, Mahmoud Reza; Pijanowski, Bryan

    2016-12-14

    Cellular Automata (CA) is one of the most common techniques used to simulate the urbanization process. CA-based urban models use transition rules to deliver spatial patterns of urban growth and urban dynamics over time. Determining the optimum transition rules of the CA is a critical step because of the heterogeneity and nonlinearities existing among urban growth driving forces. Recently, new CA models integrated with optimization methods based on swarm intelligence algorithms were proposed to overcome this drawback. The Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm is an advanced meta-heuristic swarm intelligence-based algorithm. Here, we propose a novel CA-based urban change model that uses the ABC algorithm to extract optimum transition rules. We applied the proposed ABC-CA model to simulate future urban growth in Urmia (Iran) with multi-temporal Landsat images from 1997, 2006 and 2015. Validation of the simulation results was made through statistical methods such as overall accuracy, the figure of merit and total operating characteristics (TOC). Additionally, we calibrated the CA model by ant colony optimization (ACO) to assess the performance of our proposed model versus similar swarm intelligence algorithm methods. We showed that the overall accuracy and the figure of merit of the ABC-CA model are 90.1% and 51.7%, which are 2.9% and 8.8% higher than those of the ACO-CA model, respectively. Moreover, the allocation disagreement of the simulation results for the ABC-CA model is 9.9%, which is 2.9% less than that of the ACO-CA model. Finally, the ABC-CA model also outperforms the ACO-CA model with fewer quantity and allocation errors and slightly more hits.

  5. Multi-Objective Ant Colony Optimization Based on the Physarum-Inspired Mathematical Model for Bi-Objective Traveling Salesman Problems

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zili; Gao, Chao; Lu, Yuxiao; Liu, Yuxin; Liang, Mingxin

    2016-01-01

    Bi-objective Traveling Salesman Problem (bTSP) is an important field in the operations research, its solutions can be widely applied in the real world. Many researches of Multi-objective Ant Colony Optimization (MOACOs) have been proposed to solve bTSPs. However, most of MOACOs suffer premature convergence. This paper proposes an optimization strategy for MOACOs by optimizing the initialization of pheromone matrix with the prior knowledge of Physarum-inspired Mathematical Model (PMM). PMM can find the shortest route between two nodes based on the positive feedback mechanism. The optimized algorithms, named as iPM-MOACOs, can enhance the pheromone in the short paths and promote the search ability of ants. A series of experiments are conducted and experimental results show that the proposed strategy can achieve a better compromise solution than the original MOACOs for solving bTSPs. PMID:26751562

  6. Multi-Objective Ant Colony Optimization Based on the Physarum-Inspired Mathematical Model for Bi-Objective Traveling Salesman Problems.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zili; Gao, Chao; Lu, Yuxiao; Liu, Yuxin; Liang, Mingxin

    2016-01-01

    Bi-objective Traveling Salesman Problem (bTSP) is an important field in the operations research, its solutions can be widely applied in the real world. Many researches of Multi-objective Ant Colony Optimization (MOACOs) have been proposed to solve bTSPs. However, most of MOACOs suffer premature convergence. This paper proposes an optimization strategy for MOACOs by optimizing the initialization of pheromone matrix with the prior knowledge of Physarum-inspired Mathematical Model (PMM). PMM can find the shortest route between two nodes based on the positive feedback mechanism. The optimized algorithms, named as iPM-MOACOs, can enhance the pheromone in the short paths and promote the search ability of ants. A series of experiments are conducted and experimental results show that the proposed strategy can achieve a better compromise solution than the original MOACOs for solving bTSPs.

  7. Nectar intake rate is modulated by changes in sucking pump activity according to colony starvation in carpenter ants.

    PubMed

    Falibene, Agustina; Josens, Roxana

    2008-05-01

    Dynamics of fluid feeding has been deeply studied in insects. However, the ability to vary the nectar-intake rate depending only on the carbohydrate deprivation has been clearly demonstrated only in Camponotus mus ants. When insect morphometry and fluid properties remain constant, changes in intake rate could only be attributed to variations in sucking pump activity. Previous records of the electrical activity generated during feeding in C. mus have revealed two different signal patterns: the regular (RP, frequencies: 2-5 Hz) and the irregular (IP, frequencies: 7-12 Hz). This work studies the mechanism underlying food intake-rate modulation in ants by analysing whether these patterns are involved. Behaviour and electrical activity generated by ants at different starvation levels were analysed during feeding on sucrose solutions. Ants were able to modulate the intake rate for a variety of sucrose concentrations (10, 40 and 60%w/w). The IP only occurred for 60% of solutions and its presence did not affect the intake rate. However, during the RP generated under the starved state, we found frequencies up to 7.5 Hz. RP frequencies positively correlated with the intake-rate for all sucrose concentrations. Hence, intake-rate modulation according to sugar deprivation is mainly achieved by the ant's ability to vary the pumping frequency.

  8. An Experimental Approach for Optimizing Coating Parameters of Electroless Ni-P-Cu Coating Using Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    This paper aims to present an experimental investigation for optimum tribological behavior (wear depth and coefficient of friction) of electroless Ni-P-Cu coatings based on four process parameters using artificial bee colony algorithm. Experiments are carried out by utilizing the combination of three coating process parameters, namely, nickel sulphate, sodium hypophosphite, and copper sulphate, and the fourth parameter is postdeposition heat treatment temperature. The design of experiment is based on the Taguchi L27 experimental design. After coating, measurement of wear and coefficient of friction of each heat-treated sample is done using a multitribotester apparatus with block-on-roller arrangement. Both friction and wear are found to increase with increase of source of nickel concentration and decrease with increase of source of copper concentration. Artificial bee colony algorithm is successfully employed to optimize the multiresponse objective function for both wear depth and coefficient of friction. It is found that, within the operating range, a lower value of nickel concentration, medium value of hypophosphite concentration, higher value of copper concentration, and higher value of heat treatment temperature are suitable for having minimum wear and coefficient of friction. The surface morphology, phase transformation behavior, and composition of coatings are also studied with the help of scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction analysis, and energy dispersed X-ray analysis, respectively. PMID:27382630

  9. An Experimental Approach for Optimizing Coating Parameters of Electroless Ni-P-Cu Coating Using Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm.

    PubMed

    Roy, Supriyo; Sahoo, Prasanta

    2014-01-01

    This paper aims to present an experimental investigation for optimum tribological behavior (wear depth and coefficient of friction) of electroless Ni-P-Cu coatings based on four process parameters using artificial bee colony algorithm. Experiments are carried out by utilizing the combination of three coating process parameters, namely, nickel sulphate, sodium hypophosphite, and copper sulphate, and the fourth parameter is postdeposition heat treatment temperature. The design of experiment is based on the Taguchi L27 experimental design. After coating, measurement of wear and coefficient of friction of each heat-treated sample is done using a multitribotester apparatus with block-on-roller arrangement. Both friction and wear are found to increase with increase of source of nickel concentration and decrease with increase of source of copper concentration. Artificial bee colony algorithm is successfully employed to optimize the multiresponse objective function for both wear depth and coefficient of friction. It is found that, within the operating range, a lower value of nickel concentration, medium value of hypophosphite concentration, higher value of copper concentration, and higher value of heat treatment temperature are suitable for having minimum wear and coefficient of friction. The surface morphology, phase transformation behavior, and composition of coatings are also studied with the help of scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction analysis, and energy dispersed X-ray analysis, respectively.

  10. Context-dependent expression of the foraging gene in field colonies of ants: the interacting roles of age, environment and task

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Deborah M.; Greene, Michael; Kahler, John; Peteru, Swetha

    2016-01-01

    Task allocation among social insect workers is an ideal framework for studying the molecular mechanisms underlying behavioural plasticity because workers of similar genotype adopt different behavioural phenotypes. Elegant laboratory studies have pioneered this effort, but field studies involving the genetic regulation of task allocation are rare. Here, we investigate the expression of the foraging gene in harvester ant workers from five age- and task-related groups in a natural population, and we experimentally test how exposure to light affects foraging expression in brood workers and foragers. Results from our field study show that the regulation of the foraging gene in harvester ants occurs at two time scales: levels of foraging mRNA are associated with ontogenetic changes over weeks in worker age, location and task, and there are significant daily oscillations in foraging expression in foragers. The temporal dissection of foraging expression reveals that gene expression changes in foragers occur across a scale of hours and the level of expression is predicted by activity rhythms: foragers have high levels of foraging mRNA during daylight hours when they are most active outside the nests. In the experimental study, we find complex interactions in foraging expression between task behaviour and light exposure. Oscillations occur in foragers following experimental exposure to 13 L : 11 D (LD) conditions, but not in brood workers under similar conditions. No significant differences were seen in foraging expression over time in either task in 24 h dark (DD) conditions. Interestingly, the expression of foraging in both undisturbed field and experimentally treated foragers is also significantly correlated with the expression of the circadian clock gene, cycle. Our results provide evidence that the regulation of this gene is context-dependent and associated with both ontogenetic and daily behavioural plasticity in field colonies of harvester ants. Our results underscore

  11. Context-dependent expression of the foraging gene in field colonies of ants: the interacting roles of age, environment and task.

    PubMed

    Ingram, Krista K; Gordon, Deborah M; Friedman, Daniel A; Greene, Michael; Kahler, John; Peteru, Swetha

    2016-08-31

    Task allocation among social insect workers is an ideal framework for studying the molecular mechanisms underlying behavioural plasticity because workers of similar genotype adopt different behavioural phenotypes. Elegant laboratory studies have pioneered this effort, but field studies involving the genetic regulation of task allocation are rare. Here, we investigate the expression of the foraging gene in harvester ant workers from five age- and task-related groups in a natural population, and we experimentally test how exposure to light affects foraging expression in brood workers and foragers. Results from our field study show that the regulation of the foraging gene in harvester ants occurs at two time scales: levels of foraging mRNA are associated with ontogenetic changes over weeks in worker age, location and task, and there are significant daily oscillations in foraging expression in foragers. The temporal dissection of foraging expression reveals that gene expression changes in foragers occur across a scale of hours and the level of expression is predicted by activity rhythms: foragers have high levels of foraging mRNA during daylight hours when they are most active outside the nests. In the experimental study, we find complex interactions in foraging expression between task behaviour and light exposure. Oscillations occur in foragers following experimental exposure to 13 L : 11 D (LD) conditions, but not in brood workers under similar conditions. No significant differences were seen in foraging expression over time in either task in 24 h dark (DD) conditions. Interestingly, the expression of foraging in both undisturbed field and experimentally treated foragers is also significantly correlated with the expression of the circadian clock gene, cycle Our results provide evidence that the regulation of this gene is context-dependent and associated with both ontogenetic and daily behavioural plasticity in field colonies of harvester ants. Our results underscore

  12. Foraging Habitat Quality Constrains Effectiveness of Artificial Nest-Site Provisioning in Reversing Population Declines in a Colonial Cavity Nester

    PubMed Central

    Catry, Inês; Franco, Aldina M. A.; Rocha, Pedro; Alcazar, Rita; Reis, Susana; Cordeiro, Ana; Ventim, Rita; Teodósio, Joaquim; Moreira, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    Among birds, breeding numbers are mainly limited by two resources of major importance: food supply and nest-site availability. Here, we investigated how differences in land-use and nest-site availability affected the foraging behaviour, breeding success and population trends of the colonial cavity-dependent lesser kestrel Falco naumanni inhabiting two protected areas. Both areas were provided with artificial nests to increase nest-site availability. The first area is a pseudo-steppe characterized by traditional extensive cereal cultivation, whereas the second area is a previous agricultural zone now abandoned or replaced by forested areas. In both areas, lesser kestrels selected extensive agricultural habitats, such as fallows and cereal fields, and avoided scrubland and forests. In the second area, tracked birds from one colony travelled significantly farther distances (6.2 km ±1.7 vs. 1.8 km ±0.4 and 1.9 km ±0.6) and had significant larger foraging-ranges (144 km2 vs. 18.8 and 14.8 km2) when compared to the birds of two colonies in the extensive agricultural area. Longer foraging trips were reflected in lower chick feeding rates, lower fledging success and reduced chick fitness. Availability and occupation of artificial nests was high in both areas but population followed opposite trends, with a positive increment recorded exclusively in the first area with a large proportion of agricultural areas. Progressive habitat loss around the studied colony in the second area (suitable habitat decreased from 32% in 1990 to only 7% in 2002) is likely the main driver of the recorded population decline and suggests that the effectiveness of bird species conservation based on nest-site provisioning is highly constrained by habitat quality in the surrounding areas. Therefore, the conservation of cavity-dependent species may be enhanced firstly by finding the best areas of remaining habitat and secondly by increasing the carrying capacity of high-quality habitat areas

  13. A novel kernel extreme learning machine algorithm based on self-adaptive artificial bee colony optimisation strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Chao; Ouyang, Jihong; Chen, Hui-Ling; Ji, Jin-Chao

    2016-04-01

    In this paper, we propose a novel learning algorithm, named SABC-MKELM, based on a kernel extreme learning machine (KELM) method for single-hidden-layer feedforward networks. In SABC-MKELM, the combination of Gaussian kernels is used as the activate function of KELM instead of simple fixed kernel learning, where the related parameters of kernels and the weights of kernels can be optimised by a novel self-adaptive artificial bee colony (SABC) approach simultaneously. SABC-MKELM outperforms six other state-of-the-art approaches in general, as it could effectively determine solution updating strategies and suitable parameters to produce a flexible kernel function involved in SABC. Simulations have demonstrated that the proposed algorithm not only self-adaptively determines suitable parameters and solution updating strategies learning from the previous experiences, but also achieves better generalisation performances than several related methods, and the results show good stability of the proposed algorithm.

  14. An Improved Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm Based on Balance-Evolution Strategy for Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle Path Planning

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Li-gang; Yang, Wen-lun

    2014-01-01

    Unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) have been of great interest to military organizations throughout the world due to their outstanding capabilities to operate in dangerous or hazardous environments. UCAV path planning aims to obtain an optimal flight route with the threats and constraints in the combat field well considered. In this work, a novel artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm improved by a balance-evolution strategy (BES) is applied in this optimization scheme. In this new algorithm, convergence information during the iteration is fully utilized to manipulate the exploration/exploitation accuracy and to pursue a balance between local exploitation and global exploration capabilities. Simulation results confirm that BE-ABC algorithm is more competent for the UCAV path planning scheme than the conventional ABC algorithm and two other state-of-the-art modified ABC algorithms. PMID:24790555

  15. A new technique based on Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm for optimal sizing of stand-alone photovoltaic system.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, Ahmed F; Elarini, Mahdi M; Othman, Ahmed M

    2014-05-01

    One of the most recent optimization techniques applied to the optimal design of photovoltaic system to supply an isolated load demand is the Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm (ABC). The proposed methodology is applied to optimize the cost of the PV system including photovoltaic, a battery bank, a battery charger controller, and inverter. Two objective functions are proposed: the first one is the PV module output power which is to be maximized and the second one is the life cycle cost (LCC) which is to be minimized. The analysis is performed based on measured solar radiation and ambient temperature measured at Helwan city, Egypt. A comparison between ABC algorithm and Genetic Algorithm (GA) optimal results is done. Another location is selected which is Zagazig city to check the validity of ABC algorithm in any location. The ABC is more optimal than GA. The results encouraged the use of the PV systems to electrify the rural sites of Egypt.

  16. Feature Selection Method Based on Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm and Support Vector Machines for Medical Datasets Classification

    PubMed Central

    Yilmaz, Nihat; Inan, Onur

    2013-01-01

    This paper offers a hybrid approach that uses the artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm for feature selection and support vector machines for classification. The purpose of this paper is to test the effect of elimination of the unimportant and obsolete features of the datasets on the success of the classification, using the SVM classifier. The developed approach conventionally used in liver diseases and diabetes diagnostics, which are commonly observed and reduce the quality of life, is developed. For the diagnosis of these diseases, hepatitis, liver disorders and diabetes datasets from the UCI database were used, and the proposed system reached a classification accuracies of 94.92%, 74.81%, and 79.29%, respectively. For these datasets, the classification accuracies were obtained by the help of the 10-fold cross-validation method. The results show that the performance of the method is highly successful compared to other results attained and seems very promising for pattern recognition applications. PMID:23983632

  17. An improved artificial bee colony algorithm based on balance-evolution strategy for unmanned combat aerial vehicle path planning.

    PubMed

    Li, Bai; Gong, Li-gang; Yang, Wen-lun

    2014-01-01

    Unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) have been of great interest to military organizations throughout the world due to their outstanding capabilities to operate in dangerous or hazardous environments. UCAV path planning aims to obtain an optimal flight route with the threats and constraints in the combat field well considered. In this work, a novel artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm improved by a balance-evolution strategy (BES) is applied in this optimization scheme. In this new algorithm, convergence information during the iteration is fully utilized to manipulate the exploration/exploitation accuracy and to pursue a balance between local exploitation and global exploration capabilities. Simulation results confirm that BE-ABC algorithm is more competent for the UCAV path planning scheme than the conventional ABC algorithm and two other state-of-the-art modified ABC algorithms.

  18. Construction of recombinant Escherichia coli strains for secretory expression of artificial genes for human granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor

    SciTech Connect

    Petrovskaya, L.E.; Ruzin, A.V.; Shingarova, L.N.; Korobko, V.G.

    1995-11-01

    A number of recombinant plasmids for expression of artificial genes encoding human granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) were constructed. A hybrid gene was obtained that contains a sequence encoding the leader peptide and a tandem of two IgG-binding domains of protein A from Staphylococcus aureus coupled, through an enteropepdidase linker, to a synthetic gmcsf gene. The construction enables Escherichia coli to carry out biosynthesis of the hybrid protein and its subsequent transport into the periplasmic space of bacteria. Another hybrid gene, combining sequences for the signal peptide of the E. coli outer membrane protein OmpA and GM-CSF, was obtained using polymerase chain reaction. The localization of the mature protein produced by the hybrid gene was found to depend on the strength of the promoter used. 39 refs., 6 figs.

  19. Colony density and activity times of the ant Camponotus semitestaceus (hymenoptera:formicidae) in a shrub steppe community

    SciTech Connect

    Gano, K.A.; Rogers, L.E.

    1983-11-01

    Colony densities and above-ground activity periods were determined for Camponotus semitestaceus colonies within a shrub-steppe community. Colony densities (x +/- SD) averaged 0.088 +/- 0.032 per m/sup 2/ and 0.048 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on two sagebrush-bunchgrass sites and 0.028 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on a burned site. Seventy-five percent of the nest entrances were located alongside the stems of sagebrush, indicating a preference for these microhabitats as nest locations. Above-ground activity times were determined by using time lapse photography. Activity commenced shortly after sunset, when light intensities dropped to 2.5 to 1.0 foot-candles (ca. 27 to 11 lux) and terminated just before sunrise. Light intensity appears to be the primary cue for controlling above-ground activity periods of this species, but temperature also appears to be an important factor. When soil surface temperatures drop to 1.7 to 3.9/sup 0/C, all above-ground activity ceases, irrespective of light intensity. 19 references, 3 figures, 2 tables.

  20. Colony density and activity times of the ant Camponotus semitestaceus (hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a shrub steppe community

    SciTech Connect

    Gano, K.A.; Rogers, L.E.

    1983-11-01

    Colony densities and above-ground activity periods were determined for Camponotus semitestaceus colonies within a shrub-steppe community. Colony densities (anti x=/- SD) averaged 0.088 +/- 0.032 per m/sup 2/ and 0.048 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on two sagebrush-bunchgrass sites and 0.028 +/- 0.028 per m/sup 2/ on a burned site. Seventy-five percent of the nest entrances were located alongside the stems of sagebrush, indicating a preference for these microhabitats as nest locations. Above-ground activity times were determined by using time lapse photography. Activity commenced shortly after sunset, when light intensities dropped to 2.5 to 1.0 foot-candles (ca. 27 to 11 lux) and terminated just before sunrise. Light intensity appears to be the primary cue for controlling above-ground activity periods of this species, but temperature also appears to be an important factor. When soil surface temperatures drop to 1.7 to 3.9/sup 0/C, all above-ground activity ceases, irrespective of light intensity.

  1. Maintenance of a laboratory colony of Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) using an artificial feeding technique.

    PubMed

    Montes, C; Cuadrillero, C; Vilella, D

    2002-07-01

    The in vitro maintenance technique described in this article has been used successfully to rear Cimex lectularius (L.) by feeding for >2 yr all nymphal stages and adults through parafilm "M" sealing film on different types of blood. Using this feeding technique, the subsequent egg production of female bedbugs was remarkably high. The blood was maintained at 37 degrees C to enhance the attachment of the bugs. The effect of anticoagulation methods for the blood meal was investigated, and heparinized blood was found the most suitable for feeding bugs. All stages of the bugs fed weekly on blood in the artificial feeding system remained attached for up to 0.5-1.0 h, until completion of their blood meals, and all reached engorged weights. More than 90% of the bugs fed artificially on whole blood, and they molted or laid eggs successfully.

  2. Does exogenic food benefit both partners in an ant-plant mutualism? The case of Cecropia obtusa and its guest Azteca plant-ants.

    PubMed

    Dejean, Alain; Petitclerc, Frédéric; Roux, Olivier; Orivel, Jérôme; Leroy, Céline

    2012-03-01

    In the mutualisms involving the myrmecophyte Cecropia obtusa and Azteca ovaticeps or A. alfari, both predatory, the ants defend their host trees from enemies and provide them with nutrients (myrmecotrophy). A. ovaticeps provisioned with prey and then (15)N-enriched food produced more individuals than did control colonies (not artificially provisioned). This was not true for A. alfari colonies, possibly due to differences in the degree of maturity of the colonies for the chosen range of host tree sizes (less than 3m in height). Myrmecotrophy was demonstrated for both Azteca species as provisioning the ants with (15)N-enriched food translated into higher δ(15)N values in host plant tissues, indicating that nitrogen passed from the food to the plant. Thus, the predatory activity of their guest ants benefits the Cecropia trees not only because the ants protect them from defoliators since most prey are phytophagous insects but also because the plant absorbs nutrients.

  3. Protein folding optimization based on 3D off-lattice model via an improved artificial bee colony algorithm.

    PubMed

    Li, Bai; Lin, Mu; Liu, Qiao; Li, Ya; Zhou, Changjun

    2015-10-01

    Protein folding is a fundamental topic in molecular biology. Conventional experimental techniques for protein structure identification or protein folding recognition require strict laboratory requirements and heavy operating burdens, which have largely limited their applications. Alternatively, computer-aided techniques have been developed to optimize protein structures or to predict the protein folding process. In this paper, we utilize a 3D off-lattice model to describe the original protein folding scheme as a simplified energy-optimal numerical problem, where all types of amino acid residues are binarized into hydrophobic and hydrophilic ones. We apply a balance-evolution artificial bee colony (BE-ABC) algorithm as the minimization solver, which is featured by the adaptive adjustment of search intensity to cater for the varying needs during the entire optimization process. In this work, we establish a benchmark case set with 13 real protein sequences from the Protein Data Bank database and evaluate the convergence performance of BE-ABC algorithm through strict comparisons with several state-of-the-art ABC variants in short-term numerical experiments. Besides that, our obtained best-so-far protein structures are compared to the ones in comprehensive previous literature. This study also provides preliminary insights into how artificial intelligence techniques can be applied to reveal the dynamics of protein folding. Graphical Abstract Protein folding optimization using 3D off-lattice model and advanced optimization techniques.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  6. An integrated portfolio optimisation procedure based on data envelopment analysis, artificial bee colony algorithm and genetic programming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Chih-Ming

    2014-12-01

    Portfolio optimisation is an important issue in the field of investment/financial decision-making and has received considerable attention from both researchers and practitioners. However, besides portfolio optimisation, a complete investment procedure should also include the selection of profitable investment targets and determine the optimal timing for buying/selling the investment targets. In this study, an integrated procedure using data envelopment analysis (DEA), artificial bee colony (ABC) and genetic programming (GP) is proposed to resolve a portfolio optimisation problem. The proposed procedure is evaluated through a case study on investing in stocks in the semiconductor sub-section of the Taiwan stock market for 4 years. The potential average 6-month return on investment of 9.31% from 1 November 2007 to 31 October 2011 indicates that the proposed procedure can be considered a feasible and effective tool for making outstanding investment plans, and thus making profits in the Taiwan stock market. Moreover, it is a strategy that can help investors to make profits even when the overall stock market suffers a loss.

  7. Modeling Design Iteration in Product Design and Development and Its Solution by a Novel Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Due to fierce market competition, how to improve product quality and reduce development cost determines the core competitiveness of enterprises. However, design iteration generally causes increases of product cost and delays of development time as well, so how to identify and model couplings among tasks in product design and development has become an important issue for enterprises to settle. In this paper, the shortcomings existing in WTM model are discussed and tearing approach as well as inner iteration method is used to complement the classic WTM model. In addition, the ABC algorithm is also introduced to find out the optimal decoupling schemes. In this paper, firstly, tearing approach and inner iteration method are analyzed for solving coupled sets. Secondly, a hybrid iteration model combining these two technologies is set up. Thirdly, a high-performance swarm intelligence algorithm, artificial bee colony, is adopted to realize problem-solving. Finally, an engineering design of a chemical processing system is given in order to verify its reasonability and effectiveness. PMID:25431584

  8. Modeling design iteration in product design and development and its solution by a novel artificial bee colony algorithm.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tinggui; Xiao, Renbin

    2014-01-01

    Due to fierce market competition, how to improve product quality and reduce development cost determines the core competitiveness of enterprises. However, design iteration generally causes increases of product cost and delays of development time as well, so how to identify and model couplings among tasks in product design and development has become an important issue for enterprises to settle. In this paper, the shortcomings existing in WTM model are discussed and tearing approach as well as inner iteration method is used to complement the classic WTM model. In addition, the ABC algorithm is also introduced to find out the optimal decoupling schemes. In this paper, firstly, tearing approach and inner iteration method are analyzed for solving coupled sets. Secondly, a hybrid iteration model combining these two technologies is set up. Thirdly, a high-performance swarm intelligence algorithm, artificial bee colony, is adopted to realize problem-solving. Finally, an engineering design of a chemical processing system is given in order to verify its reasonability and effectiveness.

  9. [Chaotic artificial bee colony algorithm: a new approach to the problem of minimization of energy of the 3D protein structure].

    PubMed

    Wang, Y; Guo, G D; Chen, L F

    2013-01-01

    Frediction of the three-dimensional structure of a protein from its amino acid sequence can be considered as a global optimization problem. In this paper, the Chaotic Artificial Bee Colony (CABC) algorithm was introduced and applied to 3D protein structure prediction. Based on the 3D off-lattice AB model, the CABC algorithm combines global search and local search of the Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm with the Chaotic search algorithm to avoid the problem of premature convergence and easily trapping the local optimum solution. The experiments carried out with the popular Fibonacci sequences demonstrate that the proposed algorithm provides an effective and high-performance method for protein structure prediction.

  10. An adaptive ant colony optimization framework for scheduling environmental flow management alternatives under varied environmental water availability conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szemis, J. M.; Maier, H. R.; Dandy, G. C.

    2014-10-01

    Human water use is increasing and, as such, water for the environment is limited and needs to be managed efficiently. One method for achieving this is the scheduling of environmental flow management alternatives (EFMAs) (e.g., releases, wetland regulators), with these schedules generally developed over a number of years. However, the availability of environmental water changes annually as a result of natural variability (e.g., drought, wet years). To incorporate this variation and schedule EFMAs in a operational setting, a previously formulated multiobjective optimization approach for EFMA schedule development used for long-term planning has been modified and incorporated into an adaptive framework. As part of this approach, optimal schedules are updated at regular intervals during the planning horizon based on environmental water allocation forecasts, which are obtained using artificial neural networks. In addition, the changes between current and updated schedules can be minimized to reduce any disruptions to long-term planning. The utility of the approach is assessed by applying it to an 89km section of the River Murray in South Australia. Results indicate that the approach is beneficial under a range of hydrological conditions and an improved ecological response is obtained in a operational setting compared with previous long-term approaches. Also, it successfully produces trade-offs between the number of disruptions to schedules and the ecological response, with results suggesting that ecological response increases with minimal alterations required to existing schedules. Overall, the results indicate that the information obtained using the proposed approach potentially aides managers in the efficient management of environmental water.

  11. 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...

  12. A novel approach to speckle noise filtering based on Artificial Bee Colony algorithm: an ultrasound image application.

    PubMed

    Latifoğlu, Fatma

    2013-09-01

    In this study a novel approach based on 2D FIR filters is presented for denoising digital images. In this approach the filter coefficients of 2D FIR filters were optimized using the Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm. To obtain the best filter design, the filter coefficients were tested with different numbers (3×3, 5×5, 7×7, 11×11) and connection types (cascade and parallel) during optimization. First, the speckle noise with variances of 1, 0.6, 0.8 and 0.2 respectively was added to the synthetic test image. Later, these noisy images were denoised with both the proposed approach and other well-known filter types such as Gaussian, mean and average filters. For image quality determination metrics such as mean square error (MSE), peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) were used. Even in the case of noise having maximum variance (the most noisy), the proposed approach performed better than other filtering methods did on the noisy test images. In addition to test images, speckle noise with a variance of 1 was added to a fetal ultrasound image, and this noisy image was denoised with very high PSNR and SNR values. The performance of the proposed approach was also tested on several clinical ultrasound images such as those obtained from ovarian, abdomen and liver tissues. The results of this study showed that the 2D FIR filters designed based on ABC optimization can eliminate speckle noise quite well on noise added test images and intrinsically noisy ultrasound images.

  13. Avoidance of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus in leaf-cutting ants: Learning can take place entirely at the colony dump

    PubMed Central

    Roces, Flavio

    2017-01-01

    Plants initially accepted by foraging leaf-cutting ants are later avoided if they prove unsuitable for their symbiotic fungus. Plant avoidance is mediated by the waste produced in the fungus garden soon after the incorporation of the unsuitable leaves, as foragers can learn plant odors and cues from the damaged fungus that are both present in the recently produced waste particles. We asked whether avoidance learning of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus can take place entirely at the colony dump. In order to investigate whether cues available in the waste chamber induce plant avoidance in naïve subcolonies, we exchanged the waste produced by subcolonies fed either fungicide-treated privet leaves or untreated leaves and measured the acceptance of untreated privet leaves before and after the exchange of waste. Second, we evaluated whether foragers could perceive the avoidance cues directly at the dump by quantifying the visits of labeled foragers to the waste chamber. Finally, we asked whether foragers learn to specifically avoid untreated leaves of a plant after a confinement over 3 hours in the dump of subcolonies that were previously fed fungicide-treated leaves of that species. After the exchange of the waste chambers, workers from subcolonies that had access to waste from fungicide-treated privet leaves learned to avoid that plant. One-third of the labeled foragers visited the dump. Furthermore, naïve foragers learned to avoid a specific, previously unsuitable plant if exposed solely to cues of the dump during confinement. We suggest that cues at the dump enable foragers to predict the unsuitable effects of plants even if they had never been experienced in the fungus garden. PMID:28273083

  14. Prediction of acute toxicity of emerging contaminants on the water flea Daphnia magna by Ant Colony Optimization-Support Vector Machine QSTR models.

    PubMed

    Aalizadeh, Reza; von der Ohe, Peter C; Thomaidis, Nikolaos S

    2017-03-22

    According to the European REACH Directive, the acute toxicity towards Daphnia magna should be assessed for any industrial chemical with a market volume of more than 1 t/a. Therefore, it is highly recommended to determine the toxicity at a certain confidence level, either experimentally or by applying reliable prediction models. To this end, a large dataset was compiled, with the experimental acute toxicity values (pLC50) of 1353 compounds in Daphnia magna after 48 h of exposure. A novel quantitative structure-toxicity relationship (QSTR) model was developed, using Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) to select the most relevant set of molecular descriptors, and Support Vector Machine (SVM) to correlate the selected descriptors with the toxicity data. The proposed model showed high performance (QLOO(2) = 0.695, Rfitting(2) = 0.920 and Rtest(2) = 0.831) with low root mean square errors of 0.498 and 0.707 for the training and test set, respectively. It was found that, in addition to hydrophobicity, polarizability and summation of solute-hydrogen bond basicity affected toxicity positively, while minimum atom-type E-state of -OH influenced toxicity values in Daphnia magna inversely. The applicability domain of the proposed model was carefully studied, considering the effect of chemical structure and prediction error in terms of leverage values and standardized residuals. In addition, a new method was proposed to define the chemical space failure for a compound with unknown toxicity to avoid using these prediction results. The resulting ACO-SVM model was successfully applied on an additional evaluation set and the prediction results were found to be very accurate for those compounds that fall inside the defined applicability domain. In fact, compounds commonly found to be difficult to predict, such as quaternary ammonium compounds or organotin compounds were outside the applicability domain, while five representative homologues of LAS (non-ionic surfactants) were, on average

  15. Avoidance of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus in leaf-cutting ants: Learning can take place entirely at the colony dump.

    PubMed

    Arenas, Andrés; Roces, Flavio

    2017-01-01

    Plants initially accepted by foraging leaf-cutting ants are later avoided if they prove unsuitable for their symbiotic fungus. Plant avoidance is mediated by the waste produced in the fungus garden soon after the incorporation of the unsuitable leaves, as foragers can learn plant odors and cues from the damaged fungus that are both present in the recently produced waste particles. We asked whether avoidance learning of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus can take place entirely at the colony dump. In order to investigate whether cues available in the waste chamber induce plant avoidance in naïve subcolonies, we exchanged the waste produced by subcolonies fed either fungicide-treated privet leaves or untreated leaves and measured the acceptance of untreated privet leaves before and after the exchange of waste. Second, we evaluated whether foragers could perceive the avoidance cues directly at the dump by quantifying the visits of labeled foragers to the waste chamber. Finally, we asked whether foragers learn to specifically avoid untreated leaves of a plant after a confinement over 3 hours in the dump of subcolonies that were previously fed fungicide-treated leaves of that species. After the exchange of the waste chambers, workers from subcolonies that had access to waste from fungicide-treated privet leaves learned to avoid that plant. One-third of the labeled foragers visited the dump. Furthermore, naïve foragers learned to avoid a specific, previously unsuitable plant if exposed solely to cues of the dump during confinement. We suggest that cues at the dump enable foragers to predict the unsuitable effects of plants even if they had never been experienced in the fungus garden.

  16. 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

  17. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants.

    PubMed

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-05-07

    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.

  18. Visual cue learning and odometry in guiding the search behavior of desert ants, Melophorus bagoti, in artificial channels.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Sebastian; Schultheiss, Patrick; Cheng, Ken

    2012-11-01

    Terrestrial panoramic cues, path integration and search behavior are the main navigational strategies used by ants to locate food and find their way back to the nest. Searching becomes important when the other navigational cues are either not available or cannot provide sufficient information to pinpoint the goal. When searching in one-dimensional channels Melophorus bagoti ants exhibit a systematic drift in the starting-point-to-goal direction as they turn back and forth, sometimes past the goal location (Narendra et al., 2008). Here we show that this drift in channels is not a stereotypical part of the search behavior in these ants. It rather depends on the conditions of training. In experiments in which the nest entrance is located not at the end but at the side of the channel, forward drift is not always part of the nest search. Experiments on food searches showed that with the food source at the end of the channel, ants performed a linear drift in the starting-point-to-food direction. With food at the side of the channel, they showed a less pronounced drift toward the food source. In this constrained environment, especially with the goal at the end of the channel, ants seem to learn a routine such as 'run along the channel', and mix this routine with their usual strategy of turning back and forth in search.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Classification of Medical Datasets Using SVMs with Hybrid Evolutionary Algorithms Based on Endocrine-Based Particle Swarm Optimization and Artificial Bee Colony Algorithms.

    PubMed

    Lin, Kuan-Cheng; Hsieh, Yi-Hsiu

    2015-10-01

    The classification and analysis of data is an important issue in today's research. Selecting a suitable set of features makes it possible to classify an enormous quantity of data quickly and efficiently. Feature selection is generally viewed as a problem of feature subset selection, such as combination optimization problems. Evolutionary algorithms using random search methods have proven highly effective in obtaining solutions to problems of optimization in a diversity of applications. In this study, we developed a hybrid evolutionary algorithm based on endocrine-based particle swarm optimization (EPSO) and artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithms in conjunction with a support vector machine (SVM) for the selection of optimal feature subsets for the classification of datasets. The results of experiments using specific UCI medical datasets demonstrate that the accuracy of the proposed hybrid evolutionary algorithm is superior to that of basic PSO, EPSO and ABC algorithms, with regard to classification accuracy using subsets with a reduced number of features.

  2. Thermal ecology of the neotropical army ant Eciton burchellii.

    PubMed

    Meisel, Joe E

    2006-06-01

    I explored the thermal ecology of Eciton burchellii, a New World army ant, in primary forest and forest fragments in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica in 2002 and 2003. My primary objective was to determine whether high surface temperatures in pastures surrounding forest fragments posed a thermal barrier to ant colonies within those fragments; secondarily, I assessed whether thermal gradients within continuous moist forest were sufficient to elicit avoidance reactions from foraging colonies. E. burchellii colonies in forest fragments avoided entering open pasture in full sun (51.3 degrees C) on 100% of all edge interactions; however, edges were readily crossed where artificial shaded areas had previously been installed. Ant raids in primary forest avoided artificially established temperatures >43 degrees C but tolerated 45.5 degrees C in the presence of prey baits. Captive ants held at 43 degrees C survived 18.5 min; at temperatures of 51.3 degrees C survival time was only 2.8 min. Ants running on established foraging trails increased running velocity by 18% when substrate temperature was raised from 28.4 degrees to 38.0 degrees C, and they abandoned trails at temperatures >43 degrees C. The standard deviation (s) of temperatures on active raid trails in continuous forest was 2.13 degrees C, while nearby systematic sampling revealed a greater background standard deviation of 4.13 degrees C. E. burchellii colonies in this region appear to be living surprisingly near their upper limits of thermal tolerance. The heat of open pastures alone is sufficient to prevent their exiting forest fragments, or entering similarly hot areas within continuous forest. Shaded vegetative corridors are sufficient to permit mobility between isolated fragments, and their preservation should be encouraged. Despite views that tropical lowland moist forests have an essentially homogenous microclimate, army ants appear to avoid local hot spots on the forest floor, steering daily foraging

  3. 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.

  4. A Novel Cloning Template Designing Method by Using an Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm for Edge Detection of CNN Based Imaging Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Parmaksızoğlu, Selami; Alçı, Mustafa

    2011-01-01

    Cellular Neural Networks (CNNs) have been widely used recently in applications such as edge detection, noise reduction and object detection, which are among the main computer imaging processes. They can also be realized as hardware based imaging sensors. The fact that hardware CNN models produce robust and effective results has attracted the attention of researchers using these structures within image sensors. Realization of desired CNN behavior such as edge detection can be achieved by correctly setting a cloning template without changing the structure of the CNN. To achieve different behaviors effectively, designing a cloning template is one of the most important research topics in this field. In this study, the edge detecting process that is used as a preliminary process for segmentation, identification and coding applications is conducted by using CNN structures. In order to design the cloning template of goal-oriented CNN architecture, an Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm which is inspired from the foraging behavior of honeybees is used and the performance analysis of ABC for this application is examined with multiple runs. The CNN template generated by the ABC algorithm is tested by using artificial and real test images. The results are subjectively and quantitatively compared with well-known classical edge detection methods, and other CNN based edge detector cloning templates available in the imaging literature. The results show that the proposed method is more successful than other methods. PMID:22163903

  5. A balance-evolution artificial bee colony algorithm for protein structure optimization based on a three-dimensional AB off-lattice model.

    PubMed

    Li, Bai; Chiong, Raymond; Lin, Mu

    2015-02-01

    Protein structure prediction is a fundamental issue in the field of computational molecular biology. In this paper, the AB off-lattice model is adopted to transform the original protein structure prediction scheme into a numerical optimization problem. We present a balance-evolution artificial bee colony (BE-ABC) algorithm to address the problem, with the aim of finding the structure for a given protein sequence with the minimal free-energy value. This is achieved through the use of convergence information during the optimization process to adaptively manipulate the search intensity. Besides that, an overall degradation procedure is introduced as part of the BE-ABC algorithm to prevent premature convergence. Comprehensive simulation experiments based on the well-known artificial Fibonacci sequence set and several real sequences from the database of Protein Data Bank have been carried out to compare the performance of BE-ABC against other algorithms. Our numerical results show that the BE-ABC algorithm is able to outperform many state-of-the-art approaches and can be effectively employed for protein structure optimization.

  6. 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.

  7. Acanthopria and Mimopriella parasitoid wasps (Diapriidae) attack Cyphomyrmex fungus-growing ants (Formicidae, Attini)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Wcislo, William T.

    2006-01-01

    New World diapriine wasps are abundant and diverse, but the biology of most species is unknown. We provide the first description of the biology of diapriine wasps, Acanthopria spp. and Mimopriella sp., which attack the larvae of Cyphomyrmex fungus-growing ants. In Puerto Rico, the koinobiont parasitoids Acanthopria attack Cyphomyrmex minutus, while in Panama at least four morphospecies of Acanthopria and one of Mimopriella attack Cyphomyrmex rimosus. Of the total larvae per colony, 0 100% were parasitized, and 27 70% of the colonies per population were parasitized. Parasitism rate and colony size were negatively correlated for C. rimosus but not for C. minutus. Worker ants grasped at, bit, and in some cases, killed adult wasps that emerged in artificial nests or tried to enter natural nests. Parasitoid secondary sex ratios were female-biased for eclosing wasps, while field collections showed a male-biased sex ratio. Based on their abundance and success in attacking host ants, these minute wasps present excellent opportunities to explore how natural enemies impact ant colony demography and population biology.

  8. Rescue of newborn ants by older Cataglyphis cursor adult workers.

    PubMed

    Nowbahari, Elise; Amirault, Céline; Hollis, Karen L

    2016-05-01

    Cataglyphis cursor worker ants are capable of highly sophisticated rescue behaviour in which individuals are able to identify what has trapped a nestmate and to direct their behaviour towards that obstacle. Nonetheless, rescue behaviour is constrained by workers' subcaste: whereas foragers, the oldest workers, are able both to give and to receive the most help, the youngest workers, inactives, neither give nor receive any help whatsoever; nurses give and receive intermediate levels of aid, reflecting their intermediate age. Such differences in rescue behaviour across subcastes suggest that age and experience play a critical role. In this species, as in many others in which a sensitive period for nestmate recognition exists, newly enclosed ants, called callows, are adopted by ants belonging not only to different colonies but also to different species; foreign callows receive nearly the same special care provided to resident newborns. Because callows are younger than inactives, which are incapable of soliciting rescue, we wondered whether entrapped callows would receive such aid. In the present study, we artificially ensnared individual callows from their own colony (homocolonial), from a different colony (heterocolonial), and from a different species (heterospecific), and tested each one with groups of five potential C. cursor rescuers, either all foragers or all nurses. Our results show that all three types of callows are able to elicit rescue behaviour from both foragers and nurses. Nonetheless, nurse rescuers are better able to discriminate between the three types of callow victims than are foragers.

  9. Two Different Points of View through Artificial Intelligence and Vector Autoregressive Models for Ex Post and Ex Ante Forecasting.

    PubMed

    Aydin, Alev Dilek; Caliskan Cavdar, Seyma

    2015-01-01

    The ANN method has been applied by means of multilayered feedforward neural networks (MLFNs) by using different macroeconomic variables such as the exchange rate of USD/TRY, gold prices, and the Borsa Istanbul (BIST) 100 index based on monthly data over the period of January 2000 and September 2014 for Turkey. Vector autoregressive (VAR) method has also been applied with the same variables for the same period of time. In this study, different from other studies conducted up to the present, ENCOG machine learning framework has been used along with JAVA programming language in order to constitute the ANN. The training of network has been done by resilient propagation method. The ex post and ex ante estimates obtained by the ANN method have been compared with the results obtained by the econometric forecasting method of VAR. Strikingly, our findings based on the ANN method reveal that there is a possibility of financial distress or a financial crisis in Turkey starting from October 2017. The results which were obtained with the method of VAR also support the results of ANN method. Additionally, our results indicate that the ANN approach has more superior prediction performance than the VAR method.

  10. Two Different Points of View through Artificial Intelligence and Vector Autoregressive Models for Ex Post and Ex Ante Forecasting

    PubMed Central

    Aydin, Alev Dilek; Caliskan Cavdar, Seyma

    2015-01-01

    The ANN method has been applied by means of multilayered feedforward neural networks (MLFNs) by using different macroeconomic variables such as the exchange rate of USD/TRY, gold prices, and the Borsa Istanbul (BIST) 100 index based on monthly data over the period of January 2000 and September 2014 for Turkey. Vector autoregressive (VAR) method has also been applied with the same variables for the same period of time. In this study, different from other studies conducted up to the present, ENCOG machine learning framework has been used along with JAVA programming language in order to constitute the ANN. The training of network has been done by resilient propagation method. The ex post and ex ante estimates obtained by the ANN method have been compared with the results obtained by the econometric forecasting method of VAR. Strikingly, our findings based on the ANN method reveal that there is a possibility of financial distress or a financial crisis in Turkey starting from October 2017. The results which were obtained with the method of VAR also support the results of ANN method. Additionally, our results indicate that the ANN approach has more superior prediction performance than the VAR method. PMID:26550010

  11. 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)

  12. Diet-related modification of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, diminishes intercolony aggression.

    PubMed

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Kumar, Ranjit; Suib, Steven L; Silverman, Jules

    2005-04-01

    Territorial boundaries between conspecific social insect colonies are maintained through a highly developed nestmate recognition system modulated by heritable and, in some instances, nonheritable cues. Argentine ants, Linepithema humile, use both genetic and environmentally derived cues to discriminate nestmates from nonnestmates. We explored the possibility that intraspecific aggression in the Argentine ant might diminish when colonies shared a common diet. After segregating recently field-collected colony pairs into high or moderate aggression categories, we examined the effect of one of three diets: two hydrocarbon-rich insect prey, Blattella germanica and Supella longipalpa, and an artificial (insect-free) diet, on the magnitude of aggression loss. Aggression diminished between colony pairs that were initially moderately aggressive. However, initially highly aggressive colony pairs maintained high levels of injurious aggression throughout the study, independent of diet type. Each diet altered the cuticular hydrocarbon profile by contributing unique, diet-specific cues. We suggest that acquisition of common exogenous nestmate recognition cues from shared food sources may diminish aggression and promote fusion in neighboring colonies of the Argentine ant.

  13. Hybrid Pareto artificial bee colony algorithm for multi-objective single machine group scheduling problem with sequence-dependent setup times and learning effects.

    PubMed

    Yue, Lei; Guan, Zailin; Saif, Ullah; Zhang, Fei; Wang, Hao

    2016-01-01

    Group scheduling is significant for efficient and cost effective production system. However, there exist setup times between the groups, which require to decrease it by sequencing groups in an efficient way. Current research is focused on a sequence dependent group scheduling problem with an aim to minimize the makespan in addition to minimize the total weighted tardiness simultaneously. In most of the production scheduling problems, the processing time of jobs is assumed as fixed. However, the actual processing time of jobs may be reduced due to "learning effect". The integration of sequence dependent group scheduling problem with learning effects has been rarely considered in literature. Therefore, current research considers a single machine group scheduling problem with sequence dependent setup times and learning effects simultaneously. A novel hybrid Pareto artificial bee colony algorithm (HPABC) with some steps of genetic algorithm is proposed for current problem to get Pareto solutions. Furthermore, five different sizes of test problems (small, small medium, medium, large medium, large) are tested using proposed HPABC. Taguchi method is used to tune the effective parameters of the proposed HPABC for each problem category. The performance of HPABC is compared with three famous multi objective optimization algorithms, improved strength Pareto evolutionary algorithm (SPEA2), non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm II (NSGAII) and particle swarm optimization algorithm (PSO). Results indicate that HPABC outperforms SPEA2, NSGAII and PSO and gives better Pareto optimal solutions in terms of diversity and quality for almost all the instances of the different sizes of problems.

  14. Optimising the production of succinate and lactate in Escherichia coli using a hybrid of artificial bee colony algorithm and minimisation of metabolic adjustment.

    PubMed

    Tang, Phooi Wah; Choon, Yee Wen; Mohamad, Mohd Saberi; Deris, Safaai; Napis, Suhaimi

    2015-03-01

    Metabolic engineering is a research field that focuses on the design of models for metabolism, and uses computational procedures to suggest genetic manipulation. It aims to improve the yield of particular chemical or biochemical products. Several traditional metabolic engineering methods are commonly used to increase the production of a desired target, but the products are always far below their theoretical maximums. Using numeral optimisation algorithms to identify gene knockouts may stall at a local minimum in a multivariable function. This paper proposes a hybrid of the artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm and the minimisation of metabolic adjustment (MOMA) to predict an optimal set of solutions in order to optimise the production rate of succinate and lactate. The dataset used in this work was from the iJO1366 Escherichia coli metabolic network. The experimental results include the production rate, growth rate and a list of knockout genes. From the comparative analysis, ABCMOMA produced better results compared to previous works, showing potential for solving genetic engineering problems.

  15. Developing a Reading Concentration Monitoring System by Applying an Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm to E-Books in an Intelligent Classroom

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Chia-Cheng; Chen, Hsin-Chin; Su, Yen-Ning; Huang, Kuo-Kuang; Huang, Yueh-Min

    2012-01-01

    A growing number of educational studies apply sensors to improve student learning in real classroom settings. However, how can sensors be integrated into classrooms to help instructors find out students' reading concentration rates and thus better increase learning effectiveness? The aim of the current study was to develop a reading concentration monitoring system for use with e-books in an intelligent classroom and to help instructors find out the students' reading concentration rates. The proposed system uses three types of sensor technologies, namely a webcam, heartbeat sensor, and blood oxygen sensor to detect the learning behaviors of students by capturing various physiological signals. An artificial bee colony (ABC) optimization approach is applied to the data gathered from these sensors to help instructors understand their students' reading concentration rates in a classroom learning environment. The results show that the use of the ABC algorithm in the proposed system can effectively obtain near-optimal solutions. The system has a user-friendly graphical interface, making it easy for instructors to clearly understand the reading status of their students. PMID:23202042

  16. Developing a reading concentration monitoring system by applying an artificial bee colony algorithm to e-books in an intelligent classroom.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Chia-Cheng; Chen, Hsin-Chin; Su, Yen-Ning; Huang, Kuo-Kuang; Huang, Yueh-Min

    2012-10-22

    A growing number of educational studies apply sensors to improve student learning in real classroom settings. However, how can sensors be integrated into classrooms to help instructors find out students' reading concentration rates and thus better increase learning effectiveness? The aim of the current study was to develop a reading concentration monitoring system for use with e-books in an intelligent classroom and to help instructors find out the students' reading concentration rates. The proposed system uses three types of sensor technologies, namely a webcam, heartbeat sensor, and blood oxygen sensor to detect the learning behaviors of students by capturing various physiological signals. An artificial bee colony (ABC) optimization approach is applied to the data gathered from these sensors to help instructors understand their students' reading concentration rates in a classroom learning environment. The results show that the use of the ABC algorithm in the proposed system can effectively obtain near-optimal solutions. The system has a user-friendly graphical interface, making it easy for instructors to clearly understand the reading status of their students.

  17. Introduced fire ants can exclude native ants from critical mutualist-provided resources.

    PubMed

    Wilder, Shawn M; Barnum, Thomas R; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2013-05-01

    Animals frequently experience resource imbalances in nature. For ants, one resource that may be particularly valuable for both introduced and native species is high-carbohydrate honeydew from hemipteran mutualists. We conducted field and laboratory experiments: (1) to test if red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) competed with native ants for access to mutualisms with aphids, and (2) to quantify the effects of aphid honeydew presence or absence on colony growth of native ants. We focused on native dolichoderine ants (Formicidae, Dolichoderinae) because they are abundant ants that have omnivorous diets that frequently include mutualist-provided carbohydrates. At two sites in the southeastern US, native dolichoderine ants were far less frequent, and fire ants more frequent, at carbohydrate baits than would be expected based on their frequency in pitfall traps. A field experiment confirmed that a native ant species, Dorymyrmex bureni, was only found tending aphids when populations of S. invicta were suppressed. In the laboratory, colonies of native dolichoderine ants with access to both honeydew and insect prey had twice as many workers and over twice as much brood compared to colonies fed only ad libitum insect prey. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that introduced ants compete for access to mutualist-provided carbohydrates with native ants and that these carbohydrates represent critical resources for both introduced and native ants. These results challenge traditional paradigms of arthropod and ant nutrition and contribute to growing evidence of the importance of nutrition in mediating ecological interactions.

  18. 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.

  19. Are ant-aphid associations a tritrophic interaction? Oleander aphids and Argentine ants.

    PubMed

    Bristow, C M

    1991-09-01

    Oleander aphids, (Aphis nerii), which are sporadically tended by ants, were used as a moded system to examine whether host plant factors associated with feeding site influenced the formation of ant-aphid associations. Seasonal patterns of host plant utilization and association with attendant ants were examined through bi-weekly censuses of the aphid population feeding on thirty ornamental oleander plands (Nerium oleander) in northern California in 1985 and 1986. Colonies occurred on both developing and senescing plant terminals, including leaf tips, floral structures, and pods. Aphids preferentially colonized leaf terminals early in the season, but showed no preference for feeding site during later periods. Argentine ants (Iridomyrmex humilis) occasionally tended aphid colonies. Colonies on floral tips were three to four times more likely to attract ants than colonies on leaf tips, even though the latter frequently contained more aphids. Ants showed a positive recruitment response to colonies on floral tips, with a significant correlation between colony size and number of ants. There was no recruitment response to colonies on leaf tips. These patterns were reproducible over two years despite large fluctuations in both aphid population density and ant activity. In a laboratory bioassay of aphid palatability, the generalist predator,Hippodamia convergens, took significantly more aphids reared on floral tips compared to those reared on leaf tips. The patterns reported here support the hypothesis that tritrophic factors may be important in modifying higher level arthropod mutualisms.

  20. Improving the channeler ant model for lung CT analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerello, Piergiorgio; Lopez Torres, Ernesto; Fiorina, Elisa; Oppedisano, Chiara; Peroni, Cristiana; Arteche Diaz, Raul; Bellotti, Roberto; Bosco, Paolo; Camarlinghi, Niccolo; Massafra, Andrea

    2011-03-01

    The Channeler Ant Model (CAM) is an algorithm based on virtual ant colonies, conceived for the segmentation of complex structures with different shapes and intensity in a 3D environment. It exploits the natural capabilities of virtual ant colonies to modify the environment and communicate with each other by pheromone deposition. When applied to lung CTs, the CAM can be turned into a Computer Aided Detection (CAD) method for the identification of pulmonary nodules and the support to radiologists in the identification of early-stage pathological objects. The CAM has been validated with the segmentation of 3D artificial objects and it has already been successfully applied to the lung nodules detection in Computed Tomography images within the ANODE09 challenge. The model improvements for the segmentation of nodules attached to the pleura and to the vessel tree are discussed, as well as a method to enhance the detection of low-intensity nodules. The results on five datasets annotated with different criteria show that the analytical modules (i.e. up to the filtering stage) provide a sensitivity in the 80 - 90% range with a number of FP/scan of the order of 20. The classification module, although not yet optimised, keeps the sensitivity in the 70 - 85% range at about 10 FP/scan, in spite of the fact that the annotation criteria for the training and the validation samples are different.

  1. Fire ants

    MedlinePlus

    ... please enable JavaScript. Fire ants are red-colored insects. A sting from a fire ant delivers a ... poison control. Those who have an allergy to insect bites or stings should carry a bee sting ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Improved Ant Algorithms for Software Testing Cases Generation

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Shunkun; Xu, Jiaqi

    2014-01-01

    Existing ant colony optimization (ACO) for software testing cases generation is a very popular domain in software testing engineering. However, the traditional ACO has flaws, as early search pheromone is relatively scarce, search efficiency is low, search model is too simple, positive feedback mechanism is easy to porduce the phenomenon of stagnation and precocity. This paper introduces improved ACO for software testing cases generation: improved local pheromone update strategy for ant colony optimization, improved pheromone volatilization coefficient for ant colony optimization (IPVACO), and improved the global path pheromone update strategy for ant colony optimization (IGPACO). At last, we put forward a comprehensive improved ant colony optimization (ACIACO), which is based on all the above three methods. The proposed technique will be compared with random algorithm (RND) and genetic algorithm (GA) in terms of both efficiency and coverage. The results indicate that the improved method can effectively improve the search efficiency, restrain precocity, promote case coverage, and reduce the number of iterations. PMID:24883391

  5. Improved ant algorithms for software testing cases generation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Shunkun; Man, Tianlong; Xu, Jiaqi

    2014-01-01

    Existing ant colony optimization (ACO) for software testing cases generation is a very popular domain in software testing engineering. However, the traditional ACO has flaws, as early search pheromone is relatively scarce, search efficiency is low, search model is too simple, positive feedback mechanism is easy to produce the phenomenon of stagnation and precocity. This paper introduces improved ACO for software testing cases generation: improved local pheromone update strategy for ant colony optimization, improved pheromone volatilization coefficient for ant colony optimization (IPVACO), and improved the global path pheromone update strategy for ant colony optimization (IGPACO). At last, we put forward a comprehensive improved ant colony optimization (ACIACO), which is based on all the above three methods. The proposed technique will be compared with random algorithm (RND) and genetic algorithm (GA) in terms of both efficiency and coverage. The results indicate that the improved method can effectively improve the search efficiency, restrain precocity, promote case coverage, and reduce the number of iterations.

  6. Dynamic Network Formation Using Ant Colony Optimization

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-03-01

    global solver into a distributed solver where each network node independently assigned their network links. 1.3 Methodology Previous research into...the solution to the network topology is generated at the node level 10 and then consolidated and evaluated at a global level to properly evaluate...application. The specific MILP tool was XPRESS -MP which employs the dual simplex, primal simplex, or the Newton Barrier method to solve the relaxed linear

  7. Ant Tower

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mlot, Nathan; Shinotsuka, Sho; Hu, David

    2010-11-01

    Ants walk via adhesive drops of fluid extruded by their feet. They also use these drops as mortar to build structures such as rafts, bridges and towers, each composed of thousands of ants linked together. We investigate experimentally the construction of triangular ant towers braced by hydrophobic walls. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between tower height and contact angle hysteresis of the wall. We rationalize tower height according to ant adhesion, and tower shape according to the constraints on a column of constant strength.

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

    PubMed

    Pringle, Elizabeth G

    2014-06-22

    In horizontally transmitted mutualisms, mutualists disperse separately and reassemble in each generation with partners genetically unrelated to those in the previous generation. Because of this, there should be no selection on either partner to enhance the other's reproductive output directly. In symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms, myrmecophytic plants host defensive ant colonies, and ants defend the plants from herbivores. Plants and ants disperse separately, and, although ant defence can indirectly increase plant reproduction by reducing folivory, it is unclear whether ants can also directly increase plant reproduction by defending seeds. The neotropical tree Cordia alliodora hosts colonies of Azteca pittieri ants. The trees produce domatia where ants nest at stem nodes and also at the node between the peduncle and the rachides of the infloresence. Unlike the stem domatia, these reproductive domatia senesce after the tree fruits each year. In this study, I show that the tree's resident ant colony moves into these ephemeral reproductive domatia, where they tend honeydew-producing scale insects and patrol the nearby developing fruits. The presence of ants significantly reduced pre-dispersal seed predation by Amblycerus bruchid beetles, thereby directly increasing plant reproductive output.

  9. A Winner Determination Algorithm for Combinatorial Auctions Based on Hybrid Artificial Fish Swarm Algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Genrang; Lin, ZhengChun

    The problem of winner determination in combinatorial auctions is a hotspot electronic business, and a NP hard problem. A Hybrid Artificial Fish Swarm Algorithm(HAFSA), which is combined with First Suite Heuristic Algorithm (FSHA) and Artificial Fish Swarm Algorithm (AFSA), is proposed to solve the problem after probing it base on the theories of AFSA. Experiment results show that the HAFSA is a rapidly and efficient algorithm for The problem of winner determining. Compared with Ant colony Optimization Algorithm, it has a good performance with broad and prosperous application.

  10. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  11. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Effects of aromatic cedar mulch on the Argentine ant and the odorous house ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Meissner, H E; Silverman, J

    2001-12-01

    In laboratory studies, the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and the odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say), avoided aromatic cedar mulch as a nesting substrate. Both ant species were killed when confined with fresh aromatic cedar mulch in sealed containers. However, when confined with cedar mulch that had been aged outdoors for up to 140 d, mortality of L. humile was complete regardless of mulch age, whereas T. sessile mortality declined significantly over the mulch-aging period. Argentine ant susceptibility to aromatic cedar mulch was also greater than that of the odorous house ant when colonies were restricted to mulch in open trays. In addition, commercial aromatic cedar oil was lethal to both ant species. Our results suggest that aromatic cedar mulch may serve as an effective component of a comprehensive urban ant management program.

  14. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-24

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

  16. Distribution, abundance and persistence of Orasema spp. (Hym:Eucharitidae) parasitic on fire ants in South America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Parasitoid wasps of the genus Orasema Cameron have been considered as potential candidates for biological control of imported fire ants in the United States. Surveys were conducted for their occurrence in fire ant colonies across southern South America. In Argentina, 443 ant colonies were excavated ...

  17. The evolution of multiple mating in army ants.

    PubMed

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Johnson, Robert A; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2007-02-01

    The evolution of mating systems in eusocial Hymenoptera is constrained because females mate only during a brief period early in life, whereas inseminated queens and their stored sperm may live for decades. Considerable research effort during recent years has firmly established that obligate multiple mating has evolved only a few times: in Apis honeybees, Vespula wasps, Pogonomyrmex harvester ants, Atta and Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants, the ant Cataglyphis cursor, and in at least some army ants. Here we provide estimates of queen-mating frequency for New World Neivamyrmex and Old World Aenictus species, which, compared to other army ants, have relatively small colonies and little size polymorphism among workers. To provide the first overall comparative analysis of the evolution of army ant mating systems, we combine these new results with previous estimates for African Dorylus and New World Eciton army ants, which have very large colonies and considerable worker polymorphism. We show that queens of Neivamyrmex and Aenictus mate with the same high numbers of males (usually ca. 10-20) as do queens of army ant species with very large colony sizes. We infer that multiple queen mating is ancestral in army ants and has evolved over 100 million years ago as part of the army ant adaptive syndrome. A comparison of army ants and honeybees suggests that mating systems in these two distantly related groups may have been convergently shaped by strikingly similar selective pressures.

  18. Insecticide Transfer Efficiency and Lethal Load in Argentine Ants

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Trophallaxis between individual worker ants and the toxicant load in dead and live Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in colonies exposed to fipronil and hydramethylnon experimental baits were examined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). About 50% of the content of the crop containing trace levels of 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. PMID:26504258

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Insecticide Transfer Efficiency and Lethal Load in Argentine Ants

    DOE PAGES

    Hooper-Bui, L. M.; Kwok, E S.C.; Buchholz, B. A.; ...

    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Density-dependent benefits in ant-hemipteran mutualism? The case of the ghost ant Tapinoma melanocephalum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae).

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Fire disturbance disrupts an acacia ant-plant mutualism in favor of a subordinate ant species.

    PubMed

    Sensenig, Ryan L; Kimuyu, Duncan K; Ruiz Guajardo, Juan Carlos; Veblen, Kari E; Riginos, Corinna; Young, Truman P

    2017-03-08

    Although disturbance theory has been recognized as a useful framework in examining the stability of ant-plant mutualisms, very few studies have examined the effects of fire disturbance on these mutualisms. In myrmecophyte-dominated savannas, fire and herbivory are key drivers that could influence ant-plant mutualisms by causing complete colony mortality and/or decreasing colony size, which potentially could alter dominance hierarchies if subordinate species are more fire resilient. We used a large-scale, replicated fire experiment to examine long-term effects of fire on acacia-ant community composition. To determine if fire shifted ant occupancy from a competitive dominant to a subordinate ant species we surveyed the acacia-ant community in 6-7-year-old burn sites and examined how the spatial scale of these burns influenced ant community responses. We then used two short-term fire experiments to explore possible mechanisms for the shifts in community patterns observed. Because survival of ant colonies is largely dependent on their ability to detect and escape an approaching fire, we first tested the evacuation response of all four ant species when exposed to smoke (fire signal). Then to better understand how fire and its interaction with large mammal herbivory affect the density of ants per tree, we quantified ant worker density in small prescribed burns within herbivore exclusion plots. We found clear evidence suggesting that fire disturbance favored the subordinate ant Crematogaster nigriceps more than the dominant and strong mutualist ant C. mimosae, whereby C. nigriceps: 1) was the only species to occupy a greater proportion of trees in 6-7 year old burn sites compared to unburned sites, 2) had higher burn/unburn tree ratios with increasing burn size; and 3) evacuated significantly faster than C. mimosae in the presence of smoke. Fire and herbivory had opposite effects on ant density per meter of branch for both C. nigriceps and C. mimosae, with fire decreasing

  7. Visual navigation in the Neotropical ant Odontomachus hastatus (Formicidae, Ponerinae), a predominantly nocturnal, canopy-dwelling predator of the Atlantic rainforest.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Pedro A P; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2014-11-01

    The arboreal ant Odontomachus hastatus nests among roots of epiphytic bromeliads in the sandy forest at Cardoso Island (Brazil). Crepuscular and nocturnal foragers travel up to 8m to search for arthropod prey in the canopy, where silhouettes of leaves and branches potentially provide directional information. We investigated the relevance of visual cues (canopy, horizon patterns) during navigation in O. hastatus. Laboratory experiments using a captive ant colony and a round foraging arena revealed that an artificial canopy pattern above the ants and horizon visual marks are effective orientation cues for homing O. hastatus. On the other hand, foragers that were only given a tridimensional landmark (cylinder) or chemical marks were unable to home correctly. Navigation by visual cues in O. hastatus is in accordance with other diurnal arboreal ants. Nocturnal luminosity (moon, stars) is apparently sufficient to produce contrasting silhouettes from the canopy and surrounding vegetation, thus providing orientation cues. Contrary to the plain floor of the round arena, chemical cues may be important for marking bifurcated arboreal routes. This experimental demonstration of the use of visual cues by a predominantly nocturnal arboreal ant provides important information for comparative studies on the evolution of spatial orientation behavior in ants. "This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Neotropical Behaviour".

  8. The Florida Harvester Ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, Relies on Germination to Consume Large Seeds.

    PubMed

    Tschinkel, Walter R; Kwapich, Christina L

    2016-01-01

    The Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, is one of many ant species and genera that stores large numbers of seeds in damp, underground chambers for later consumption. A comparison of the sizes of seeds recovered from storage chambers with those of seed husks discarded following consumption revealed that the used seeds are far smaller than stored seeds. This difference in use-rate was confirmed in field and laboratory colonies by offering marked seeds of various sizes and monitoring the appearance of size-specific chaff. Because foragers collect a range of seed sizes but only open small seeds, large seeds accumulate, forming 70% or more of the weight of seed stores. Major workers increase the rates at which small and medium seeds are opened, but do not increase the size range of opened seeds. Experiments limiting ant access to portions of natural seed chambers showed that seeds germinate during storage, but that the ants rapidly remove them. When offered alongside non germinating seeds, germinating seeds were preferentially fed to larvae. The rate of germination during the annual cycle was determined by both burial in artificial chambers at various depths and under four laboratory temperatures. The germination rate depends upon the species of seed, the soil/laboratory temperature and/or the elapsed time. The seasonal soil temperature cycle generated germination patterns that vary with the mix of locally-available seeds. Taken together, exploitation of germination greatly increases the resources available to the ants in space and time. While the largest seeds may have the nutritional value of 15 small seeds, the inability of workers to open large seeds at will precludes them from rapid use during catastrophic events. The harvester ant's approach to seed harvesting is therefore two-pronged, with both immediate and delayed payoffs arising from the tendency to forage for a wide variety of seeds sizes.

  9. Positive effects of shade and shelter construction by ants on leafhopper-ant mutualism.

    PubMed

    Moya-Raygoza, Gustavo; Larsen, Kirk J

    2008-12-01

    The myrmecophilous five-spotted gamagrass leafhopper, Dalbulus quinquenotatus DeLong and Nault, and its tending ants on gamagrass Tripsacum dactyloides L. were examined to determine the influence of shade and ant-constructed shelters on the population sizes of D. quinquenotatus and ants. Gamagrass plants hosting ants and leafhoppers were exposed to 50, 30, or 0% artificially constructed shade. The greatest numbers of leafhoppers and ants were found on plants that received 50% shade. Shelters made by the ant Solenopsis geminata (F.) contained large numbers of leafhoppers and ants but were found only on T. dactyloides exposed to 50% shade in artificially constructed habitats. Additional sampling was conducted on wild gamagrass plants in the field to explore the presence of ants tending leafhoppers in shelters and to evaluate whether ant-constructed shelters protect leafhopper nymphs from parasitoid wasps. Large aggregations of S. geminata in shelters were also found in natural gamagrass habitats. Leafhopper nymphs living in shelters made by S. geminata may be protected against the dryinid wasp parasitoid Anteon ciudadi Olmi. No sheltered nymphs were parasitized by dryinids, whereas 24% of unsheltered nymphs had dryinid parasitism.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  12. 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

  13. Color polymorphism in an aphid is maintained by attending ants

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Saori; Murakami, Taiga; Yoshimura, Jin; Hasegawa, Eisuke

    2016-01-01

    The study of polymorphisms is particularly informative for enhancing our understanding of phenotypic and genetic diversity. The persistence of polymorphism in a population is generally explained by balancing selection. Color polymorphisms that are often found in many insects and arthropods are prime examples of the maintenance of polymorphisms via balancing selection. In some aphids, color morphs are maintained through frequency-dependent predation by two predatory insects. However, the presence of color polymorphism in ant-attended aphids cannot be explained by traditional balancing selection because these aphids are free from predation. We examined the selective advantages of the existence of two color (red and green) morphs in the ant-attended aphid, Macrosiphoniella yomogicola, in fields. We measured the degree of ant attendance on aphid colonies with different proportions of color morphs. The results show that the ants strongly favor aphid colonies with intermediate proportions of the two color morphs. The relationship between the degree of ant attendance and the proportion of color morphs in the field is convex when aphid colony size and ant colony size are controlled. This function has a peak of approximately 65% of green morphs in a colony. This system represents the first case of a balancing polymorphism that is not maintained by opposing factors but by a symbiotic relationship. PMID:27617289

  14. Microclimatic conditions of Lasius flavus ant mounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Véle, Adam; Holuša, Jaroslav

    2016-11-01

    Like other organisms, ants require suitable microclimatic conditions for their development. Thus, ant species inhabiting colder climates build nest mounds that rise above the soil surface, presumably to obtain heating from solar radiation. Although some ant species construct mounds of organic materials, which generate substantial heat due to microbial metabolism, Lasius flavus mounds consists mostly of soil, not organic material. The use of artificial shading in the current study demonstrated that L. flavus depends on direct solar radiation to regulate the temperature in its mound-like nests. Temperatures were much lower in shaded mounds than in unshaded mounds and were likely low enough in shaded mounds to reduce ant development and reproduction. In areas where L. flavus and similar ants are undesirable, they might be managed by shading.

  15. Microclimatic conditions of Lasius flavus ant mounds.

    PubMed

    Véle, Adam; Holuša, Jaroslav

    2016-11-23

    Like other organisms, ants require suitable microclimatic conditions for their development. Thus, ant species inhabiting colder climates build nest mounds that rise above the soil surface, presumably to obtain heating from solar radiation. Although some ant species construct mounds of organic materials, which generate substantial heat due to microbial metabolism, Lasius flavus mounds consists mostly of soil, not organic material. The use of artificial shading in the current study demonstrated that L. flavus depends on direct solar radiation to regulate the temperature in its mound-like nests. Temperatures were much lower in shaded mounds than in unshaded mounds and were likely low enough in shaded mounds to reduce ant development and reproduction. In areas where L. flavus and similar ants are undesirable, they might be managed by shading.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Interplay between insulin signaling, juvenile hormone, and vitellogenin regulates maternal effects on polyphenism in ants

    PubMed Central

    Libbrecht, Romain; Corona, Miguel; Wende, Franziska; Azevedo, Dihego O.; Serrão, Jose E.; Keller, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Polyphenism is the phenomenon in which alternative phenotypes are produced by a single genotype in response to environmental cues. An extreme case is found in social insects, in which reproductive queens and sterile workers that greatly differ in morphology and behavior can arise from a single genotype. Experimental evidence for maternal effects on caste determination, the differential larval development toward the queen or worker caste, was recently documented in Pogonomyrmex seed harvester ants, in which only colonies with a hibernated queen produce new queens. However, the proximate mechanisms behind these intergenerational effects have remained elusive. We used a combination of artificial hibernation, hormonal treatments, gene expression analyses, hormone measurements, and vitellogenin quantification to investigate how the combined effect of environmental cues and hormonal signaling affects the process of caste determination in Pogonomyrmex rugosus. The results show that the interplay between insulin signaling, juvenile hormone, and vitellogenin regulates maternal effects on the production of alternative phenotypes and set vitellogenin as a likely key player in the intergenerational transmission of information. This study reveals how hibernation triggers the production of new queens in Pogonomyrmex ant colonies. More generally, it provides important information on maternal effects by showing how environmental cues experienced by one generation can translate into phenotypic variation in the next generation. PMID:23754378

  19. Ecosystem engineering and predation: the multi-trophic impact of two ant species.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Dirk; van Veen, F J Frank

    2011-05-01

    1. Ants are ubiquitous ecosystem engineers and generalist predators and are able to affect ecological communities via both pathways. They are likely to influence any other terrestrial arthropod group either directly or indirectly caused by their high abundance and territoriality. 2. We studied the impact of two ant species common in Central Europe, Myrmica rubra and Lasius niger, on an arthropod community. Colony presence and density of these two ant species were manipulated in a field experiment from the start of ant activity in spring to late summer. 3. The experiment revealed a positive influence of the presence of one ant colony on densities of decomposers, herbivores and parasitoids. However, in the case of herbivores and parasitoids, this effect was reversed in the presence of two colonies. 4. Generally, effects of the two ant species were similar with the exception of their effect on Braconidae parasitoid densities that responded positively to one colony of M. rubra but not of L. niger. 5. Spider density was not affected by ant colony manipulation, but species richness of spiders responded positively to ant presence. This effect was independent of ant colony density, but where two colonies were present, spider richness was significantly greater in plots with two M. rubra colonies than in plots with one colony of each ant species. 6. To test whether the positive ecosystem engineering effects were purely caused by modified properties of the soil, we added in an additional experiment (i) the soil from ant nests (without ants) or (ii) unmodified soil or (iii) ant nests (including ants) to experimental plots. Ant nest soil on its own did not have a significant impact on densities of decomposers, herbivores or predators, which were significantly, and positively, affected by the addition of an intact nest. 7. The results suggest an important role of both ant species in the grassland food web, strongly affecting the densities of decomposers, herbivores and higher

  20. 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.

  1. The Florida Harvester Ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, Relies on Germination to Consume Large Seeds

    PubMed Central

    Kwapich, Christina L.

    2016-01-01

    The Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, is one of many ant species and genera that stores large numbers of seeds in damp, underground chambers for later consumption. A comparison of the sizes of seeds recovered from storage chambers with those of seed husks discarded following consumption revealed that the used seeds are far smaller than stored seeds. This difference in use-rate was confirmed in field and laboratory colonies by offering marked seeds of various sizes and monitoring the appearance of size-specific chaff. Because foragers collect a range of seed sizes but only open small seeds, large seeds accumulate, forming 70% or more of the weight of seed stores. Major workers increase the rates at which small and medium seeds are opened, but do not increase the size range of opened seeds. Experiments limiting ant access to portions of natural seed chambers showed that seeds germinate during storage, but that the ants rapidly remove them. When offered alongside non germinating seeds, germinating seeds were preferentially fed to larvae. The rate of germination during the annual cycle was determined by both burial in artificial chambers at various depths and under four laboratory temperatures. The germination rate depends upon the species of seed, the soil/laboratory temperature and/or the elapsed time. The seasonal soil temperature cycle generated germination patterns that vary with the mix of locally-available seeds. Taken together, exploitation of germination greatly increases the resources available to the ants in space and time. While the largest seeds may have the nutritional value of 15 small seeds, the inability of workers to open large seeds at will precludes them from rapid use during catastrophic events. The harvester ant’s approach to seed harvesting is therefore two-pronged, with both immediate and delayed payoffs arising from the tendency to forage for a wide variety of seeds sizes. PMID:27893844

  2. The role of habitat in the persistence of fire ant populations.

    PubMed

    Tschinkel, Walter R; King, Joshua R

    2013-01-01

    The association of the exotic fire ant, Solenopsis invicta with man-modified habitats has been amply demonstrated, but the fate of such populations if ecological succession proceeds has rarely been investigated. Resurvey of a fire ant population in a longleaf pine plantation after 25 years showed that the recovery of the site from habitat disturbance was associated with a large fire ant population decline. Most of the persisting colonies were associated with the disturbance caused by vehicle tracks. In a second study, mature monogyne fire ant colonies that had been planted in experimental plots in native groundcover of the north Florida longleaf pine forest had mostly vanished six years later. These observations and experiments show that S. invicta colonies rarely persist in the native habitat of these pine forests, probably because they are not replaced when they die. A single site harbored a modest population of polygyne fire ants whose persistence was probably facilitated by reproduction through colony fission.

  3. Analysis of acoustic communication by ants.

    PubMed

    Hickling, R; Brown, R L

    2000-10-01

    An analysis is presented of acoustic communication by ants, based on near-field theory and on data obtained from the black imported fire ant Solenopsis richteri and other sources. Generally ant stridulatory sounds are barely audible, but they occur continuously in ant colonies. Because ants appear unresponsive to airborne sound, myrmecologists have concluded that stridulatory signals are transmitted through the substrate. However, transmission through the substrate is unlikely, for reasons given in the paper. Apparently ants communicate mainly through the air, and the acoustic receptors are hairlike sensilla on the antennae that respond to particle sound velocity. This may seem inconsistent with the fact that ants are unresponsive to airborne sound (on a scale of meters), but the inconsistency can be resolved if acoustic communication occurs within the near field, on a scale of about 100 mm. In the near field, the particle sound velocity is significantly enhanced and has a steep gradient. These features can be used to exclude extraneous sound, and to determine the direction and distance of a near-field source. Additionally, we observed that the tracheal air sacs of S. richteri can expand within the gaster, possibly amplifying the radiation of stridulatory sound.

  4. Ultraviolet radiation as an ant repellent

    SciTech Connect

    Thorvilson, H.G.; Russell, S.A.; Green, B.; Gransberg, D.

    1996-12-31

    In an effort to repel red imported fire ants (RIFA) from electrical devices, such as transformers, ultraviolet (UV) light was tested. Initial tests determined if RIFA`s tolerate a UV-irradiated environment when given a choice between UV-irradiated and non-irradiated. All replications in this test indicated that RIFA`s are intolerant of UV-irradiation and sought to escape it. RIFA`s moved to shaded environments and transported their brood out its well. A second test sought to determine if long-term UV-irradiation of the entire colonies cause increased RIFA mortality. Queenright colonies were exposed to UV irradiation of 254nm constantly for 115 days and colonies had a higher mortality rate than did a control colony. RIFA`s attempted to escape UV light and had increased rate when exposed to UV (254nm), but a practical application of this technique may be detrimental to insulation on electrical wiring.

  5. 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

  6. The Organization of Foraging in the Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

    PubMed Central

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2011-01-01

    Although natural selection in ants acts most strongly at the colony, or superorganismal level, foraging patterns have rarely been studied at that level, focusing instead on the behavior of individual foragers or groups of foragers. The experiments and observations in this paper reveal in broad strokes how colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), allocate their available labor to foraging, how they disperse that force within their territory, and how this force changes with colony size, season and worker age. Territory area is positively related to colony size and the number of foragers, more so during the spring than fall. Changes of colony size and territory area are driven by seasonal variation of sexual and worker production, which in turn drive seasonal variation of worker age-distribution. During spring sexual production, colonies shrink because worker production falls below replacement. This loss is proportional to colony size, causing forager density in the spring to be negatively related to colony and territory size. In the fall, colonies emphasize worker production, bringing colony size back up. However, because smaller colonies curtailed spring worker production less than larger ones, their fall forager populations are proportionally greater, causing them to gain territory at the expense of large colonies. Much variation of territory area remains unexplained and can probably be attributed to pressure from neighboring colonies. Boundaries between territories are characterized by “no ants' zones” mostly devoid of fire ants. The forager population can be divided into a younger group of recruitable workers that wait for scouts to activate them to help retrieve large food finds. About one-third of the recruits wait near openings in the foraging tunnels that underlie the entire territory, while two-thirds wait in the nest. Recruitment to food is initially very rapid and local from the foraging tunnels, while sustained

  7. The organization of foraging in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta.

    PubMed

    Tschinkel, Walter R

    2011-01-01

    Although natural selection in ants acts most strongly at the colony, or superorganismal level, foraging patterns have rarely been studied at that level, focusing instead on the behavior of individual foragers or groups of foragers. The experiments and observations in this paper reveal in broad strokes how colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), allocate their available labor to foraging, how they disperse that force within their territory, and how this force changes with colony size, season and worker age. Territory area is positively related to colony size and the number of foragers, more so during the spring than fall. Changes of colony size and territory area are driven by seasonal variation of sexual and worker production, which in turn drive seasonal variation of worker age-distribution. During spring sexual production, colonies shrink because worker production falls below replacement. This loss is proportional to colony size, causing forager density in the spring to be negatively related to colony and territory size. In the fall, colonies emphasize worker production, bringing colony size back up. However, because smaller colonies curtailed spring worker production less than larger ones, their fall forager populations are proportionally greater, causing them to gain territory at the expense of large colonies. Much variation of territory area remains unexplained and can probably be attributed to pressure from neighboring colonies. Boundaries between territories are characterized by "no ants' zones" mostly devoid of fire ants. The forager population can be divided into a younger group of recruitable workers that wait for scouts to activate them to help retrieve large food finds. About one-third of the recruits wait near openings in the foraging tunnels that underlie the entire territory, while two-thirds wait in the nest. Recruitment to food is initially very rapid and local from the foraging tunnels, while sustained

  8. Hybrid Ant Algorithm and Applications for Vehicle Routing Problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Zhang; Jiang-qing, Wang

    Ant colony optimization (ACO) is a metaheuristic method that inspired by the behavior of real ant colonies. ACO has been successfully applied to several combinatorial optimization problems, but it has some short-comings like its slow computing speed and local-convergence. For solving Vehicle Routing Problem, we proposed Hybrid Ant Algorithm (HAA) in order to improve both the performance of the algorithm and the quality of solutions. The proposed algorithm took the advantages of Nearest Neighbor (NN) heuristic and ACO for solving VRP, it also expanded the scope of solution space and improves the global ability of the algorithm through importing mutation operation, combining 2-opt heuristics and adjusting the configuration of parameters dynamically. Computational results indicate that the hybrid ant algorithm can get optimal resolution of VRP effectively.

  9. Chimpanzees detect ant-inhabited dead branches and stems: a study of the utilization of plant-ant relationships in the Mahale Mountains, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Fuse, Mieko

    2013-10-01

    Chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains of Tanzania consume several species of stem- and branch-inhabiting ants throughout the year, without tools. Those ants are cryptic species, and it was unknown how to find them constantly. There has been little research on how the chimpanzees locate these ants. In this study, I use behavioral observations of the chimpanzee predators and surveys of the ant fauna and plants across different habitats to test the hypothesis that chimpanzees use plant species as a cue to efficiently locate ant colonies in litter units (dead parts of the plant). Ants were found to be associated with live plants and with spaces within litter units which provide nesting places. Such ant-plant litter relationships were not necessarily as strong as the mutualism often observed between live plants and ants. The proportion of available litter units inhabited by ants was 20 %, and litter units of three plant species (Vernonia subligera, Dracaena usambarensis, and Senna spectabilis) were well occupied by ants in the home range of the chimpanzees. The ant-inhabited ratio in chimpanzee-foraged litter units was higher than that in the available units in the home range. Chimpanzees fed more often on Crematogaster spp. than on other resident ants and at a higher rate than expected from their occurrence in the litter units. Above three plant species were well occupied by Crematogaster sp. 3 or C. sp. 18. It is concluded that chimpanzees locate ants by selecting litter units of plant species inhabited by ants.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. How to not get stuck-negative feedback due to crowding maintains flexibility in ant foraging.

    PubMed

    Czaczkes, Tomer J

    2014-11-07

    Ant foraging is an important model system in the study of adaptive complex systems. Many ants use trail pheromones to recruit nestmates to resources. Differential recruitment depending on resource quality coupled with positive feedback allows ant colonies to make rapid and accurate collective decisions about how best to allocate their work-force. However, ant colonies can become trapped in sub-optimal foraging decisions if recruitment to a poor resource becomes too strong before a better resource is discovered. Genetic algorithms and Ant Colony Optimisation heuristics can also suffer from being trapped in such local optima. Recently, two negative feedback effects were described, in which an increase in crowding (crowding negative feedback-CNF) or trail pheromones (pheromone negative feedback-PNF) caused a decrease in subsequent pheromone deposition. Using agent based simulations with realistic parameters I test whether these negative feedback effects can prevent simulated ant colonies from becoming trapped in sub-optimal foraging decisions. Colonies are presented with two food sources of different qualities, and these qualities switch part way through the experiment. When either no negative feedback effects are implemented or only PNF is implemented colonies are completely unable to refocus their foraging effort to the high quality feeder. However, when CNF alone is implemented at a realistic level 97% of colonies successfully refocus their foraging effort. This ability to refocus colony foraging efforts is due to the strong reduction of pheromone deposition caused by CNF. This suggests that CNF is an important behaviour enabling ant colonies to maintain foraging flexibility. However, CNF comes at a slight cost to colonies when making their initial foraging decision.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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.

  18. Neuromodulation of Nestmate Recognition Decisions by Pavement Ants

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Ant colonies are distributed systems that are regulated in a non-hierarchical manner. Without a central authority, individuals inform their decisions by comparing information in local cues to a set of inherent behavioral rules. Individual behavioral decisions collectively change colony behavior and lead to self-organization capable of solving complex problems such as the decision to engage in aggressive societal conflicts with neighbors. Despite the relevance to colony fitness, the mechanisms that drive individual decisions leading to cooperative behavior are not well understood. Here we show how sensory information, both tactile and chemical, and social context—isolation, nestmate interaction, or fighting non-nestmates—affects brain monoamine levels in pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum). Our results provide evidence that changes in octopamine and serotonin in the brains of individuals are sufficient to alter the decision by pavement ants to be aggressive towards non-nestmate ants whereas increased brain levels of dopamine correlate to physical fighting. We propose a model in which the changes in brain states of many workers collectively lead to the self-organization of societal aggression between neighboring colonies of pavement ants. PMID:27846261

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

    PubMed Central

    Lanan, Michele

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Long-Term Disease Dynamics for a Specialized Parasite of Ant Societies: A Field Study

    PubMed Central

    Loreto, Raquel G.; Elliot, Simon L.; Freitas, Mayara L. R.; Pereira, Thairine M.; Hughes, David P.

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have investigated how social insects behave when a parasite is introduced into their colonies. These studies have been conducted in the laboratory, and we still have a limited understanding of the dynamics of ant-parasite interactions under natural conditions. Here we consider a specialized parasite of ant societies (Ophiocordyceps camponoti-rufipedis infecting Camponotus rufipes) within a rainforest. We first established that the parasite is unable to develop to transmission stage when introduced within the host nest. Secondly, we surveyed all colonies in the studied area and recorded 100% prevalence at the colony level (all colonies were infected). Finally, we conducted a long-term detailed census of parasite pressure, by mapping the position of infected dead ants and foraging trails (future hosts) in the immediate vicinity of the colonies over 20 months. We report new dead infected ants for all the months we conducted the census – at an average of 14.5 cadavers/month/colony. Based on the low infection rate, the absence of colony collapse or complete recovery of the colonies, we suggest that this parasite represents a chronic infection in the ant societies. We also proposed a “terminal host model of transmission” that links the age-related polyethism to the persistence of a parasitic infection. PMID:25133749

  1. An invasive ant species able to counterattack marabunta raids.

    PubMed

    Dejean, Alain; Azémar, Frédéric; Roux, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    In the Neotropics where it was introduced, the invasive ant Pheidole megacephala counterattacked raids by the army ants Eciton burchellii or E. hamatum. The Eciton workers that returned to their bivouac were attacked and spread-eagled and most of them killed by their outgoing colony mates. Little by little the zone where returning and outgoing Eciton workers encountered one another moved away from the Pheidole nest which was no longer attacked, so that most of the colony was spared. Using a water-based technique rounded out by bioassays, we show that Pheidole compounds were transferred onto the Eciton cuticle during the counterattacks, so that outgoing workers do not recognize returning colony mates, likely perceived as potential prey. Because P. megacephala is an introduced African species, this kind of protection, which cannot be the result of coevolutive processes, corresponds to a kind of by-product due to its aggressiveness during colony defence.

  2. Worker senescence and the sociobiology of aging in ants

    PubMed Central

    Giraldo, Ysabel Milton; Traniello, James F. A.

    2014-01-01

    Senescence, the decline in physiological and behavioral function with increasing age, has been the focus of significant theoretical and empirical research in a broad array of animal taxa. Preeminent among invertebrate social models of aging are ants, a diverse and ecologically dominant clade of eusocial insects characterized by reproductive and sterile phenotypes. In this review, we critically examine selection for worker lifespan in ants and discuss the relationship between functional senescence, longevity, task performance, and colony fitness. We did not find strong or consistent support for the hypothesis that demographic senescence in ants is programmed, or its corollary prediction that workers that do not experience extrinsic mortality die at an age approximating their lifespan in nature. We present seven hypotheses concerning how selection could favor extended worker lifespan through its positive relationship to colony size and predict that large colony size, under some conditions, should confer multiple and significant fitness advantages. Fitness benefits derived from long worker lifespan could be mediated by increased resource acquisition, efficient division of labor, accuracy of collective decision-making, enhanced allomaternal care and colony defense, lower infection risk, and decreased energetic costs of workforce maintenance. We suggest future avenues of research to examine the evolution of worker lifespan and its relationship to colony fitness, and conclude that an innovative fusion of sociobiology, senescence theory, and mechanistic studies of aging can improve our understanding of the adaptive nature of worker lifespan in ants. PMID:25530660

  3. Trail pheromone disruption of red imported fire ant.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  4. Effects of substrate, ant and fungal species on plant fiber degradation in a fungus-gardening ant symbiosis.

    PubMed

    DeMilto, Alexandria M; Rouquette, Monte; Mueller, Ulrich G; Kellner, Katrin; Seal, Jon N

    2017-02-11

    Fungus-gardening or attine ants have outsourced most of their digestive function to a symbiotic fungus. The ants feed their fungus - essentially an external digestive organ - a variety of substrates of botanical origin, including fresh and dried flowers, leaves and insect frass (processed leaves). Although plant tissues are rich in fibers (lignocelluloses, hemicelluloses, pectins and starches) and the symbiotic fungus possesses the genetic and enzymatic machinery to metabolize these compounds, the highly derived attines, the leaf-cutters (Atta and Acromyrmex), are known to produce fiber-rich waste. While leaf-cutting ants are important consumers of primary plant tissue, there have been fewer studies on physiological activity of fungi grown by closely related ant species in the genus Trachymyrmex, which generally grow related species of fungi, have smaller colonies and consume a wider variety of fungal substrates in addition to fresh leaves and flowers. In this study, we measured the cellulase activity of the fungus-gardening ants Atta texana, Trachymyrmex arizonensis and T. septentrionalis. We then quantified fiber consumption of the fungus-gardening ants Trachymyrmex septentrionalis and Trachymyrmex arizonensis by comparing the amounts and percentages present in their food and in fungus garden refuse during a controlled feeding experiment over the span of several months. Finally, we compared waste composition of T. arizonensis colonies growing different fungal strains, because this species is known to cultivate multiple strains of Leucoagaricus in its native range. The leaf-cutting ant A. texana was found to have lower cellulytic activity than T. arizonensis or T. septentrionalis. Total lignocellulose and hemicellulose amounts were significantly lower in refuse piles than in the substrates fed to the Trachymyrmex colonies, thus these fibers were consumed by the fungal symbionts of these ant species. Although lignocellulose utilization was similar in two distinct

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

    PubMed

    De La Riva, Deborah G; Trumble, John T

    2016-06-01

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

  6. Colony size as a buffer against seasonality: Bergmann's rule in social insects

    SciTech Connect

    Kaspari, M.; Vargo, E. )

    1994-06-01

    In eusocial species, the size of the superorganism is the summed sizes of its component individuals. Bergmann's rule, the cline of decreasing size with decreasing latitude, applies to colony size in ants. Using data from the literature and our own collections, we show that colony sizes of tropical ant species are on average 1/10th the size of temperate species. The patterns holds for 5 of 6 subfamilies and 15 of 16 genera tested. What causes this trend Larger colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, are better able to protect the queen (the colony's reproductive tissue) against food shortage, likely by sacrificing workers (it's somatic tissue). Days of queen survival follows the allometry M[sup 0.25]. We propose that the shorter growing seasons in temperate latitudes cull small-colony species through over-wintering starvation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  8. Shaken, not stirred: a serendipitous study of ants and earthquakes.

    PubMed

    Lighton, John R B; Duncan, Frances D

    2005-08-01

    There is anecdotal evidence for profound behavioral changes prior to and during earthquakes in many organisms, including arthropods such as ants. Behavioral or physiological analysis has often, in light of these reports, been proposed as a means of earthquake prediction. We report here a serendipitous study of the effect of the powerful Landers earthquake in the Mojave Desert, USA (Richter magnitude 7.4) on ant trail dynamics and aerobic catabolism in the desert harvester ant Messor pergandei. We monitored trail traffic rates to and from the colony, trail speed, worker mass distributions, rates of aerobic catabolism and temperature at ant height before and during the earthquake, and for 3 days after the earthquake. Contrary to anecdotal reports of earthquake effects on ant behavior, the Landers earthquake had no effect on any measured aspect of the physiology or behavior of M. pergandei. We conclude that anecdotal accounts of the effects of earthquakes or their precursors on insect behavior should be interpreted with caution.

  9. Ant Foraging As an Indicator of Tropical Dry Forest Restoration.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Flores, J; Osorio-Beristain, M; Martínez-Garza, C

    2016-08-01

    Variation in foraging behavior may indicate differences in food availability and allow assessment of restoration actions. Ants are prominent bioindicators used in assessing ecological responses to disturbance. However, behavioral data have been poorly incorporated as an index. The foraging performance of red harvester ants was quantified in order to evaluate the success of a restoration ecology experiment in the tropical dry forest of Sierra de Huautla, Morelos, in central Mexico. Foraging performance by granivorous, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, ants was diminished after 6 and 8 years of cattle grazing and wood harvest were excluded as part of a restoration experiment in a highly degraded biome. Despite investing more time in foraging, ant colonies in exclusion plots showed lower foraging success and acquired less seed biomass than colonies in control plots. In line with the predictions of optimal foraging theory, in restored plots where ant foraging performance was poor, ants harvested a higher diversity of seeds. Reduced foraging success and increased harvest of non-preferred foods in exclusion plots were likely due to the growth of herbaceous vegetation, which impedes travel by foragers. Moreover, by 8 years of exclusion, 37% of nests in exclusion plots had disappeared compared to 0% of nests in control plots. Ants' foraging success and behavior were sensitive to changes in habitat quality due to the plant successional process triggered by a restoration intervention. This study spotlights on the utility of animal foraging behavior in the evaluation of habitat restoration programs.

  10. Various Chemical Strategies to Deceive Ants in Three Arhopala Species (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) Exploiting Macaranga Myrmecophytes

    PubMed Central

    Inui, Yoko; Shimizu-kaya, Usun; Okubo, Tadahiro; Yamsaki, Eri; Itioka, Takao

    2015-01-01

    Macaranga myrmecophytes (ant-plants) are generally well protected from herbivore attacks by their symbiotic ants (plant-ants). However, larvae of Arhopala (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) species survive and develop on specific Macaranga ant-plant species without being attacked by the plant-ants of their host species. We hypothesized that Arhopala larvae chemically mimic or camouflage themselves with the ants on their host plant so that the larvae are accepted by the plant-ant species of their host. Chemical analyses of cuticular hydrocarbons showed that chemical congruency varied among Arhopala species; A. dajagaka matched well the host plant-ants, A. amphimuta did not match, and unexpectedly, A. zylda lacked hydrocarbons. Behaviorally, the larvae and dummies coated with cuticular chemicals of A. dajagaka were well attended by the plant-ants, especially by those of the host. A. amphimuta was often attacked by all plant-ants except for the host plant-ants toward the larvae, and those of A. zylda were ignored by all plant-ants. Our results suggested that conspicuous variations exist in the chemical strategies used by the myrmecophilous butterflies that allow them to avoid ant attack and be accepted by the plant-ant colonies. PMID:25853675

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

    PubMed

    Inui, Yoko; Shimizu-Kaya, Usun; Okubo, Tadahiro; Yamsaki, Eri; Itioka, Takao

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Multiple endosymbionts in populations of the ant Formica cinerea

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Many insects, including ants, are infected by maternally inherited Wolbachia endosymbiotic bacteria though other secondary endosymbionts have not been reported in ants. It has been suggested that the ability of Wolbachia to invade and remain in an ant population depends on the number of coexisting queens in a colony. We study the genetic and social structure of populations in the ant Formica cinerea which is known to have populations with either monogynous or polygynous colonies. We screen populations for several endosymbiotic bacteria to evaluate the presence of different endosymbionts, possible association between their prevalence and the social structure, and the association between endosymbiont prevalence and genetic differentiation of ant populations. Results We found three endosymbiotic bacteria; 19% of the nests were infected by Wolbachia, 3.8% by Cardinium and 33% by Serratia. There was significant variation among the populations regarding the proportion of nests infected by Serratia, Wolbachia and the pooled set of all the endosymbionts. Some individuals and colonies carried two of the bacteria, the frequency of double infections agreeing with the random expectation. The proportion of infected ants (individuals or colonies) did not correlate significantly with the population level relatedness values. The difference in the prevalence of Wolbachia between population pairs correlated significantly with the genetic distance (microsatellites) of the populations. Conclusions The discovery of several endosymbionts and co-infections by Wolbachia and Cardinium demonstrate the importance of screening several endosymbionts when evaluating their possible effects on social life and queen-worker conflicts over sex allocation. The low prevalence of Wolbachia in F. cinerea departs from the pattern observed in many other Formica ants in which all workers have been infected. It is likely that the strain of Wolbachia in F. cinerea differs from those in other

  13. Trade-offs in an ant-plant-fungus mutualism.

    PubMed

    Orivel, Jérôme; Malé, Pierre-Jean; Lauth, Jérémie; Roux, Olivier; Petitclerc, Frédéric; Dejean, Alain; Leroy, Céline

    2017-03-15

    Species engaged in multiple, simultaneous mutualisms are subject to trade-offs in their mutualistic investment if the traits involved in each interaction are overlapping, which can lead to conflicts and affect the longevity of these associations. We investigate this issue via a tripartite mutualism involving an ant plant, two competing ant species and a fungus the ants cultivate to build galleries under the stems of their host plant to capture insect prey. The use of the galleries represents an innovative prey capture strategy compared with the more typical strategy of foraging on leaves. However, because of a limited worker force in their colonies, the prey capture behaviour of the ants results in a trade-off between plant protection (i.e. the ants patrol the foliage and attack intruders including herbivores) and ambushing prey in the galleries, which has a cascading effect on the fitness of all of the partners. The quantification of partners' traits and effects showed that the two ant species differed in their mutualistic investment. Less investment in the galleries (i.e. in fungal cultivation) translated into more benefits for the plant in terms of less herbivory and higher growth rates and vice versa. However, the greater vegetative growth of the plants did not produce a positive fitness effect for the better mutualistic ant species in terms of colony size and production of sexuals nor was the mutualist compensated by the wider dispersal of its queens. As a consequence, although the better ant mutualist is the one that provides more benefits to its host plant, its lower host-plant exploitation does not give this ant species a competitive advantage. The local coexistence of the ant species is thus fleeting and should eventually lead to the exclusion of the less competitive species.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. Release and establishment of the little decapitating fly Pseudacteon cultellatus on imported fire ants in Florida

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The little decapitating fly Pseudacteon cultellatus from Argentina was released as a self-sustaining biological control agent against the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, in Florida to parasitize small fire ant workers associated with multiple-queen colonies. This fly appears to be establi...

  17. Predation by ants controls swallow bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae: Oeciacus vicarius) infestations.

    PubMed

    Brown, Charles R; Page, Catherine E; Robison, Grant A; O'Brien, Valerie A; Booth, Warren

    2015-06-01

    The swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius) is the only known vector for Buggy Creek virus (BCRV), an alphavirus that circulates in cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) and house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in North America. We discovered ants (Crematogaster lineolata and Formica spp.) preying on swallow bugs at cliff swallow colonies in western Nebraska, U.S.A. Ants reduced the numbers of visible bugs on active swallow nests by 74-90%, relative to nests in the same colony without ants. Ant predation on bugs had no effect on the reproductive success of cliff swallows inhabiting the nests where ants foraged. Ants represent an effective and presumably benign way of controlling swallow bugs at nests in some colonies. They may constitute an alternative to insecticide use at sites where ecologists wish to remove the effects of swallow bugs on cliff swallows or house sparrows. By reducing bug numbers, ant presence may also lessen BCRV transmission at the spatial foci (bird colony sites) where epizootics occur. The effect of ants on swallow bugs should be accounted for in studying variation among sites in vector abundance.

  18. Harnessing ant defence at fruits reduces bruchid seed predation in a symbiotic ant–plant mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Pringle, Elizabeth G.

    2014-01-01

    In horizontally transmitted mutualisms, mutualists disperse separately and reassemble in each generation with partners genetically unrelated to those in the previous generation. Because of this, there should be no selection on either partner to enhance the other's reproductive output directly. In symbiotic ant–plant mutualisms, myrmecophytic plants host defensive ant colonies, and ants defend the plants from herbivores. Plants and ants disperse separately, and, although ant defence can indirectly increase plant reproduction by reducing folivory, it is unclear whether ants can also directly increase plant reproduction by defending seeds. The neotropical tree Cordia alliodora hosts colonies of Azteca pittieri ants. The trees produce domatia where ants nest at stem nodes and also at the node between the peduncle and the rachides of the infloresence. Unlike the stem domatia, these reproductive domatia senesce after the tree fruits each year. In this study, I show that the tree's resident ant colony moves into these ephemeral reproductive domatia, where they tend honeydew-producing scale insects and patrol the nearby developing fruits. The presence of ants significantly reduced pre-dispersal seed predation by Amblycerus bruchid beetles, thereby directly increasing plant reproductive output. PMID:24807259

  19. Host specificity and colony impacts of Solenopsis invicta virus 3

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A thorough understanding of host specificity is essential before pathogens can be used as biopesticides or self-sustaining biocontrol agents. In order to define the host range of the recently discovered Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3), we exposed colonies of 19 species of ants in 14 different g...

  20. The Amana Colonies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lilja, Marilyn

    Designed for use in Iowa elementary schools, this unit introduces students to Iowa's Amana Colonies. Four lessons cover the history and cultural heritage of the colonies, daily life in historical times, daily life in modern times, and the colonies as a corporate museum. Throughout the lessons, emphasis is placed on the values and organization of…

  1. Seed harvester ants (Polonomyrmex rugosus) as "pulse" predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seed harvesting ants, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, collected grass cicadas at a high rate (>5 min-1 taken into the nest) at one location where cicada emergence exceeded 3m-2. Dry conditions in the winter-spring resulted in no annual plants in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. P. rugosus colonies were inactiv...

  2. How patrollers set foraging direction in harvester ants.

    PubMed

    Greene, Michael J; Gordon, Deborah M

    2007-12-01

    Recruitment to food or nest sites is well known in ants; the recruiting ants lay a chemical trail that other ants follow to the target site, or they walk with other ants to the target site. Here we report that a different process determines foraging direction in the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex barbatus. Each day, the colony chooses from among up to eight distinct foraging trails; colonies use different trails on different days. Here we show that the patrollers regulate the direction taken by foragers each day by depositing Dufour's secretions onto a sector of the nest mound about 20 cm long and leading to the beginning of a foraging trail. The patrollers do not recruit foragers all the way to food sources, which may be up to 20 m away. Fewer foragers traveled along a trail if patrollers had no access to the sector of the nest mound leading to that trail. Adding Dufour's gland extract to patroller-free sectors of the nest mound rescued foraging in that direction, while poison gland extract did not. We also found that in the absence of patrollers, most foragers used the direction they had used on the previous day. Thus, the colony's 30-50 patrollers act as gatekeepers for thousands of foragers and choose a foraging direction, but they do not recruit and lead foragers all the way to a food source.

  3. Multiple virus infections occur in individual polygyne and monogyne Solenopsis invicta ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Concurrent infections of Solenopsis invicta colonies with Solenopsis invicta virus 1 to 3 (SINV-1, SINV-2 and SINV-3) has been reported. However, whether individual ants were capable of supporting multiple virus infections simultaneously was not known, nor whether the social form of the colony (pol...

  4. Wood-nesting ants and their parasites in forests and coffee agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    De La Mora, Aldo; Philpott, Stacy M

    2010-10-01

    Agricultural intensification is linked to reduced species richness and may limit the effectiveness of predators in agricultural systems. We studied the abundance, diversity, and species composition of wood-nesting ants and frequency of parasitism of poneromorph ants in coffee agroeco systems and a forest fragment in Chiapas, Mexico. In three farms differing in shade management and in a nearby forest fragment, we surveyed ants nesting in rotten wood. We collected pupae of all poneromorph ants encountered, and incubated pupae for 15 d to recover emerging ant parasites. If no parasites emerged, we dissected pupae to examine for parasitism. Overall, we found 63 ant morphospecies, 29 genera, and 7 subfamilies from 520 colonies. There were no significant differences in ant richness or abundance between the different sites. However, there were significant differences in the species composition of ants sampled in the four different sites. The parasitism rates of ants differed according to site; in the forest 77.7% of species were parasitized, and this number declined with increasing intensification in traditional polyculture (40%),commercial polyculture (25%), and shade monoculture (16.6%). For three of four poneromorph species found in >1 habitat, parasitism rates were higher in the more vegetatively complex sites. The result that both ant species composition and ant parasitism differed among by site indicates that coffee management intensification affects wood-nesting ant communities. Further, coffee intensification may significantly alter interactions between ants and their parasites, with possible implications for biological control in coffee agroecosystems.

  5. Information Certainty Determines Social and Private Information Use in Ants

    PubMed Central

    Stroeymeyt, Nathalie; Giurfa, Martin; Franks, Nigel R.

    2017-01-01

    Decision-making in uncertain environments requires animals to evaluate, contrast and integrate various information sources to choose appropriate actions. In consensus-making groups, quorum responses are commonly used to combine private and social information, leading to both robust and flexible decisions. Here we show that in house-hunting ant colonies, individuals fine-tune the parameters of their quorum responses depending on their private knowledge: informed ants evaluating a familiar new nest rely relatively more on social than private information when the certainty of their private information is low, and vice versa. This indicates that the ants follow a highly sophisticated ‘copy-when-uncertain’ social learning strategy similar to that observed in a few vertebrate species. Using simulations, we further show that this strategy improves colony performance during emigrations and confers well-informed individuals more weight in the decision process, thus representing a novel mechanism for the emergence of leadership in collective decision-making.

  6. Regulation of host workers' oviposition by the social parasite ant Polyergus samurai.

    PubMed

    Tsuneoka, Yousuke

    2014-07-01

    Polyergus samurai, an obligatory social parasite ant, lacks the ability to perform usual colony tasks. It depends completely on host Formica japonica workers. In the mixed colony, arrhenotokous reproduction by host workers must be detrimental to the parasites. This study, conducted under artificial rearing conditions, investigated the behavioral influence by P. samurai worker on the production of host workers' male eggs. Host workers started laying eggs when the P. samurai queen was removed, but most eggs were destroyed by P. samurai workers. In a queenless condition, P. samurai workers showed frequent intraspecific dominance interactions, but few interspecific ones. After a short while the P. samurai worker started laying eggs, the F. japonica worker stopped laying eggs. The ovary had no mature oocyte. These results suggest that both the P. samurai queen and dominant workers can inhibit host workers' oviposition. A mesh experiment revealed that the dominant P. samurai workers were able to inhibit host workers' oviposition without contacts. The dominant workers and queens of P. samurai frequently received grooming and trophallaxis from host workers just as a host queen does, suggesting that the parasites secreted similar products to those of the host queen to inhibit the host workers' oviposition.

  7. Fire Ant Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... be wary of these systemic reactions. They are: serum sickness, seizures, mononeuritis, nephrotic syndrome, and worsening of preexisting cardiopulmonary disease. When you first identify the fire ant you ...

  8. Scaling Ant Colony Optimization with Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning Partitioning

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-09-01

    ACO domain and traveling salesman problem ( TSP ). To apply HRL to ACO , a hierarchy must be created for the TSP . A data cluster- ing algorithm creates...methodologies to the ACO domain and the TSP to demonstrate a decomposition of the TSP increases the speed of the algorithm with little to no significant loss in...the use of HRL techniques in the ACO domain and the TSP . 3 II. Backgound This chapter introduces the foundations used in this thesis. Reinforcement

  9. Population-Based Ant Colony Optimization for Multivariate Microaggregation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aksut, Ann Ahu

    2013-01-01

    Numerous organizations collect and distribute non-aggregate personal data for a variety of different purposes, including demographic and public health research. In these situations, the data distributor is responsible with the protection of the anonymity and personal information of individuals. Microaggregation is one of the most commonly used…

  10. Adaptable Learning Pathway Generation with Ant Colony Optimization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wong, Lung-Hsiang; Looi, Chee-Kit

    2009-01-01

    One of the new major directions in research on web-based educational systems is the notion of adaptability: the educational system adapts itself to the learning profile, preferences and ability of the student. In this paper, we look into the issues of providing adaptability with respect to learning pathways. We explore the state of the art with…

  11. Ant colony optimization as a method for strategic genotype sampling.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A simulation study was carried out to develop an alternative method of selecting animals to be genotyped. Simulated pedigrees included 5000 animals, each assigned genotypes for a bi-allelic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) based on assumed allelic frequencies of 0.7/ 0.3 and 0.5/0.5. In addition...

  12. Transgenerational effects and the cost of ant tending in aphids.

    PubMed

    Tegelaar, Karolina; Glinwood, Robert; Pettersson, Jan; Leimar, Olof

    2013-11-01

    In mutualistic interactions, partners obtain a net benefit, but there may also be costs associated with the provision of benefits for a partner. The question of whether aphids suffer such costs when attended by ants has been raised in previous work. Transgenerational effects, where offspring phenotypes are adjusted based on maternal influences, could be important in the mutualistic interaction between aphids and ants, in particular because aphids have telescoping generations where two offspring generations can be present in a mature aphid. We investigated the immediate and transgenerational influence of ant tending on aphid life history and reproduction by observing the interaction between the facultative myrmecophile Aphis fabae and the ant Lasius niger over 13 aphid generations in the laboratory. We found that the effect of ant tending changes dynamically over successive aphid generations after the start of tending. Initially, total aphid colony weight, aphid adult weight and aphid embryo size decreased compared with untended aphids, consistent with a cost of ant association, but these differences disappeared within four generations of interaction. We conclude that transgenerational effects are important in the aphid-ant interactions and that the costs for aphids of being tended by ants can vary over generations.

  13. Sucking pump activity in feeding behaviour regulation in carpenter ants.

    PubMed

    Falibene, Agustina; Gontijo, Alberto de Figueiredo; Josens, Roxana

    2009-06-01

    Modulation of liquid feeding-rate would allow insects to ingest more food in the same time when this was required. Ants can vary nectar intake rate by increasing sucking pump frequency according to colony requirements. We analysed electrical signals generated by sucking pump activity of ants during drinking solutions of different sucrose concentrations and under different carbohydrate-deprivation levels. Our aim was to define parameters that characterize the recordings and analyse their relationship with feeding behaviour. Signals showed that the initial and final frequencies of sucking pump activity, as well as the difference between them were higher in sugar-deprived ants. However, these parameters were not influenced by sucrose solution concentration, which affected the number of pump contractions and the volume per contraction. Unexpectedly, we found two different responses in feeding behaviour of starved and non-starved ants depending on concentration. Starved ants drank dilute solutions for the same length of time as non-starved ants but ingested higher volumes. While drinking the concentrated solutions, starved ants drank the same volume, but did so in a shorter time than the non-starved ones. Despite these differences, for each analysed concentration the total number of pump contractions remained constant independently of sugar-deprivation level. These results are discussed in the frame of feeding regulation and decision making in ant foraging behaviour.

  14. 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.

  15. Nutrition and interference competition have interactive effects on the behavior and performance of Argentine ants.

    PubMed

    Kay, Adam D; Zumbusch, Taylor; Heinen, Justa L; Marsh, Tom C; Holway, David A

    2010-01-01

    Food availability often influences competitive outcomes through effects on consumer growth. Although it has received less attention, food availability may also affect competition through nutritional effects on behavior. One hypothesis linking nutrition and competition in ants posits that increased access to carbohydrates favors greater investment in worker traits that underlie behavioral dominance. We tested this hypothesis by varying dietary protein:carbohydrate (P:C) ratios and levels of interspecific interference for Argentine ants (Linepithema humile), a widespread invasive species. As predicted, colonies facing interference increased patrolling more when reared on low P:C diets; this result is the first demonstration of an interactive effect of nutrition and interference on ant colonies. Several results suggest that this dietary effect on patrolling was due primarily to changes in colony size rather than worker behavior. Colonies on lower P:C diets had lower worker mortality and larger final colony sizes. Diet had little effect on per capita patrolling, and worker behavior in performance assays depended more on previous exposure to interference than on diet. Our findings indicate that dietary P:C ratios can influence Argentine ant performance in a competitive environment and suggest a mechanism by which monopolization of carbohydrate-rich resources can help invasive ants displace native ant competitors.

  16. The evolution of extreme polyandry in social insects: insights from army ants.

    PubMed

    Barth, Matthias Benjamin; Moritz, Robin Frederik Alexander; Kraus, Frank Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    The unique nomadic life-history pattern of army ants (army ant adaptive syndrome), including obligate colony fission and strongly male-biased sex-ratios, makes army ants prone to heavily reduced effective population sizes (Ne). Excessive multiple mating by queens (polyandry) has been suggested to compensate these negative effects by increasing genetic variance in colonies and populations. However, the combined effects and evolutionary consequences of polyandry and army ant life history on genetic colony and population structure have only been studied in a few selected species. Here we provide new genetic data on paternity frequencies, colony structure and paternity skew for the five Neotropical army ants Eciton mexicanum, E. vagans, Labidus coecus, L. praedator and Nomamyrmex esenbeckii; and compare those data among a total of nine army ant species (including literature data). The number of effective matings per queen ranged from about 6 up to 25 in our tested species, and we show that such extreme polyandry is in two ways highly adaptive. First, given the detected low intracolonial relatedness and population differentiation extreme polyandry may counteract inbreeding and low Ne. Second, as indicated by a negative correlation of paternity frequency and paternity skew, queens maximize intracolonial genotypic variance by increasingly equalizing paternity shares with higher numbers of sires. Thus, extreme polyandry is not only an integral part of the army ant syndrome, but generally adaptive in social insects by improving genetic variance, even at the high end spectrum of mating frequencies.

  17. The Pied Piper: A Parasitic Beetle’s Melodies Modulate Ant Behaviours

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. Japanese queenless ants, Pristomyrmex punctatus, prefer the traces of both nestmates and strangers in nest selection.

    PubMed

    Satow, Show; Saitow, Yuka; Yamaki, Shōtarō; Hirota, Tadao

    2013-07-01

    Conspecific avoidance may influence the spatial distribution of colonies in some ants. House-hunting ants (Temnothorax albipennis) avoid nesting in areas where non-nestmates have nested previously. However, no reports are available on conspecific avoidance during nest selection in other ants. In the present study, we investigated nest selection in another nomadic species, the Japanese queenless ant, Pristomyrmex punctatus. Two-choice tests revealed that, similar to house-hunting ants, P. punctatus preferred nests soiled by nestmates to clean nests. However, unlike house-hunting ants, P. punctatus also preferred nests soiled by non-nestmates to a clean nest. Given the choice between a nest soiled by nestmates and one soiled by strangers, P. punctatus, unlike house-haunting ants, showed no significant preference. Thus, conspecific avoidance in nest selection was not observed in P. punctatus. Interspecific differences in ecological factors may drive the evolution of different nest selection strategies.

  19. Studying the Complex Communities of Ants and Their Symbionts Using Ecological Network Analysis.

    PubMed

    Ivens, Aniek B F; von Beeren, Christoph; Blüthgen, Nico; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2016-01-01

    Ant colonies provide well-protected and resource-rich environments for a plethora of symbionts. Historically, most studies of ants and their symbionts have had a narrow taxonomic scope, often focusing on a single ant or symbiont species. Here we discuss the prospects of studying these assemblies in a community ecology context using the framework of ecological network analysis. We introduce three basic network metrics that we consider particularly relevant for improving our knowledge of ant-symbiont communities: interaction specificity, network modularity, and phylogenetic signal. We then discuss army ant symbionts as examples of large and primarily parasitic communities, and symbiotic sternorrhynchans as examples of generally smaller and primarily mutualistic communities in the context of these network analyses. We argue that this approach will provide new and complementary insights into the evolutionary and ecological dynamics between ants and their many associates, and will facilitate comparisons across different ant-symbiont assemblages as well as across different types of ecological networks.

  20. Prudent Protomognathus and despotic Leptothorax duloticus: differential costs of ant slavery.

    PubMed

    Hare, J F; Alloway, T M

    2001-10-09

    The concept of ant slavery rests on the untested assumption that slave-making ants impose fitness costs on colonies of the species they raid. We tested that assumption by comparing the summertime seasonal productivity of Leptothorax spp. colonies in field exclosures without slavemakers, with a colony of the obligatory slave-making ant Protomognathus americanus, or with a colony of the obligatory slavemaker Leptothorax duloticus. Leptothorax longispinosus colonies placed in exclosures with P. americanus colonies did not differ significantly in any demographic attribute from colonies in exclosures without slavemakers. By contrast, Leptothorax curvispinosus colonies exposed to L. duloticus experienced significant reductions in dealate queens, workers, and larvae relative to control colonies exclosed without slavemakers. The pronounced difference in the impact of these slavemakers on their host-species populations correlates with differences in the behavior of the slavemakers observed in the laboratory and likely explains why P. americanus is more abundant than L. duloticus in nature. It seems that more advanced social parasites, like anatomical parasites, evolve to minimize their impact on their hosts, and thus can be regarded as "prudent social parasites."

  1. Serotonin depresses feeding behaviour in ants.

    PubMed

    Falibene, Agustina; Rössler, Wolfgang; Josens, Roxana

    2012-01-01

    Feeding behaviour is a complex functional system that relies on external signals and the physiological state of the animal. This is also the case in ants as they vary their feeding behaviour according to food characteristics, environmental conditions and - as they are social insects - to the colony's requirements. The biogenic amine serotonin (5-HT) was shown to be involved in the control and modulation of many actions and processes related to feeding in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In this study, we investigated whether 5-HT affects nectar feeding in ants by analysing its effect on the sucking-pump activity. Furthermore, we studied 5-HT association with tissues and neuronal ganglia involved in feeding regulation. Our results show that 5-HT promotes a dose-dependent depression of sucrose feeding in Camponotus mus ants. Orally administered 5-HT diminished the intake rate by mainly decreasing the volume of solution taken per pump contraction, without modifying the sucrose acceptance threshold. Immunohistochemical studies all along the alimentary canal revealed 5-HT-like immunoreactive processes on the foregut (oesophagus, crop and proventriculus), while the midgut and hindgut lacked 5-HT innervation. Although the frontal and suboesophageal ganglia contained 5-HT immunoreactive cell bodies, serotonergic innervation in the sucking-pump muscles was absent. The results are discussed in the frame of a role of 5-HT in feeding control in ants.

  2. Sun Basking in Red Wood Ants Formica polyctena (Hymenoptera, Formicidae): Individual Behaviour and Temperature-Dependent Respiration Rates

    PubMed Central

    Kadochová, Štěpánka; Frouz, Jan; Roces, Flavio

    2017-01-01

    In early spring, red wood ants Formica polyctena are often observed clustering on the nest surface in large numbers basking in the sun. It has been hypothesized that sun-basking behaviour may contribute to nest heating because of both heat carriage into the nest by sun-basking workers, and catabolic heat production from the mobilization of the workers’ lipid reserves. We investigated sun-basking behaviour in laboratory colonies of F. polyctena exposed to an artificial heat source. Observations on identified individuals revealed that not all ants bask in the sun. Sun-basking and non-sun-basking workers did not differ in body size nor in respiration rates. The number of sun-basking ants and the number of their visits to the hot spot depended on the temperature of both the air and the hot spot. To investigate whether sun basking leads to a physiological activation linked with increased lipolysis, we measured respiration rates of individual workers as a function of temperature, and compared respiration rates of sun-basking workers before and two days after they were allowed to expose themselves to a heat source over 10 days, at self-determined intervals. As expected for ectothermic animals, respiration rates increased with increasing temperatures in the range 5 to 35°C. However, the respiration rates of sun-basking workers measured two days after a long-term exposure to the heat source were similar to those before sun basking, providing no evidence for a sustained increase of the basal metabolic rates after prolonged sun basking. Based on our measurements, we argue that self-heating of the nest mound in early spring has therefore to rely on alternative heat sources, and speculate that physical transport of heat in the ant bodies may have a significant effect. PMID:28114396

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-08-01

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

  5. Bat aggregation mediates the functional structure of ant assemblages.

    PubMed

    Dejean, Alain; Groc, Sarah; Hérault, Bruno; Rodriguez-Pérez, Héctor; Touchard, Axel; Céréghino, Régis; Delabie, Jacques H C; Corbara, Bruno

    2015-10-01

    In the Guianese rainforest, we examined the impact of the presence of guano in and around a bat roosting site (a cave). We used ant communities as an indicator to evaluate this impact because they occupy a central place in the functioning of tropical rainforest ecosystems and they play different roles in the food web as they can be herbivores, generalists, scavengers or predators. The ant species richness around the cave did not differ from a control sample situated 500m away. Yet, the comparison of functional groups resulted in significantly greater numbers of detritivorous fungus-growing and predatory ant colonies around the cave compared to the control, the contrary being true for nectar and honeydew feeders. The role of bats, through their guano, was shown using stable isotope analyses as we noted significantly greater δ(15)N values for the ant species captured in and around the cave compared to controls.

  6. Positive interactions between desert granivores: localized facilitation of harvester ants by kangaroo rats.

    PubMed

    Edelman, Andrew J

    2012-01-01

    Facilitation, when one species enhances the environment or performance of another species, can be highly localized in space. While facilitation in plant communities has been intensely studied, the role of facilitation in shaping animal communities is less well understood. In the Chihuahuan Desert, both kangaroo rats and harvester ants depend on the abundant seeds of annual plants. Kangaroo rats, however, are hypothesized to facilitate harvester ants through soil disturbance and selective seed predation rather than competing with them. I used a spatially explicit approach to examine whether a positive or negative interaction exists between banner-tailed kangaroo rat (Dipodomys spectabilis) mounds and rough harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) colonies. The presence of a scale-dependent interaction between mounds and colonies was tested by comparing fitted spatial point process models with and without interspecific effects. Also, the effect of proximity to a mound on colony mortality and spatial patterns of surviving colonies was examined. The spatial pattern of kangaroo rat mounds and harvester ant colonies was consistent with a positive interspecific interaction at small scales (<10 m). Mortality risk of vulnerable, recently founded harvester ant colonies was lower when located close to a kangaroo rat mound and proximity to a mound partly predicted the spatial pattern of surviving colonies. My findings support localized facilitation of harvester ants by kangaroo rats, likely mediated through ecosystem engineering and foraging effects on plant cover and composition. The scale-dependent effect of kangaroo rats on abiotic and biotic factors appears to result in greater founding and survivorship of young colonies near mounds. These results suggest that soil disturbance and foraging by rodents can have subtle impacts on the distribution and demography of other species.

  7. Pseudacteon decapitating flies: Potential vectors of a fire ant virus?

    SciTech Connect

    Valles, S.M.; Porter, S.D.

    2007-03-15

    Solenopsis invicta virus (SINV-1) is a positive-stranded RNA virus recently found to infect all stages of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Valles et al. 2004; Valles and Strong 2005). SINV-1 and a second genotype have been tentatively assigned to the Dicistroviridae (Mayo 2002). Infected individuals or colonies did not exhibit any immediate, discernible symptoms in the field. However, under stress from introduction into the laboratory, brood death was often observed among infected colonies, ultimately leading to the death of the entire colony (Valles et al. 2004). These characteristics are consistent with other insect-infecting positive-stranded RNA viruses. They often persist as inapparent, asymptomatic infections that, under certain conditions, induce replication within the host, resulting in observable symptoms and often death (Christian and Scotti 1998; Fernandez et al. 2002). The SINV infection rate among colonies was reported to be around 25% in Gainesville, Florida (Valles et al. 2004; Valles and Strong 2005). SINV vertical and horizontal transmission were inferred based on RT-PCR detection of virus genome in eggs and successful colony to colony transfer under lab conditions (Valles et al. 2004). However, the exact mechanisms by which the virus is spread from nest to nest in the field are unknown. Our results indicate that SINV does not replicate within Pseudacteon decapitating flies that parasitize S. invicta. Flies appeared to develop normally from SINV-infected S. invicta workers. Mechanical transmission of SINV to uninfected ants by oviposition appears unlikely.

  8. Flexible task allocation and the organization of work in ants

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Elva J. H.; Feinerman, Ofer; Franks, Nigel R.

    2009-01-01

    Flexibility in task performance is essential for a robust system of division of labour. We investigated what factors determine which social insect workers respond to colony-level changes in task demand. We used radio-frequency identification technology to compare the roles of corpulence, age, spatial location and previous activity (intra-nest/extra-nest) in determining whether worker ants (Temnothorax albipennis) respond to an increase in demand for foraging or brood care. The less corpulent ants took on the extra foraging, irrespective of their age, previous activity or location in the nest, supporting a physiological threshold model. We found no relationship between ants that tended the extra brood and corpulence, age, spatial location or previous activity, but ants that transported the extra brood to the main brood pile were less corpulent and had high previous intra-nest activity. This supports spatial task-encounter and physiological threshold models for brood transport. Our data suggest a flexible task-allocation system allowing the colony to respond rapidly to changing needs, using a simple task-encounter system for generalized tasks, combined with physiologically based response thresholds for more specialized tasks. This could provide a social insect colony with a robust division of labour, flexibly allocating the workforce in response to current needs. PMID:19776072

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

    PubMed

    Pless, Evlyn; Queirolo, Jovel; Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Crow, Sam; Allen, Kelsey; Mathur, Maya B; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-01-01

    Social insect colonies use interactions among workers to regulate collective behavior. Harvester ant foragers interact in a chamber just inside the nest entrance, here called the 'entrance chamber'. Previous studies of the activation of foragers in red harvester ants show that an outgoing forager inside the nest experiences an increase in brief antennal contacts before it leaves the nest to forage. Here we compare the interaction rate experienced by foragers that left the nest and ants that did not. We found that ants in the entrance chamber that leave the nest to forage experienced more interactions than ants that descend to the deeper nest without foraging. Additionally, we found that the availability of foragers in the entrance chamber is associated with the rate of forager return. An increase in the rate of forager return leads to an increase in the rate at which ants descend to the deeper nest, which then stimulates more ants to ascend into the entrance chamber. Thus a higher rate of forager return leads to more available foragers in the entrance chamber. The highest density of interactions occurs near the nest entrance and the entrances of the tunnels from the entrance chamber to the deeper nest. Local interactions with returning foragers regulate both the activation of waiting foragers and the number of foragers available to be activated.

  10. Chemical warfare: Leaf-cutting ants defend themselves and their gardens against parasite attack by deploying antibiotic secreting bacteria.

    PubMed

    Samuels, Richard Ian; Mattoso, Thalles Cardoso; Moreira, Denise D O

    2013-03-01

    Leaf-cutting ants are well known for their highly complex social organization, which provides them with a strong defense against parasites invading their colonies. Besides this attribute, these insects have morphological, physiological and structural characteristics further reinforcing the defense of their colonies. With the discovery of symbiotic bacteria present on the integument of leaf-cutting ants, a new line of defense was proposed and considered to be specific for the control of a specialized fungal parasite of the ants' fungus gardens (Escovopsis). However, recent studies have questioned the specificity of the integumental bacteria, as they were also found to inhibit a range of fungi, including entomopathogens. The microbiota associated with the leaf-cutting ant gardens has also been proposed as another level of chemical defense, protecting the garden from parasite invasion. Here we review the chemical defense weaponry deployed by leaf-cutting ants against parasites of their fungus gardens and of the ants themselves.

  11. The interaction between Cistaceae and a highly specific seed-harvester ant in a Mediterranean scrubland.

    PubMed

    Bastida, F; Talavera, S; Ortiz, P L; Arista, M

    2009-01-01

    We studied the interaction between the ant Goniomma kugleri and Cistaceae in a Cistus ladanifer-dominated scrubland, in southwestern Spain. We monitored seed harvesting, and studied ant preferences among Cistaceae seeds and their capture efficiencies for preferred seeds. For the stand of C. ladanifer, we estimated seed losses due to the ants. Harvesting was restricted to two seasons: mid-autumn to late winter, and late spring. Ant diet relied on Cistaceae seeds: during autumn and winter 90% of seeds returned to nests were of C. ladanifer, and the remaining fraction also comprised Cistaceae seeds. At this time, the ants harvested seeds directly from the plants. In late spring, the ant diet consisted of Tuberaria guttata s.l. seeds. Goniomma kugleri selectively collected Cistaceae seeds. For preferred species, seed removal rates at the colony level and seed capture times invested by individual workers were correlated with seed size. Because of shorter capture time and higher success frequency, capture efficiency in terms of number of seeds captured per unit time was higher for small-seeded species. Although each ant colony collected large numbers (up to 10(5)) of C. ladanifer seeds over the autumn-winter season, the impact of ant removal on the annual seed output was moderate, at around 20%. It is likely that, in C. ladanifer, the staggered seed release period, and the pulsed exposure of seed clumps in capsules through progressive locule dehiscence, effectively minimise seed losses to the ants.

  12. A Specialist Herbivore Uses Chemical Camouflage to Overcome the Defenses of an Ant-Plant Mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Whitehead, Susan R.; Reid, Ellen; Sapp, Joseph; Poveda, Katja; Royer, Anne M.; Posto, Amanda L.; Kessler, André

    2014-01-01

    Many plants and ants engage in mutualisms where plants provide food and shelter to the ants in exchange for protection against herbivores and competitors. Although several species of herbivores thwart ant defenses and extract resources from the plants, the mechanisms that allow these herbivores to avoid attack are poorly understood. The specialist insect herbivore, Piezogaster reclusus (Hemiptera: Coreidae), feeds on Neotropical bull-horn acacias (Vachellia collinsii) despite the presence of Pseudomyrmex spinicola ants that nest in and aggressively defend the trees. We tested three hypotheses for how P. reclusus feeds on V. collinsii while avoiding ant attack: (1) chemical camouflage via cuticular surface compounds, (2) chemical deterrence via metathoracic defense glands, and (3) behavioral traits that reduce ant detection or attack. Our results showed that compounds from both P. reclusus cuticles and metathoracic glands reduce the number of ant attacks, but only cuticular compounds appear to be essential in allowing P. reclusus to feed on bull-horn acacia trees undisturbed. In addition, we found that ant attack rates to P. reclusus increased significantly when individuals were transferred between P. spinicola ant colonies. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that chemical mimicry of colony-specific ant or host plant odors plays a key role in allowing P. reclusus to circumvent ant defenses and gain access to important resources, including food and possibly enemy-free space. This interaction between ants, acacias, and their herbivores provides an excellent example of the ability of herbivores to adapt to ant defenses of plants and suggests that herbivores may play an important role in the evolution and maintenance of mutualisms. PMID:25047551

  13. Social Studies; Colonial America.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanson, Paul S.

    Students in grades seven through nine will examine and analyze the political organization, social structure, economic life, and values of the American Colonial period in this quinmester arranged American Studies course. Since the thirteen English Colonies effected the United States development, many of our nations foundations in government,…

  14. Ant-like task allocation and recruitment in cooperative robots.

    PubMed

    Krieger, M J; Billeter, J B; Keller, L

    2000-08-31

    One of the greatest challenges in robotics is to create machines that are able to interact with unpredictable environments in real time. A possible solution may be to use swarms of robots behaving in a self-organized manner, similar to workers in an ant colony. Efficient mechanisms of division of labour, in particular series-parallel operation and transfer of information among group members, are key components of the tremendous ecological success of ants. Here we show that the general principles regulating division of labour in ant colonies indeed allow the design of flexible, robust and effective robotic systems. Groups of robots using ant-inspired algorithms of decentralized control techniques foraged more efficiently and maintained higher levels of group energy than single robots. But the benefits of group living decreased in larger groups, most probably because of interference during foraging. Intriguingly, a similar relationship between group size and efficiency has been documented in social insects. Moreover, when food items were clustered, groups where robots could recruit other robots in an ant-like manner were more efficient than groups without information transfer, suggesting that group dynamics of swarms of robots may follow rules similar to those governing social insects.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. Apes finding ants: Predator-prey dynamics in a chimpanzee habitat in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Pascual-Garrido, Alejandra; Umaru, Buba; Allon, Oliver; Sommer, Volker

    2013-12-01

    Some chimpanzee populations prey upon army ants, usually with stick tools. However, how their prey's subterranean nesting and nomadic lifestyle influence the apes' harvesting success is still poorly understood. This is particularly true for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes ellioti) at Gashaka/Nigeria, which consume army ants (Dorylus rubellus) with much higher frequency than at other sites. We assessed various harvesting and search options theoretically available to the apes. For this, we reconstructed annual consumption patterns from feces and compared the physical characteristics of exploited ant nests with those that were not targeted. Repeated exploitation of a discovered nest is viable only in the short term, as disturbed colonies soon moved to a new site. Moreover, monitoring previously occupied nest cavities is uneconomical, as ants hardly ever re-used them. Thus, the apes have to detect new nests regularly, although colony density is relatively low (1 colony/1.3 ha). Surprisingly, visual search cues seem to be of limited importance because the probability of a nest being exploited was independent of its conspicuousness (presence of excavated soil piles, concealing leaf-litter or vegetation). However, chimpanzees preferentially targeted nests in forests or at the base of food trees, that is, where the apes spend relatively more time and/or where ant colony density is highest. Taken together, our findings suggest that, instead of employing a search strategy based on visual cues or spatial memory, chimpanzee predation on army ants contains a considerable opportunistic element.

  18. Fire Ant Allergy

    MedlinePlus

    ... Pongdee, MD, FAAAAI Fire ants are a stinging insect typically found in the South/Southeast areas of ... specialized training and skills to test for stinging insect allergy and develop a plan to manage allergies. ...

  19. 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.

  20. The native ant, Tapinoma melanocephalum, improves the survival of an invasive mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis, by defending it from parasitoids

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Dong-Dong; Michaud, J.P.; Li, Pan; Zhou, Zhong-Shi; Xu, Zai-Fu

    2015-01-01

    Mutualistic ants can protect their partners from natural enemies in nature. Aenasius bambawalei is an important parasitoid of the the invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis. We hypothesized that mutualism between native ants and mealybugs would favor survival of mealybugs. To test this, we examined effects of tending by the native mutualistic ant Tapinoma melanocephalum on growth of P. solenopsis colonies on Chinese hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, in a field setting. Ant workers with access to honeydew of mealybugs lived much longer than those provisioned only with water in the laboratory, and number of ant workers foraging increased significantly with growth of mealybug colonies in the field. In later observations, there were significant differences in densities of mealybugs between ant-tended and -excluded treatments. Survival rate of mealybugs experiencing parasitoid attack was significantly higher on ant-tended plants than on ant-excluded plants. When the parasitoid was excluded, there was no difference in survival rate of mealybugs between ant-tended and -excluded plants. In most cases, ants directly attacked the parasitoid, causing the parasitoid to take evasive action. We conclude that native ants such as T. melanocephalum have the potential to facilitate invasion and spread of P. solenopsis in China by providing them with protection from parasitoids. PMID:26503138

  1. Summer and fall ants have different physiological responses to food macronutrient content.

    PubMed

    Cook, Steven C; Eubanks, Micky D; Gold, Roger E; Behmer, Spencer T

    2016-04-01

    Seasonally, long-lived animals exhibit changes in behavior and physiology in response to shifts in environmental conditions, including food abundance and nutritional quality. Ants are long-lived arthropods that, at the colony level, experience such seasonal shifts in their food resources. Previously we reported summer- and fall-collected ants practiced distinct food collection behavior and nutrient intake regulation strategies in response to variable food protein and carbohydrate content, despite being reared in the lab under identical environmental conditions and dietary regimes. Seasonally distinct responses were observed for both no-choice and choice dietary experiments. Using data from these same experiments, our objective here is to examine colony and individual-level physiological traits, colony mortality and growth, food processing, and worker lipid mass, and how these traits change in response to variable food protein-carbohydrate content. For both experiments we found that seasonality per se exerted strong effects on colony and individual level traits. Colonies collected in the summer maintained total worker mass despite high mortality. In contrast, colonies collected in the fall lived longer, and accumulated lipids, including when reared on protein-biased diets. Food macronutrient content had mainly transient effects on physiological responses. Extremes in food carbohydrate content however, elicited a compensatory response in summer worker ants, which processed more protein-biased foods and contained elevated lipid levels. Our study, combined with our previously published work, strongly suggests that underlying physiological phenotypes driving behaviors of summer and fall ants are likely fixed seasonally, and change circannually.

  2. Current and potential ant impacts in the Pacific region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Loope, Lloyd L.; Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2007-01-01

    . They generally have multiple queens per colony, are unicolonial (lacking internest aggression), quickly recruit to food items, thrive in a variety of habitats including disturbed areas, and can be highly aggressive to other ant species (McGlynn 1999). Hawaii’s arthropod fauna evolved in the absence of ants and has been observed by many biologists to be highly vulnerable to displacement by non-native ants. Pacific island biotas have also very likely suffered greatly from displacement by ants. However, in contrast to Hawaii, virtually nothing has been published on effects of non-native ants on native arthropod fauna elsewhere on Pacific islands, with the exception of the Galapagos archipelago, which may have at least four species of endemic ants (Lubin 1984, Nishida and Evenhuis 2000) and New Caledonia (Jourdan et al. 2001, Le Breton et al. 2005). In addition, many ant species in the Pacific have long been a nuisance for humans, and significant agricultural impacts have occurred from ants tending hemipteran insects of crop plants.

  3. Resource redistribution in polydomous ant nest networks: local or global?

    PubMed Central

    Franks, Daniel W.; Robinson, Elva J.H.

    2014-01-01

    An important problem facing organisms in a heterogeneous environment is how to redistribute resources to where they are required. This is particularly complex in social insect societies as resources have to be moved both from the environment into the nest and between individuals within the nest. Polydomous ant colonies are split between multiple spatially separated, but socially connected, nests. Whether, and how, resources are redistributed between nests in polydomous colonies is unknown. We analyzed the nest networks of the facultatively polydomous wood ant Formica lugubris. Our results indicate that resource redistribution in polydomous F. lugubris colonies is organized at the local level between neighboring nests and not at the colony level. We found that internest trails connecting nests that differed more in their amount of foraging were stronger than trails between nests with more equal foraging activity. This indicates that resources are being exchanged directly from nests with a foraging excess to nests that require resources. In contrast, we found no significant relationships between nest properties, such as size and amount of foraging, and network measures such as centrality and connectedness. This indicates an absence of a colony-level resource exchange. This is a clear example of a complex behavior emerging as a result of local interactions between parts of a system. PMID:25214755

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. The ecological role of ants in two Mexican agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Risch, Stephen J; Carroll, C Ronald

    1982-10-01

    The development of the ant communities and their foraging dynamics were studied in two annual agroecosystems of the Mexican tropical lowlands: a "forest milpa" of corn, beans, and squash made by cutting and buring 40-year-old forest, and a "field milpa" of corn, beans, and squash made by plowing 1-year-old second growth. The ant community was sampled using tuna fish baits 26, 52, 110 and 353 days after planting. Although immediately after planting the same number of ant species occurred in each milpa type, thereafter the ant faunas diverged. The field milpa became completely dominated by the native fire ant, Solenopsis geminata, while the number of ant species in the forest milpa gradually increased over time, reaching eight species 110 days after planting and 14 species by 353 days. Initially S. geminata dominated the ant fauna in the forest milpa (occurring on 90% of the baits), but by 353 days planting it was found on only 26% of the occupied baits. Ant foraging efficiency, as measured by proportion of tuna baits occupied and the removal rates of dead Drosophila fly baits, was much higher (by a factor of 2 to 3) in the field than the forest milpa. This was caused by the extremely high density of S. geminata colonies in the field milpa. The simple Solenopsis-dominated community of the field milpa may be much more effective in biological control than the more diverse community of the forest milpa. Although S. geminata has potential negative impacts in annual agroecosystems (it stings, eats corn seeds, and guards homopterams), its overall impact appears to be beneficial. As forested areas of the lowland wet tropics are increasingly cut and converted to annual agriculture, the primary ant inhabitant of these highly disturbed environments, S. geminata, will necessarily play a much more significant ecological role in agroecosystems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. Contact rate modulates foraging efficiency in leaf cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Bouchebti, S; Ferrere, S; Vittori, K; Latil, G; Dussutour, A; Fourcassié, V

    2015-12-21

    Lane segregation is rarely observed in animals that move in bidirectional flows. Consequently, these animals generally experience a high rate of head-on collisions during their journeys. Although these collisions have a cost (each collision induces a delay resulting in a decrease of individual speed), they could also have a benefit by promoting information transfer between individuals. Here we explore the impact of head-on collisions in leaf-cutting ants moving on foraging trails by artificially decreasing the rate of head-on collisions between individuals. We show that head-on collisions do not influence the rate of recruitment in these ants but do influence foraging efficiency, i.e. the proportion of ants returning to the nest with a leaf fragment. Surprisingly, both unladen and laden ants returning to the nest participate in the modulation of foraging efficiency: foraging efficiency decreases when the rate of contacts with both nestbound laden or unladen ants decreases. These results suggest that outgoing ants are able to collect information from inbound ants even when these latter do not carry any leaf fragment and that this information can influence their foraging decisions when reaching the end of the trail.

  9. Contact rate modulates foraging efficiency in leaf cutting ants

    PubMed Central

    Bouchebti, S.; Ferrere, S.; Vittori, K.; Latil, G.; Dussutour, A.; Fourcassié, V.

    2015-01-01

    Lane segregation is rarely observed in animals that move in bidirectional flows. Consequently, these animals generally experience a high rate of head-on collisions during their journeys. Although these collisions have a cost (each collision induces a delay resulting in a decrease of individual speed), they could also have a benefit by promoting information transfer between individuals. Here we explore the impact of head-on collisions in leaf-cutting ants moving on foraging trails by artificially decreasing the rate of head-on collisions between individuals. We show that head-on collisions do not influence the rate of recruitment in these ants but do influence foraging efficiency, i.e. the proportion of ants returning to the nest with a leaf fragment. Surprisingly, both unladen and laden ants returning to the nest participate in the modulation of foraging efficiency: foraging efficiency decreases when the rate of contacts with both nestbound laden or unladen ants decreases. These results suggest that outgoing ants are able to collect information from inbound ants even when these latter do not carry any leaf fragment and that this information can influence their foraging decisions when reaching the end of the trail. PMID:26686557

  10. Colonisation and competition dynamics can explain incomplete sterilisation parasitism in ant-plant symbioses.

    PubMed

    Tarnita, Corina E; Palmer, Todd M; Pringle, Robert M

    2014-10-01

    Sterilisation of parasites prevents host reproduction, thereby diverting host resources to their own benefit. Previous theory predicts that parasites should evolve maximum virulence, yet hosts are often incompletely sterilised. Whereas prior attempts to resolve this paradox have sought evolutionary explanations, we present theory and experiments showing that incomplete sterilisation can arise from ecologically driven fluctuations in parasite load. The African ant-plant Acacia drepanolobium reproduced more when occupied by small colonies of the sterilising symbiont Crematogaster nigriceps. In nature, small colonies result from interference competition between ant colonies; these territorial conflicts thus provide intermittent windows of opportunity for host reproduction. Our mean-field model shows that numerical insufficiency of parasites can produce partial sterilisation of host populations, creating the appearance of reduced virulence even if ants have evolved to sterilise completely. This general framework helps explain both the apparent ubiquity of partial sterilisation parasitism and the ability of these symbiotic associations to persist.

  11. Distributed representation of social odors indicates parallel processing in the antennal lobe of ants.

    PubMed

    Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Kleineidam, Christoph Johannes

    2011-11-01

    In colonies of eusocial Hymenoptera cooperation is organized through social odors, and particularly ants rely on a sophisticated odor communication system. Neuronal information about odors is represented in spatial activity patterns in the primary olfactory neuropile of the insect brain, the antennal lobe (AL), which is analog to the vertebrate olfactory bulb. The olfactory system is characterized by neuroanatomical compartmentalization, yet the functional significance of this organization is unclear. Using two-photon calcium imaging, we investigated the neuronal representation of multicomponent colony odors, which the ants assess to discriminate friends (nestmates) from foes (nonnestmates). In the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, colony odors elicited spatial activity patterns distributed across different AL compartments. Activity patterns in response to nestmate and nonnestmate colony odors were overlapping. This was expected since both consist of the same components at differing ratios. Colony odors change over time and the nervous system has to constantly adjust for this (template reformation). Measured activity patterns were variable, and variability was higher in response to repeated nestmate than to repeated nonnestmate colony odor stimulation. Variable activity patterns may indicate neuronal plasticity within the olfactory system, which is necessary for template reformation. Our results indicate that information about colony odors is processed in parallel in different neuroanatomical compartments, using the computational power of the whole AL network. Parallel processing might be advantageous, allowing reliable discrimination of highly complex social odors.

  12. The Seasonal Natural History of the Ant, Dolichoderus mariae, in Northern Florida

    PubMed Central

    Laskis, Kristina O.; Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2009-01-01

    Dolichoderus mariae Forel, (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is an uncommon, monomorphic but locally abundant, reddish-brown ant of peculiar nesting habits, whose range includes most of the eastern USA. In north Florida the ant excavates soil under wiregrass clumps or other plants with fibrous roots to form a single, large, shallow, conical or ovoid chamber broadly open to the surface around the plant base. Colonies are highly polygyne and, during the warm season, inhabit multiple nests connected only by above ground trails, over which nests exchange workers. Although monomorphic, worker size may differ significantly between colonies. The colony cycle is dominated by strong seasonal polydomy. From one or two over-wintering nests, the colonies expanded to occupy up to 60 nests by late summer, then retract once more to one or two nests by mid-winter. The worker-to-queen ratio changed greatly during this cycle, with over two thousand workers per queen during fall and winter, dropping to a low of about 300 during midsummer. Most of these summer queens probably die during the fall. Colonies reoccupy roughly the same area year to year even though they contract down to one or two nests in winter. Observation of fights in the contact zone between colonies suggested that the colonies are territorial. The ants subsist by tending aphids and scale insects for honeydew and scavenging for dead insects within their territories. PMID:19611227

  13. Association between Pseudonocardia symbionts and Atta leaf-cutting ants suggested by improved isolation methods.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Sarah E; Poulsen, Michael; Gorosito, Norma B; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián; Masiulionis, Virginia E; Currie, Cameron R

    2013-03-01

    Fungus-growing ants associate with multiple symbiotic microbes, including Actinobacteria for production of antibiotics. The best studied of these bacteria are within the genus Pseudonocardia, which in most fungus-growing ants are conspicuously visible on the external cuticle of workers. However, given that fungus-growing ants in the genus Atta do not carry visible Actinobacteria on their cuticle, it is unclear if this genus engages in the symbiosis with Pseudonocardia. Here we explore whether improving culturing techniques can allow for successful isolation of Pseudonocardia from Atta cephalotes leaf-cutting ants. We obtained Pseudonocardia from 9 of 11 isolation method/colony component combinations from all 5 colonies intensively sampled. The most efficient technique was bead-beating workers in phosphate buffer solution, then plating the suspension on carboxymethylcellulose medium. Placing these strains in a fungus-growing ant-associated Pseudonocardia phylogeny revealed that while some strains grouped with clades of Pseudonocardia associated with other genera of fungus-growing ants, a large portion of the isolates fell into two novel phylogenetic clades previously not identified from this ant-microbe symbiosis. Our findings suggest that Pseudonocardia may be associated with Atta fungus-growing ants, potentially internalized, and that localizing the symbiont and exploring its role is necessary to shed further light on the association.

  14. Symbiont recognition of mutualistic bacteria by Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Mingzi M; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R

    2007-08-01

    Symbiont choice has been proposed to play an important role in shaping many symbiotic relationships, including the fungus-growing ant-microbe mutualism. Over millions of years, fungus-growing ants have defended their fungus gardens from specialized parasites with antibiotics produced by an actinomycete bacterial mutualist (genus Pseudonocardia). Despite the potential of being infected by phylogenetically diverse strains of parasites, each ant colony maintains only a single Pseudonocardia symbiont strain, which is primarily vertically transmitted between colonies by the founding queens. In this study, we show that Acromyrmex leaf-cutter ants are able to differentiate between their native actinomycete strain and a variety of foreign strains isolated from sympatric and allopatric Acromyrmex species, in addition to strains originating from other fungus-growing ant genera. The recognition mechanism is sufficiently sensitive for the ants to discriminate between closely related symbiont strains. Our findings suggest that symbiont recognition may play a crucial role in the fungus-growing ant-bacterium mutualism, likely allowing the ants to retain ecological flexibility necessary for defending their garden from diverse parasites and, at the same time, resolve potential conflict that can arise from rearing competing symbiont strains.

  15. Individual and collective choice: parallel prospecting and mining in ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aleksiev, Antony S.; Longdon, Ben; Christmas, Matthew J.; Sendova-Franks, Ana B.; Franks, Nigel R.

    2008-04-01

    Decision making is of crucial importance in the lives of both animals and humans. How decisions of group members scale up to group decisions is of great interest. Accordingly, we gave homeless ant colonies ( n = 67) in three experiments a choice between two nest sites (with small, big or mixed sand grains), each of which had to be excavated to be habitable. Among the colonies that chose only one of the new nest sites, all preferred the ones that could be excavated most easily and quickly. There are interesting parallels between the collective choice of mining sites and the ability of certain ants to select short cuts; both involve positive feedback. However, in this paper, we discuss a mechanism whereby collective co-ordination in the production of social infrastructure can occur in the absence of signalling.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-07

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

  17. Founding weaver ant queens (Oecophylla longinoda) increase production and nanitic worker size when adopting non-nestmate pupae.

    PubMed

    Ouagoussounon, Issa; Offenberg, Joachim; Sinzogan, Antonio; Adandonon, Appolinaire; Kossou, Dansou; Vayssières, Jean-François

    2015-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla longinoda Latreille) are used commercially to control pest insects and for protein production. In this respect fast colony growth is desirable for managed colonies. Transplantation of non-nestmate pupae to incipient colonies has been shown to boost colony growth. Our objectives were to find the maximum number of pupae a founding queen can handle, and to measure the associated colony growth. Secondly, we tested if transplantation of pupae led to production of larger nanitic workers (defined as unusually small worker ants produced by founding queens in their first batch of offspring). Forty-five fertilized queens were divided into three treatments: 0 (control), 100 or 300 non-nestmate pupae transplanted to each colony. Pupae transplantation resulted in highly increased growth rates, as pupae were readily adopted by the queens and showed high proportions of surviving (mean = 76%). However, survival was significantly higher when 100 pupae were transplanted compared to transplantation of 300 pupae, indicating that queens were unable to handle 300 pupae adequately and that pupae require some amount of nursing. Nevertheless, within the 60-day experiment the transplantation of 300 pupae increased total colony size more than 10-fold whereas 100 pupae increased the size 5.6 fold, compared to control. This increase was due not only to the individuals added in the form of pupae but also to an increased per capita brood production by the resident queen, triggered by the adopted pupae. The size of hatching pupae produced by the resident queen also increased with the number of pupae transplanted, leading to larger nanitic workers in colonies adopting pupae. In conclusion, pupae transplantation may be used to produce larger colonies with larger worker ants and may thus reduce the time to produce weaver ant colonies for commercial purposes. This in turn may facilitate the implementation of the use of weaver ants.

  18. 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.

  19. Foraging ants trade off further for faster: use of natural bridges and trunk trail permanency in carpenter ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loreto, Raquel G.; Hart, Adam G.; Pereira, Thairine M.; Freitas, Mayara L. R.; Hughes, David P.; Elliot, Simon L.

    2013-10-01

    Trail-making ants lay pheromones on the substrate to define paths between foraging areas and the nest. Combined with the chemistry of these pheromone trails and the physics of evaporation, trail-laying and trail-following behaviours provide ant colonies with the quickest routes to food. In relatively uniform environments, such as that provided in many laboratory studies of trail-making ants, the quickest route is also often the shortest route. Here, we show that carpenter ants ( Camponotus rufipes), in natural conditions, are able to make use of apparent obstacles in their environment to assist in finding the fastest routes to food. These ants make extensive use of fallen branches, twigs and lianas as bridges to build their trails. These bridges make trails significantly longer than their straight line equivalents across the forest floor, but we estimate that ants spend less than half the time to reach the same point, due to increased carriage speed across the bridges. We also found that these trails, mainly composed of bridges, are maintained for months, so they can be characterized as trunk trails. We suggest that pheromone-based foraging trail networks in field conditions are likely to be structured by a range of potentially complex factors but that even then, speed remains the most important consideration.

  20. Foraging ants trade off further for faster: use of natural bridges and trunk trail permanency in carpenter ants.

    PubMed

    Loreto, Raquel G; Hart, Adam G; Pereira, Thairine M; Freitas, Mayara L R; Hughes, David P; Elliot, Simon L

    2013-10-01

    Trail-making ants lay pheromones on the substrate to define paths between foraging areas and the nest. Combined with the chemistry of these pheromone trails and the physics of evaporation, trail-laying and trail-following behaviours provide ant colonies with the quickest routes to food. In relatively uniform environments, such as that provided in many laboratory studies of trail-making ants, the quickest route is also often the shortest route. Here, we show that carpenter ants (Camponotus rufipes), in natural conditions, are able to make use of apparent obstacles in their environment to assist in finding the fastest routes to food. These ants make extensive use of fallen branches, twigs and lianas as bridges to build their trails. These bridges make trails significantly longer than their straight line equivalents across the forest floor, but we estimate that ants spend less than half the time to reach the same point, due to increased carriage speed across the bridges. We also found that these trails, mainly composed of bridges, are maintained for months, so they can be characterized as trunk trails. We suggest that pheromone-based foraging trail networks in field conditions are likely to be structured by a range of potentially complex factors but that even then, speed remains the most important consideration.

  1. Alkaloid venom weaponry of three Megalomyrmex thief ants and the behavioral response of Cyphomyrmex costatus host ants.

    PubMed

    Adams, Rachelle M M; Jones, Tappey H; Longino, John T; Weatherford, Robert G; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2015-04-01

    Social parasites exploit other societies by invading and stealing resources. Some enter protected nests using offensive chemical weaponry made from alkaloid-based venom. We characterized the venoms of three Megalomyrmex thief ant species (M. mondabora, M. mondaboroides, and M. silvestrii) that parasitize the fungus-growing ants, and developed an ethogram to describe host ant reactions to raiding M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii parasites. We compared piperidine, pyrrolidine, and pyrolizidine venom alkaloid structures with synthetic samples from previous studies, and describe the novel stereochemistry of trans 2-hexyl-5-[8-oxononyl]-pyrrolidine (3) from M. mondabora. We showed that workers of Cyphomyrmex costatus, the host of M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii, react to a sting by Megalomyrmex parasites mainly with submissive behavior, playing dead or retreating. Host submission also followed brief antennal contact. The behavior of C. costatus ants observed in this study was similar to that of Cyphomyrmex cornutus, host of M. mondabora, suggesting that the alkaloidal venoms with pyrrolidines from M. mondabora, piperidines from M. mondaboroides, and pyrolizidines from M. silvestrii may function similarly as appeasement and repellent allomones against host ants, despite their different chemical structure. With the use of these chemical weapons, the Megalomyrmex thief ants are met with little host resistance and easily exploit host colony resources.

  2. Termites: a Retinex implementation based on a colony of agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simone, Gabriele; Audino, Giuseppe; Farup, Ivar; Rizzi, Alessandro

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes a novel implementation of the Retinex algorithm with the exploration of the image done by an ant swarm. In this case the purpose of the ant colony is not the optimization of some constraints but is an alternative way to explore the image content as diffused as possible, with the possibility of tuning the exploration parameters to the image content trying to better approach the Human Visual System behavior. For this reason, we used "termites", instead of ants, to underline the idea of the eager exploration of the image. The paper presents the spatial characteristics of locality and discusses differences in path exploration with other Retinex implementations. Furthermore a psychophysical experiment has been carried out on eight images with 20 observers and results indicate that a termite swarm should investigate a particular region of an image to find the local reference white.

  3. Artificial Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waltz, David L.

    1982-01-01

    Describes kinds of results achieved by computer programs in artificial intelligence. Topics discussed include heuristic searches, artificial intelligence/psychology, planning program, backward chaining, learning (focusing on Winograd's blocks to explore learning strategies), concept learning, constraint propagation, language understanding…

  4. Artificial Limbs

    MedlinePlus

    ... you are missing an arm or leg, an artificial limb can sometimes replace it. The device, which is ... activities such as walking, eating, or dressing. Some artificial limbs let you function nearly as well as before.

  5. The ants go marching millions by millions: invasive ant research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive ants are a worldwide problem that is expanding both geographically and in intensity. Population explosions of invasive ants can overrun landscapes and inundate structures. Pest management professionals are often the first responders to complaints about invading ants. This session will fo...

  6. The Ants Go Marching Millions by Millions: Invasive Ant Research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive ants are a worldwide problem that is expanding both geographically and in intensity. Population explosions of invasive ants can overrun landscapes and inundate structures. Pest management professionals are often the first responders to complaints about invading ants. This session will fo...

  7. Experience influences aggressive behaviour in the Argentine ant

    PubMed Central

    Van Wilgenburg, Ellen; Clémencet, Johanna; Tsutsui, Neil D.

    2010-01-01

    All animals interact with conspecifics during their life, and nearly all also display some form of aggression. An enduring challenge, however, is to understand how the experiences of an individual animal influence its later behaviours. Several studies have shown that prior winning experience increases the probability of initiating fights in later encounters. Using behavioural assays in the laboratory, we provide evidence that, in Argentine ants (Linepithema humile), the mere exposure to an opponent, without the encounter escalating to a fight, also increases the probability that it will display aggression in later encounters. Argentine ant workers differ in their propensity to attack non-colonymates, with some ants repeatedly aggressive and others consistently more docile. Although 78 per cent of the workers were consistent in their behaviour from one encounter to the next, workers that did change their behaviour after an encounter with a non-colonymate more often changed from non-aggressive to aggressive, rather than the reverse. Surprisingly, a single encounter with a non-colonymate increased a worker's propensity to fight in encounters up to a week later. An encounter with a non-colonymate also increased the probability that a worker would attack ants from a colony that it had not previously encountered. Thus, these interactions lowered the overall aggression threshold, rather than stimulating a specific aggressive response to a particular foreign colony. Finally, our data suggest that aggression towards non-colonymates increases with age. PMID:19793741

  8. Artificial Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Information Technology Quarterly, 1985

    1985-01-01

    This issue of "Information Technology Quarterly" is devoted to the theme of "Artificial Intelligence." It contains two major articles: (1) Artificial Intelligence and Law" (D. Peter O'Neill and George D. Wood); (2) "Artificial Intelligence: A Long and Winding Road" (John J. Simon, Jr.). In addition, it contains two sidebars: (1) "Calculating and…

  9. Ant Mimicry by an Aphid Parasitoid, Lysiphlebus fabarum

    PubMed Central

    Rasekh, Arash; Michaud, J.P.; Kharazi-Pakdel, Aziz; Allahyari, Hossein

    2010-01-01

    In Iran, Lysiphlebus fabarum (Marshall) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae) is a uniparental parasitoid of the black bean aphid, Aphis fabae Scopoli (Hemiptera: Aphididae), that possesses various highly evolved adaptations for foraging within ant-tended aphid colonies. Direct observations and video recordings were used to analyze the behavior of individual females foraging for A. fabae on bean leaf disks in open arenas in the laboratory. Females exploited aphids as hosts and as a source of food, allocating within-patch time as follows: resting - 10.4%, grooming - 8.2%, searching - 11.5%, antennation (host recognition) - 7.5%, antennation (honeydew solicitation mimicking ants) - 31.9%, abdominal bending (attack preparation) 19.7%, probing with the ovipositor (attack) - 10.8%. The mean handling time for each aphid encountered was 2.0 ± 0.5 min. Females encountered an average of 47.4 ± 6.4 aphids per hour, but laid only 1.2 eggs per hour. The ovipositor insertion time for parasitism ranged from 2 sec to longer than a minute, but most insertions did not result in an egg being laid. A. fabae defensive behaviors included kicking, raising and swiveling the body, and attempts to smear the attacker with cornicle secretions, sometimes with lethal results. Food deprivation for 4–6 h prior to testing increased the frequency of ant mimcry by L. fabarum. Females also used ant-like antennation to reduce A. fabae defensive behavior, e.g. the frequency of kicking. L. fabarum attacks primed A. fabae to be more responsive to subsequent honeydew solicitation, such that experienced females improved their feeding success by alternating between the roles of parasitoid and ant mimic. These results reveal the possibility for mutualisms to evolve between L. fabarum and the ant species that tend A. fabae, since L. fabarum receive ant protection for their progeny and may benefit the ants by improving A. fabae responsiveness to honeydew solicitation. PMID:20879920

  10. Army ants: an evolutionary bestseller?

    PubMed

    Berghoff, Stefanie M

    2003-09-02

    Army ants are characterized by a complex combination of behavioral and morphological traits. Molecular data now indicate that army ant behavior has a unique evolutionary origin and has been conserved for over more than 100 million years.

  11. 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.

  12. The Antsy Social Network: Determinants of Nest Structure and Arrangement in Asian Weaver Ants

    PubMed Central

    Devarajan, Kadambari

    2016-01-01

    Asian weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) are arboreal ants that are known to form mutualistic complexes with their host trees. They are eusocial ants that build elaborate nests in the canopy in tropical areas. A colony comprises of multiple nests, usually on multiple trees, and the boundaries of the colony may be difficult to identify. However, they provide the ideal model for studying group living in invertebrates since there are a definite number of nests for a given substrate, the tree. Here, we briefly examine the structure of the nests and the processes involved in the construction and maintenance of these nests. We have described the spatial arrangement of weaver ant nests on trees in two distinct tropical clusters, a few hundred kilometres apart in India. Measurements were made for 13 trees with a total of 71 nests in the two field sites. We have considered a host of biotic and abiotic factors that may be crucial in determining the location of the nesting site by Asian weaver ants. Our results indicate that tree characteristics and architecture followed by leaf features help determine nest location in Asian weaver ants. While environmental factors may not be as influential to nest arrangement, they seem to be important determinants of nest structure. The parameters that may be considered in establishing the nests could be crucial in picking the evolutionary drivers for colonial living in social organisms. PMID:27271037

  13. 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…

  14. Ants use partner specific odors to learn to recognize a mutualistic partner.

    PubMed

    Hojo, Masaru K; Yamamoto, Ari; Akino, Toshiharu; Tsuji, Kazuki; Yamaoka, Ryohei

    2014-01-01

    Regulation via interspecific communication is an important for the maintenance of many mutualisms. However, mechanisms underlying the evolution of partner communication are poorly understood for many mutualisms. Here we show, in an ant-lycaenid butterfly mutualism, that attendant ants selectively learn to recognize and interact cooperatively with a partner. Workers of the ant Pristomyrmex punctatus learn to associate cuticular hydrocarbons of mutualistic Narathura japonica caterpillars with food rewards and, as a result, are more likely to tend the caterpillars. However, the workers do not learn to associate the cuticular hydrocarbons of caterpillars of a non-ant-associated lycaenid, Lycaena phlaeas, with artificial food rewards. Chemical analysis revealed cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of the mutualistic caterpillars were complex compared with those of non-ant-associated caterpillars. Our results suggest that partner-recognition based on partner-specific chemical signals and cognitive abilities of workers are important mechanisms underlying the evolution and maintenance of mutualism with ants.

  15. 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...

  16. The Natural History of the Arboreal Ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi

    PubMed Central

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2002-01-01

    The arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is the most dominant arboreal ant in the pine forests of the coastal plain of northern Florida. The majority of pine trees harbor a colony of these ants. The colonies inhabit multiple chambers abandoned by bark-mining caterpillars, especially those of the family Cossidae, in the outer bark of living pines. They also inhabit ground level termite galleries in the bark, often locating the queen in galleries. The density of chambers and ants is highest in the base of the tree and drops sharply with height on the trunk. Because chambers are formed in the inner layer of bark, they gradually move outward as more bark layers are laid down, eventually sloughing off the tree's outer surface. Chambers have a mean lifetime of about 25 yr. The abundant chambers in pine bark are excavated by a small population of caterpillars and accumulate over decades. Ant colonies also inhabit abandoned galleries of woodboring beetles in dead branches in the crowns of pines. Because newly mated queens found colonies in abandoned woodboring beetle galleries in the first dead branches that form on pine saplings, C. ashmeadi is dependent on cavities made by other insects throughout its life cycle, and does little if any excavation of its own. Mature colonies nest preferentially in chambers greater than 10 cm2 in area, a relatively rare chamber size. In natural pine forests, this does not seem to limit the ant's populations. Founding queens containabout 50% fat and lose about half of their dry weight during the claustral period, converting approximately half of this lost weight into progeny. The claustral period is about 40 to 50 days at 27°C. Mature colonies contain several tens of thousands of workers (est. up to 80,000), and have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. Each colony occupies an entire tree, and sometimes two trees if they are close together. Within a colony, there is a single queen capable of laying up to

  17. The natural history of the arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi.

    PubMed

    Tschinkel, Walter R

    2002-01-01

    The arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is the most dominant arboreal ant in the pine forests of the coastal plain of northern Florida. The majority of pine trees harbor a colony of these ants. The colonies inhabit multiple chambers abandoned by bark-mining caterpillars, especially those of the family Cossidae, in the outer bark of living pines. They also inhabit ground level termite galleries in the bark, often locating the queen in galleries. The density of chambers and ants is highest in the base of the tree and drops sharply with height on the trunk. Because chambers are formed in the inner layer of bark, they gradually move outward as more bark layers are laid down, eventually sloughing off the tree's outer surface. Chambers have a mean lifetime of about 25 yr. The abundant chambers in pine bark are excavated by a small population of caterpillars and accumulate over decades. Ant colonies also inhabit abandoned galleries of woodboring beetles in dead branches in the crowns of pines. Because newly mated queens found colonies in abandoned woodboring beetle galleries in the first dead branches that form on pine saplings, C. ashmeadi is dependent on cavities made by other insects throughout its life cycle, and does little if any excavation of its own. Mature colonies nest preferentially in chambers greater than 10 cm(2) in area, a relatively rare chamber size. In natural pine forests, this does not seem to limit the ant's populations. Founding queens contain about 50% fat and lose about half of their dry weight during the claustral period, converting approximately half of this lost weight into progeny. The claustral period is about 40 to 50 days at 27 degrees C. Mature colonies contain several tens of thousands of workers (est. up to 80,000), and have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. Each colony occupies an entire tree, and sometimes two trees if they are close together. Within a colony, there is a single queen capable of

  18. 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.

  19. Does cooperation mean kinship between spatially discrete ant nests?

    PubMed

    Procter, Duncan S; Cottrell, Joan E; Watts, Kevin; A'Hara, Stuart W; Hofreiter, Michael; Robinson, Elva J H

    2016-12-01

    Eusociality is one of the most complex forms of social organization, characterized by cooperative and reproductive units termed colonies. Altruistic behavior of workers within colonies is explained by inclusive fitness, with indirect fitness benefits accrued by helping kin. Members of a social insect colony are expected to be more closely related to one another than they are to other conspecifics. In many social insects, the colony can extend to multiple socially connected but spatially separate nests (polydomy). Social connections, such as trails between nests, promote cooperation and resource exchange, and we predict that workers from socially connected nests will have higher internest relatedness than those from socially unconnected, and noncooperating, nests. We measure social connections, resource exchange, and internest genetic relatedness in the polydomous wood ant Formica lugubris to test whether (1) socially connected but spatially separate nests cooperate, and (2) high internest relatedness is the underlying driver of this cooperation. Our results show that socially connected nests exhibit movement of workers and resources, which suggests they do cooperate, whereas unconnected nests do not. However, we find no difference in internest genetic relatedness between socially connected and unconnected nest pairs, both show high kinship. Our results suggest that neighboring pairs of connected nests show a social and cooperative distinction, but no genetic distinction. We hypothesize that the loss of a social connection may initiate ecological divergence within colonies. Genetic divergence between neighboring nests may build up only later, as a consequence rather than a cause of colony separation.

  20. New mutualism for old: indirect disruption and direct facilitation of seed dispersal following Argentine ant invasion.

    PubMed

    Rowles, Alexei D; O'Dowd, Dennis J

    2009-01-01

    The indirect effects of biological invasions on native communities are poorly understood. Disruption of native ant communities following invasion by the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is widely reported to lead indirectly to the near complete collapse of seed dispersal services. In coastal scrub in southeastern Australia, we examined seed dispersal and handling of two native and two invasive alien plant species at Argentine ant-invaded or -uninvaded sites. The Argentine ant virtually eliminates the native keystone disperser Rhytidoponera victoriae, but seed dispersal did not collapse following invasion. Indeed, Argentine ants directly accounted for 92% of all ant-seed interactions and sustained overall seed dispersal rates. Nevertheless, dispersal quantity and quality among seed species differed between Argentine ant-invaded and -uninvaded sites. Argentine ants removed significantly fewer native Acacia retinodes seeds, but significantly more small seeds of invasive Polygala myrtifolia than did native ants at uninvaded sites. They also handled significantly more large seeds of A. sophorae, but rarely moved them >5 cm, instead recruiting en masse, consuming elaiosomes piecemeal and burying seeds in situ. In contrast, Argentine ants transported and interred P. myrtifolia seeds in their shallow nests. Experiments with artificial diaspores that varied in diaspore and elaiosome masses, but kept seed morphology and elaiosome quality constant, showed that removal by L. humile depended on the interaction of seed size and percentage elaiosome reward. Small diaspores were frequently taken, independent of high or low elaiosome reward, but large artificial diaspores with high reward instead elicited mass recruitment by Argentine ants and were rarely moved. Thus, Argentine ants appear to favour some diaspore types and reject others based largely on diaspore size and percentage reward. Such variability in response indirectly reduces native seed dispersal and can directly

  1. Natal Dispersal, Mating Patterns, and Inbreeding in the Ant Formica exsecta.

    PubMed

    Vitikainen, Emma I K; Haag-Liautard, Cathy; Sundström, Liselotte

    2015-12-01

    Sex-biased dispersal and multiple mating may prevent or alleviate inbreeding and its outcome, inbreeding depression, but studies demonstrating this in the wild are scarce. Perennial ant colonies offer a unique system to investigate the relationships between natal dispersal behavior and inbreeding. Due to the sedentary life of ant colonies and lifetime sperm storage by queens, measures of dispersal distance and mating strategy are easier to obtain than in most taxa. We used a suite of molecular markers to infer the natal colonies of queens and males in a wild population of the ant Formica exsecta. Dispersal was male biased, with median male dispersal distances (∼140 m) twice those of queens (∼60 m). The results also showed that the population was inbred and that inbreeding avoidance behaviors--sex-biased dispersal, queen dispersal distance, and multiple mating--were all ineffective in reducing homozygosity among colony workers. Queen homozygosity did not affect dispersal behavior, but more homozygous queens had lower colony-founding success and were more incestuously mated themselves, with potentially accumulating effects on colony fitness. We also provide independent evidence that dispersal is sex biased and show that our estimate corresponds well with dispersal estimates derived from population-genetic estimates.

  2. Queen regulates biogenic amine level and nestmate recognition in workers of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vander Meer, Robert K.; Preston, Catherine A.; Hefetz, Abraham

    2008-12-01

    Nestmate recognition is a critical element in social insect organization, providing a means to maintain territoriality and close the colony to parasites and predators. Ants detect the colony chemical label via their antennae and respond to the label mismatch of an intruder with aggressive behavior. In the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, worker ability to recognize conspecific nonnestmates decreases if the colony queen is removed, such that they do not recognize conspecific nonnestmates as different. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the presence of the colony queen influences the concentration of octopamine, a neuromodulator, in worker ants, which in turn has an effect on nestmate recognition acuity in workers. We demonstrate that queenless workers exhibit reduced brain octopamine levels and reduced discriminatory acuteness; however, feeding queenless workers octopamine restored both. Dopamine levels are influenced by honeybee queen pheromones; however, levels of this biogenic amine were unchanged in our experiments. This is the first demonstration of a link between the presence of the colony queen, a worker biogenic amine, and conspecific nestmate recognition, a powerful expression of colony cohesion and territoriality.

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

    PubMed

    Sorvari, Jouni; Huhta, Esa; Hakkarainen, Harri

    2014-08-01

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

  4. Experimental modulation of external microbiome affects nestmate recognition in harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus)

    PubMed Central

    Bahet, Nassim; Gordon, Deborah M.

    2016-01-01

    Social insects use odors as cues for a variety of behavioral responses, including nestmate recognition. Past research on nestmate recognition indicates cuticular hydrocarbons are important nestmate discriminators for social insects, but other factors are likely to contribute to colony-specific odors. Here we experimentally tested whether external microbes contribute to nestmate recognition in red harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus). We changed the external microbiome of ants through topical application of either antibiotics or microbial cultures. We then observed behavior of nestmates when treated ants were returned to the nest. Ants whose external microbiome was augmented with microbial cultures were much more likely to be rejected than controls, but ants treated with antibiotics were not. This result is consistent with the possibility that external microbes are used for nestmate recognition. PMID:26855857

  5. Not everything that counts can be counted: ants use multiple metrics for a single nest trait

    PubMed Central

    Franks, Nigel R; Dornhaus, Anna; Metherell, Bonnie G; Nelson, Toby R; Lanfear, Sophie A.J; Symes, William S

    2005-01-01

    There are claims in the literature that certain insects can count. We question the generality of these claims and suggest that summation rather than counting (sensu stricto) is a more likely explanation. We show that Temnothorax albipennis ant colonies can discriminate between potential nest sites with different numbers of entrances. However, our experiments suggest that the ants use ambient light levels within the nest cavity to assess the abundance of nest entrances rather than counting per se. Intriguingly, Weber's Law cannot explain the ants' inaccuracy. The ants also use a second metric, independent of light, to assess and discriminate against wide entrances. Thus, these ants use at least two metrics to evaluate one nest trait: the configuration of the portals to their potential homes. PMID:16555783

  6. Study on MAX-MIN Ant System with Random Selection in Quadratic Assignment Problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iimura, Ichiro; Yoshida, Kenji; Ishibashi, Ken; Nakayama, Shigeru

    Ant Colony Optimization (ACO), which is a type of swarm intelligence inspired by ants' foraging behavior, has been studied extensively and its effectiveness has been shown by many researchers. The previous studies have reported that MAX-MIN Ant System (MMAS) is one of effective ACO algorithms. The MMAS maintains the balance of intensification and diversification concerning pheromone by limiting the quantity of pheromone to the range of minimum and maximum values. In this paper, we propose MAX-MIN Ant System with Random Selection (MMASRS) for improving the search performance even further. The MMASRS is a new ACO algorithm that is MMAS into which random selection was newly introduced. The random selection is one of the edgechoosing methods by agents (ants). In our experimental evaluation using ten quadratic assignment problems, we have proved that the proposed MMASRS with the random selection is superior to the conventional MMAS without the random selection in the viewpoint of the search performance.

  7. The Evolutionary Innovation of Nutritional Symbioses in Leaf-Cutter Ants.

    PubMed

    Aylward, Frank O; Currie, Cameron R; Suen, Garret

    2012-01-06

    Fungus-growing ants gain access to nutrients stored in plant biomass through their association with a mutualistic fungus they grow for food. This 50 million-year-old obligate mutualism likely facilitated some of these species becoming dominant Neotropical herbivores that can achieve immense colony sizes. Recent culture-independent investigations have shed light on the conversion of plant biomass into nutrients within ant fungus gardens, revealing that this process involves both the fungal cultivar and a symbiotic community of bacteria including Enterobacter, Klebsiella, and Pantoea species. Moreover, the genome sequences of the leaf-cutter ants Atta cephalotes and Acromyrmex echinatior have provided key insights into how this symbiosis has shaped the evolution of these ants at a genetic level. Here we summarize the findings of recent research on the microbial community dynamics within fungus-growing ant fungus gardens and discuss their implications for this ancient symbiosis.

  8. Symbiotic nitrogen fixation in the fungus gardens of leaf-cutter ants.

    PubMed

    Pinto-Tomás, Adrián A; Anderson, Mark A; Suen, Garret; Stevenson, David M; Chu, Fiona S T; Cleland, W Wallace; Weimer, Paul J; Currie, Cameron R

    2009-11-20

    Bacteria-mediated acquisition of atmospheric N2 serves as a critical source of nitrogen in terrestrial ecosystems. Here we reveal that symbiotic nitrogen fixation facilitates the cultivation of specialized fungal crops by leaf-cutter ants. By using acetylene reduction and stable isotope experiments, we demonstrated that N2 fixation occurred in the fungus gardens of eight leaf-cutter ant species and, further, that this fixed nitrogen was incorporated into ant biomass. Symbiotic N2-fixing bacteria were consistently isolated from the fungus gardens of 80 leaf-cutter ant colonies collected in Argentina, Costa Rica, and Panama. The discovery of N2 fixation within the leaf-cutter ant-microbe symbiosis reveals a previously unrecognized nitrogen source in neotropical ecosystems.

  9. Symmetry breaking on density in escaping ants: experiment and alarm pheromone model.

    PubMed

    Li, Geng; Huan, Di; Roehner, Bertrand; Xu, Yijuan; Zeng, Ling; Di, Zengru; Han, Zhangang

    2014-01-01

    The symmetry breaking observed in nature is fascinating. This symmetry breaking is observed in both human crowds and ant colonies. In such cases, when escaping from a closed space with two symmetrically located exits, one exit is used more often than the other. Group size and density have been reported as having no significant impact on symmetry breaking, and the alignment rule has been used to model symmetry breaking. Density usually plays important roles in collective behavior. However, density is not well-studied in symmetry breaking, which forms the major basis of this paper. The experiment described in this paper on an ant colony displays an increase then decrease of symmetry breaking versus ant density. This result suggests that a Vicsek-like model with an alignment rule may not be the correct model for escaping ants. Based on biological facts that ants use pheromones to communicate, rather than seeing how other individuals move, we propose a simple yet effective alarm pheromone model. The model results agree well with the experimental outcomes. As a measure, this paper redefines symmetry breaking as the collective asymmetry by deducing the random fluctuations. This research indicates that ants deposit and respond to the alarm pheromone, and the accumulation of this biased information sharing leads to symmetry breaking, which suggests true fundamental rules of collective escape behavior in ants.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-03

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

  11. Behavioral Plasticity in Ant Queens: Environmental Manipulation Induces Aggression among Normally Peaceful Queens in the Socially Polymorphic Ant Leptothorax acervorum

    PubMed Central

    Trettin, Jürgen; Seyferth, Thomas; Heinze, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    The behavioral traits that shape the structure of animal societies vary considerably among species but appear to be less flexible within species or at least within populations. Populations of the ant Leptothorax acervorum differ in how queens interact with other queens. Nestmate queens from extended, homogeneous habitats tolerate each other and contribute quite equally to the offspring of the colony (polygyny: low reproductive skew). In contrast, nestmate queens from patchy habitats establish social hierarchies by biting and antennal boxing, and eventually only the top-ranking queen of the colony lays eggs (functional monogyny: high reproductive skew). Here we investigate whether queen-queen behavior is fixed within populations or whether aggression and high skew can be elicited by manipulation of socio-environmental factors in colonies from low skew populations. An increase of queen/worker ratio and to a lesser extent food limitation elicited queen-queen antagonism in polygynous colonies from Nürnberger Reichswald similar to that underlying social and reproductive hierarchies in high-skew populations from Spain, Japan, and Alaska. In manipulated colonies, queens differed more in ovarian status than in control colonies. This indicates that queens are in principle capable of adapting the magnitude of reproductive skew to environmental changes in behavioral rather than evolutionary time. PMID:24743352

  12. Collective Response of Leaf-Cutting Ants to the Effects of Wind on Foraging Activity.

    PubMed

    Alma, Andrea Marina; Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Elizalde, Luciana

    2016-11-01

    One advantage of sociality is to mitigate environmental restrictions through collective behavior. Here we document a colony-level response of leaf-cutting ants to wind, an environmental factor that impedes foraging. Given that larger ants adhere more strongly to the substrate, increasing forager size in windy conditions should reduce the negative effect of wind. We tested this idea for Acromyrmex lobicornis in windy regions of Patagonia. We examined (1) whether the fraction of larger ants versus smaller ants increased in windy conditions and (2) whether the effect of wind on the ants' movement was lower for larger ants. The size-frequency distribution of foragers was skewed more toward larger ants in nature under more windy conditions. Under windy conditions in the field, the mobility of smaller ants was more reduced than that of larger ants. The change toward larger foragers in windy conditions reduced the negative effect of wind by 32%, illustrating how a social organism can collectively mitigate the adverse effects of the environment.

  13. Specificity in the symbiotic association between fungus-growing ants and protective Pseudonocardia bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Cafaro, Matías J.; Poulsen, Michael; Little, Ainslie E. F.; Price, Shauna L.; Gerardo, Nicole M.; Wong, Bess; Stuart, Alison E.; Larget, Bret; Abbot, Patrick; Currie, Cameron R.

    2011-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants (tribe Attini) engage in a mutualism with a fungus that serves as the ants' primary food source, but successful fungus cultivation is threatened by microfungal parasites (genus Escovopsis). Actinobacteria (genus Pseudonocardia) associate with most of the phylogenetic diversity of fungus-growing ants; are typically maintained on the cuticle of workers; and infection experiments, bioassay challenges and chemical analyses support a role of Pseudonocardia in defence against Escovopsis through antibiotic production. Here we generate a two-gene phylogeny for Pseudonocardia associated with 124 fungus-growing ant colonies, evaluate patterns of ant–Pseudonocardia specificity and test Pseudonocardia antibiotic activity towards Escovopsis. We show that Pseudonocardia associated with fungus-growing ants are not monophyletic: the ants have acquired free-living strains over the evolutionary history of the association. Nevertheless, our analysis reveals a significant pattern of specificity between clades of Pseudonocardia and groups of related fungus-growing ants. Furthermore, antibiotic assays suggest that despite Escovopsis being generally susceptible to inhibition by diverse Actinobacteria, the ant-derived Pseudonocardia inhibit Escovopsis more strongly than they inhibit other fungi, and are better at inhibiting this pathogen than most environmental Pseudonocardia strains tested. Our findings support a model that many fungus-growing ants maintain specialized Pseudonocardia symbionts that help with garden defence. PMID:21106596

  14. Post-Glacial Ant Generated Desert Pavements in Southeastern Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonard, K. C.

    2001-12-01

    Desert pavements typically require thousands to tens of thousands of years to reach a high level of development. In a pluvial lake valley in Southeastern Oregon I have observed harvester ants creating desert pavement-like features in less than two months. The summer lake basin is a fairly simple sedimentary system. In the eastern half of the basin, the basaltic bedrock is buried under tens of meters of alluvial deposits which lie beneath an approximately ten meter thick dune sheet. The dune sands are noticably different in grainsize and chemistry than the fine component of the alluvial deposits. The dunes began to form at the end of the last pluvial interval (Allison 1980) and continue to be active today. Roughly one fourth of the total area of the dune sheet is mantled with desert pavement, consisting of very coarse sand and fine pebbles (1-8 mm diameter). The dune sand is very fine grained with a considerable amount of silt and minimal clay. It forms thin (2-20 cm thick) well developed Av horizons beneath the desert pavement. Owyhee harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex owyheei) in the area use pebbles of the same size and petrology as the desert pavements to construct their hills. For the ants the closest source of these pebbles is often the alluvium, ten meters below the anthill, rather than in a desert pavement deposit at some distance away overland. An experiment conducted between June and August 1999 demonstrated that the ants rebuild their hills with newly excavated pebbles. When the colonies die off after 5-25 years, the pebbles are stranded at the surface. Processes such as those described by Haff and Werner (1996), where jackrabbits and birds were observed kicking desert pavement clasts aross the ground serve to redistribute the pebbles across the surface of the sand dunes. The sand dunes have been forming over an 8000 year period. Based on anthill-regrowth measurements, the lifespan of an individual colony of harvester ants leads to the excavation of only enough

  15. Colony Collapse Disorder

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    In CCD, the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen, plenty of food and a few nurse bees to care for remaining immature bees and the queen. EPA and USDA are working to understand and resolve this problem.

  16. [Visiting the Amana Colonies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ohrn, Deborah Gore, Ed.

    1992-01-01

    This issue of "The Goldfinch: Iowa History for Young People" focuses upon the Amana Colonies, which were home to many German immigrants in the 19th century, and which retain much of their ethnic heritage today. The articles and activities included in this issue are "Amana Today"; "No Black Buggies in Amana";…

  17. Ants and the fossil record.

    PubMed

    LaPolla, John S; Dlussky, Gennady M; Perrichot, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    The dominance of ants in the terrestrial biosphere has few equals among animals today, but this was not always the case. The oldest ants appear in the fossil record 100 million years ago, but given the scarcity of their fossils, it is presumed they were relatively minor components of Mesozoic insect life. The ant fossil record consists of two primary types of fossils, each with inherent biases: as imprints in rock and as inclusions in fossilized resins (amber). New imaging technology allows ancient ant fossils to be examined in ways never before possible. This is particularly helpful because it can be difficult to distinguish true ants from non-ants in Mesozoic fossils. Fossil discoveries continue to inform our understanding of ancient ant morphological diversity, as well as provide insights into their paleobiology.

  18. Enough is enough: the effects of symbiotic ant abundance on herbivory, growth, and reproduction in an African acacia.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Todd M; Brody, Alison K

    2013-03-01

    Understanding how cooperative interactions evolve and persist remains a central challenge in biology. Many mutualisms are thought to be maintained by "partner fidelity feedback," in which each partner bases their investment on the benefits they receive. Yet, we know little about how benefits change as mutualists vary their investment, which is critical to understanding the balance between mutualism and antagonism in any given partnership. Using an obligate ant-plant mutualism, we manipulated the density of symbiotic acacia ants (Crematogaster mimosae) and examined how the costs and benefits to Acacia drepanolobium trees scaled with ant abundance. Benefits of ants to plants saturated with increasing ant abundance for protection from branch browsing by elephants and attack by branch galling midges, while varying linearly for protection from cerambycid beetles. In addition, the risk of catastrophic whole-tree herbivory by elephants was highest for trees with very low ant abundance. However, there was no relationship between ant abundance and herbivory by leaf-feeding invertebrates, nor by vertebrate browsers such as giraffe, steinbuck, and Grant's gazelle. Ant abundance did not significantly influence rates of branch growth on acacias, but there was a significant negative relationship between ant abundance and the number of fruits produced by host plants, suggesting that maintaining high-density ant colonies is costly. Because benefits to plants largely saturated with increasing colony size, while costs to plant reproduction increased, we suggest that ant colonies may achieve abundances that are higher than optimal for host plants. Our results highlight the conflicts of interest inherent in many mutualisms, and demonstrate the value of examining the shape of curves relating costs and benefits within these globally important interactions.

  19. The structured diversity of specialized gut symbionts of the New World army ants.

    PubMed

    Łukasik, Piotr; Newton, Justin A; Sanders, Jon G; Hu, Yi; Moreau, Corrie S; Kronauer, Daniel J C; O'Donnell, Sean; Koga, Ryuichi; Russell, Jacob A

    2017-04-10

    Symbiotic bacteria play important roles in the biology of their arthropod hosts. Yet the microbiota of many diverse and influential groups remain understudied, resulting in a paucity of information on the fidelities and histories of these associations. Motivated by prior findings from a smaller scale, 16S rRNA-based study, we conducted a broad phylogenetic and geographical survey of microbial communities in the ecologically dominant New World army ants (Formicidae: Dorylinae). Amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene across 28 species spanning the five New World genera showed that the microbial communities of army ants consist of very few common and abundant bacterial species. The two most abundant microbes, referred to as Unclassified Firmicutes and Unclassified Entomoplasmatales, appear to be specialized army ant associates that dominate microbial communities in the gut lumen of three host genera, Eciton, Labidus, and Nomamyrmex. Both are present in other army ant genera, including those from the Old World, suggesting that army ant symbioses date back to the Cretaceous. Extensive sequencing of bacterial protein-coding genes revealed multiple strains of these symbionts co-existing within colonies, but seldom within the same individual ant. Bacterial strains formed multiple host species-specific lineages on phylogenies, which often grouped strains from distant geographic locations. These patterns deviate from those seen in other social insects and raise intriguing questions about the influence of army ant colony swarm-founding and within-colony genetic diversity on strain co-existence, and the effects of hosting a diverse suite of symbiont strains on colony ecology. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Asexual reproduction imposes evolutionary handicaps on asexual species, rendering them prone to extinction, because asexual reproduction generates novel genotypes and purges deleterious mutations at lower rates than sexual reproduction. Here, we report the first case of complete asexuality in ants, the fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithii, where queens reproduce asexually but workers are sterile, which is doubly enigmatic because the clonal colonies of M. smithii also depend on clonal fungi for food. Degenerate female mating anatomy, extensive field and laboratory surveys, and DNA fingerprinting implicate complete asexuality in this widespread ant species. Maternally inherited bacteria (e.g. Wolbachia, Cardinium) and the fungal cultivars can be ruled out as agents inducing asexuality. M. smithii societies of clonal females provide a unique system to test theories of parent–offspring conflict and reproductive policing in social insects. Asexuality of both ant farmer and fungal crop challenges traditional views proposing that sexual farmer ants outpace coevolving sexual crop pathogens, and thus compensate for vulnerabilities of their asexual crops. Either the double asexuality of both farmer and crop may permit the host to fully exploit advantages of asexuality for unknown reasons or frequent switching between crops (symbiont reassociation) generates novel ant–fungus combinations, which may compensate for any evolutionary handicaps of asexuality in M. smithii. PMID:19369264

  1. Specialized myrmecophily at the ecological dawn of modern ants.

    PubMed

    Parker, Joseph; Grimaldi, David A

    2014-10-20

    Myrmecophiles--species that depend on ant societies--include some of the most morphologically and behaviorally specialized animals known. Remarkable adaptive characters enable these creatures to bypass fortress-like security, integrate into colony life, and exploit abundant resources and protection inside ant nests. Such innovations must result from intimate coevolution with hosts, but a scarcity of definitive fossil myrmecophiles obscures when and how this lifestyle arose. Here, we report the earliest known morphologically specialized and apparently obligate myrmecophile, in Early Eocene (∼ 52 million years old) Cambay amber from India. Protoclaviger trichodens gen. et sp. nov. is a stem-group member of Clavigeritae, a speciose supertribe of pselaphine rove beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) heavily modified for myrmecophily via reduced mouthparts for trophallaxis with worker ants, brush-like trichomes that exude appeasement compounds, and fusions of many body and antennal segments. Protoclaviger captures a transitional stage in the evolutionary development of this novel body plan, most evident in its still-distinct abdominal tergites. The Cambay paleobiota marks one of the first occurrences in the fossil record of a significant presence of modern ants. Protoclaviger reveals that sophisticated social parasites were nest intruders throughout, and probably before, the ascent of ants to ecological dominance, with ancient groups such as Clavigeritae primed to radiate as their hosts became increasingly ubiquitous.

  2. 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

  3. Parabiotic associations between tropical ants: equal partnership or parasitic exploitation?

    PubMed

    Menzel, F; Blüthgen, N

    2010-01-01

    1. The huge diversity of symbiotic associations among animals and/or plants comprises both mutualisms and parasitisms. Most symbioses between social insect species, however, involve social parasites, while mutual benefits have been only suspected for some parabiotic associations - two colonies that share a nest. 2. In the rainforest of Borneo, we studied parabiotic associations between the ants Crematogaster modiglianii and Camponotus rufifemur. Parabiotic nests were regularly found inside hollow tree trunks, most likely initiated by Cr. modiglianii. This species frequently nested without its partner, whereas we never found non-parabiotic Ca. rufifemur nests. We experimentally investigated potential benefits, potential interference competition for food (as a probable cost), and foraging niches of both species. 3. The two species never showed aggressive interactions and amicably shared food resources. However, Cr. modiglianii had a wider temporal and spatial foraging range than Ca. rufifemur, always found baits before Ca. rufifemur and recruited more efficiently. Camponotus rufifemur probably benefited from following pheromone trails of Cr. modiglianii. In turn, Ca. rufifemur was significantly more successful in defending the nest against alien ants. Crematogaster modiglianii hence may profit from its partner's defensive abilities. 4. In neotropical parabioses, epiphytes grown in 'ant-gardens' play a crucial role in the association, e.g. by stabilization of nests. Hemiepiphytic Poikilospermum cordifolium (Cecropiaceae) seedlings and saplings frequently grew in the entrances of parabiotic nests in Borneo, obviously dispersed by the ants. In cafeteria experiments, both parabiotic ants carried its elaiosome-bearing seeds into the nest. However, P. cordifolium does not provide additional nest space, contrasting with neotropical ant-gardens. 5. The parabiotic association appears beneficial for both ant species, the main benefits being nest initiation by Cr. modiglianii

  4. Artificial Intelligence,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    PATTERN RECOGNITION, * ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE , *TEXTBOOKS, COMPUTER PROGRAMMING, MATHEMATICAL LOGIC, ROBOTS, PROBLEM SOLVING, STATISTICAL ANALYSIS, GAME THEORY, NATURAL LANGUAGE, SELF ORGANIZING SYSTEMS.

  5. Feeding and Stocking Up: Radio-Labelled Food Reveals Exchange Patterns in Ants

    PubMed Central

    Buffin, Aurélie; Denis, Damien; Van Simaeys, Gaetan; Goldman, Serge; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis

    2009-01-01

    Food sharing is vital for a large number of species, either solitary or social, and is of particular importance within highly integrated societies, such as in colonial organisms and in social insects. Nevertheless, the mechanisms that govern the distribution of food inside a complex organizational system remain unknown. Using scintigraphy, a method developed for medical imaging, we were able to describe the dynamics of food-flow inside an ant colony. We monitored the sharing process of a radio-labelled sucrose solution inside a nest of Formica fusca. Our results show that, from the very first load that enters the nest, food present within the colony acts as negative feedback to entering food. After one hour of the experiments, 70% of the final harvest has already entered the nest. The total foraged quantity is almost four times smaller than the expected storage capacity. A finer study of the spatial distribution of food shows that although all ants have been fed rapidly (within 30 minutes), a small area representing on average 8% of the radioactive surface holds more than 25% of the stored food. Even in rather homogeneous nests, we observed a strong concentration of food in few workers. Examining the position of these workers inside the nest, we found heavily loaded ants in the centre of the aggregate. The position of the centre of this high-intensity radioactive surface remained stable for the three consecutive hours of the experiments. We demonstrate that the colony simultaneously managed to rapidly feed all workers (200 ants fed within 30