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Sample records for ground-dwelling ant hymenoptera

  1. Environment heterogeneity and seasonal effects in ground-dwelling ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) assemblages in the Parque Estadual do Rio Doce, MG, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Igor R; Ribeiro, Sérvio P

    2006-01-01

    This work aimed to explore the response of ant species assemblage to contrasting types of forests in a semideciduous stationary rainforest, in the Parque Estadual do Rio Doce, South Eastern Brazil. We compared antropomorphic borders of this park and natural ecotones, such as lake margins continuous with forests, as well as preserved forests far from ecotones. We investigated whether ground-dwelling ant species richness, abundance and composition would change according to forest types and ecotones. We expected greater species richness in interior tall forest, compared with low forest or ecotone habitats. In addition, we tested the effect of climate seasonality on ant assemblages found in each studied vegetation type. Each forest type was surveyed based on a minimum transect sampling unit of 150 m long summing up 30 pit-falls per unit. Two sampling events, one in dry season (September of 2001) and another in the rainy season (January of 2002) were performed. For both seasons, tall forest presented greater total number of ant species, however lower mean ant species and abundance per trap than other forest types, thus corroborating the prediction that ecotones might present high alpha diversity. Mean species richness and abundance did not differ between interior low forest and lake edge, or between these habitats and reserve border. In general, species composition were not clearly defined by forest types. Results here found suggest that species loss or community dominance by generalist species, eventually due to deforestation, is probably a much greater problem than previously thought. However, to understand patterns of insect species diversity and distribution in tropical ecosystem should be taken in account much more comprehensive, spatially explicit sampling designs.

  2. Diversity of the ground-dwelling ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of a moist, Montane forest of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste".

    PubMed

    Hites, N L; Mourão, M A N; Araújo, F O; Melo, M V C; de Biseau, J C; Quinet, Y

    2005-01-01

    Although the so called "green islands" of the semi-arid Brazilian "Nordeste" are economically, socially, and ecologically important. relatively little is known about their biodiversity. We present the results of the first survey of the ground-dwelling ant fauna of a secondary forest in the Serra de Baturité (4 degrees 05'-4 degrees 40' S / 38 degrees 30'-39 degrees 10' W), among the biggest of the moist, montane forests of the state of Ceará, Brazil. From February to March 2001, samples were taken every 50 m along twelve 200 m transects, each separated from the others by at least 50 m and cut on either side of a recreational trail. Where possible, two transects were cut from the same starting point on the trail, one on either side. At each sample site two methods were used, as recommended in the ALL. protocol: a pitfall trap and the treatment of 1 m2 of leaf litter with the Winkler extractor. The myrmecofauna of the Serra de Baturité is quite diverse: individuals from 72 species, 23 genera, and six subfamilies were collected. The observed patterns of specific richness show the same tendencies noted in other tropical regions, particularly the frequency of capture distribution with many rare and few abundant species. Differences with the Atlantic and Amazonian forests were also observed, especially the relative importance of the Ponerinac and Formicinae subfamilies, indicating a possible influence of the surrounding "caatinga" (savanna-like ecosystem) on the myrmecofauna of the moist, montane forest. PMID:17354429

  3. [Effects of lac insect honeydew on the diversity of ground-dwelling ants in lac plantation].

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhi-Xing; Chen, You-Qing; Li, Qiao; Wang, Si-Ming; Liu, Chun-Ju; Zhang, Wei

    2012-04-01

    By the method of pitfall trapping, an investigation was conducted on the diversity of ground-dwelling ants in a lac plantation in Yayi Town of Mojiang County, Yunnan Province of Southwest China in December 2009-May 2010, aimed to understand the effects of lac insect honeydew on the diversity of ground-dwelling ants. The presence or absence of lac insect honeydew and its dynamics all affected the species composition, abundance, and diversity of ground-dwelling ants. In the lac plantation with lac insect hosting, a total of 4953 ant individuals were collected, belonging to 34 species, 23 genera, and 5 subfamilies of Formicidae; whereas in the lac plantation without lac insect hosting, a total of 2416 ant individuals were collected, belonging to 30 species, 20 genera, and 5 subfamilies of Formicidae. The relative abundance, species richness (S), and ACE index in the lac plantation with lac insect hosting were higher than those in the lac plantation without lac insect hosting, and the common species and indicator species of ground-dwelling ants in the lac plantation with lac insect hosting differed from those in the lac plantation without lac insect hosting, suggesting that lac insect hosting altered the community structure of ground-dwelling ants. The adult lac insects excreted larger quantity of honeydew than the larval lac insects, and the relative abundance, S, and ACE index of ground-dwelling ants were higher at the adult stage than at the larval stage of lac insects. The common species and indicator species of ground-dwelling ants also had great differences between the two stages of lac insects.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ivanov, Kaloyan; Keiper, Joe

    2009-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schuh, Marissa; Larsen, Kirk J

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schuh, Marissa; Larsen, Kirk J

    2015-06-01

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

  8. Ants, Wasps, and Bees (Hymenoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. Fecundity and longevity of Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) queens in response to irradiation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Irradiation is a postharvest quarantine treatment option to control ants and other hitchhiker pests on fresh horticultural products traded between countries. As little is known about irradiation effects on ants, radiotolerance of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae...

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bezděčková, Klára; Bezděčka, Pavel; Machar, Ivo

    2015-09-21

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

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

    PubMed

    Bezděčková, Klára; Bezděčka, Pavel; Machar, Ivo

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Increasing trophic complexity influences aphid attendance by ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and predation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Species that are involved in multitrophic interactions are affected by the trophic levels that are above and below them in both indirect and direct ways. In this experiment, interactions among ants (Formica montana Wheeler; Hymenoptera: Formicidae), aphids (Myzus persicae [Sulzer]; Hemiptera: Aphidi...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Himender

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-10-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. Ants' learning of nest entrance characteristics (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Cammaerts, M C

    2014-02-01

    Young workers, experimentally removed from their nest and set in front of it, are not very good at finding the nest entrance and entering the nest. I examined how young ants learn their nest entrance characteristics, dealing only with the entrance sensu stricto, not with its vicinity. I observed that young ants have the innate behavior of trying to exit and re-enter their nest. I found that they are imprinted with the nest entrance odor while they are still living inside their nest and that they learn the visual aspect of their nest entrances, thanks to operant conditioning, when they exit their nest and succeed in re-entering in the course of their first short trips outside.

  11. A Descriptive Morphology of the Ant Genus Procryptocerus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Serna, F.; Mackay, W.

    2010-01-01

    Morphology is the most direct approach biologists have to recognize uniqueness of insect species as compared to close relatives. Ants of the genus Procryptocerus possess important morphologic characters yet have not been explored for use in a taxonomic revision. The genus is characterized by the protrusion of the clypeus forming a broad nasus and antennal scrobes over the eyes. The toruli are located right posterior to the flanks of the nasus opposite to each other. The vertex is deflexed posteriorly in most species. An in-group comparison of the external morphology is presented focusing on the workers. A general morphology for gynes and males is also presented. Previously mentioned characters as well as new ones are presented, and their character states in different species are clarified. For the metasoma a new system of ant metasomal somite nomenclature is presented that is applicable to Aculeata in general. Finally, a Glossary of morphological terms is offered for the genus (available online). Most of the terminology can be used in other members of the Formicidae and Aculeata. PMID:20874568

  12. A descriptive morphology of the ant genus Procryptocerus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Serna, F; Mackay, W

    2010-01-01

    Morphology is the most direct approach biologists have to recognize uniqueness of insect species as compared to close relatives. Ants of the genus Procryptocerus possess important morphologic characters yet have not been explored for use in a taxonomic revision. The genus is characterized by the protrusion of the clypeus forming a broad nasus and antennal scrobes over the eyes. The toruli are located right posterior to the flanks of the nasus opposite to each other. The vertex is deflexed posteriorly in most species. An in-group comparison of the external morphology is presented focusing on the workers. A general morphology for gynes and males is also presented. Previously mentioned characters as well as new ones are presented, and their character states in different species are clarified. For the metasoma a new system of ant metasomal somite nomenclature is presented that is applicable to Aculeata in general. Finally, a Glossary of morphological terms is offered for the genus (available online). Most of the terminology can be used in other members of the Formicidae and Aculeata.

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

    PubMed

    Chong, Kim-Fung; Lee, Chow-Yang

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Borowiec, Marek L

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Borowiec, Marek L.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chong, Kim-Fung; Lee, Chow-Yang

    2009-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  1. Repellent efficacy of formic acid and the abdominal secretion of carpenter ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) against Amblyomma ticks (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Falótico, Tiago; Labruna, Marcelo B; Verderane, Michele P; De Resende, Briseida D; Izar, Patrícia; Ottoni, Eduardo B

    2007-07-01

    Formic acid is a substance produced by some ants for defense, trail marking, and recruitment. Some animals are known to rub ants or other arthropods on parts of their plumage or fur to anoint themselves with released substances. A recent study with a semifree-ranging group of capuchin monkeys, Cebus apella L., in the Tietê Ecological Park, Sao Paulo, Brazil, an area of occurrence of the tick species Amblyomma cajennense (F.), revealed that "anting" with carpenter ants, Camponotus rufipes F. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), occurs frequently, especially during the A. cajennense subadult season. Based on these observations, we tested the repellent effect of the formic acid and the ants themselves against A. cajennense and Amblyomma incisum Neumann nymphs, and Amblyomma parcum Aragdo adult ticks in the laboratory. The results revealed a significant repellent effect of formic acid and ant secretion, and a significant duration of the repellent effect. The results suggest that the anting behavior of capuchin monkeys, and other vertebrates, may be related with repellence of ticks and other ectoparasites.

  2. Repellent efficacy of formic acid and the abdominal secretion of carpenter ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) against Amblyomma ticks (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Falótico, Tiago; Labruna, Marcelo B; Verderane, Michele P; De Resende, Briseida D; Izar, Patrícia; Ottoni, Eduardo B

    2007-07-01

    Formic acid is a substance produced by some ants for defense, trail marking, and recruitment. Some animals are known to rub ants or other arthropods on parts of their plumage or fur to anoint themselves with released substances. A recent study with a semifree-ranging group of capuchin monkeys, Cebus apella L., in the Tietê Ecological Park, Sao Paulo, Brazil, an area of occurrence of the tick species Amblyomma cajennense (F.), revealed that "anting" with carpenter ants, Camponotus rufipes F. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), occurs frequently, especially during the A. cajennense subadult season. Based on these observations, we tested the repellent effect of the formic acid and the ants themselves against A. cajennense and Amblyomma incisum Neumann nymphs, and Amblyomma parcum Aragdo adult ticks in the laboratory. The results revealed a significant repellent effect of formic acid and ant secretion, and a significant duration of the repellent effect. The results suggest that the anting behavior of capuchin monkeys, and other vertebrates, may be related with repellence of ticks and other ectoparasites. PMID:17695031

  3. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in vineyards that are infested or uninfested with Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) in Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Munhae, Catarina De Bortoli; Morini, Maria Santina De Castro; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2014-10-15

    The association between ants and mealybugs can result in damage to agriculture, including vineyards. In southern Brazil, the ant Linepithema micans F. contributes to the dispersal of Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Wille) (ground pearl), a root mealybug that can lead to economic losses. In this study, the ant communities in vineyards that were infested or uninfested with ground pearls were evaluated in the primary municipalities that produce the Niágara Rosada variety of grapes in southeastern Brazil. The hypothesis of this study was that the composition of the ant community differs between vineyards with and without E. brasiliensis. The ants were collected using subterranean traps in 10 vineyards infested with this mealybug and 10 uninfested vineyards. There was no significant association between ground pearls and the composition or richness of the ant species. Solenopsis invicta (Buren) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) was the most frequently observed, and Pheidole aberrans (Mayr), Pheidole subarmata (Mayr), and Brachymyrmex incisus F. were common, especially in the rainy season when ground-pearl nymphs were prevalent in the state of São Paulo. Species from preserved or specialized environments were recorded in the vineyards, even with the use of conventional management techniques.

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

    PubMed

    Urrutia-Escobar, M X; Armbrecht, I

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fraser, R D Bruce; Parry, David A D

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert A; Moreau, Corrie S

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fraser, R D Bruce; Parry, David A D

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Briggs, C M; Redak, R A

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Briggs, C M; Redak, R A

    2016-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Learning of colonial odor in the ant Cataglyphis niger (Hymenoptera; Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Nowbahari, Elise

    2007-05-01

    Ants learn the odors of members of their colony early in postnatal life, but their ability to learn to recognize noncolony conspecifics and heterospecifics has never been explored. We used a habituation-discrimination paradigm to assess individual recognition in adult Formicine ants, Cataglyphis niger. Pairs of workers from different colonies were placed together for repeated trials, and their ability to discriminate the ant that they encountered from another familiar or unfamiliar ant was observed. Some ants were isolated between encounters, and others were returned to their home colonies. Our results suggest for the first time in ants that C. niger adults learn about individual ants that they have encountered and recognize them in subsequent encounters. Ants are less aggressive toward non-nestmates after they are familiar with one another, but they are aggressive again when they encounter an unfamiliar individual. Learning about non-nestmates does not interfere with an ant's memory of members from its own colony. PMID:17688182

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. [Effects of cutting and reseeding on the ground-dwelling arthropod community in Caragana intermedia forest in desert steppe].

    PubMed

    Liu, Ren-Tao; Chai, Yong-Qing; Yang, Xin-Guo; Song, Nai-Ping; Wang, Xin-Yun; Wang, Lei

    2013-01-01

    Taking a 25-year-old Caragana intermedia forest in desert steppe as test object, an investigation was conducted on the ground-dwelling arthropod community in cutting and no-cutting stands with and without reseeding, aimed to understand the effects of cutting, reseeding and their interaction on the individual number and group richness of ground-dwelling arthropod in C. intermedia forest. There were significantly lower number and richness of ground-dwelling arthropod in the open spaces than under the shrubs in the no-cutting and no-reseeding stands. Cutting, reseeding and both of them could significantly increase the number and richness of ground-dwelling arthropod in the open spaces, but not under the shrubs, compared with no cutting or reseeding. Consequently, there were no significant differences in the distribution of ground-dwelling arthropod in the open spaces and under the shrubs in the cutting, reseeding, or cutting and reseeding stands. Further, there was a similar buffer effect between cutting and reseeding on the ground-dwelling arthropod. No significant differences were observed in the ground-dwelling arthropod distribution, between cutting stand and reseeding stand, between cutting stand and cutting and reseeding stand, and between reseeding stand and cutting and reseeding stand. It was suggested that cutting, reseeding, or both of them could significantly improve the ground-dwelling arthropod diversity especially in the open spaces, being beneficial for the restoration of degraded grassland ecosystem and the rational management on artificial C. intermedia forest in desert steppe.

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

    PubMed

    Cheli, Germán H; Corley, Juan C

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    General, David M.; Alpert, Gary D.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cammaerts, Marie-Claire

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cammaerts, Marie-Claire

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Peng, Renkang; Christian, Keith

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Peng, Renkang; Christian, Keith

    2013-02-01

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

  5. [Pathogenic bacteria dissemination by ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in two hospitals in northeast Brazil].

    PubMed

    Fontana, Renato; Wetler, Rita M da C; Aquino, Renata S S; Andrioli, João L; Queiroz, Guilherme R G; Ferreira, Sônia L; Nascimento, Ivan C do; Delabie, Jacques H C

    2010-01-01

    Nosocomial infections bring a high risk to the health of hospital patients and employees. Ants are common organisms in Brazilian hospitals, where they can act as dispersers of opportunistic microorganisms in places they forage. The occurrence of multi-resistant bacteria carried by ants was analyzed in two public hospitals (HA and HB) in southeastern Bahia, Brazil. In these two hospitals 132 workers belonging to three ant species were collected. The bacteria associated to these ants were identified and their susceptibility to antibiotics was evaluated. More than half (57.3%) of ants collected in HA were associated with some kind of bacteria, with 26.7% of them being opportunist bacteria, while 84,2% of the ants from HB presented associated bacteria growth, with 61.4% of them being opportunist bacteria. Twenty four species of bacteria were isolated. The Gram-positive bacilli of the genus Bacillus were the most frequent, followed by the Gram-positive cocci, Gram-negative bacilli (family Enterobacteriaceae) and Gram-negative non-fermenters bacilli. The profile of sensitivity of the bacterial isolates to drugs pointed out the existence of multi-resistant isolates carried by ants. For the first time, are reported cases of the same bacterial resistant isolates taken form homospecific ant workers that point out the importance of ants to bacteria dissemination and proliferation in a hospital. Our results suggest that the risk of contamination presented by these ants is similar to the one of any other mechanical vector of bacterial dissemination.

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

    PubMed

    Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-03-01

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

  8. Toxicity and repellency of borate-sucrose water baits to Argentine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Klotz, J H; Greenberg, L; Amrhein, C; Rust, M K

    2000-08-01

    The oral toxicity of boron compounds to the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), was evaluated in laboratory tests. The ants were provided 25% sucrose water containing 0.5 and 1% boric acid, disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, and borax. Lethal times of these solutions were a function of the concentration of boron. In field tests, the ants showed no discrimination between disodium octaborate tetrahydrate and boric acid. There was a significant reduction in consumption of sucrose water with > 1% boric acid.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Cammaerts, Marie-Claire

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Characterizing the interaction between fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and developing soybean plants.

    PubMed

    Shatters, R G; Vander Meer, R K

    2000-12-01

    This research characterizes the interaction between the fire ants Solenopsis invicta Buren and developing soybean plants. Phagostimulant studies showed that fire ant foraging on soybean seeds increased once the seeds imbibed water. During seedling development over a 5-d germination period, fire ant foraging shifted from the stem/cotyledons to the roots, despite continual increases in fresh weights for each region, and the fact that stem/cotyledon tissue contained the majority of food reserves. Carbohydrate analysis showed that although 2-d-old seedlings had higher concentrations of phagostimulant carbohydrates, especially sucrose, than tissues of mature plants, all tissues analyzed had enough of these sugars to induce a phagostimulant response. Fire ant association with seeds/seedlings germinated in soil resulted in reduced seedling vigor, as determined by a doubling of seedling emergence time, a threefold increase in malformed seedlings, and visible damage to cotyledons. Seeds germinated and grown to mature plants in association with fire ants, allocated 43% more assimilate into pods, but produced 28% less root dry matter, 11% less total dry matter, and there was an 81% reduction in the number of root nodules compared with control plants. We propose that reduced root development and inhibitions of nodule formation would be major yield limiting factors under field conditions. This work demonstrates that fire ant damage to soybeans is not limited to seedling establishment and that more research should be directed at the subterranean activities of the fire ant.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Cai; Henderson, Gregg

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Guénard, Benoit; Economo, Evan P

    2015-11-10

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

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

    PubMed

    Guénard, Benoit; Economo, Evan P

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Coupling of canopy and understory food webs by ground-dwelling predators.

    PubMed

    Pringle, Robert M; Fox-Dobbs, Kena

    2008-12-01

    Understanding food-web dynamics requires knowing whether species assemblages are compartmentalized into distinct energy channels, and, if so, how these channels are structured in space. We used isotopic analyses to reconstruct the food web of a Kenyan wooded grassland. Insect prey were relatively specialized consumers of either C3 (trees and shrubs) or C4 (grasses) plants. Arboreal predators (arthropods and geckos) were also specialized, deriving c. 90% of their diet from C3-feeding prey. In contrast, ground-dwelling predators preyed considerably upon both C3- and C4-feeding prey. This asymmetry suggests a gravity-driven subsidy of the terrestrial predator community, whereby tree-dwelling prey fall and are consumed by ground-dwelling predators. Thus, predators in general couple the C3 and C4 components of this food web, but ground-dwelling predators perform this ecosystem function more effectively than tree-dwelling ones. Although prey subsidies in vertically structured terrestrial habitats have received little attention, they are likely to be common and important to food-web organization.

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

    PubMed

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Roper, Elray; Chin, Darren

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Buczkowski, Grzegorz; Roper, Elray; Chin, Darren

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sola, Francisco; Falibene, Agustina; Josens, Roxana

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sola, Francisco; Falibene, Agustina; Josens, Roxana

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Grimaldi, David; Agosti, Donat

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Stringer, Lloyd D; Suckling, David Maxwell; Baird, David; Vander Meer, Robert K; Christian, Sheree J; Lester, Philip J

    2011-10-01

    Cost-effective detection of invasive ant colonies before establishment in new ranges is imperative for the protection of national borders and reducing their global impact. We examined the sampling efficiency of food-baits and pitfall traps (baited and nonbaited) in detecting isolated red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) nests in multiple environments in Gainesville, FL. Fire ants demonstrated a significantly higher preference for a mixed protein food type (hotdog or ground meat combined with sweet peanut butter) than for the sugar or water baits offered. Foraging distance success was a function of colony size, detection trap used, and surveillance duration. Colony gyne number did not influence detection success. Workers from small nests (0- to 15-cm mound diameter) traveled no >3 m to a food source, whereas large colonies (>30-cm mound diameter) traveled up to 17 m. Baited pitfall traps performed best at detecting incipient ant colonies followed by nonbaited pitfall traps then food baits, whereas food baits performed well when trying to detect large colonies. These results were used to create an interactive model in Microsoft Excel, whereby surveillance managers can alter trap type, density, and duration parameters to estimate the probability of detecting specified or unknown S. invicta colony sizes. This model will support decision makers who need to balance the sampling cost and risk of failure to detect fire ant colonies.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruano, Francisca; Tinaut, Alberto

    2005-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sharaf, Mostafa R.; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S.

    2013-01-01

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

  5. A taxonomic revision of the seed-harvester ant genus Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on Hispaniola.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert A; Cover, Stefan P

    2015-06-11

    We revise species of seed-harvester ants in the genus Pogonomyrmex (subfamily Myrmicinae) that occur on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Three species are recognized: P. aterrimus Wheeler (new status), P. saucius Wheeler and Mann, and P. schmitti Forel. Pogonomyrmex schmitti sublaevigatus Wheeler (= schmitti) and P. schmitti darlingtoni Wheeler (= aterrimus) are synonomized. We also describe the queen of P. aterrimus and P. saucius, and provide information on biology, distribution maps, and a key to workers and queens.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Greenberg, L; Klotz, J H

    2000-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lim, S P; Lee, C Y

    2005-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Invasion patterns of ground-dwelling arthropods in Canarian laurel forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arndt, Erik; Perner, Jörg

    2008-09-01

    Patterns of invasive species in four different functional groups of ground-dwelling arthropods (Carnivorous ground dwelling beetles; Chilopoda; Diplopoda; Oniscoidea) were examined in laurel forests of the Canary Islands. The following hypotheses were tested: (A) increasing species richness is connected with decreasing invasibility as predicted by the Diversity-invasibility hypothesis (DIH); (B) disturbed or anthropogenically influenced habitats are more sensitive for invasions than natural and undisturbed habitats; and (C) climatic differences between laurel forest sites do not affect the rate of invasibility. A large proportion of invasives (species and abundances) was observed in most of the studied arthropod groups. However, we did not find any support for the DIH based on the examined arthropod groups. Regarding the impact of the extrinsic factors 'disturbance' and 'climate' on invasion patterns, we found considerable differences between the studied functional groups. Whereas the 'disturbance parameters' played a minor role and only affected the relative abundances of invasive centipedes (positively) and millipedes (negatively), the 'climate parameters' were significantly linked with the pattern of invasive detritivores. Interactions between native and invading species have not been observed thus far, but cannot completely be excluded.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lei; Zeng, Ling; Chen, Jian

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Borowiec, Marek L.; Longino, John T.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract We describe three new species of the Neotropical ant genus Leptanilloides: Leptanilloides gracilis sp. n. based on workers from Mexico and Guatemala, Leptanilloides erinys sp. n. based on workers and a gyne from Ecuador, and Leptanilloides femoralis sp. n. based on workers from Venezuela. The description of Leptanilloides gracilis is a northern extension of the known range of the genus, now numbering eleven described species. We also describe and discuss three unassociated male morphotypes from Central America. We report the occurrence of a metatibial gland in Leptanilloides and a fused promesonotal connection (suture) in some species. We provide a modified, detailed diagnosis of the genus and a revised key to the worker caste of the known species. PMID:22140337

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Zeng, Ling; Chen, Jian

    2015-12-08

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

  2. Then there were five: a reexamination of the ant genus Paratrechina (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    LaPolla, John S; Fisher, Brian L

    2014-01-01

    The ant genus Paratrechina is reexamined based on the discovery of two new species from Madagascar (P. ankarana sp. n. and P. antsingy sp. n.). Paratrechina kohli, a species known from central Africa, is transferred to Paratrechina from Prenolepis based on a new morphological interpretation of the genus and an updated morphological diagnosis of the genus is provided. This means that other than the widespread P. longicornis, whose origins remain uncertain, all Paratrechina are restricted either to the Afrotropical or Malagasy regions. It would also appear that of the five Paratrechina species now known, three are from dry forest habitats. With this reexamination of the genus, the possible origins of P. longicornis are discussed. A key to the genera of the Prenolepis genus-group is provided, as is a key to the workers of Paratrechina. In addition, we also designate a lectotype for Paratrechina kohli. PMID:25061388

  3. Effects of boric acid, fipronil, hydramethylnon, and diflubenzuron baits on colonies of ghost ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Ulloa-Chacón, Patricia; Jaramillo, Gloria Isabel

    2003-06-01

    Laboratory colonies of the ghost ant, Tapinoma melanocephalum (F.) were administered sugar solution (10%) baits containing the insecticides boric acid, fipronil (REGENT), hydramethylnon (SIEGE), or diflubenzuron (DIMILN). Colonies were exposed to the baits for 21 d, and development of workers, queens, and brood (larvae and pupae) was observed for 4 wk. Fipronil (0.05%) caused 100% mortality in all colonies the first week. With boric acid (0.5%), 100% mortality of workers, queens, and brood was reached at the end of the third week. With hydramethylnon (2%), 83% of the colonies disappeared at the end of the fourth week, but some queens were still alive 9 wk after the trial started. Diflubenzuron (1%) behaved similarly to the control, although in some colonies, the brood production increased, whereas in other colonies, the queens disappeared. In the control colonies, workers, queens, and brood were always observed even up to 9 wk.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Ecology of microfungal communities in gardens of fungus-growing ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): a year-long survey of three species of attine ants in Central Texas.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Andre; Mueller, Ulrich G; Ishak, Heather D; Bacci, Maurício; Pagnocca, Fernando C

    2011-11-01

    We profiled the microfungal communities in gardens of fungus-growing ants to evaluate possible species-specific ant-microfungal associations and to assess the potential dependencies of microfungal diversity on ant foraging behavior. In a 1-year survey, we isolated microfungi from nests of Cyphomyrmex wheeleri, Trachymyrmex septentrionalis and Atta texana in Central Texas. Microfungal prevalence was higher in gardens of C. wheeleri (57%) than in the gardens of T. septentrionalis (46%) and A. texana (35%). Culture-dependent methods coupled with a polyphasic approach of species identification revealed diverse and changing microfungal communities in all the sampling periods. Diversity analyses showed no obvious correlations between the number of observed microfungal species, ant species, or the ants' changing foraging behavior across the seasons. However, both correspondence analysis and 5.8S-rRNA gene unifrac analyses suggested structuring of microfungal communities by ant host. These host-specific differences may reflect in part the three different environments where ants were collected. Most interestingly, the specialized fungal parasite Escovopsis was not isolated from any attine garden in this study near the northernmost limit of the range of attine ants, contrasting with previous studies that indicated a significant incidence of this parasite in ant gardens from Central and South America. The observed differences of microfungal communities in attine gardens suggest that the ants are continuously in contact with a diverse microfungal species assemblage.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. 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...

  11. Influence of weeds on Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and obscure mealybug (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in a central California vineyard.

    PubMed

    Costello, Michael J; Welch, Mark D

    2014-06-01

    Obscure mealybug is a pest of grapes in the cool climate regions of coastal California, is found on some vineyard weeds, and is tended by the Argentine ant. A study was conducted at a vineyard in Arroyo Grande, CA, to evaluate the impact of weeds on ant activity on grapevines, and the role that ants and weeds have on obscure mealybug infestation in grape clusters. The incidence of the fungus Botrytis cinerea was recorded as well. Treatments were weed exclusion versus the presence of weeds, and ant exclusion versus the presence of ants. Ant activity was evaluated weekly using sugar-based monitoring stations, and mealybug infestation and Botrytis incidence of clusters were evaluated at harvest. Ant exclusion reduced the overall number of ant visits by 82%, and ants increased mealybug infestation of clusters by 53%. Ant activity was 33% higher in the weeds treatment, but there was no impact of weeds on mealybug infestation. We suggest that the higher ant activity recorded in the weeds treatment may have been an artifact of the sugar-based sampling method. Botrytis incidence was three times higher with ants, but did not differ between weeds and weed exclusion treatments. The study supports other research showing a relationship between mealybug infestation and the presence of ants, as well as the lack of impact of floor vegetation on mealybug infestation of grape clusters. It is the first report of a relationship between ants and Botrytis, although it is more likely that the higher Botrytis incidence found here is a result of increased mealybug density than a direct effect by ants. PMID:25026682

  12. Influence of weeds on Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and obscure mealybug (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in a central California vineyard.

    PubMed

    Costello, Michael J; Welch, Mark D

    2014-06-01

    Obscure mealybug is a pest of grapes in the cool climate regions of coastal California, is found on some vineyard weeds, and is tended by the Argentine ant. A study was conducted at a vineyard in Arroyo Grande, CA, to evaluate the impact of weeds on ant activity on grapevines, and the role that ants and weeds have on obscure mealybug infestation in grape clusters. The incidence of the fungus Botrytis cinerea was recorded as well. Treatments were weed exclusion versus the presence of weeds, and ant exclusion versus the presence of ants. Ant activity was evaluated weekly using sugar-based monitoring stations, and mealybug infestation and Botrytis incidence of clusters were evaluated at harvest. Ant exclusion reduced the overall number of ant visits by 82%, and ants increased mealybug infestation of clusters by 53%. Ant activity was 33% higher in the weeds treatment, but there was no impact of weeds on mealybug infestation. We suggest that the higher ant activity recorded in the weeds treatment may have been an artifact of the sugar-based sampling method. Botrytis incidence was three times higher with ants, but did not differ between weeds and weed exclusion treatments. The study supports other research showing a relationship between mealybug infestation and the presence of ants, as well as the lack of impact of floor vegetation on mealybug infestation of grape clusters. It is the first report of a relationship between ants and Botrytis, although it is more likely that the higher Botrytis incidence found here is a result of increased mealybug density than a direct effect by ants.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  20. 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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. Hymenoptera Genome Database: integrating genome annotations in HymenopteraMine

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Dracula ant phylogeny as inferred by nuclear 28S rDNA sequences and implications for ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Amblyoponinae).

    PubMed

    Saux, Corrie; Fisher, Brian L; Spicer, Greg S

    2004-11-01

    Ants are one of the most ecologically and numerically dominant families of organisms in almost every terrestrial habitat throughout the world, though they include only about 1% of all described insect species. The development of eusociality is thought to have been a driving force in the striking diversification and dominance of this group, yet we know little about the evolution of the major lineages of ants and have been unable to clearly determine their primitive characteristics. Ants within the subfamily Amblyoponinae are specialized arthropod predators, possess many anatomically and behaviorally primitive characters and have been proposed as a possible basal lineage within the ants. We investigate the phylogenetic relationships among the members of the subfamily, using nuclear 28S rDNA sequence data. Outgroups for the analysis include members of the poneromorph and leptanillomorph (Apomyrma, Leptanilla) ant subfamilies, as well as three wasp families. Parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analyses provide strong support for the monophyly of a clade containing the two genera Apomyrma+Mystrium (100% bpp; 97% ML bs; and 97% MP bs), and moderate support for the monophyly of the Amblyoponinae as long as Apomyrma (Apomyrminae) is included (87% bpp; 57% ML bs; and 76% MP bs). Analyses did not recover evidence of monophyly of the Amblyopone genus, while the monophyly of the other genera in the subfamily is supported. Based on these results we provide a morphological diagnosis of the Amblyoponinae that includes Apomyrma. Among the outgroup taxa, Typhlomyrmex grouped consistently with Ectatomma, supporting the recent placement of Typhlomyrmex in the Ectatomminae. The results of this present study place the included ant subfamilies into roughly two clades with the basal placement of Leptanilla unclear. One clade contains all the Amblyoponinae (including Apomyrma), Ponerinae, and Proceratiinae (Poneroid clade). The other clade contains members from subfamilies

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

    PubMed

    Kafle, Lekhnath; Shih, Cheng Jen

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kafle, Lekhnath; Shih, Cheng Jen

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The intent of this paper is to facilitate future research of the Solomon Islands ant fauna by providing the first comprehensively researched species inventory in over 75 years. The species list presented here includes the names of all ant species recorded from the islands that are available in the literature together with specimen records from several museum collections and new records from our 2008 Makira field expedition. All the names of described species presented are valid in accordance with the most recent Formicidae classification. In total, the checklist is composed of 237 species and subspecies (including 30 morphospecies) in 59 genera representing nine subfamilies. We report that the recent field expedition added 67 new species records to Makira and 28 new species records to the Solomon Islands. Our research recovered species occurrence records for 32 individual islands and five island groups. The five islands with the highest number of recorded species are: Makira (142 spp.), Guadalcanal (107 spp.), Malaita (70 spp.), Santa Isabel (68 spp.), and Rennell (66 spp.). Based on our results, we discuss the taxonomic composition of the archipelago's ant fauna, which islands are most in need of additional sampling, and the importance of establishing biodiversity baselines before environmental threats such as the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata cause irrevocable harm to the native biodiversity. PMID:23653494

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The intent of this paper is to facilitate future research of the Solomon Islands ant fauna by providing the first comprehensively researched species inventory in over 75 years. The species list presented here includes the names of all ant species recorded from the islands that are available in the literature together with specimen records from several museum collections and new records from our 2008 Makira field expedition. All the names of described species presented are valid in accordance with the most recent Formicidae classification. In total, the checklist is composed of 237 species and subspecies (including 30 morphospecies) in 59 genera representing nine subfamilies. We report that the recent field expedition added 67 new species records to Makira and 28 new species records to the Solomon Islands. Our research recovered species occurrence records for 32 individual islands and five island groups. The five islands with the highest number of recorded species are: Makira (142 spp.), Guadalcanal (107 spp.), Malaita (70 spp.), Santa Isabel (68 spp.), and Rennell (66 spp.). Based on our results, we discuss the taxonomic composition of the archipelago's ant fauna, which islands are most in need of additional sampling, and the importance of establishing biodiversity baselines before environmental threats such as the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata cause irrevocable harm to the native biodiversity.

  12. Differential gene expression between alate and dealate queens in the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Haisheng Tian; Bradleigh Vinson, S; Coates, Craig J

    2004-09-01

    The transition of fire ant queens from alates to dealates, following a mating flight, is associated with numerous important physiological changes. A molecular analysis of gene expression differences that occur between alates and dealates was performed using the suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) method. 983 SSH clones were arrayed and screened by dot blot hybridization, followed by Northern blot analysis for selected clones. Gene expression profiles throughout fire ant development were determined using semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR). The cytochrome c oxidase subunit II and STARS (striated muscle activator of Rho signaling) transcripts were expressed at higher levels in dealates compared to alates and may be involved in the programmed cell death of the flight muscles. Three different vitellogenin genes and two unique yellow g-like genes were identified that may be closely associated with the reproductive system and/or nutrient transport. Two putative antibacterial peptides, abaecin and hymenoptaecin precursors, were highly expressed in dealate queens, suggesting that they are present as an immune system component during this important stage of fire ant development. The genes identified in this study may be utilized as novel targets for fire ant control and will also provide molecular markers for studies of other social insects.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The intent of this paper is to facilitate future research of the Solomon Islands ant fauna by providing the first comprehensively researched species inventory in over 75 years. The species list presented here includes the names of all ant species recorded from the islands that are available in the literature together with specimen records from several museum collections and new records from our 2008 Makira field expedition. All the names of described species presented are valid in accordance with the most recent Formicidae classification. In total, the checklist is composed of 237 species and subspecies (including 30 morphospecies) in 59 genera representing nine subfamilies. We report that the recent field expedition added 67 new species records to Makira and 28 new species records to the Solomon Islands. Our research recovered species occurrence records for 32 individual islands and five island groups. The five islands with the highest number of recorded species are: Makira (142 spp.), Guadalcanal (107 spp.), Malaita (70 spp.), Santa Isabel (68 spp.), and Rennell (66 spp.). Based on our results, we discuss the taxonomic composition of the archipelago’s ant fauna, which islands are most in need of additional sampling, and the importance of establishing biodiversity baselines before environmental threats such as the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata cause irrevocable harm to the native biodiversity. PMID:23653494

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, Jon; Johansson, Therese

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gibb, Heloise; Andersson, Jon; Johansson, Therese

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gibb, Heloise; Andersson, Jon; Johansson, Therese

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  19. Effects of transgenic rice expressing Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab protein on ground-dwelling collembolan community in postharvest seasons.

    PubMed

    Bai, Y Y; Yan, R H; Ye, G Y; Huang, F N; Cheng, J A

    2010-02-01

    During 2005-2008, field studies were conducted at two locations in Chongqing, China, to assess the potential effects of transgenic rice expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1Ab protein on the nontarget ground-dwelling collembolan community in three postharvest seasons. Collembolans in non-Bt and Bt rice fields were sampled with pitfall traps during each of two postharvest seasons of 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 and litterbag traps during each of three postharvest seasons of 2005/2006, 2006/2007, and 2007/2008. Ground-dwelling collembolans in rice fields during the postharvest seasons were abundant, whereas community densities varied considerably between the two locations and among the three seasons. A total of 67,310 collembolans, representing three species, Entomobrya griseoolivata, Hypogastrura matura, and Bourletiella christianseni, were captured during the three postharvest seasons. E. griseoolivata was the predominant species, accounting for 87.7% of the total captures, followed by H. matura (10.7%) and B. christianseni (1.6%). In general, there were no significant differences in species compositions and abundances of each species between Bt and non-Bt paddy fields, suggesting no significantly impact of plant residues of Cry1Ab rice on collembolan communities during postharvest seasons.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  3. [Effect of collect time on communities of epigaeic ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in areas of Eucalyptus cloeziana and cerrado].

    PubMed

    Tavares, Antônio A; Bispo, Pitágoras C; Zanzini, Antônio C

    2008-01-01

    This study aimed at evaluating the effect of collect time (day and night) on ant fauna attracted to baits in areas of Eucalyptus cloeziana (Myrtaceae) and cerrado. The ants were collected in Fazenda Boa Vista, Mannesmann Fi - El Florestal Ltda, Paineiras, Minas Gerais State. Eigthteen sample units were collected: 12 in E. cloezina and six in cerrado. Each sample unit consisted of three plots (25 x 35 m each). The plot consisted of 34 baits distributed in a grid pattern at 5 m intervals. The sampling was carried out in the diurnal and nocturnal period. The results obtained revealed that both type of vegetation (cerrado x Eucalyptus) and the collect time (day x night) had a significative influence on the epigaeic ant fauna. The ordination (DCA) indicated that collect time effect was more important to fauna structuration than the vegetation effect. Brachymyrmex sp.1, Brachymyrmex sp.2, Camponotus crassus Mayr, Camponotus rufipes (Fabricius), Cephalotes pusillus (Klug) and Ectatomma brunneum Smith were indicator species of nocturnal period, and Camponotus renggeri-Emery, Camponotus atriceps (Smith), Camponotus melanoticus Emery and Paratrechina sp.1 were indicators of nocturnal period.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sarnat, Eli M.; Economo, Evan P.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tay, J W; Lee, C Y

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Peeters, Christian; Adams, Rachelle M M

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Delayed toxicity as a critical factor in the efficacy of aqueous baits for controlling Argentine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Rust, Michael K; Reierson, Donald A; Klotz, John H

    2004-06-01

    Boric acid, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam in sucrose aqueous baits had different delayed toxicities to worker Argentine ants, Linepithema humile (Mayr). The concentrations required to produce an LT50 (time required to produce 50% mortality) within 1-4 d were 3.63-0.55% boric acid, 9.2 x 10(-3) to 7.1 x 10(-4)% imidacloprid, and 3 x 10(-4) to 2 x 10(-5)% thiamethoxam. The three toxicants were not repellent. Other laboratory trials showed that 1% boric acid, 5 x 10(-4) to 5 x 10(-3)% imidacloprid, and 1 x 10(-5) to 1 x 10(-3)% thiamethoxam had delayed toxic effects, whereas 0.5% boric acid and < 5 x 10(-3)% imidacloprid did not. Baits that provided an LT50 between days 1 and 4 were considered to have delayed toxic effects. The utility of aqueous sucrose baits and toxicants soluble in such systems and the negative impact of fast-acting toxicants on trail following, recruitment, trophallaxis, and control of Argentine ants are discussed.

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

    PubMed

    Choate, Beth; Drummond, Francis A

    2013-04-01

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

  12. A Revision of Male Ants of the Malagasy Amblyoponinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with Resurrections of the Genera Stigmatomma and Xymmer

    PubMed Central

    Yoshimura, Masashi; Fisher, Brian L.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Jian; Zhang, Guangmei

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, Masashi; Fisher, Brian L

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Peeters, Christian; Adams, Rachelle M. M.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Peeters, Christian; Adams, Rachelle M. M.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert A

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert A

    2015-10-13

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Seifert, Bernhard; Csösz, Sandor

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Branstetter, Michael G.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Branstetter, Michael G

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kurten, Erin L.; Carson, Walter P.

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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 ...

  5. Efficacy of pitfall trapping, Winkler and Berlese extraction methods for measuring ground-dwelling arthropods in moist-deciduous forests in the Western Ghats.

    PubMed

    Sabu, Thomas K; Shiju, Raj T

    2010-01-01

    The present study provides data to decide on the most appropriate method for sampling of ground-dwelling arthropods measured in a moist-deciduous forest in the Western Ghats in South India. The abundance of ground-dwelling arthropods was compared among large numbers of samples obtained using pitfall trapping, Berlese and Winkler extraction methods. Highest abundance and frequency of most of the represented taxa indicated pitfall trapping as the ideal method for sampling of ground-dwelling arthropods. However, with possible bias towards surface-active taxa, pitfall-trapping data is inappropriate for quantitative studies, and Berlese extraction is the better alternative. Berlese extraction is the better method for quantitative measurements than the other two methods, whereas pitfall trapping would be appropriate for qualitative measurements. A comparison of the Berlese and Winkler extraction data shows that in a quantitative multigroup approach, Winkler extraction was inferior to Berlese extraction because the total number of arthropods caught was the lowest; and many of the taxa that were caught from an identical sample via Berlese extraction method were not caught. Significantly a greater frequency and higher abundance of arthropods belonging to Orthoptera, Blattaria, and Diptera occurred in pitfall-trapped samples and Psocoptera and Acariformes in Berlese-extracted samples than that were obtained in the other two methods, indicating that both methods are useful, one complementing the other, eliminating a chance for possible under-representation of taxa in quantitative studies.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. The first mesozoic ants.

    PubMed

    Wilson, E O; Carpenter, F M; Brown, W L

    1967-09-01

    Two worker ants preserved in amber of Upper Cretaceous age have been found in New Jersey. They are the first undisputed remains of social insects of Mesozoic age, extending the existence of social life in insects back to approximately 100 million years. They are also the earliest known fossils that can be assigned with certainty to aculeate Hymenoptera. The species, Sphecomyrma freyi, is considered to represent a new subfamily (Sphecomyrminae), more primitive than any previously known ant group. It forms a near-perfect link between certain nonsocial tiphiid wasps and the most primitive myrmecioid ants.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Novgorodova, Tatiana A

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Novgorodova, Tatiana A

    2015-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

  16. Significance of the tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata (hymenoptera: formicidae) as part of the natural enemy complex responsible for successful biological control of many tropical irrigated rice pests.

    PubMed

    Way, M J; Heong, K L

    2009-10-01

    The tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius) often nests very abundantly in the earthen banks (bunds) around irrigated rice fields in the tropics. Where some farmers habitually drain fields to the mud for about 3-4 days, the ants can quickly spread up to about 20 m into the fields where they collect food, including pest prey such as the eggs and young of the apple snail Pomacea caniculata (Lamarck) and insects such as lepidopterous larvae and hoppers, notably Nilaparvata lugens (Stäl) the brown planthopper (Bph) and green leafhoppers Nephotettix spp. Even in drained fields, the activity of S. geminata is restricted by rainfall in the wet season. The relatively few ant workers that forage characteristically into drained fields and on to the transplanted clumps of rice plants (hills) kill the normally few immigrant Bph adults but are initially slower acting than other species of the natural enemy complex. However, larger populations of Bph are fiercely attacked and effectively controlled by rapidly recruited ant workers; whereas, in the absence of the ant, the other natural enemies are inadequate. In normal circumstances, there is no ant recruitment in response to initially small populations of immigrant Bph and no evidence of incompatibility between ant foragers and other natural enemies such as spiders. However, when many ants are quickly and aggressively recruited to attack large populations of Bph, they temporarily displace some spiders from infested hills. It is concluded that, in suitable weather conditions and even when insecticides kill natural enemies within the rice field, periodic drainage that enables S. geminata to join the predator complex is valuable for ant-based control of pests such as snails and Lepidoptera, and especially against relatively large populations of Bph. Drainage practices to benefit ants are fully compatible with recent research, which shows that periodic drainage combats problems of 'yield decline' in intensively irrigated

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

    PubMed Central

    Fayle, Tom Maurice

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-07-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Freeman, B M; Chaves-Campos, J

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gómez Durán, José-María; van Achterberg, Cornelis

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The oviposition behaviour of four ant parasitoids was observed and filmed for the first time. The movies are available from YouTube (search for Elasmosoma, Hybrizon, Kollasmosoma and Neoneurus). Two of the observed species (Neoneurus vesculus sp. n. and Kollasmosoma sentum sp. n.) are new to science. A third species (Neoneurus recticalcar sp. n.) is described from Slovakia and Norway. Keys to the Palaearctic species of the genera Neoneurus and Kollasmosoma are added. PMID:21998538

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-01

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

  9. First verified record of the ant genus Calyptomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from India, along with a revised key to known Indomalayan species

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Himender

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background The members of genus Calyptomyrmex are mostly encountered under rotten logs, in the soil, under stones and in leaf litter samples. These ants are seldom in collections making estimation of their true distributional patterns problematic (Shattuck 2011). The deep antennal scrobes and the unique configuration of the clypeus are distinct to the genus (Bolton 1981). New information Herein Calyptomyrmex wittmeri Baroni Urbani, 1975 is redescribed and reported for the first time from India. This also confirms the first valid published record of the genus from the country. The image hosted by AntWeb as C. vedda (CASENT0280817; AntWeb 2015b) collected by Besuchet, Löbl, Mussard from Kerala, India and identified by Brown is actually C. wittmeri (Brown was uncertain of his determination of C. vedda and cautiously inserted an interrogation point in front of his determination). Two workers recently collected at Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Kerala present similarities to the specimen identified by Brown. However, characters as the lack of well-developed promesonotal suture, absence of clavate setae, and narrow petiolar node, concur with the diagnosis of C. wittmeri. A revised key to known Indomalayan species of the genus is provided herewith. PMID:26696759

  10. Use of geostatistics to determine the spatial distribution and infestation rate of leaf-cutting ant nests (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in eucalyptus plantations.

    PubMed

    Lasmar, O; Zanetti, R; dos Santos, A; Fernandes, B V

    2012-08-01

    One of the fundamental steps in pest sampling is the assessment of the population distribution in the field. Several studies have investigated the distribution and appropriate sampling methods for leaf-cutting ants; however, more reliable methods are still required, such as those that use geostatistics. The objective of this study was to determine the spatial distribution and infestation rate of leaf-cutting ant nests in eucalyptus plantations by using geostatistics. The study was carried out in 2008 in two eucalyptus stands in Paraopeba, Minas Gerais, Brazil. All of the nests in the studied area were located and used for the generation of GIS maps, and the spatial pattern of distribution was determined considering the number and size of nests. Each analysis and map was made using the R statistics program and the geoR package. The nest spatial distribution in a savanna area of Minas Gerais was clustered to a certain extent. The models generated allowed the production of kriging maps of areas infested with leaf-cutting ants, where chemical intervention would be necessary, reducing the control costs, impact on humans, and the environment.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Ants are among the most diverse, abundant and ecologically significant organisms on earth. Although their species richness appears to be greatest in the New World tropics, global patterns of ant diversity and distribution are not well understood. We comprehensively surveyed ant diversity in a lowland primary rainforest in Western Amazonia, Ecuador using canopy fogging, pitfall traps, baits, hand collecting, mini-Winkler devices and subterranean probes to sample ants. A total of 489 ant species comprising 64 genera in nine subfamilies were identified from samples collected in only 0.16 square kilometers. The most species-rich genera were Camponotus, Pheidole, Pseudomyrmex, Pachycondyla, Brachymyrmex, and Crematogaster. Camponotus and Pseudomyrmex were most diverse in the canopy, while Pheidole was most diverse on the ground. The three most abundant ground-dwelling ant genera were Pheidole, Solenopsis and Pyramica. Crematogaster carinata was the most abundant ant species in the canopy; Wasmannia auropunctata was most abundant on the ground, and the army ant Labidus coecus was the most abundant subterranean species. Ant species composition among strata was significantly different: 80% of species were found in only one stratum, 17% in two strata, and 3% in all three strata. Elevation and the number of logs and twigs available as nest sites were significant predictors of ground-dwelling ant species richness. Canopy species richness was not correlated with any ecological variable measured. Subterranean species richness was negatively correlated with depth in the soil. When ant species were categorized using a functional group matrix based on diet, nest-site preference and foraging ecology, the greatest diversity was found in Omnivorous Canopy Nesters. Our study indicates ant species richness is exceptionally high at Tiputini. We project 647–736 ant species in this global hotspot of biodiversity. Considering the relatively small area surveyed, this region of western

  13. Ants of the Genus Solenopsis Westwood 1840 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Arabian Peninsula with Description of a New Species, Solenopsis elhawagryi

    PubMed Central

    Sharaf, Mostafa R.; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S.

    2012-01-01

    Ants of the genus Solenopsis Westwood in the Arabian Peninsula are revised. Six species are treated: Solenopsis elhawagryi Sharaf & Aldawood sp. n., S. geminata (Fabricius, 1804), S. omana Collingwood & Agosti, 1996, S. saudiensis Sharaf & Aldawood, 2011, S. sumara Collingwood & Agosti, 1996, and S. zingibara Collingwood & Agosti, 1996. Solenopsis elhawagryi is described from Beljorashi Governorate, Al Baha Province, Saudi Arabia, based on worker castes and the queen with notes on this species biology and ecology. Solenopsis sumara workers are redescribed and illustrated for the first time and a lectotype is designated. An identification key to the Arabian and Egyptian species is provided with scanning electron micrographs to facilitate species recognition. PMID:23226211

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  15. Karawajew's ant type specimens (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the National Museum of Natural History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

    PubMed

    Martynov, Alexander V; Radchenko, Alexander G

    2016-01-01

    The collection of W.A. Karawajew is one of the richest and most famous ant collections of the World. Much of this collection consists of dry mounted specimens, including types of about 550 taxa, housed in the Shmalhausen Institute of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Kiev). Nevertheless, we located a considerable part of Karawajew's collection, containing about 25,000 specimens in alcohol, that is preserved in the National Museum of Natural History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Kiev). The latter material was recently examined and we found types of 24 taxa. This type material was partly mounted, re-ordered and catalogued. In this paper we present a catalogue of these type specimens housed in the National Museum of Natural History.

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

    PubMed Central

    Prebus, Matthew

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Ants with Attitude: Australian Jack-jumpers of the Myrmecia pilosula species complex, with descriptions of four new species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmeciinae).

    PubMed

    Taylor, Robert W

    2015-01-01

    The six known "Jack-jumper species Myrmecia pilosula Fr. Smith 1858, M. croslandi Taylor 1991, M. banksi, M. haskinsorum, M. imaii and M. impaternata spp.n. are reviewed, illustrated and keyed. Myrmecia imaii is known only from southwest Western Australia, the others variously from southeastern Australia and Tasmania. These taxa were previously confused under the name M. pilosula (for which a lectotype is designated). Previous cytogenetical findings, which contributed importantly to current taxonomic understanding, are summarized for each species. Eastern and Western geographical races of the widespread M. pilosula are recognized. Myrmecia croslandi is one of only two eukaryote animals known to possess a single pair of chromosomes (2n=2 3 or 4). Myrmecia impaternata is evidentially an allodiploid (n=5 or 14, 2n=19) sperm-dependent gynogenetic hybrid between M. banksi and an element of the eastern race of M. pilosula, or their immediate ancestry. The sting-injected venom of these ants can induce sometimes fatal anaphylaxis in sensitive humans. 

  3. A review of the Central American and Caribbean species of the ant genus Eurhopalothrix Brown and Kempf, 1961 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), with a key to New World species.

    PubMed

    Longino, John T

    2013-01-01

    The ant genus Eurhopalothrix occurs throughout the Neotropics and Australasian tropics, where it is an inhabitant of forest leaf litter and soil. The New World species are reviewed, with an emphasis on the fauna of the MesoAmerican corridor and the Caribbean. Previously unappreciated characters of mandibular dentition and labrum shape vary dramatically among species and species groups. A total of 28 New World species are recognized, of which 14 are described as new. A key to workers of all New World species is provided. Eurhopalothrix procera is reported for the first time in the New World. The following new species are described: E. cimu Longino, sp. nov., E. circumcapillum Longino, sp. nov., E. guadeloupensis Longino, sp. nov., E. hunhau Longino, sp. nov., E. mabuya Longino, sp. nov., E. machaquila Longino, sp. nov., E. megalops Longino, sp. nov., E. ortizae Longino, sp. nov., E. oscillum Longino, sp. nov., E. semicapillum Longino, sp. nov., E. sepultura Longino, sp. nov., E. vulcan Longino, sp. nov., E. xibalba Longino, sp. nov., and E. zipacna Longino. sn. nov. Eurhopalothrix schmidti (Menozzi) is removed from synonymy with E. gravis (Mann).

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  9. Tick paralysis in spectacled flying-foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) in North Queensland, Australia: impact of a ground-dwelling ectoparasite finding an arboreal host.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy.

    PubMed

    Biló, B M; Rueff, F; Mosbech, H; Bonifazi, F; Oude-Elberink, J N G

    2005-11-01

    The purpose of diagnostic procedure is to classify a sting reaction by history, identify the underlying pathogenetic mechanism, and identify the offending insect. Diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy thus forms the basis for the treatment. In the central and northern Europe vespid (mainly Vespula spp.) and honeybee stings are the most prevalent, whereas in the Mediterranean area stings from Polistes and Vespula are more frequent than honeybee stings; bumblebee stings are rare throughout Europe and more of an occupational hazard. Several major allergens, usually glycoproteins with a molecular weight of 10-50 kDa, have been identified in venoms of bees, vespids. and ants. The sequences and structures of the majority of venom allergens have been determined and several have been expressed in recombinant form. A particular problem in the field of cross-reactivity are specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies directed against carbohydrate epitopes, which may induce multiple positive test results (skin test, in vitro tests) of still unknown clinical significance. Venom hypersensitivity may be mediated by immunologic mechanisms (IgE-mediated or non-IgE-mediated venom allergy) but also by nonimmunologic mechanisms. Reactions to Hymenoptera stings are classified into normal local reactions, large local reactions, systemic toxic reactions, systemic anaphylactic reactions, and unusual reactions. For most venom-allergic patients an anaphylactic reaction after a sting is very traumatic event, resulting in an altered health-related quality of life. Risk factors influencing the outcome of an anaphylactic reaction include the time interval between stings, the number of stings, the severity of the preceding reaction, age, cardiovascular diseases and drug intake, insect type, elevated serum tryptase, and mastocytosis. Diagnostic tests should be carried out in all patients with a history of a systemic sting reaction to detect sensitization. They are not recommended in subjects with

  18. Honey Ants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conway, John R.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Yuen, Elaine Y.L.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yuen, Elaine Y L; Dudgeon, David

    2015-01-01

    Terrestrial predators have been shown to aggregate along stream margins during periods when the emergence of adult aquatic insects is high. Such aggregation may be especially evident when terrestrial surroundings are relatively unproductive, and there are steep productivity gradients across riparia. In tropical forests, however, the productivity of inland terrestrial habitats may decrease the resource gradient across riparia, thus lessening any tendency of terrestrial predators to aggregate along stream margins. We elucidated the spatio-temporal variability in the distribution of ground-dwelling spiders and terrestrial arthropod prey within the riparia of two forest streams in tropical Hong Kong by sampling arthropods along transects at different distances from the streams during the wet and dry seasons. Environmental variables that may have influenced spider distributions were also measured. The vast majority of ground-dwelling predators along all transects at both sites were spiders. Of the three most abundant spiders captured along stream margins, Heteropoda venatoria (Sparassidae) and Draconarius spp. (Agelenidae) were terrestrially inclined and abundant during both seasons. Only Pardosa sumatrana (Lycosidae) showed some degree of aggregation at the stream banks, indicating a potential reliance on aquatic insect prey. Circumstantial evidence supports this notion, as P. sumatrana was virtually absent during the dry season when aquatic insect emergence was low. In general, forest-stream riparia in Hong Kong did not appear to be feeding hotspots for ground-dwelling predators. The lack of aggregation in ground-dwelling spiders in general may be attributed to the low rates of emergence of aquatic insects from the study streams compared to counterpart systems, as well as the potentially high availability of terrestrial insect prey in the surrounding forest. Heteropoda venatoria, the largest of the three spiders maintained a high biomass (up to 28 mg dry weight/m(2

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Hymenopteran parasitoids of the ant-eating spider Zodarion styliferum (Simon) (Araneae, Zodariidae)

    PubMed Central

    Korenko, Stanislav; Schmidt, Stefan; Schwarz, Martin; Gibson, Gary A.P.; Pekár, Stano

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Calymmochilus dispar Bouček & Andriescu (Hymenoptera, Eupelmidae) and Gelis apterus (Pontoppidan) (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) are newly recorded as parasitoids of the ant-eating spider Zodarion styliferum (Simon) (Araneae, Zodariidae). The larvae of both parasitoid species fed on juvenile spiders. The final instar larva and pupa of Calymmochilus dispar and the male of Gelis apterus are described for the first time. Both species represent new distribution records for Portugal. The biology and host associations of the parasitoids are discussed. PMID:23653512

  5. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  6. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  7. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  10. 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...

  11. First Record of the Myrmicine Ant Genus Meranoplus Smith, 1853 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the Arabian Peninsula with Description of a New Species and Notes on the Zoogeography of Southwestern Kingdom Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The ant genus Meranoplus is reported for the first time from the Arabian Peninsula (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) by the new species M. pulcher sp. n., based on the worker caste. Specimens were collected from Al Sarawat and Asir Mountains of southwestern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia using pitfall traps. Meranoplus pulcher sp. n. is included in the Afrotropical M. magretii-group, with greatest similarity to M. magrettii André from Sudan. A key to the Afrotropical species of the M. magretii-group is presented. A brief review of the ant taxa with Afrotropical affinities in southwestern region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is given. PMID:25375104

  12. Phylogenomics resolves evolutionary relationships among ants, bees, and wasps.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Brian R; Borowiec, Marek L; Chiu, Joanna C; Lee, Ernest K; Atallah, Joel; Ward, Philip S

    2013-10-21

    Eusocial behavior has arisen in few animal groups, most notably in the aculeate Hymenoptera, a clade comprising ants, bees, and stinging wasps [1-4]. Phylogeny is crucial to understanding the evolution of the salient features of these insects, including eusociality [5]. Yet the phylogenetic relationships among the major lineages of aculeate Hymenoptera remain contentious [6-12]. We address this problem here by generating and analyzing genomic data for a representative series of taxa. We obtain a single well-resolved and strongly supported tree, robust to multiple methods of phylogenetic inference. Apoidea (spheciform wasps and bees) and ants are sister groups, a novel finding that contradicts earlier views that ants are closer to ectoparasitoid wasps. Vespid wasps (paper wasps, yellow jackets, and relatives) are sister to all other aculeates except chrysidoids. Thus, all eusocial species of Hymenoptera are contained within two major groups, characterized by transport of larval provisions and nest construction, likely prerequisites for the evolution of eusociality. These two lineages are interpolated among three other clades of wasps whose species are predominantly ectoparasitoids on concealed hosts, the inferred ancestral condition for aculeates [2]. This phylogeny provides a new framework for exploring the evolution of nesting, feeding, and social behavior within the stinging Hymenoptera.

  13. Dual olfactory pathway in Hymenoptera: evolutionary insights from comparative studies.

    PubMed

    Rössler, Wolfgang; Zube, Christina

    2011-07-01

    In the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and carpenter ant (Camponotus floridanus) the antennal lobe output is connected to higher brain centers by a dual olfactory pathway. Two major sets of uniglomerular projection neurons innervate glomeruli from two antennal-lobe hemispheres and project via a medial and a lateral antennal-lobe protocerebral tract in opposite sequence to the mushroom bodies and lateral horn. Comparison across insects suggests that the lateral projection neuron tract represents a special feature of Hymenoptera. We hypothesize that this promotes advanced olfactory processing associated with chemical communication, orientation and social interactions. To test whether a dual olfactory pathway is restricted to social Hymenoptera, we labeled the antennal lobe output tracts in selected species using fluorescent tracing and confocal imaging. Our results show that a dual pathway from the antennal lobe to the mushroom bodies is present in social bees, basal and advanced ants, solitary wasps, and in one of two investigated species of sawflies. This indicates that a dual olfactory pathway is not restricted to social species and may have evolved in basal Hymenoptera. We suggest that associated advances in olfactory processing represent a preadaptation for life styles with high demands on olfactory discrimination like parasitoism, central place foraging, and sociality. PMID:21167312

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. Toxic industrial deposit remediation by ant activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jilkova, Veronika; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), defend Phenacoccus solenopsis (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) against its natural enemies.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Aiming; Lu, Yongyue; Zeng, Ling; Xu, Yijuan; Liang, Guangwen

    2013-04-01

    Mutualism is a common and important ecological phenomenon characterized by beneficial interaction between two species. Red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, tend honeydew-producing hemipteran insects and reduce the activity of these insects' enemies. Ant-hemipteran interactions frequently exert positive effects on the densities of hemipterans. We tested the hypothesis that ant tending can increase the densities of the mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), and reduce the densities of the mealybug's predatory and parasitic enemies, the lady beetle, Menochilus sexmaculata Fabricius (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), and the parasitoid wasp, Aenasius bambawalei Hayat (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). We found that more ants foraged on mealybug-infested hibiscus plants than on mealybug-free plants. The number of foraging ants on plants infested with high densities of mealybugs (62.5 ants per plant) was nearly six times that on mealybug-free plants (10.2 ants per plant). Experiment results showed that ant tending significantly increased the survival of mealybugs: if predatory and parasitic enemies were present, the survival of mealybugs tended by fire ants was higher than that in the absence of tending ants. Furthermore, this tending by fire ants significantly decreased the survival of lady beetle larvae. However, no apparent effect was observed on the survival of parasitoid.

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

    PubMed

    Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-02-22

    Across terrestrial ecosystems, modern ants are ubiquitous. As many as 94 out of every 100 individual arthropods in rainforests are ants, and they constitute up to 15% of animal biomass in the Amazon. Moreover, ants are pervasive agents of natural selection as over 10,000 arthropod species are specialized inquilines or myrmecomorphs living among ants or defending themselves through mimicry. Such impact is traditionally explained by sociality: ants are the first major group of ground-dwelling predatory insects to become eusocial, increasing efficiency of tasks and establishing competitive superiority over solitary species. A wealth of specimens from rich deposits of 99 million-year-old Burmese amber resolves ambiguity regarding sociality and diversity in the earliest ants. The stem-group genus Gerontoformica maintained distinct reproductive castes including morphotypes unknown in solitary aculeate (stinging) wasps, providing insight into early behavior. We present rare aggregations of workers, indicating group recruitment as well as an instance of interspecific combat; such aggression is a social feature of modern ants. Two species and an unusual new genus are described, further expanding the remarkable diversity of early ants. Stem-group ants are recovered as a paraphyletic assemblage at the base of modern lineages varying greatly in size, form, and mouthpart structure, interpreted here as an adaptive radiation. Though Cretaceous stem-group ants were eusocial and adaptively diverse, we hypothesize that their extinction resulted from the rise of competitively superior crown-group taxa that today form massive colonies, consistent with Wilson and Hölldobler's concept of "dynastic succession." PMID:26877084

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

    PubMed

    Wong, Mark K L; Guénard, Benoit

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hita Garcia, Francisco; Fisher, Brian L.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-04-01

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

  7. The Trail Pheromone of the Venomous Samsum Ant, Pachycondyla sennaarensis

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Recombination, chromosome number and eusociality in the Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Recombination, chromosome number and eusociality in the Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-12

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

  13. Multi-phase defense by the big-headed ant, Pheidole obtusospinosa, against raiding army ants.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ming H

    2010-01-01

    Army ants are well known for their destructive raids of other ant colonies. Some known defensive strategies include nest evacuation, modification of nest architecture, blockade of nest entrances using rocks or debris, and direct combat outside the nest. Since army ants highly prefer Pheidole ants as prey in desert habitats, there may be strong selective pressure on Pheidole to evolve defensive strategies to better survive raids. In the case of P. obtusospinosa Pergande (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), the worker caste system includes super majors in addition to smaller majors and minor workers. Interestingly, P. obtusospinosa and the six other New World Pheidole species described to have polymorphic major workers are all found in the desert southwest and adjacent regions of Mexico, all co-occurring with various species of Neivamyrmex army ants. Pheidole obtusospinosa used a multi-phase defensive strategy against army ant raids that involved their largest major workers. During army ant attacks, these super majors were involved in blocking the nest entrance with their enlarged heads. This is the first description of defensive head-blocking by an ant species that lacks highly modified head morphology, such as a truncated or disc-shaped head. P. obtusospinosa super majors switched effectively between passive headblocking at the nest entrance and aggressive combat outside the nest. If this multi-phase strategy is found to be used by other Pheidole species with polymorphic majors in future studies, it is possible that selective pressure by army ant raids may have been partially responsible for the convergent evolution of this extra worker caste.

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

    PubMed

    Poulsen, Michael; Sapountzis, Panagiotis

    2012-05-01

    Ants are quite possibly the most successful insects on Earth, with an estimated 10,000 species worldwide, making up at least a third of the global insect biomass, and comprising several times the biomass of all land vertebrates combined. Ant species have diverse trophic habits, including herbivory, hunting/gathering, scavenging and predation and are distributed in diverse habitats, performing a variety of important ecosystem functions. Often they exert these functions while engaging in symbiotic associations with other insects, plants or microbes; however, remarkably little work has focused on the potential contribution of the ants' gut symbionts. This issue of Molecular Ecology contains a study by Anderson et al. (2012), who take a comparative approach to explore the link between trophic levels and ant microbiomes, specifically, to address three main questions: (i) Do closely related herbivorous ants share similar bacterial communities? (ii) Do species of predatory ants share similar bacterial communities? (iii) Do distantly related herbivorous ants tend to share similar bacterial communities? By doing so, the authors demonstrate that ants with similar trophic habits appear to have relatively conserved gut microbiomes, suggesting symbiont functions that directly relate to dietary preference of the ant host. These findings suggest an ecological role of gut symbionts in ants, for example, in metabolism and/or protection, and the comparative approach taken supports a model of co-evolution between ant species and specific core symbiont microbiomes. This study, thereby, highlights the omnipresence and importance of gut symbioses-also in the Hymenoptera-and suggests that these hitherto overlooked microbes likely have contributed to the ecological success of the ants.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. Newly discovered sister lineage sheds light on early ant evolution

    PubMed Central

    Rabeling, Christian; Brown, Jeremy M.; Verhaagh, Manfred

    2008-01-01

    Ants are the world's most conspicuous and important eusocial insects and their diversity, abundance, and extreme behavioral specializations make them a model system for several disciplines within the biological sciences. Here, we report the discovery of a new ant that appears to represent the sister lineage to all extant ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The phylogenetic position of this cryptic predator from the soils of the Amazon rainforest was inferred from several nuclear genes, sequenced from a single leg. Martialis heureka (gen. et sp. nov.) also constitutes the sole representative of a new, morphologically distinct subfamily of ants, the Martialinae (subfam. nov.). Our analyses have reduced the likelihood of long-branch attraction artifacts that have troubled previous phylogenetic studies of early-diverging ants and therefore solidify the emerging view that the most basal extant ant lineages are cryptic, hypogaeic foragers. On the basis of morphological and phylogenetic evidence we suggest that these specialized subterranean predators are the sole surviving representatives of a highly divergent lineage that arose near the dawn of ant diversification and have persisted in ecologically stable environments like tropical soils over great spans of time. PMID:18794530

  19. Patterns of Positive Selection in Seven Ant Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Roux, Julien; Privman, Eyal; Moretti, Sébastien; Daub, Josephine T.; Robinson-Rechavi, Marc; Keller, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of ants is marked by remarkable adaptations that allowed the development of very complex social systems. To identify how ant-specific adaptations are associated with patterns of molecular evolution, we searched for signs of positive selection on amino-acid changes in proteins. We identified 24 functional categories of genes which were enriched for positively selected genes in the ant lineage. We also reanalyzed genome-wide data sets in bees and flies with the same methodology to check whether positive selection was specific to ants or also present in other insects. Notably, genes implicated in immunity were enriched for positively selected genes in the three lineages, ruling out the hypothesis that the evolution of hygienic behaviors in social insects caused a major relaxation of selective pressure on immune genes. Our scan also indicated that genes implicated in neurogenesis and olfaction started to undergo increased positive selection before the evolution of sociality in Hymenoptera. Finally, the comparison between these three lineages allowed us to pinpoint molecular evolution patterns that were specific to the ant lineage. In particular, there was ant-specific recurrent positive selection on genes with mitochondrial functions, suggesting that mitochondrial activity was improved during the evolution of this lineage. This might have been an important step toward the evolution of extreme lifespan that is a hallmark of ants. PMID:24782441

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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)

  4. Afrotropical Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera)

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. Colony Fusion in a Parthenogenetic Ant, Pristomyrmex punctatus

    PubMed Central

    Satow, Show; Satoh, Toshiyuki; Hirota, Tadao

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Polygyny and polyandry in small ant societies.

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    Anthropogenic disturbance and the spread of non-native species disrupt natural communities, but also create novel interactions between species. By-product mutualisms, in which benefits accrue as side effects of partner behaviour or morphology, are often non-specific and hence may persist in novel ecosystems. We tested this hypothesis for a two-way by-product mutualism between epiphytic ferns and their ant inhabitants in the Bornean rain forest, in which ants gain housing in root-masses while ferns gain protection from herbivores. Specifically, we assessed how the specificity (overlap between fern and ground-dwelling ants) and the benefits of this interaction are altered by selective logging and conversion to an oil palm plantation habitat. We found that despite the high turnover of ant species, ant protection against herbivores persisted in modified habitats. However, in ferns growing in the oil palm plantation, ant occupancy, abundance and species richness declined, potentially due to the harsher microclimate. The specificity of the fern-ant interactions was also lower in the oil palm plantation habitat than in the forest habitats. We found no correlations between colony size and fern size in modified habitats, and hence no evidence for partner fidelity feedbacks, in which ants are incentivised to protect fern hosts. Per species, non-native ant species in the oil palm plantation habitat (18 % of occurrences) were as important as native ones in terms of fern protection and contributed to an increase in ant abundance and species richness with fern size. We conclude that this by-product mutualism persists in logged forest and oil palm plantation habitats, with no detectable shift in partner benefits. Such persistence of generalist interactions in novel ecosystems may be important for driving ecosystem functioning. PMID:25575674

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. The Molecular Clockwork of the Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Trail pheromone disruption of red imported fire ant.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  15. An ant-associated mesostigmatid mite in Baltic amber

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bourke, A F G

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bourke, A F G

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  19. Ant mimicry by an aphid parasitoid, Lysiphlebus fabarum.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Estimation of postmortem interval based on colony development time for Anoplolepsis longipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Goff, M L; Win, B H

    1997-11-01

    The postmortem interval for a set of human remains discovered inside a metal tool box was estimated using the development time required for a stratiomyid fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), Hermetia illucens, in combination with the time required to establish a colony of the ant Anoplolepsis longipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) capable of producing alate (winged) reproductives. This analysis resulted in a postmortem interval estimate of 14 + months, with a period of 14-18 months being the most probable time interval. The victim had been missing for approximately 18 months. PMID:9397565

  2. Estimation of postmortem interval based on colony development time for Anoplolepsis longipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Goff, M L; Win, B H

    1997-11-01

    The postmortem interval for a set of human remains discovered inside a metal tool box was estimated using the development time required for a stratiomyid fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), Hermetia illucens, in combination with the time required to establish a colony of the ant Anoplolepsis longipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) capable of producing alate (winged) reproductives. This analysis resulted in a postmortem interval estimate of 14 + months, with a period of 14-18 months being the most probable time interval. The victim had been missing for approximately 18 months.

  3. Dynamics of sperm transfer in the ant Leptothorax gredleri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oppelt, Angelika; Heinze, Jürgen

    2007-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nyamukondiwa, Casper; Addison, Pia

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nyamukondiwa, Casper; Addison, Pia

    2014-04-10

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

  8. The ant raft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mlot, Nathan; Hu, David; Equabai, Solomon

    2009-11-01

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

  9. Interaction between Linepithema micans (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) in vineyards.

    PubMed

    Nondillo, Aline; Sganzerla, Vânia Maria Ambrosi; Bueno, Odair Correa; Botton, Marcos

    2013-06-01

    Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Wille) (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) is a soil scale that is considered the main pest of vineyards in Brazil. The ant Linepithema micans (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is frequently found associated with this species of scale in infested areas. The effect of the presence of L. micans on the infestation and dispersal capacity of E. brasiliensis on vine roots was measured in a greenhouse, using Paulsen 1103 rootstock seedlings planted in simple and double "Gallotti Cages." Treatments measured were: infestation of roots with E. brasiliensis or L. micans, and infestation with both species together. In the experiment using simple Gallotti Cages, with E. brasiliensis associated with L. micans, higher mean numbers of cysts and ants per plant were recorded, a result significantly different from that found for infestation with scale only. When double Gallotti Cages were used, first-instar nymphs were transported between the cages. The results showed that L. micans transports and aids in the attachment of E. brasiliensis to vine plants.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-08-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. Dirhinus texanus (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae) from Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

    Ant- and ant-colony-inspired ALife art is characterized by the artistic exploration of the emerging collective behavior of computational agents, developed using ants as a metaphor. We present a chronology that documents the emergence and history of such visual art, contextualize ant- and ant-colony-inspired art within generative art practices, and consider how it relates to other ALife art. We survey many of the algorithms that artists have used in this genre, address some of their aims, and explore the relationships between ant- and ant-colony-inspired art and research on ant and ant colony behavior. PMID:26280070

  15. Molecular phylogenies reveal host-specific divergence of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato following its host ants.

    PubMed

    Kobmoo, N; Mongkolsamrit, S; Tasanathai, K; Thanakitpipattana, D; Luangsa-Ard, J J

    2012-06-01

    Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Hypocreales, Ascomycetes) is an entomopathogenic fungus specific to formicine ants (Formicinae, Hymenoptera). Previous works have shown that the carpenter ant Camponotus leonardi acts as the principal host with occasional infections of ants from the genus Polyrhachis (sister genus of Camponotus). Observations were made on the permanent plots of Mo Singto, Khao Yai National Park of Thailand according to which O. unilateralis was found to occur predominantly on three host species: C. leonardi, C. saundersi and P. furcata. Molecular phylogenies of the elongation factor 1-α and β-Tubulin genes indicate a separation of O. unilateralis samples into three clades, reflecting specificity to each of the three different ant species. Samples collected from P. furcata and from C. leonardi were found to form sister groups with samples from C. saundersi forming an outgroup to the latter. Additional samples collected from unidentified ant species of Camponotus and Polyrhachis were positioned as outgroups to those samples on identified species. These results demonstrate that O. unilateralis is clearly not a single phylogenetic species and comprises at least three species that are specific to different host ant species. These cryptic species may arise through recent events of speciation driven by their specificity to host ant species.

  16. Molecular phylogenies reveal host-specific divergence of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato following its host ants.

    PubMed

    Kobmoo, N; Mongkolsamrit, S; Tasanathai, K; Thanakitpipattana, D; Luangsa-Ard, J J

    2012-06-01

    Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (Hypocreales, Ascomycetes) is an entomopathogenic fungus specific to formicine ants (Formicinae, Hymenoptera). Previous works have shown that the carpenter ant Camponotus leonardi acts as the principal host with occasional infections of ants from the genus Polyrhachis (sister genus of Camponotus). Observations were made on the permanent plots of Mo Singto, Khao Yai National Park of Thailand according to which O. unilateralis was found to occur predominantly on three host species: C. leonardi, C. saundersi and P. furcata. Molecular phylogenies of the elongation factor 1-α and β-Tubulin genes indicate a separation of O. unilateralis samples into three clades, reflecting specificity to each of the three different ant species. Samples collected from P. furcata and from C. leonardi were found to form sister groups with samples from C. saundersi forming an outgroup to the latter. Additional samples collected from unidentified ant species of Camponotus and Polyrhachis were positioned as outgroups to those samples on identified species. These results demonstrate that O. unilateralis is clearly not a single phylogenetic species and comprises at least three species that are specific to different host ant species. These cryptic species may arise through recent events of speciation driven by their specificity to host ant species. PMID:22494010

  17. Acoustic communication by ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickling, Robert

    2002-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cournault, Laurent; Aron, Serge

    2009-12-01

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

  1. Anaphylaxis caused by imported red fire ant stings in Málaga, Spain.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Meléndez, S; Miranda, A; García-González, J J; Barber, D; Lombardero, M

    2007-01-01

    A 27-year-old woman suffered from anaphylaxis after being stung by Solenopsis invicta ants while she was handling wood from South America. The patient reported no previous adverse reactions to stings by other hymenopteran species. Intradermal skin tests with hymenoptera venom (Vespula vulgaris, Polistes species, Apis melifera) were negative. Serum specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E yielded positive results for S invicta (5.28 kU/L) and negative results for A melifera, Ves v 5 and Pol a 5. Immunodetection assays showed the presence of serum IgE against the Sol i 2 allergen. The patient had probably been stung previously although inadvertently by red fire ants while she handled infested wood from South America, and precautionary measures are thus advisable when this material is to be handled. To our knowledge this is the first case of anaphylaxis from red fire ant stings reported in Europe.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Helmkampf, Martin; Cash, Elizabeth; Gadau, Jürgen

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kather, Ricarda; Martin, Stephen J

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kather, Ricarda; Martin, Stephen J

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hughes, W O H; Goulson, D

    2002-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-15

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

  11. Microbiological activity of soils populated by Lasius niger ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-03-15

    Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) assemblages were sampled with pitfall traps in three different habitats associated with a rehabilitated mine district and in undisturbed forests in Tuscany, Italy. The four habitats were (1) open fields (3-4 years old); (2) a middle-age mixed plantation (10 years); (3) an old-age mixed plantation (20 years); and (4) an oak woodland (40 years) not directly affected by mining activities. The aim of the study was to analyze ant recolonization patterns in order to provide insights on the use of Mediterranean ant fauna as indicators of restoration processes. Species richness and diversity were not significantly different among the four habitats. However, multivariate analyses showed that the assemblages in the different habitats were clearly differentiated, with similarity relationships reflecting a successional gradient among rehabilitated sites. The observed patterns of functional group changes along the gradient broadly accord with those of previous studies in other biogeographic regions. These were (1) a decrease of dominant Dolichoderinae and opportunists; (2) an increase in the proportion of cold-climate specialists; and (3) the appearance of the Cryptic species in the oldest plantations, with a maximum of abundance in the woodland. In conclusion, the results of our study supported the use of Mediterranean ants as a suitable tool for biomonitoring of restoration processes, and in particular, the functional group approach proved a valuable framework to better interpret local trends in terms of global ecological patterns. Further research is, however, needed in order to obtain a reliable classification of Mediterranean ant functional groups.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-12

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Field techniques for sampling ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Sick ants become unsociable.

    PubMed

    Bos, N; Lefèvre, T; Jensen, A B; d'Ettorre, P

    2012-02-01

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

  20. Sick ants become unsociable.

    PubMed

    Bos, N; Lefèvre, T; Jensen, A B; d'Ettorre, P

    2012-02-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), we show that infected ants radically change their behaviour over time to reduce the risk of colony infection. Infected individuals (i) performed less social interactions than their uninfected counterparts, (ii) did not interact with brood anymore and (iii) spent most of their time outside the nest from day 3 post-infection until death. Furthermore, infected ants displayed an increased aggressiveness towards non-nestmates. Finally, infected ants did not alter their cuticular chemical profile, suggesting that infected individuals do not signal their physiological status to nestmates. Our results provide evidence for the evolution of unsociability following pathogen infection in a social animal and suggest an important role of inclusive fitness in driving such evolution. PMID:22122288

  1. Fire Ant Bites

    MedlinePlus

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

  2. Ant traffic rules.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Toxicological and histopathological effects of boric acid on Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) workers.

    PubMed

    Sumida, Simone; Silva-Zacarin, Elaine C M; Decio, Pâmela; Malaspina, Osmar; Bueno, Fabiana C; Bueno, Odair C

    2010-06-01

    The current study compared the toxicity of different concentrations of boric acid in adult workers of Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with toxicological bioassays, and examining the dose-dependent and time-dependent histopathological changes, of the midgut, Malpighian tubules, and postpharyngeal glands. Our results revealed the importance of conducting toxicological bioassays combined with morphological analyses of the organs of ants chronically exposed to insecticides used in commercial ant baits. In vitro bioassays showed that boric acid significantly decreases the survivorship of workers regardless of concentration, whereas the morphological data suggested progressive dose-dependent and time-dependent changes in the organs examined, which were evident in the midgut. The midgut is the first organ to be affected, followed by the postpharyngeal gland and Malpighian tubules. This sequence is in agreement with the absorption pathway of this chemical compound in the midgut, its transference to the hemolymph, possibly reaching the postpharyngeal glands, and excretion by the Malpighian tubules. These progressive changes might be due to the cumulative and delayed effect of boric acid. Our findings provide important information for the understanding of the action of boric acid in ant baits in direct and indirect target organs.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    In this study we describe the structure and composition of ant communities in the endemic Moroccan Argan forest, using pitfall traps sampling technique throughout the four seasons between May 2006 and February 2007. The study focused on two distinct climatic habitats within the Essaouira Argan forest, a semi-continental site at Lahssinate, and a coastal site at Boutazarte. Thirteen different ant species were identified, belonging to seven genera. Monomorium subopacum Smith and Tapinoma simrothi Krausse-Heldrungen (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) were the most abundant and behaviorally dominant ant species in the arganeraie. In addition, more specimens were captured in the semi-continental site than in the coastal area. However, no significant difference was observed in species richness, evenness, or diversity between both sites. Composition and community structure showed clear seasonal dynamics. The number of species, their abundance, their diversity, and their evenness per Argan tree were significantly dissimilar among seasons. The richness (except between summer and autumn), and the abundance and the evenness of ant species among communities, showed a significant difference between the dry period (summer and spring) and the rainy period (winter and autumn). Higher abundance and richness values occurred in the dry period of the year. Ant species dominance and seasonal climatic variations in the arganeraie might be among the main factors affecting the composition, structure, and foraging activity of ant communities. This study, together with recent findings on ant predation behavior below Argan trees, highlights the promising use of dominant ant species as potential agents of Mediterranean fruit fly bio-control in the Argan forest and surrounding ecosystems. PMID:23421815

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gruber, Christian W; Muttenthaler, Markus

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gruber, Christian W; Muttenthaler, Markus

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Repeated evolution in overlapping mimicry rings among North American velvet ants.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Joseph S; Williams, Kevin A; Forister, Matthew L; von Dohlen, Carol D; Pitts, James P

    2012-01-01

    Müllerian mimicry, in which two or more harmful species share a similar appearance for mutual benefit, is a widely appreciated, yet relatively uncommon natural phenomenon. Although Müllerian mimicry occurs in vertebrates, most studies are focused on tropical, herbivorous invertebrates. Here we identify a large Müllerian mimicry complex in North American velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). These are conspicuous, diurnal parasitoids of bees and wasps that defend themselves with a powerful sting. We investigate morphological and genetic variation and ask whether morphological similarities are the result of convergent evolution or shared ancestry. We find that 65 species in the velvet ant genus Dasymutilla can be placed into one of six morphologically distinct and geographically delimited mimicry rings. Müllerian colour patterns are primarily the result of independent evolution rather than shared, phylogenetic history. These convergent colour syndromes represent one of the largest known Müllerian mimicry complexes yet identified, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere.

  13. Fungus-growing ants.

    PubMed

    Weber, N A

    1966-08-01

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) are in reality unique fungus-culturing insects.There are several hundred species in some dozen genera, of which Acromyrmex and Atta are the conspicuous leaf-cutters. The center of their activities is the fungus garden, which is also the site of the queen and brood. The garden, in most species, is made from fresh green leaves or other vegetal material. The ants forage for this, forming distinct trails to the vegetation that is being harvested. The cut leaves or other substrate are brought into the nest and prepared for the fungus. Fresh leaves and flowers are cut into pieces a millimeter or two in diameter; the ants form them into a pulpy mass by pinching them with the mandibles and adding saliva. Anal droplets are deposited on the pieces, which are then forced into place in the garden. Planting of the fungus is accomplished by an ant's picking up tufts of the adjacent mycelium and dotting the surface of the new substrate with it. The combination of salivary and anal secretions, together with the constant care given by the ants, facilitates the growth of the ant fungus only, despite constant possibilities for contamination. When the ants are removed, alien fungi and other organisms flourish. A mature nest of Atta Sexdens may consist of 2000 chambers, some temporarily empty, some with refuse, and the remainder with fungus gardens. Thousands of kilograms of fresh leaves will have been used. A young laboratory colony of Atta cephalotes will use 1 kilogram of fresh leaves for one garden. The attines are the chief agents for introducing organic matter into the soil in tropical rain forests; this matter becomes the nucleus for a host of other organisms, including nematodes and arthropods, after it is discarded by the ants. One ant species cultures a yeast; all others grow a mycelium. In the higher species the mycelium forms clusters of inflated hyphae. Mycologists accept as valid two names for confirmed fruiting stages: Leucocoprinus ( or

  14. 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

  15. Alate susceptibility in ants.

    PubMed

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-11-01

    Pathogens are predicted to pose a particular threat to eusocial insects because infections can spread rapidly in colonies with high densities of closely related individuals. In ants, there are two major castes: workers and reproductives. Sterile workers receive no direct benefit from investing in immunity, but can gain indirect fitness benefits if their immunity aids the survival of their fertile siblings. Virgin reproductives (alates), on the other hand, may be able to increase their investment in reproduction, rather than in immunity, because of the protection they receive from workers. Thus, we expect colonies to have highly immune workers, but relatively more susceptible alates. We examined the survival of workers, gynes, and males of nine ant species collected in Peru and Canada when exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. For the seven species in which treatment with B. bassiana increased ant mortality relative to controls, we found workers were significantly less susceptible compared with both alate sexes. Female and male alates did not differ significantly in their immunocompetence. Our results suggest that, as with other nonreproductive tasks in ant colonies like foraging and nest maintenance, workers have primary responsibility for colony immunity, allowing alates to specialize on reproduction. We highlight the importance of colony-level selection on individual immunity in ants and other eusocial organisms. PMID:25540683

  16. Stochastic Population Dynamics of a Montane Ground-Dwelling Squirrel

    PubMed Central

    Hostetler, Jeffrey A.; Kneip, Eva; Van Vuren, Dirk H.; Oli, Madan K.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the causes and consequences of population fluctuations is a central goal of ecology. We used demographic data from a long-term (1990–2008) study and matrix population models to investigate factors and processes influencing the dynamics and persistence of a golden-mantled ground squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis) population, inhabiting a dynamic subalpine habitat in Colorado, USA. The overall deterministic population growth rate λ was 0.94±SE 0.05 but it varied widely over time, ranging from 0.45±0.09 in 2006 to 1.50±0.12 in 2003, and was below replacement (λ<1) for 9 out of 18 years. The stochastic population growth rate λs was 0.92, suggesting a declining population; however, the 95% CI on λs included 1.0 (0.52–1.60). Stochastic elasticity analysis showed that survival of adult females, followed by survival of juvenile females and litter size, were potentially the most influential vital rates; analysis of life table response experiments revealed that the same three life history variables made the largest contributions to year-to year changes in λ. Population viability analysis revealed that, when the influences of density dependence and immigration were not considered, the population had a high (close to 1.0 in 50 years) probability of extinction. However, probability of extinction declined to as low as zero when density dependence and immigration were considered. Destabilizing effects of stochastic forces were counteracted by regulating effects of density dependence and rescue effects of immigration, which allowed our study population to bounce back from low densities and prevented extinction. These results suggest that dynamics and persistence of our study population are determined synergistically by density-dependence, stochastic forces, and immigration. PMID:22479616

  17. Stochastic population dynamics of a montane ground-dwelling squirrel.

    PubMed

    Hostetler, Jeffrey A; Kneip, Eva; Van Vuren, Dirk H; Oli, Madan K

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the causes and consequences of population fluctuations is a central goal of ecology. We used demographic data from a long-term (1990-2008) study and matrix population models to investigate factors and processes influencing the dynamics and persistence of a golden-mantled ground squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis) population, inhabiting a dynamic subalpine habitat in Colorado, USA. The overall deterministic population growth rate λ was 0.94±SE 0.05 but it varied widely over time, ranging from 0.45±0.09 in 2006 to 1.50±0.12 in 2003, and was below replacement (λ<1) for 9 out of 18 years. The stochastic population growth rate λ(s) was 0.92, suggesting a declining population; however, the 95% CI on λ(s) included 1.0 (0.52-1.60). Stochastic elasticity analysis showed that survival of adult females, followed by survival of juvenile females and litter size, were potentially the most influential vital rates; analysis of life table response experiments revealed that the same three life history variables made the largest contributions to year-to year changes in λ. Population viability analysis revealed that, when the influences of density dependence and immigration were not considered, the population had a high (close to 1.0 in 50 years) probability of extinction. However, probability of extinction declined to as low as zero when density dependence and immigration were considered. Destabilizing effects of stochastic forces were counteracted by regulating effects of density dependence and rescue effects of immigration, which allowed our study population to bounce back from low densities and prevented extinction. These results suggest that dynamics and persistence of our study population are determined synergistically by density-dependence, stochastic forces, and immigration.

  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. Ant-based computing.

    PubMed

    Michael, Loizos

    2009-01-01

    A biologically and physically plausible model for ants and pheromones is proposed. It is argued that the mechanisms described in this model are sufficiently powerful to reproduce the necessary components of universal computation. The claim is supported by illustrating the feasibility of designing arbitrary logic circuits, showing that the interactions of ants and pheromones lead to the expected behavior, and presenting computer simulation results to verify the circuits' working. The conclusions of this study can be taken as evidence that coherent deterministic and centralized computation can emerge from the collective behavior of simple distributed Markovian processes such as those followed by biological ants, but also, more generally, by artificial agents with limited computational and communication abilities. PMID:19239348

  20. Human sting of Cephalonomia gallicola (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) in Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, In-Yong; Shin, Chang-Seob; Sim, Seobo; Park, Jung-Won; Yong, Tai-Soon

    2014-12-01

    Hymenoptera stings can cause serious injury to humans. We report the clinical findings of 6 cases of Hymenoptera stings. All patients developed painful erythematous papules at the sting sites and had a past history of parasitoid wasp sting. This is the first clinical report of the parasitoid wasp, Cephalonomia gallicola, causing human stings in Korea.

  1. The Ants Go Marching Millions by Millions: Invasive Ant Research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive ants are a worldwide problem that is expanding both geographically and in intensity. Population explosions of invasive ants can overrun landscapes and inundate structures. Pest management professionals are often the first responders to complaints about invading ants. This session will fo...

  2. The ants go marching millions by millions: invasive ant research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive ants are a worldwide problem that is expanding both geographically and in intensity. Population explosions of invasive ants can overrun landscapes and inundate structures. Pest management professionals are often the first responders to complaints about invading ants. This session will fo...

  3. The Nest Architecture of the Ant Odontomachus brunneus

    PubMed Central

    Cerquera, Lina M.; Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2010-01-01

    The architecture of the subterranean nests of the ant Odontomachus brunneus (Patton) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) was studied by means of casts with dental plaster or molten metal. The entombed ants were later recovered by dissolution of plaster casts in hot running water. O. brunneus excavates simple nests, each consisting of a single, vertical shaft connecting more or less horizontal, simple chambers. Nests contained between 11 and 177 workers, from 2 to 17 chambers, and 28 to 340 cm2 of chamber floor space and reached a maximum depth of 18 to 184 cm. All components of nest size increased simultaneously during nest enlargement, number of chambers, mean chamber size, and nest depth, making the nest shape (proportions) relatively size-independent. Regardless of nest size, all nests had approximately 2 cm2 of chamber floor space per worker. Chambers were closer together near the top and the bottom of the nest than in the middle, and total chamber area was greater near the bottom. Colonies occasionally incorporated cavities made by other animals into their nests. PMID:20672980

  4. Routing Vehicles with Ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Wen Fang; Lee, Lai Soon; Majid, Zanariah Abdul; Seow, Hsin Vonn

    Routing vehicles involve the design of an optimal set of routes for a fleet of vehicles to serve a number of customers with known demands. This research develops an Ant Colony Optimization for the vehicle routing with one central depot and identical vehicles. The procedure simulates the behavior of real ants that always find the shortest path between their nest and a food source through a form of communication, pheromone trail. Finally, preliminary results on the learning of the algorithm testing on benchmark data set will be presented in this paper.

  5. Army ants: an evolutionary bestseller?

    PubMed

    Berghoff, Stefanie M

    2003-09-01

    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.

  6. A new species of Aximopsis sensu lato ashmead (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Eurytomidae) parasitic on Euglossa spp. (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aximopsis masneri Gates, new species, (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Eurytomidae) is described and illustrated. This species was reared from field-collected nests of Euglossa sp. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in the Neotropical region with additional label data indicating E. variabilis and E. cybelia as hosts...

  7. Fire Ant Allergy

    MedlinePlus

    ... In extreme cases, a rapid fall in blood pressure may result in shock and loss of consciousness. Symptoms of anaphylaxis require emergency medical treatment. Given the severity of a potential reaction, an accurate diagnosis for fire ant allergy is key to being prepared for ...

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. Ant allergens and hypersensitivity reactions in response to ant stings.

    PubMed

    Potiwat, Rutcharin; Sitcharungsi, Raweerat

    2015-12-01

    Hypersensitivity reactions caused by ant stings are increasingly recognized as an important cause of death by anaphylaxis. Only some species of ants ( e.g. Solenopsis spp., Myrmecia spp., and Pachycondyla spp.) cause allergic reactions. Ant species are identified by evaluating the morphologic structures of worker ants or by molecular techniques. Ant venom contains substances, including acids and alkaloids, that cause toxic reactions, and those from Solenopsis invicta or the imported fire ant have been widely studied. Piperidine alkaloids and low protein contents can cause local reactions (sterile pustules) and systemic reactions (anaphylaxis). Imported fire ant venoms are cross-reactive; for example, the Sol i 1 allergen from S. invicta has cross-reactivity with yellow jacket phospholipase. The Sol i 3 allergen is a member of the antigen 5 family that has amino acid sequence identity with vespid antigen 5. The clinical presentations of ant hypersensitivity are categorized into immediate and delayed reactions: immediate reactions, such as small local reactions, large local reactions, and systemic reactions, occur within 1-4 hours after the ant stings, whereas delayed reactions, such as serum sickness and vasculitis, usually occur more than 4 hours after the stings. Tools for the diagnosis of ant hypersensitivity are skin testing, serum specific IgE, and sting challenge tests. Management of ant hypersensitivity can be divided into immediate (epinephrine, corticosteroids), symptomatic (antihistamines, bronchodilators), supportive (fluid resuscitation, oxygen therapy), and preventive (re-sting avoidance and immunotherapy) treatments. PMID:26708389

  11. Competition between honeydew producers in an ant-hemipteran interaction may enhance biological control of an invasive pest.

    PubMed

    Tena, A; Hoddle, C D; Hoddle, M S

    2013-12-01

    Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae), is an invasive citrus pest in southern California, which secretes honeydew and has the potential to spread a lethal bacterial disease, huanglongbing, of citrus. In urban citrus, Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), also an invasive pest, tends honeydew-producing hemipterans. We used field data to determine whether the mutualistic relationship between L. humile and six established species of honeydew producers may hinder or favor the establishment of D. citri and its biological control with Tamarixia radiata (Waterston) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) in citrus via competition or mutualism for ants, respectively. In the field, L. humile and D. citri are engaged in a mutualistic relationship. Ants harvest solid honeydew secreted by psyllid nymphs and tended more than 55% of observed D. citri colonies. Linepithema humile displayed a preference hierarchy when tending honeydew producers infesting citrus. It responded equally or less intensively to D. citri than to other honeydew-producing species. Consequently, the mutualism between L. humile and D. citri was affected by the presence of other honeydew-producing species, and the percentage of D. citri colonies tended by L. humile. The number of ants per D. citri colony also decreased as the number of other honeydew producers increased. Diaphorina citri density was also affected by the presence of other honeydew producers. Both colony size and the number of D. citri nymphs counted per tree decreased as the number of other honeydew producers increased. Our results indicate that competition between honeydew producers for the mutualist ant L. humile may hinder the establishment of D. citri by possibly facilitating increased biological control.

  12. Competition between honeydew producers in an ant-hemipteran interaction may enhance biological control of an invasive pest.

    PubMed

    Tena, A; Hoddle, C D; Hoddle, M S

    2013-12-01

    Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae), is an invasive citrus pest in southern California, which secretes honeydew and has the potential to spread a lethal bacterial disease, huanglongbing, of citrus. In urban citrus, Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), also an invasive pest, tends honeydew-producing hemipterans. We used field data to determine whether the mutualistic relationship between L. humile and six established species of honeydew producers may hinder or favor the establishment of D. citri and its biological control with Tamarixia radiata (Waterston) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) in citrus via competition or mutualism for ants, respectively. In the field, L. humile and D. citri are engaged in a mutualistic relationship. Ants harvest solid honeydew secreted by psyllid nymphs and tended more than 55% of observed D. citri colonies. Linepithema humile displayed a preference hierarchy when tending honeydew producers infesting citrus. It responded equally or less intensively to D. citri than to other honeydew-producing species. Consequently, the mutualism between L. humile and D. citri was affected by the presence of other honeydew-producing species, and the percentage of D. citri colonies tended by L. humile. The number of ants per D. citri colony also decreased as the number of other honeydew producers increased. Diaphorina citri density was also affected by the presence of other honeydew producers. Both colony size and the number of D. citri nymphs counted per tree decreased as the number of other honeydew producers increased. Our results indicate that competition between honeydew producers for the mutualist ant L. humile may hinder the establishment of D. citri by possibly facilitating increased biological control. PMID:23941659

  13. Fauna Europaea: Hymenoptera – Apocrita (excl. Ichneumonoidea)

    PubMed Central

    Noyes, John; Cetkovic, Aleksandar; Nonveiller, Guido; Radchenko, Alexander; Polaszek, Andrew; Ronquist, Fredrick; Forshage, Mattias; Pagliano, Guido; Gusenleitner, Josef; Bartalucci, Mario Boni; Olmi, Massimo; Fusu, Lucian; Madl, Michael; Johnson, Norman F; Jansta, Petr; Wahis, Raymond; Soon, Villu; Rosa, Paolo; Osten, Till; Barbier, Yvan

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Fauna Europaea provides a public web-service with an index of scientific names (including important synonyms) of all living European land and freshwater animals, their geographical distribution at country level (up to the Urals, excluding the Caucasus region), and some additional information. The Fauna Europaea project covers about 230,000 taxonomic names, including 130,000 accepted species and 14,000 accepted subspecies. This represents a huge effort by more than 400 contributing specialists throughout Europe and is a unique (standard) reference suitable for many users in science, government, industry, nature conservation and education. Hymenoptera is one of the four largest orders of insects, with about 130,000 described species. In the Fauna Europaea database, ‘Hymenoptera - Apocrita (excluding Ichneumonoidea)’ comprises 13 superfamilies, 52 families, 91 subfamilies, 38 tribes and 13,211 species. The paper includes a complete list of taxa dealt with, the number of species in each and the name of the specialist responsible for data acquisition. As a general conclusion about the European fauna of Hymenoptera, the best known countries in terms of recorded species are those from northwestern Europe, with the least known fauna probably in the more eastern and southeastern parts of Europe. PMID:25859127

  14. Identifying and managing Hymenoptera venom allergy.

    PubMed

    Matron, Patricia Kane; Timms, Victoria; Fitzsimons, Roisin

    2016-05-25

    Hymenoptera venom allergy is an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated hypersensitivity to the venom of insects from the Hymenoptera order and is a common cause of anaphylaxis. A diagnosis of venom allergy is made by taking an accurate medical, family and social history, alongside specific allergy testing. Systemic reactions to Hymenoptera venom occur in a small proportion of the population; these range from mild to life-threatening in severity. Treatment for local reactions involves the use of cold packs, antihistamines, analgesia and topical corticosteroids to help alleviate swelling, pain and pruritus. Venom immunotherapy is the treatment of choice for reducing the incidence of future anaphylactic reactions in individuals who have signs of respiratory obstruction or hypotension. Venom immunotherapy is the most effective treatment in reduction of life-threatening reactions to venom, and can improve quality of life for individuals. Treatment should only be provided by experienced staff who are able to provide emergency care for anaphylaxis and life-threatening episodes. A risk assessment to deliver treatment should be undertaken before treatment is commenced. PMID:27224630

  15. 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.

  16. Natural history of the Neotropical arboreal ant, Odontomachus hastatus: nest sites, foraging schedule, and diet.

    PubMed

    Camargo, Rafael X; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2012-01-01

    The ecology of most arboreal ants remains poorly documented because of the difficulty in accessing ant nests and foragers in the forest canopy. This study documents the nesting and foraging ecology of a large (∼13 mm total length) arboreal trap-jaw ant, Odontomachus hastatus (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a sandy plain forest on Cardoso Island, off the coast of Southeast Brazil. The results showed that O. hastatus nested in root clusters of epiphytic bromeliads, most commonly Vriesea procera (70% of nest plants). Mature O. hastatus colonies include one to several queens and about 500 workers. Foraging by O. hastatus is primarily nocturnal year-round, with increased foraging activity during the wet/warm season. The foragers hunt singly in the trees, preying on a variety of canopy-dwelling arthropods, with flies, moths, ants, and spiders accounting for > 60% of the prey captured. Although predators often have impacts on prey populations, the ecological importance of O. hastatus remains to be studied. PMID:22957686

  17. Control of Linepithema micans (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) in Vineyards Using Toxic Baits.

    PubMed

    Nondillo, Aline; Andzeiewski, Simone; Bello Fialho, Flávio; Bueno, Odair Correa; Botton, Marcos

    2016-08-01

    Linepithema micans (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is the main ant species responsible for dispersal of Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Wille) (Hemiptera: Margarodidae), a root scale that damages grapevines in southern Brazil. The effects of different formulations of toxic baits based on boric acid and hydramethylnon to control L. micans and E. brasiliensis were evaluated. Toxic baits with boric acid (1.0%) mixed in different concentrations of inverted sugar (20%, 30%, and 40%), and hydramethylnon, mixed with sardines (paste), cassava flour and peanut, brown sugar (sucrose), or sardine oil-based gel, were evaluated in a greenhouse and in the field. In the greenhouse experiment, the number of foraging ants was significantly reduced in the pots where the hydramethylnon in sardine paste (Solid S), sardine oil-brown sugar-based gel (GEL SAM), and peanut oil-brown-sugar gel (GEL AM) formulations were applied. The GEL SAM toxic bait effectively reduced the infestation of L. micans, and could be used for indirect control of E. brasiliensis on young grapevines. PMID:27329621

  18. Interaction between Linepithema micans (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) in vineyards.

    PubMed

    Nondillo, Aline; Sganzerla, Vânia Maria Ambrosi; Bueno, Odair Correa; Botton, Marcos

    2013-06-01

    Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Wille) (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) is a soil scale that is considered the main pest of vineyards in Brazil. The ant Linepithema micans (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is frequently found associated with this species of scale in infested areas. The effect of the presence of L. micans on the infestation and dispersal capacity of E. brasiliensis on vine roots was measured in a greenhouse, using Paulsen 1103 rootstock seedlings planted in simple and double "Gallotti Cages." Treatments measured were: infestation of roots with E. brasiliensis or L. micans, and infestation with both species together. In the experiment using simple Gallotti Cages, with E. brasiliensis associated with L. micans, higher mean numbers of cysts and ants per plant were recorded, a result significantly different from that found for infestation with scale only. When double Gallotti Cages were used, first-instar nymphs were transported between the cages. The results showed that L. micans transports and aids in the attachment of E. brasiliensis to vine plants. PMID:23726055

  19. Control of Linepithema micans (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) in Vineyards Using Toxic Baits.

    PubMed

    Nondillo, Aline; Andzeiewski, Simone; Bello Fialho, Flávio; Bueno, Odair Correa; Botton, Marcos

    2016-08-01

    Linepithema micans (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is the main ant species responsible for dispersal of Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Wille) (Hemiptera: Margarodidae), a root scale that damages grapevines in southern Brazil. The effects of different formulations of toxic baits based on boric acid and hydramethylnon to control L. micans and E. brasiliensis were evaluated. Toxic baits with boric acid (1.0%) mixed in different concentrations of inverted sugar (20%, 30%, and 40%), and hydramethylnon, mixed with sardines (paste), cassava flour and peanut, brown sugar (sucrose), or sardine oil-based gel, were evaluated in a greenhouse and in the field. In the greenhouse experiment, the number of foraging ants was significantly reduced in the pots where the hydramethylnon in sardine paste (Solid S), sardine oil-brown sugar-based gel (GEL SAM), and peanut oil-brown-sugar gel (GEL AM) formulations were applied. The GEL SAM toxic bait effectively reduced the infestation of L. micans, and could be used for indirect control of E. brasiliensis on young grapevines.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants.

    PubMed

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-05-01

    We propose a distributed model of nestmate recognition, analogous to the one used by the vertebrate immune system, in which colony response results from the diverse reactions of many ants. The model describes how individual behaviour produces colony response to non-nestmates. No single ant knows the odour identity of the colony. Instead, colony identity is defined collectively by all the ants in the colony. Each ant responds to the odour of other ants by reference to its own unique decision boundary, which is a result of its experience of encounters with other ants. Each ant thus recognizes a particular set of chemical profiles as being those of non-nestmates. This model predicts, as experimental results have shown, that the outcome of behavioural assays is likely to be variable, that it depends on the number of ants tested, that response to non-nestmates changes over time and that it changes in response to the experience of individual ants. A distributed system allows a colony to identify non-nestmates without requiring that all individuals have the same complete information and helps to facilitate the tracking of changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, because only a subset of ants must respond to provide an adequate response.

  3. North American Invasion of the Tawny Crazy Ant (Nylanderia fulva) Is Enabled by Pheromonal Synergism from Two Separate Glands.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qing-He; McDonald, Danny L; Hoover, Doreen R; Aldrich, Jeffrey R; Schneidmiller, Rodney G

    2015-09-01

    A new invader, the "tawny crazy ant", Nylanderia fulva (Hymenoptera: Formicidae; Formicinae), is displacing the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Formicidae: Myrmicinae), in the southern U.S., likely through its superior chemical arsenal and communication. Alone, formic acid is unattractive, but this venom (= poison) acid powerfully synergizes attraction of tawny crazy ants to volatiles from the Dufour's gland secretion of N. fulva workers, including the two major components, undecane and 2-tridecanone. The unexpected pheromonal synergism between the Dufour's gland and the venom gland appears to be another key factor, in addition to previously known defensive and detoxification semiochemical features, for the successful invasion and domination of N. fulva in the southern U.S. This synergism is an efficient mechanism enabling N. fulva workers to outcompete Solenopsis and other ant species for food and territory. From a practical standpoint, judicious point-source release formulation of tawny crazy ant volatiles may be pivotal for enhanced attract-and-kill management of this pest. PMID:26315627

  4. Mechanics of fire ant aggregations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Fire ants link their bodies to form aggregations; these can adopt a variety of structures, they can drip and spread, or withstand applied loads. Here, by using oscillatory rheology, we show that fire ant aggregations are viscoelastic. We find that, at the lowest ant densities probed and in the linear regime, the elastic and viscous moduli are essentially identical over the spanned frequency range, which highlights the absence of a dominant mode of structural relaxation. As ant density increases, the elastic modulus rises, which we interpret by alluding to ant crowding and subsequent jamming. When deformed beyond the linear regime, the aggregation flows, exhibiting shear-thinning behaviour with a stress load that is comparable to the maximum load the aggregation can withstand before individual ants are torn apart. Our findings illustrate the rich, collective mechanical behaviour that can arise in aggregations of active, interacting building blocks.

  5. Mechanics of fire ant aggregations.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Fire ants link their bodies to form aggregations; these can adopt a variety of structures, they can drip and spread, or withstand applied loads. Here, by using oscillatory rheology, we show that fire ant aggregations are viscoelastic. We find that, at the lowest ant densities probed and in the linear regime, the elastic and viscous moduli are essentially identical over the spanned frequency range, which highlights the absence of a dominant mode of structural relaxation. As ant density increases, the elastic modulus rises, which we interpret by alluding to ant crowding and subsequent jamming. When deformed beyond the linear regime, the aggregation flows, exhibiting shear-thinning behaviour with a stress load that is comparable to the maximum load the aggregation can withstand before individual ants are torn apart. Our findings illustrate the rich, collective mechanical behaviour that can arise in aggregations of active, interacting building blocks. PMID:26501413

  6. Parasitoid secretions provoke ant warfare.

    PubMed

    Thomas, J A; Knapp, J J; Akino, T; Gerty, S; Wakamura, S; Simcox, D J; Wardlaw, J C; Elmes, G W

    2002-05-30

    Insect social parasites are extreme specialists that typically use mimicry or stealth to enter ant colonies to exploit the rich, but fiercely protected, resources within their nests. Here we show how a parasitic wasp (parasitoid) contrives to reach its host, itself an endangered species of social parasite that lives inside the brood chambers of ant nests, by releasing semiochemicals to induce in-fighting between worker ants, locking the colony in combat and leaving it underprotected. Four of these chemicals are new to biology and have the potential to control pest species by inducing different agonistic behaviours in ants. PMID:12037556

  7. Dufour's gland possible role in the evolution of sting morphology and function in hover wasps (Hymenoptera Stenogastrinae).

    PubMed

    Fortunato, Angelo; Turillazzi, Stefano

    2012-05-01

    The sting is the most effective defense of social Hymenoptera against vertebrate predators but in the hover wasps (subfamily Stenogastrinae) it is scarcely used. In these wasps a quite enlarged Dufour's gland and the extensive use of its secretion in the peculiar rearing of the larvae and defense determined important morphological modifications of the sting structure. Connecting anatomical and morphological data with behavioral observations we determined that in these wasps the Dufour's gland secretion is attached to the egg during oviposition but can be also channeled to the outside via the sting when it is collected by adult females for larval rearing or construction of the nest ant guards. The anatomical modifications of the sting reduced the function of the sting as a defensive weapon in hover wasps.

  8. Fire ant microsporidia acquired by parasitoid flies of fire ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The microsporidium Kneallhazia (formerly Thelohania) solenopsae and parasitoid flies in the genus Pseudacteon are natural enemies of the invasive fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Pseudacteon flies oviposit into adult fire ants, where maggots that eclose from eggs migrate to the ants’ head, pupate, and...

  9. Presence of Wolbachia in three hymenopteran species: Diprion pini (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae), Neodiprion sertifer (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae), and Dahlbominus fuscipennis (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae).

    PubMed

    Pistone, Dario; Bione, Alessandro; Epis, Sara; Pajoro, Massimo; Gaiarsa, Stefano; Bandi, Claudio; Sassera, Davide

    2014-01-01

    Sawflies are important pests of various plant species. Diprion pini (L.) and Neodiprion sertifer (Geoffroy) (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae) are two of the most important sawfly pests in Italy, and both species are parasitized by the hymenopteran parasitoid Dahlbominus fuscipennis (Zetterstedt). Bacterial endosymbionts are currently studied for their high potential in strategies of biocontrol in a number of insect species. In this study, we investigated the presence of symbiotic bacteria (Wolbachia and Cardinium) in the three species of hymenoptera mentioned earlier, both in wild and laboratory populations. Although all samples were negative for the presence of Cardinium, 100% prevalence for Wolbachia was detected, as all examined individuals resulted to be PCR positive. Furthermore, 16S rDNA and ftsZ gene sequencing indicated that all individuals from the three hymenopteran species are infected by a single Wolbachia strain. Additionally, we report the presence of gynandromorphic individuals in D. pini, both in wild and laboratory-reared populations. Heat treatments on D. pini colonies removed the Wolbachia symbionts, but they also prevented the development of adults.

  10. Communal nutrition in ants.

    PubMed

    Dussutour, Audrey; Simpson, Stephen J

    2009-05-12

    Studies on nonsocial insects have elucidated the regulatory strategies employed to meet nutritional demands [1-3]. However, how social insects maintain the supply of an appropriate balance of nutrients at both a collective and an individual level remains unknown. Sociality complicates nutritional regulatory strategies [4-6]. First, the food entering a colony is collected by a small number of workers, which need to adjust their harvesting strategy to the demands for nutrients among individuals within the colony [4-7]. Second, because carbohydrates are used by the workers and proteins consumed by the larvae [7-14], nutritional feedbacks emanating from both must exist and be integrated to determine food exploitation by foragers [4-6, 15, 16]. Here, we show that foraging ants can solve nutritional challenges for the colony by making intricate adjustments to their feeding behavior and nutrient processing, acting both as a collective mouth and gut. The amount and balance of nutrients collected and the precision of regulation depend on the presence of larvae in the colony. Ants improved the macronutrient balance of collected foods by extracting carbohydrates and ejecting proteins. Nevertheless, processing excess protein shortened life span--an effect that was greatly ameliorated in the presence of larvae.

  11. Autonomy in ants and humans.

    PubMed

    Carpendale, Jeremy I M; Frayn, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Drawing lessons regarding the consequences of ultrasociality in ants and humans depends crucially on recognizing differences as well as similarities in the way that species are social. We focus on Gowdy & Krall's use of the concept of autonomy to explicate essential differences in the ways in which ants and humans are social. PMID:27562193

  12. Temperature: Human Regulating, Ants Conforming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clopton, Joe R.

    2007-01-01

    Biological processes speed up as temperature rises. Procedures for demonstrating this with ants traveling on trails, and data gathered by students on the Argentine ant ("Linepithema humile") are presented. The concepts of temperature regulation and conformity are detailed with a focus on the processes rather than on terms that label the organisms.

  13. Dominance Hierarchies in Leptothorax Ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, Blaine J.

    1981-04-01

    The social organization of Leptothorax allardycei is unique among ant species thus far studied. The workers form linear dominance hierarchies characterized by routine displays of dominance, avoidance behavior, and even fighting. The high-ranking ants are favored in liquid food exchange, have greater ovarian development, and produce 20 percent of the eggs.

  14. Ant navigation: reading geometrical signposts.

    PubMed

    Collett, Thomas S; Waxman, David

    2005-03-01

    Ants often travel along complex pheromone trail systems between their nest and foraging areas. A new and surprising discovery is that Pharaoh's ants can work out from the geometry of individual branch points on the trail whether they are heading towards or away from the nest. PMID:15753029

  15. The meaning of predatory specialization as illustrated by Aelurillus m-nigrum, an ant-eating jumping spider (Araneae: Salticidae) from Azerbaijan.

    PubMed

    Huseynov, Elchin F; Jackson, Robert R; Cross, Fiona R

    2008-03-01

    The distinctions between a predator's diet, its prey-choice behaviour and its preference are illustrated in a study of Aelurillus m-nigrum Kulczyn'ski, a salticid spider from Azerbaijan. The natural diet of A. m-nigrum was determined from records of individuals feeding in the field (N=58). Ten arthropod orders were represented. Nine were from the class Insecta (Coleoptera, Collembola, Diptera, Heteroptera, Homoptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Orthoptera, Psocoptera) and one from the class Arachnida (Araneae). Of 50 insects among the prey, 21 (42%) were Hymenoptera, with ants (family Formicidae) alone accounting for 31% of all prey records. Although the majority (69%) of the natural prey were not ants, results from prey-choice testing in the laboratory implied that A. m-nigrum preferred ants as prey. However, this preference was evident only when the testing environment included sand and a small stone. Our findings illustrate the importance of not conflating the concept of a predator's preference with the concept of a predator's natural diet and illustrate that physical features of a predator's habitat may be an important factor in influencing how strongly preference is expressed. PMID:18178038

  16. AntR-mediated bidirectional activation of antA and antR, anthranilate degradative genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Kim, Soo-Kyoung; Im, Su-Jin; Yeom, Doo-Hwan; Lee, Joon-Hee

    2012-08-15

    Bidirectional activation of transcription is a peculiar regulation mode of gene expression. In this study, we show that genes involved in the metabolism of anthranilate, a precursor of biosynthesis of tryptophan and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS) are regulated by this bidirectional activation of transcription. Anthranilate is degraded by anthranilate dioxygenase complex encoded by antABC operon, and AntR, a LysR-type regulator encoded by antR activates the transcription of antABC operon in the presence of anthranilate. In P. aeruginosa, antABC and antR are divergently located and AntR binds to the intergenic region between antA and antR to activate the antABC transcription. In this study, we determined the transcriptional start site of the antA promoter (antA(p)) and AntR-responsive elements (AREs) in P. aeruginosa. The upstream deletion analysis of antA(p) and in vitro gel shift assay with purified AntR showed that there are two AREs at -194 to -148 and -88 to -47 regions. We also found that AntR activates antR promoter (antR(p)) in the opposite direction and both AREs are important in the bidirectional activation of antA(p) and antR(p). Two AREs have different binding affinities to AntR and the strength of transcriptional activation was dramatically asymmetric depending on the direction. We suggest that the different affinities of two AREs may explain the asymmetry of the bidirectional activation by AntR. PMID:22609066

  17. The thermoregulatory function of thatched nests in the South American grass-cutting ant, Acromyrmex heyeri.

    PubMed

    Bollazzi, Martin; Roces, Flavio

    2010-01-01

    The construction of mound-shaped nests by ants is considered as a behavioral adaptation to low environmental temperatures, i.e., colonies achieve higher and more stables temperatures than those of the environment. Besides the well-known nests of boreal Formica wood-ants, several species of South American leaf-cutting ants of the genus Acromyrmex construct thatched nests. Acromyrmex workers import plant fragments as building material, and arrange them so as to form a thatch covering a central chamber, where the fungus garden is located. Thus, the degree of thermoregulation attained by the fungus garden inside the thatched nest largely depends on how the thatch affects the thermal relations between the fungus and the environment. This work was aimed at studying the thermoregulatory function of the thatched nests built by the grass-cutting ant Acromyrmex heyeri Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Nest and environmental temperatures were measured as a function of solar radiation on the long-term. The thermal diffusivity of the nest thatch was measured and compared to that of the surrounding soil, in order to assess the influence of the building material on the nest's thermoregulatory ability. The results showed that the average core temperature of thatched nests was higher than that of the environment, but remained below values harmful for the fungus. This thermoregulation was brought about by the low thermal diffusivity of the nest thatch built by workers with plant fragments, instead of the readily-available soil particles that have a higher thermal diffusivity. The thatch prevented diurnal nest overheating by the incoming solar radiation, and avoided losses of the accumulated daily heat into the cold air during the night. The adaptive value of thatching behavior in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants occurring in the southernmost distribution range is discussed.

  18. Identifying the transition between single and multiple mating of queens in fungus-growing ants.

    PubMed Central

    Villesen, Palle; Murakami, Takahiro; Schultz, Ted R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2002-01-01

    Obligate mating of females (queens) with multiple males has evolved only rarely in social Hymenoptera (ants, social bees, social wasps) and for reasons that are fundamentally different from those underlying multiple mating in other animals. The monophyletic tribe of ('attine') fungus-growing ants is known to include evolutionarily derived genera with obligate multiple mating (the Acromyrmex and Atta leafcutter ants) as well as phylogenetically basal genera with exclusively single mating (e.g. Apterostigma, Cyphomyrmex, Myrmicocrypta). All attine genera share the unique characteristic of obligate dependence on symbiotic fungus gardens for food, but the sophistication of this symbiosis differs considerably across genera. The lower attine genera generally have small, short-lived colonies and relatively non-specialized fungal symbionts (capable of living independently of their ant hosts), whereas the four evolutionarily derived higher attine genera have highly specialized, long-term clonal symbionts. In this paper, we investigate whether the transition from single to multiple mating occurred relatively recently in the evolution of the attine ants, in conjunction with the novel herbivorous 'leafcutter' niche acquired by the common ancestor of Acromyrmex and Atta, or earlier, at the transition to rearing specialized long-term clonal fungi in the common ancestor of the larger group of higher attines that also includes the genera Trachymyrmex and Sericomyrmex. We use DNA microsatellite analysis to provide unambiguous evidence for a single, late and abrupt evolutionary transition from exclusively single to obligatory multiple mating. This transition is historically correlated with other evolutionary innovations, including the extensive use of fresh vegetation as substrate for the fungus garden, a massive increase in mature colony size and morphological differentiation of the worker caste. PMID:12184823

  19. The Thermoregulatory Function of Thatched Nests in the South American Grass-Cutting Ant, Acromyrmex heyeri

    PubMed Central

    Bollazzi, Martin; Roces, Flavio

    2010-01-01

    The construction of mound-shaped nests by ants is considered as a behavioral adaptation to low environmental temperatures, i.e., colonies achieve higher and more stables temperatures than those of the environment. Besides the well-known nests of boreal Formica wood-ants, several species of South American leaf-cutting ants of the genus Acromyrmex construct thatched nests. Acromyrmex workers import plant fragments as building material, and arrange them so as to form a thatch covering a central chamber, where the fungus garden is located. Thus, the degree of thermoregulation attained by the fungus garden inside the thatched nest largely depends on how the thatch affects the thermal relations between the fungus and the environment. This work was aimed at studying the thermoregulatory function of the thatched nests built by the grass-cutting ant Acromyrmex heyeri Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Nest and environmental temperatures were measured as a function of solar radiation on the long-term. The thermal diffusivity of the nest thatch was measured and compared to that of the surrounding soil, in order to assess the influence of the building material on the nest's thermoregulatory ability. The results showed that the average core temperature of thatched nests was higher than that of the environment, but remained below values harmful for the fungus. This thermoregulation was brought about by the low thermal diffusivity of the nest thatch built by workers with plant fragments, instead of the readily-available soil particles that have a higher thermal diffusivity. The thatch prevented diurnal nest overheating by the incoming solar radiation, and avoided losses of the accumulated daily heat into the cold air during the night. The adaptive value of thatching behavior in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants occurring in the southernmost distribution range is discussed. PMID:20883129

  20. The seasonal natural history of the ant, Dolichoderus mariae, in Northern Florida.

    PubMed

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Ecdysone receptor expression in developing and adult mushroom bodies of the ant Camponotus japonicus.

    PubMed

    Nemoto, Michie; Hara, Kenji

    2007-09-01

    Mushroom bodies (MBs) are insect brain centers involved in sensory integration and memory formation. In social Hymenoptera, MBs are large and comprise larger number of Kenyon cells and have repeatedly been implied to underlie the social behaviors. In the present study, to facilitate our understanding of the neural basis of social behaviors, two complementary DNAs (cDNAs) encoding presumed ecdysone receptor isoforms (CjEcR-A and CjEcR-alpha) were identified in the developing brains of the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Sequence comparison indicated that these CjEcR proteins had common DNA- and hormone-binding domains linked to different N-terminal regions. The alignment of the distinct regions with other insects EcRs indicated that CjEcR-A is the ant homologue of EcR-A, and CjEcR-alpha has a novel type of A/B region. Immunohistochemical analyses of the MBs of C. japonicus with the common region antibody demonstrated that these CjEcRs appear in all neuroblasts, neurons, and glia cells during neurogenesis, whereas expression is confined to the neurons, disappearing in the glia cells in newly emerged workers. Less expression was observed in the forager MBs. These findings suggest that CjEcRs are involved in maturation and development of ant MBs.

  3. Gliogenesis in the mushroom body of the carpenter ant, Camponotus japonicus.

    PubMed

    Nasu, Natsume; Hara, Kenji

    2012-12-01

    Mushroom bodies (MBs) are insect brain centers involved in multimodal sensory integration and memory formation. Advanced Hymenoptera, such as ants and bees, have particularly large and elaborately organized MBs, which are repeatedly implicated in complex behaviors. In this study, to address the developmental aspects of their MBs, gliogenesis of mushroom body neuroblasts (MB Nbs) was examined in the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Reversed Polarity (REPO) is a paired-like homeodomain protein located exclusively in the nucleus of differentiating glial cells in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. First, the molecular aspects of C. japonicus REPO (CjREPO) were identified. Then, the antibody (CjREPO-antibody) was raised against a peptide of CjREPO. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the strong labeling was located in the nucleus of glial cells in the developing brains, whereas no immunoreactivity was detectable in progeny derived from MB Nbs. These findings suggest that MB Nb in the ant is a neuronal precursor that does not produce glial cells.

  4. Ecdysone receptor expression in developing and adult mushroom bodies of the ant Camponotus japonicus.

    PubMed

    Nemoto, Michie; Hara, Kenji

    2007-09-01

    Mushroom bodies (MBs) are insect brain centers involved in sensory integration and memory formation. In social Hymenoptera, MBs are large and comprise larger number of Kenyon cells and have repeatedly been implied to underlie the social behaviors. In the present study, to facilitate our understanding of the neural basis of social behaviors, two complementary DNAs (cDNAs) encoding presumed ecdysone receptor isoforms (CjEcR-A and CjEcR-alpha) were identified in the developing brains of the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Sequence comparison indicated that these CjEcR proteins had common DNA- and hormone-binding domains linked to different N-terminal regions. The alignment of the distinct regions with other insects EcRs indicated that CjEcR-A is the ant homologue of EcR-A, and CjEcR-alpha has a novel type of A/B region. Immunohistochemical analyses of the MBs of C. japonicus with the common region antibody demonstrated that these CjEcRs appear in all neuroblasts, neurons, and glia cells during neurogenesis, whereas expression is confined to the neurons, disappearing in the glia cells in newly emerged workers. Less expression was observed in the forager MBs. These findings suggest that CjEcRs are involved in maturation and development of ant MBs. PMID:17703321

  5. Gliogenesis in the mushroom body of the carpenter ant, Camponotus japonicus.

    PubMed

    Nasu, Natsume; Hara, Kenji

    2012-12-01

    Mushroom bodies (MBs) are insect brain centers involved in multimodal sensory integration and memory formation. Advanced Hymenoptera, such as ants and bees, have particularly large and elaborately organized MBs, which are repeatedly implicated in complex behaviors. In this study, to address the developmental aspects of their MBs, gliogenesis of mushroom body neuroblasts (MB Nbs) was examined in the carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus. Reversed Polarity (REPO) is a paired-like homeodomain protein located exclusively in the nucleus of differentiating glial cells in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. First, the molecular aspects of C. japonicus REPO (CjREPO) were identified. Then, the antibody (CjREPO-antibody) was raised against a peptide of CjREPO. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the strong labeling was located in the nucleus of glial cells in the developing brains, whereas no immunoreactivity was detectable in progeny derived from MB Nbs. These findings suggest that MB Nb in the ant is a neuronal precursor that does not produce glial cells. PMID:23215970

  6. 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. PMID:21849606

  7. Differential field responses of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger), to alarm pheromone enantiomers.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yang; Jang, Eric B; Siderhurst, Matthew S

    2014-12-01

    The little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is an invasive ant with negative impacts on both biodiversity and agriculture throughout the tropics and subtropics. Field experiments were conducted in order to elucidate the relative attractiveness of the enantiomers of the alarm pheromones, 2,5-dimethyl-3-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine and 3-methyl-2-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine. The enantiomers tested were synthesized from commercially available (S)-2-methylbutan-1-ol or kinetically resolved (R)-2-methylbutan-1-ol, prepared using Pseudomonas cepacia lipase (PCL). Bioassays conducted in a macadamia orchard on the island of Hawaii demonstrated that W. auropunctata were preferentially attracted to the (S)-enantiomers of both alkyl pyrazines over the racemic mixtures in all experiments. To our knowledge, this is the first instance of differential attraction of ants to the enantiomers of chiral pyrazine pheromones despite many examples of these compounds in the literature. In addition, using a chiral column it was determined that (S)-2,5-dimethyl-3-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine and (S)-3-methyl-2-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine are the only enantiomers produced by W. auropunctata. PMID:25370918

  8. The seasonal natural history of the ant, Dolichoderus mariae, in Northern Florida.

    PubMed

    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

  9. No reversion to single mating in a socially parasitic ant.

    PubMed

    Thurin, N; Aron, S

    2011-05-01

    Social Hymenoptera are ideal biological models for the study of the selective forces affecting the evolution of multiple mating (polyandry), because sister species can evolve different lifestyles and mating strategies. Single mating is predicted in workerless social parasites, because the key benefit of multiple mating in social insects, that is, the increase in genetic diversity among worker offspring, does not hold for workerless species. We compared the queen mating frequency between the ant Plagiolepis pygmaea and its derived social parasite P. xene. Previous studies showed that queens of the host P. pygmaea are obligately polyandrous. Here, pedigree analyses of mother-offspring combinations indicate that queens of the parasite P. xene did not revert to single mating; more than 50% of queens mated multiply, with 2-4 males. This result shows that reversal from multiple to single mating may be not selected in polyandrous social insect workerless parasites. We propose that such reversion does not occur when multiple mating is virtually cost free.

  10. Sex mosaics in a male dimorphic ant Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshizawa, Juri; Mimori, Kohei; Yamauchi, Katsusuke; Tsuchida, Koji

    2009-01-01

    Gynandromorphy, or the development of organisms with a combination of male and female morphological features, is common in Hymenoptera. The underlying mechanism is likely associated with the sex-determination system, and studying this phenomenon should lead to a deeper understanding of both embryonic development and sex determination. The reproductive capabilities of gynandromorphs (hereafter, sex mosaics) remain unclear. We studied gynandromorphy in the Malaysian ant Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi, which has sex mosaics of queens (gynandromorphs; mosaic of queens and winged male) and workers (ergatandromorphs; mosaic of worker and wingless ergatoid male). These sex mosaics were classified into seven morphological categories. Most individuals had more male than female body areas. Behavioral observations revealed that sex mosaics behave more in accordance with the “sex” of their brain than that of the reproductive organs (gaster). Relative DNA quantities showed that both female and male regions contained haploid and diploid nuclei, irrespective of their phenotypic appearance, indicating that external appearance did not reflect internal tissues. Nearly one third of the adults were sex mosaics and they were not infected with Wolbachia. Our results suggest that the production of sex mosaics in this species does not pose a substantial cost to colonies and that the underlying causes are therefore not strongly selected against.

  11. Social and population structure in the ant Cataglyphis emmae.

    PubMed

    Jowers, Michael J; Leniaud, Laurianne; Cerdá, Xim; Alasaad, Samer; Caut, Stephane; Amor, Fernando; Aron, Serge; Boulay, Raphaël R

    2013-01-01

    Dispersal has consequences not only for individual fitness, but also for population dynamics, population genetics and species distribution. Social Hymenoptera show two contrasting colony reproductive strategies, dependent and independent colony foundation modes, and these are often associated to the population structures derived from inter and intra-population gene flow processes conditioned by alternative dispersal strategies. Here we employ microsatellite and mitochondrial markers to investigate the population and social genetic structure and dispersal patterns in the ant Cataglyphis emmae at both, local and regional scales. We find that C. emmae is monogynous and polyandrous. Lack of detection of any population viscosity and population structure with nuclear markers at the local scale suggests efficient dispersal, in agreement with a lack of inbreeding. Contrasting demographic differences before and during the mating seasons suggest that C. emmae workers raise sexuals in peripheric nest chambers to reduce intracolonial conflicts. The high genetic differentiation recovered from the mtDNA haplotypes, together with the significant correlation of such to geographic distance, and presence of new nuclear alleles between areas (valleys) suggest long-term historical isolation between these regions, indicative of limited dispersal at the regional scale. Our findings on the ecological, social and population structure of this species increases our understanding of the patterns and processes involved under independent colony foundation. PMID:24039827

  12. Social and Population Structure in the Ant Cataglyphis emmae

    PubMed Central

    Jowers, Michael J.; Leniaud, Laurianne; Cerdá, Xim; Alasaad, Samer; Caut, Stephane; Amor, Fernando; Aron, Serge; Boulay, Raphaël R.

    2013-01-01

    Dispersal has consequences not only for individual fitness, but also for population dynamics, population genetics and species distribution. Social Hymenoptera show two contrasting colony reproductive strategies, dependent and independent colony foundation modes, and these are often associated to the population structures derived from inter and intra-population gene flow processes conditioned by alternative dispersal strategies. Here we employ microsatellite and mitochondrial markers to investigate the population and social genetic structure and dispersal patterns in the ant Cataglyphis emmae at both, local and regional scales. We find that C. emmae is monogynous and polyandrous. Lack of detection of any population viscosity and population structure with nuclear markers at the local scale suggests efficient dispersal, in agreement with a lack of inbreeding. Contrasting demographic differences before and during the mating seasons suggest that C. emmae workers raise sexuals in peripheric nest chambers to reduce intracolonial conflicts. The high genetic differentiation recovered from the mtDNA haplotypes, together with the significant correlation of such to geographic distance, and presence of new nuclear alleles between areas (valleys) suggest long-term historical isolation between these regions, indicative of limited dispersal at the regional scale. Our findings on the ecological, social and population structure of this species increases our understanding of the patterns and processes involved under independent colony foundation. PMID:24039827

  13. Analysis of Insect toxicity and repellent activity of Phytochemicals from "Skimmia laureola, Nair" against "Black garden ant, Lasius niger" of Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Mehmood, Ferhat; Khan, Zaheer-ud-Din; Manzoor, Farkhanda; Jamil, Muhammad

    2016-05-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate the toxicity and repellency of essential oils from root, stem and leaves of Nazar panra, Skimmia laureola (DC.) Zucc. Ex Walp. of family (Sapindales: Rutaceae) ver. Nair of Pakistan. The oils were tested at three concentrations i.e. 1, 5 and 10%. Black garden ant, Lasius niger L. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Pakistan were selected and exposed to essential oils at room temperature. All essential oils showed Insecticidal activity with LC(50)=10.15, while dose dependant effect was significant with R(2)=0.98. It can be concluded that the three Essential oils in this study have both Insecticidal as well as repellent effect.

  14. FORMIDABEL: The Belgian Ants Database

    PubMed Central

    Brosens, Dimitri; Vankerkhoven, François; Ignace, David; Wegnez, Philippe; Noé, Nicolas; Heughebaert, André; Bortels, Jeannine; Dekoninck, Wouter

    2013-01-01

    Abstract FORMIDABEL is a database of Belgian Ants containing more than 27.000 occurrence records. These records originate from collections, field sampling and literature. The database gives information on 76 native and 9 introduced ant species found in Belgium. The collection records originated mainly from the ants collection in Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), the ‘Gaspar’ Ants collection in Gembloux and the zoological collection of the University of Liège (ULG). The oldest occurrences date back from May 1866, the most recent refer to August 2012. FORMIDABEL is a work in progress and the database is updated twice a year. The latest version of the dataset is publicly and freely accessible through this url: http://ipt.biodiversity.be/resource.do?r=formidabel. The dataset is also retrievable via the GBIF data portal through this link: http://data.gbif.org/datasets/resource/14697 A dedicated geo-portal, developed by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform is accessible at: http://www.formicidae-atlas.be Purpose: FORMIDABEL is a joint cooperation of the Flemish ants working group “Polyergus” (http://formicidae.be) and the Wallonian ants working group “FourmisWalBru” (http://fourmiswalbru.be). The original database was created in 2002 in the context of the preliminary red data book of Flemish Ants (Dekoninck et al. 2003). Later, in 2005, data from the Southern part of Belgium; Wallonia and Brussels were added. In 2012 this dataset was again updated for the creation of the first Belgian Ants Atlas (Figure 1) (Dekoninck et al. 2012). The main purpose of this atlas was to generate maps for all outdoor-living ant species in Belgium using an overlay of the standard Belgian ecoregions. By using this overlay for most species, we can discern a clear and often restricted distribution pattern in Belgium, mainly based on vegetation and soil types. PMID:23794918

  15. Dynamics of fire ant aggregations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    Fire ant aggregations are an inherently active system. Each ant harvests its own energy and can convert it into motion. The motion of individual ants contributes non-trivially to the bulk material properties of the aggregation. We have measured some of these properties using plate-plate rheology, where the response to an applied external force or deformation is measured. In this talk, we will present data pertaining to the aggregation behavior in the absence of any external force. We quantify the aggregation dynamics by monitoring the rotation of the top plate and by measuring the normal force. We then compare the results with visualizations of 2D aggregations.

  16. Revision of Perdita subgenus Heteroperdita Timberlake (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae) with descriptions of two ant-like males

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Perdita subgenus Heteroperdita Timberlake, a distinctive subgenus of 22 species from the southwestern United States and adjacent Mexico, all specialists on Tiquilia (Boraginaceae), is revised. Nine new species are described: Perdita (Heteroperdita) desdemona Portman, n. sp., P. (H.) exusta Portman &...

  17. Selection and capture of prey in the African ponerine ant Plectroctena minor (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schatz, Bertrand; Suzzoni, Jean-Pierre; Corbara, Bruno; Dejean, Alain

    2001-02-01

    Prey selection by Plectroctena minor workers is two-fold. During cafeteria experiments, the workers always selected millipedes, their essential prey, while alternative prey acceptance varied according to the taxa and the situation. Millipedes were seized by the anterior part of their body, stung, and retrieved by single workers that transported them between their legs. They were rarely snapped at, and never abandoned. When P. minor workers were confronted with alternative prey they behaved like generalist species: prey acceptance was inversely correlated to prey size. This was not the case vis-à-vis millipedes that they selected and captured although larger than compared alternative prey. The semi-specialised diet of P. minor permits the colonies to be easily provisioned by a few foraging workers as millipedes are rarely hunted by other predatory arthropods, while alternative prey abound, resulting in low competition pressure in both cases. Different traits characteristic of an adaptation to hunting millipedes were noted and compared with the capture of alternative prey. We also noted the parsimony of the behavioural phases during their capture compared to the capture of alternative prey.

  18. Hymenoptera Allergy and Mast Cell Activation Syndromes.

    PubMed

    Bonadonna, Patrizia; Bonifacio, Massimiliano; Lombardo, Carla; Zanotti, Roberta

    2016-01-01

    Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) can be diagnosed in patients with recurrent, severe symptoms from mast cell (MC)-derived mediators, which are transiently increased in serum and are attenuated by mediator-targeting drugs. When KIT-mutated, clonal MC are detected in these patients, a diagnosis of primary MCAS can be made. Severe systemic reactions to hymenoptera venom (HV) represent the most common form of anaphylaxis in patients with mastocytosis. Patients with primary MCAS and HV anaphylaxis are predominantly males and do not have skin lesions in the majority of cases, and anaphylaxis is characterized by hypotension and syncope in the absence of urticaria and angioedema. A normal value of tryptase (≤11.4 ng/ml) in these patients does not exclude a diagnosis of mastocytosis. Patients with primary MCAS and HV anaphylaxis have to undergo lifelong venom immunotherapy, in order to prevent further potentially fatal severe reactions. PMID:26714690

  19. Hymenoptera Allergy and Mast Cell Activation Syndromes.

    PubMed

    Bonadonna, Patrizia; Bonifacio, Massimiliano; Lombardo, Carla; Zanotti, Roberta

    2016-01-01

    Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) can be diagnosed in patients with recurrent, severe symptoms from mast cell (MC)-derived mediators, which are transiently increased in serum and are attenuated by mediator-targeting drugs. When KIT-mutated, clonal MC are detected in these patients, a diagnosis of primary MCAS can be made. Severe systemic reactions to hymenoptera venom (HV) represent the most common form of anaphylaxis in patients with mastocytosis. Patients with primary MCAS and HV anaphylaxis are predominantly males and do not have skin lesions in the majority of cases, and anaphylaxis is characterized by hypotension and syncope in the absence of urticaria and angioedema. A normal value of tryptase (≤11.4 ng/ml) in these patients does not exclude a diagnosis of mastocytosis. Patients with primary MCAS and HV anaphylaxis have to undergo lifelong venom immunotherapy, in order to prevent further potentially fatal severe reactions.

  20. Do ants make direct comparisons?

    PubMed

    Robinson, Elva J H; Smith, Faith D; Sullivan, Kathryn M E; Franks, Nigel R

    2009-07-22

    Many individual decisions are informed by direct comparison of the alternatives. In collective decisions, however, only certain group members may have the opportunity to compare options. Emigrating ant colonies (Temnothorax albipennis) show sophisticated nest-site choice, selecting superior sites even when they are nine times further away than the alternative. How do they do this? We used radio-frequency identification-tagged ants to monitor individual behaviour. Here we show for the first time that switching between nests during the decision process can influence nest choice without requiring direct comparison of nests. Ants finding the poor nest were likely to switch and find the good nest, whereas ants finding the good nest were more likely to stay committed to that nest. When ants switched quickly between the two nests, colonies chose the good nest. Switching by ants that had the opportunity to compare nests had little effect on nest choice. We suggest a new mechanism of collective nest choice: individuals respond to nest quality by the decision either to commit or to seek alternatives. Previously proposed mechanisms, recruitment latency and nest comparison, can be explained as side effects of this simple rule. Colony-level comparison and choice can emerge, without direct comparison by individuals.

  1. Trap-mulching Argentine ants.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Jules; Sorenson, Clyde E; Waldvogel, Michael G

    2006-10-01

    Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), management is constrained, in large part, by polydomy where nestmates are distributed extensively across urban landscapes, particularly within mulch. Management with trap-mulching is a novel approach derived from trap-cropping where ants are repelled from a broad domain of nest sites to smaller defined areas, which are subsequently treated with insecticide. This concept was field-tested with mulch surrounding ornamental trees replaced with a narrow band of pine (Pinus spp.) needle mulch (trap) within a much larger patch of repellent aromatic cedar (Juniperus spp.) mulch. After ants reestablished around the trees, the pine needle mulch band was treated with 0.06% fipronil (Termidor). Poor results were obtained when the trap extended from the tree trunk to the edge of the mulched area. When the trap was applied as a circular band around the tree trunk reductions in the number of foraging ants were recorded through 14 d compared with an untreated mulch control, but not for longer periods. Reductions in the number of ant nests within mulch were no different between the trap mulch and any of the other treatments. We conclude that trap-mulching offers limited benefits, and that successful management of Argentine ants will require implementation of complementary or perhaps alternative strategies.

  2. Do ants make direct comparisons?

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Elva J.H.; Smith, Faith D.; Sullivan, Kathryn M.E.; Franks, Nigel R.

    2009-01-01

    Many individual decisions are informed by direct comparison of the alternatives. In collective decisions, however, only certain group members may have the opportunity to compare options. Emigrating ant colonies (Temnothorax albipennis) show sophisticated nest-site choice, selecting superior sites even when they are nine times further away than the alternative. How do they do this? We used radio-frequency identification-tagged ants to monitor individual behaviour. Here we show for the first time that switching between nests during the decision process can influence nest choice without requiring direct comparison of nests. Ants finding the poor nest were likely to switch and find the good nest, whereas ants finding the good nest were more likely to stay committed to that nest. When ants switched quickly between the two nests, colonies chose the good nest. Switching by ants that had the opportunity to compare nests had little effect on nest choice. We suggest a new mechanism of collective nest choice: individuals respond to nest quality by the decision either to commit or to seek alternatives. Previously proposed mechanisms, recruitment latency and nest comparison, can be explained as side effects of this simple rule. Colony-level comparison and choice can emerge, without direct comparison by individuals. PMID:19386652

  3. Measuring activity in ant colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, C.; Fernández, J.; Pérez-Penichet, C.; Altshuler, E.

    2006-12-01

    Ants, as paradigm of social insects, have become a recurrent example of efficient problem solvers via self-organization. In spite of the simple behavior of each individual, the colony as a whole displays "swarm intelligence:" the organization of ant trails for foraging is a typical output of it. But conventional techniques of observation can hardly record the amount of data needed to get a detailed understanding of self-organization of ant swarms in the wild. Here we are presenting a measurement system intended to monitor ant activity in the field comprising massive data acquisition and high sensitivity. A central role is played by an infrared sensor devised specifically to monitor relevant parameters to the activity of ants through the exits of the nest, although other sensors detecting temperature and luminosity are added to the system. We study the characteristics of the activity sensor and its performance in the field. Finally, we present massive data measured at one exit of a nest of Atta insularis, an ant endemic to Cuba, to illustrate the potential of our system.

  4. 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

  5. Fire ant alarm pheromone and venom alkaloids act in concert to attract parasitic phorid flies, Pseudacteon spp.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Kavita R; Fadamiro, Henry Y

    2013-11-01

    Pseudacteon tricuspis, Pseudacteon obtusus and Pseudacteon curvatus are three species of parasitic phorid flies (Diptera: Phoridae), which have been introduced as classical biological control agents of imported, Solenopsis fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the southern USA. Previous studies demonstrated the behavioral response of P. tricuspis to the venom alkaloids and alarm pheromone of the fire ant, S. invicta. In the present study, we compared the responses of P. tricuspis, P. obtusus and P. curvatus to Solenopsis invicta alarm pheromone, venom alkaloids, or a mixture of both chemicals in four-choice olfactometer bioassays. The main hypothesis tested was that the fire ant alarm pheromone and venom alkaloids act in concert to attract Pseudacteon phorid flies. Both sexes of all three Pseudacteon species were attracted to low doses of the fire ant alarm pheromone or venom alkaloids (i.e. 1 ant worker equivalent) alone. However, the flies were significantly more attracted to a mixture of both chemicals (i.e., 1:1 mixture of alarm pheromone+alkaloids) than to either chemical. The results suggest an additive rather than a synergistic effect of combining both chemicals. Comparing the fly species, P. tricuspis showed relatively greater attraction to cis alkaloids, whereas the alkaloid mixture (cis+trans) was preferred by P. obtusus and P. curvatus. In general, no key sexual differences were recorded, although females of P. tricuspis and P. obtusus showed slightly higher response than conspecific males to lower doses of the alarm pheromone. The ecological significance of these findings is discussed, and a host location model is proposed for parasitic phorid flies involving the use of fire ant alarm pheromone and venom alkaloids as long range and short range attractants, respectively. PMID:24035750

  6. Foraging activity rhythms of Dinoponera quadriceps (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in its natural environment.

    PubMed

    Medeiros, Jeniffer; Azevedo, Dina L O; Santana, Melquisedec A D; Lopes, Talita R P; Araújo, Arrilton

    2014-01-01

    This study characterizes the foraging activity of the queenless ant Dinoponera quadriceps (Kempf) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in its natural environment by testing the hypotheses that foraging activity presents both daily and seasonal rhythmic variations, and that these rhythms are related to environmental variables. Four colonies of D. quadriceps were observed in an area of secondary Atlantic forest in northeastern Brazil. Data collection was performed over 72 h every three months during an annual cycle. Both daily and seasonal foraging activity rhythms of D. quadriceps colonies were related to environmental factors, but colony differences also explained part of foraging variations. Foraging activity of D. quadriceps colonies was predominantly diurnal independently of season. In the early dry season, the colonies had two activity peaks, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, with a decrease in foraging at midday; however, during the rest of the year, foraging activity was distributed more evenly throughout the daylight hours. The daily rhythm of foraging activity was likely determined by an endogenous circadian rhythm year-round, but in the dry season, temperature and relative humidity also influenced daily foraging activity, with a negative effect of temperature and a positive effect of relative humidity. On a seasonal scale, foraging activity peaked in the early dry season and suddenly declined at the end of this season, increasing again at the late rainy season. The seasonal rhythm of foraging was negatively related to relative humidity and positively related to prey availability. PMID:25525097

  7. Caste fate conflict in swarm-founding social hymenoptera: an inclusive fitness analysis.

    PubMed

    Wenseleers, T; Ratnieks, F L W; Billen, J

    2003-07-01

    A caste system in which females develop into morphologically distinct queens or workers has evolved independently in ants, wasps and bees. Although such reproductive division of labour may benefit the colony it is also a source of conflict because individual immature females can benefit from developing into a queen in order to gain greater direct reproduction. Here we present a formal inclusive fitness analysis of caste fate conflict appropriate for swarm-founding social Hymenoptera. Three major conclusions are reached: (1) when caste is self-determined, many females should selfishly choose to become queens and the resulting depletion of the workforce can substantially reduce colony productivity; (2) greater relatedness among colony members reduces this excess queen production; (3) if workers can prevent excess queen production at low cost by controlled feeding, a transition to nutritional caste determination should occur. These predictions generalize results derived earlier using an allele-frequency model [Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. (2001) 50: 467] and are supported by observed levels of queen production in various taxa, especially stingless bees, where caste can be either individually or nutritionally controlled. PMID:14632228

  8. Caste fate conflict in swarm-founding social hymenoptera: an inclusive fitness analysis.

    PubMed

    Wenseleers, T; Ratnieks, F L W; Billen, J

    2003-07-01

    A caste system in which females develop into morphologically distinct queens or workers has evolved independently in ants, wasps and bees. Although such reproductive division of labour may benefit the colony it is also a source of conflict because individual immature females can benefit from developing into a queen in order to gain greater direct reproduction. Here we present a formal inclusive fitness analysis of caste fate conflict appropriate for swarm-founding social Hymenoptera. Three major conclusions are reached: (1) when caste is self-determined, many females should selfishly choose to become queens and the resulting depletion of the workforce can substantially reduce colony productivity; (2) greater relatedness among colony members reduces this excess queen production; (3) if workers can prevent excess queen production at low cost by controlled feeding, a transition to nutritional caste determination should occur. These predictions generalize results derived earlier using an allele-frequency model [Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. (2001) 50: 467] and are supported by observed levels of queen production in various taxa, especially stingless bees, where caste can be either individually or nutritionally controlled.

  9. The evolutionary dynamics of major regulators for sexual development among Hymenoptera species

    PubMed Central

    Biewer, Matthias; Schlesinger, Francisca; Hasselmann, Martin

    2015-01-01

    All hymenopteran species, such as bees, wasps and ants, are characterized by the common principle of haplodiploid sex determination in which haploid males arise from unfertilized eggs and females from fertilized eggs. The underlying molecular mechanism has been studied in detail in the western honey bee Apis mellifera, in which the gene complementary sex determiner (csd) acts as primary signal of the sex determining pathway, initiating female development by csd-heterozygotes. Csd arose from gene duplication of the feminizer (fem) gene, a transformer (tra) ortholog, and mediates in conjunction with transformer2 (tra2) sex-specific splicing of fem. Comparative molecular analyses identified fem/tra and its downstream target doublesex (dsx) as conserved unit within the sex determining pathway of holometabolous insects. In this study, we aim to examine evolutionary differences among these key regulators. Our main hypothesis is that sex determining key regulators in Hymenoptera species show signs of coevolution within single phylogenetic lineages. We take advantage of several newly sequenced genomes of bee species to test this hypothesis using bioinformatic approaches. We found evidences that duplications of fem are restricted to certain bee lineages and notable amino acid differences of tra2 between Apis and non-Apis species propose structural changes in Tra2 protein affecting co-regulatory function on target genes. These findings may help to gain deeper insights into the ancestral mode of hymenopteran sex determination and support the common view of the remarkable evolutionary flexibility in this regulatory pathway. PMID:25914717

  10. Subforaminal bridges in Hymenoptera (Insecta), with a focus on Chalcidoidea.

    PubMed

    Burks, R A; Heraty, J M

    2015-03-01

    Variation in structures of the posterior surface of the head in Hymenoptera is compared and interpreted according to theories of head capsule evolution, with focus on understanding previously baffling conditions in the superfamily Chalcidoidea. Features are investigated separately without first classifying subforaminal bridges into subcategories. In Proctotrupomorpha (including Chalcidoidea), Ceraphronoidea and some Ichneumonoidea, there are multiple posterior pits associated with the tentorium. In most examined Hymenoptera with a subforaminal bridge, there was a differentiated median area, typically with highly variable microtrichia. This area is elevated in Cephoidea and Pamphilioidea, but is not elevated in other Hymenoptera. Subforaminal bridges in Apocrita previously classified as hypostomal bridges are discussed in the context of A.P. Rasnitsyn's hypothesis that relative importance of adult feeding drives subforaminal bridge evolution.

  11. Ant sperm storage organs do not have phenoloxidase constitutive immune activity.

    PubMed

    Dávila, Francisco; Chérasse, Sarah; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Aron, Serge

    2015-07-01

    The prophenoloxidase system (proPO-AS) is a primordial constituent of insect innate immunity. Its broad action spectrum, rapid response time, and cytotoxic by-products induced by phenoloxidase (PO) production contribute to the effective clearing of invading pathogens. However, such immune reactions may not be optimal for insect organs that evolved to have mutualistic interactions with non-self-cells. Ant queens are long-lived, but only mate early in adult life and store the sperm in a specialized organ, the spermatheca. They never re-mate so their life-time reproductive success is ultimately sperm-limited, which maintains strong selection for high sperm viability before and after storage. The proPO-AS may therefore be inappropriate for the selective clearing of sexually transmitted infections, as it might also target sperm cells that cannot be replaced. We measured PO enzymatic activity in the sperm storage organs of three ant species before and after mating. Our data show that no PO is produced in the sperm storage organs, relative to other somatic tissues as controls, and that these negative results are not due to non-detection in small volumes as non-immune-relevant catalase activity in single spermatheca fluid samples of both virgin and mated queens was significant. The lack of PO activity in sperm storage organs across three different ant species may represent an evolutionarily conserved adaptation to life-long sperm storage by ant queens. We expect that PO activity will be similarly suppressed in queen spermathecae of other eusocial Hymenoptera (bees and wasps) and, more generally, of insect females that store sperm for long periods. PMID:25911976

  12. Ant sperm storage organs do not have phenoloxidase constitutive immune activity.

    PubMed

    Dávila, Francisco; Chérasse, Sarah; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Aron, Serge

    2015-07-01

    The prophenoloxidase system (proPO-AS) is a primordial constituent of insect innate immunity. Its broad action spectrum, rapid response time, and cytotoxic by-products induced by phenoloxidase (PO) production contribute to the effective clearing of invading pathogens. However, such immune reactions may not be optimal for insect organs that evolved to have mutualistic interactions with non-self-cells. Ant queens are long-lived, but only mate early in adult life and store the sperm in a specialized organ, the spermatheca. They never re-mate so their life-time reproductive success is ultimately sperm-limited, which maintains strong selection for high sperm viability before and after storage. The proPO-AS may therefore be inappropriate for the selective clearing of sexually transmitted infections, as it might also target sperm cells that cannot be replaced. We measured PO enzymatic activity in the sperm storage organs of three ant species before and after mating. Our data show that no PO is produced in the sperm storage organs, relative to other somatic tissues as controls, and that these negative results are not due to non-detection in small volumes as non-immune-relevant catalase activity in single spermatheca fluid samples of both virgin and mated queens was significant. The lack of PO activity in sperm storage organs across three different ant species may represent an evolutionarily conserved adaptation to life-long sperm storage by ant queens. We expect that PO activity will be similarly suppressed in queen spermathecae of other eusocial Hymenoptera (bees and wasps) and, more generally, of insect females that store sperm for long periods.

  13. The Postpharyngeal Gland: Specialized Organ for Lipid Nutrition in Leaf-Cutting Ants

    PubMed Central

    Decio, Pâmela; Vieira, Alexsandro Santana; Dias, Nathalia Baptista; Palma, Mario Sergio; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2016-01-01

    There are several hypotheses about the possible functions of the postpharyngeal gland (PPG) in ants. The proposed functions include roles as cephalic or gastric caeca and diverticulum of the digestive tract, mixing of hydrocarbons, nestmate recognition, feeding larvae, and the accumulation of lipids inside this gland, whose origin is contradictory. The current study aimed to investigate the functions of these glands by examining the protein expression profile of the PPGs of Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Mated females received lipid supplementation and their glands were extracted and analyzed using a proteomic approach. The protocol used combined two-dimensional electrophoresis and shotgun strategies, followed by mass spectrometry. We also detected lipid β-oxidation by immunofluorescent marking of acyl-CoA dehydrogenase. Supplying ants with lipids elicited responses in the glandular cells of the PPG; these included increased expression of proteins related to defense mechanisms and signal transduction and reorganization of the cytoskeleton due to cell expansion. In addition, some proteins in PPG were overexpressed, especially those involved in lipid and energy metabolism. Part of the lipids may be reduced, used for the synthesis of fatty alcohol, transported to the hemolymph, or may be used as substrate for the synthesis of acetyl-CoA, which is oxidized to form molecules that drive oxidative phosphorylation and produce energy for cellular metabolic processes. These findings suggest that this organ is specialized for lipid nutrition of adult leaf-cutting ants and characterized like a of diverticulum foregut, with the ability to absorb, store, metabolize, and mobilize lipids to the hemolymph. However, we do not rule out that the PPG may have other functions in other species of ants. PMID:27149618

  14. North American velvet ants form one of the world's largest known Müllerian mimicry complexes.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Joseph S; Jahner, Joshua P; Forister, Matthew L; Sheehan, Erica S; Williams, Kevin A; Pitts, James P

    2015-08-17

    Color mimicry is often celebrated as one of the most straightforward examples of evolution by natural selection, as striking morphological similarity between species evolves in response to a shared predation pressure. Recently, a large North American mimetic complex was described that included 65 species of Dasymutilla velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae). Beyond those 65 species, little is known about how many species participate in this unique Müllerian complex, though several other arthropods are thought to be involved as Müllerian mimics (spider wasps) and Batesian mimics (beetles, antlions, and spiders; see references in). Müllerian mimicry is similarity in appearance or phenotype among harmful species, while Batesian mimicry is similarity in which not all species are harmful. Here, we investigate the extent of the velvet ant mimicry complex beyond Dasymutilla by examining distributional and color pattern similarities in all of the 21 North American diurnal velvet ant genera, including 302 of the 361 named species (nearly 84%), as well as 16 polymorphic color forms and an additional 33 undescribed species. Of the 351 species and color forms that were analyzed (including undescribed species), 336 exhibit some morphological similarities and we hypothesize that they form eight distinct mimicry rings (Figure 1A; Supplemental Information). Two of these eight mimicry rings, red-headed Timulla and black-headed Timulla, were not documented in earlier assessments of mimicry in velvet ants, and are newly described here. These findings identify one of the largest known Müllerian mimicry systems worldwide and provide a novel system to test hypotheses about aposematism and mimicry, especially those regarding the evolution of imperfect mimicry.

  15. The Wing Apparatus and Flapping Behavior of Hymenoptera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudo, Seiichi; Tsuyuki, Koji; Ito, Yoshiyasu; Tani, Junji

    The wing apparatus of Hymenoptera was observed with a scanning electron microscope, and the structure and function of insect wings were studied. The measurements of displacement of extrinsic skeleton vibration produced by wing flapping of a wasp were made by an optical displacement detector system. The free flight of the wasp was analyzed by a three dimensional motion analysis system. The results of a series of measurements revealed the flight characteristics of Hymenoptera, such as the wing tip velocity, wing path, wave form of extrinsic skeleton vibration, and so forth.

  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. Macroevolutionary assembly of ant/plant symbioses: Pseudomyrmex ants and their ant-housing plants in the Neotropics.

    PubMed

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Ward, Philip S; Renner, Susanne S

    2015-11-22

    Symbioses include some of the clearest cases of coevolution, but their origin, loss or reassembly with different partners can rarely be inferred. Here we use ant/plant symbioses involving three plant clades to investigate the evolution of symbioses. We generated phylogenies for the big-eyed arboreal ants (Pseudomyrmecinae), including 72% of their 286 species, as well as for five of their plant host groups, in each case sampling more than 61% of the species. We show that the ant-housing Vachellia (Mimosoideae) clade and its ants co-diversified for the past 5 Ma, with some species additionally colonized by younger plant-nesting ant species, some parasitic. An apparent co-radiation of ants and Tachigali (Caesalpinioideae) was followed by waves of colonization by the same ant clade, and subsequent occupation by a younger ant group. Wide crown and stem age differences between the ant-housing genus Triplaris (Polygonaceae) and its obligate ant inhabitants, and stochastic trait mapping, indicate that its domatium evolved earlier than the ants now occupying it, suggesting previous symbioses that dissolved. Parasitic ant species evolved from generalists, not from mutualists, and are younger than the mutualistic systems they parasitize. Our study illuminates the macroevolutionary assembly of ant/plant symbioses, which has been highly dynamic, even in very specialized systems. PMID:26582029

  18. Macroevolutionary assembly of ant/plant symbioses: Pseudomyrmex ants and their ant-housing plants in the Neotropics.

    PubMed

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Ward, Philip S; Renner, Susanne S

    2015-11-22

    Symbioses include some of the clearest cases of coevolution, but their origin, loss or reassembly with different partners can rarely be inferred. Here we use ant/plant symbioses involving three plant clades to investigate the evolution of symbioses. We generated phylogenies for the big-eyed arboreal ants (Pseudomyrmecinae), including 72% of their 286 species, as well as for five of their plant host groups, in each case sampling more than 61% of the species. We show that the ant-housing Vachellia (Mimosoideae) clade and its ants co-diversified for the past 5 Ma, with some species additionally colonized by younger plant-nesting ant species, some parasitic. An apparent co-radiation of ants and Tachigali (Caesalpinioideae) was followed by waves of colonization by the same ant clade, and subsequent occupation by a younger ant group. Wide crown and stem age differences between the ant-housing genus Triplaris (Polygonaceae) and its obligate ant inhabitants, and stochastic trait mapping, indicate that its domatium evolved earlier than the ants now occupying it, suggesting previous symbioses that dissolved. Parasitic ant species evolved from generalists, not from mutualists, and are younger than the mutualistic systems they parasitize. Our study illuminates the macroevolutionary assembly of ant/plant symbioses, which has been highly dynamic, even in very specialized systems.

  19. Fire Ant Decapitating Fly Cooperative Release Programs (1994–2008): Two Pseudacteon Species, P. tricuspis and P. curvatus, Rapidly Expand Across Imported Fire Ant Populations in the Southeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Callcott, Anne-Marie A.; Porter, Sanford D.; Weeks, Ronald D.; “Fudd” Graham, L. C.; Johnson, Seth J.; Gilbert, Lawrence E.

    2011-01-01

    Natural enemies of the imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren S. richteri Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and their hybrid, include a suite of more than 20 fire ant decapitating phorid flies from South America in the genus Pseudacteon. Over the past 12 years, many researchers and associates have cooperated in introducing several species as classical or self-sustaining biological control agents in the United States. As a result, two species of flies, Pseudacteon tricuspis Borgmeier and P. curvatus Borgmeier (Diptera: Phoridae), are well established across large areas of the southeastern United States. Whereas many researchers have published local and state information about the establishment and spread of these flies, here distribution data from both published and unpublished sources has been compiled for the entire United States with the goal of presenting confirmed and probable distributions as of the fall of 2008. Documented rates of expansion were also used to predict the distribution of these flies three years later in the fall of 2011. In the fall of 2008, eleven years after the first successful release, we estimate that P. tricuspis covered about 50% of the fire ant quarantined area and that it will occur in almost 65% of the quarantine area by 2011. Complete coverage of the fire ant quarantined area will be delayed or limited by this species' slow rate of spread and frequent failure to establish in more northerly portions of the fire ant range and also, perhaps, by its preference for red imported fire ants (S. invicta). Eight years after the first successful release of P. curvatus, two biotypes of this species (one biotype occurring predominantly in the black and hybrid imported fire ants and the other occurring in red imported fire ants) covered almost 60% of the fire ant quarantined area. We estimate these two biotypes will cover almost 90% of the quarantine area by 2011 and 100% by 2012 or 2013. Strategic selection of several distributional gaps

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature) and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops. PMID:25098722

  1. How Ants Drop Out: Ant Abundance on Tropical Mountains

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature) and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops. PMID:25098722

  2. 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.

  3. Ants medicate to fight disease.

    PubMed

    Bos, Nick; Sundström, Liselotte; Fuchs, Siiri; Freitak, Dalial

    2015-11-01

    Parasites are ubiquitous, and the ability to defend against these is of paramount importance. One way to fight diseases is self-medication, which occurs when an organism consumes biologically active compounds to clear, inhibit, or alleviate disease symptoms. Here, we show for the first time that ants selectively consume harmful substances (reactive oxygen species, ROS) upon exposure to a fungal pathogen, yet avoid these in the absence of infection. This increased intake of ROS, while harmful to healthy ants, leads to higher survival of exposed ants. The fact that ingestion of this substance carries a fitness cost in the absence of pathogens rules out compensatory diet choice as the mechanism, and provides evidence that social insects medicate themselves against fungal infection, using a substance that carries a fitness cost to uninfected individuals.

  4. Myrmecotrophy: Plants fed by ants.

    PubMed

    Beattie, A

    1989-06-01

    Two plant genera with tubers specialized for occupation by ants absorb nutrients from waste materials accumulated by the resident colonies. The mineral resources of these host plants are augmented by colony foraging which functions as a second root system. This mutualistic interaction has become known as myrmecotrophy. Many other kinds of plant structure are apparent adaptations to accommodate ant colonies; these include pouches on leaves or petioles and hollow twigs, stems or thorns. Sometimes the ant species residing in these structures are aggressive towards enemies of the host plant and are important for plant defence. Recent research provides some evidence that myrmecotrophy may have a wider role in plant nutrition, at least when subsidizing the costs of plant defence. PMID:21227344

  5. Sphingolipids, Transcription Factors, and Conserved Toolkit Genes: Developmental Plasticity in the Ant Cardiocondyla obscurior

    PubMed Central

    Schrader, Lukas; Simola, Daniel F.; Heinze, Jürgen; Oettler, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Developmental plasticity allows for the remarkable morphological specialization of individuals into castes in eusocial species of Hymenoptera. Developmental trajectories that lead to alternative caste fates are typically determined by specific environmental stimuli that induce larvae to express and maintain distinct gene expression patterns. Although most eusocial species express two castes, queens and workers, the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior expresses diphenic females and males; this provides a unique system with four discrete phenotypes to study the genomic basis of developmental plasticity in ants. We sequenced and analyzed the transcriptomes of 28 individual C. obscurior larvae of known developmental trajectory, providing the first in-depth analysis of gene expression in eusocial insect larvae. Clustering and transcription factor binding site analyses revealed that different transcription factors and functionally distinct sets of genes are recruited during larval development to induce the four alternative trajectories. In particular, we found complex patterns of gene regulation pertaining to sphingolipid metabolism, a conserved molecular pathway involved in development, obesity, and aging. PMID:25725431

  6. Multiple Convergent Origins of Workerlessness and Inbreeding in the Socially Parasitic Ant Genus Myrmoxenus.

    PubMed

    Heinze, Jürgen; Buschinger, Alfred; Poettinger, Theo; Suefuji, Masaki

    2015-01-01

    The socially parasitic ant genus Myrmoxenus varies strongly in fundamental life history traits, such as queen-worker ratio, the timing of sexual production, and mating behavior. Myrmoxenus queens generally take over nests of Temnothorax ants, kill the resident queen by throttling, and force the workers to take care of the social parasite's brood. Young queens of M. ravouxi and other species produce large numbers of workers, which during "slave-raids" pillage host pupae from neighboring Temnothorax colonies to increase the workforce in their own nests. Other species, such as M. corsicus, have lost caste polyphenism and rear only male and female sexual offspring. Using sequences of the genes CO I/CO II and wingless we reconstruct the phylogeny of Myrmoxenus and document that the worker caste was lost convergently at least three times. Furthermore, mating in the nest and inbreeding obviously also evolved in parallel from ancestors whose sexuals presumably mated during nuptial flights. Myrmoxenus might thus provide a suitable model to investigate caste differentiation and the plasticity of mating behavior in Hymenoptera. PMID:26221735

  7. Genetic distance and age affect the cuticular chemical profiles of the clonal ant Cerapachys biroi.

    PubMed

    Teseo, Serafino; Lecoutey, Emmanuel; Kronauer, Daniel J C; Hefetz, Abraham; Lenoir, Alain; Jaisson, Pierre; Châline, Nicolas

    2014-05-01

    Although cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) have received much attention from biologists because of their important role in insect communication, few studies have addressed the chemical ecology of clonal species of eusocial insects. In this study we investigated whether and how differences in CHCs relate to the genetics and reproductive dynamics of the parthenogenetic ant Cerapachys biroi. We collected individuals of different ages and subcastes from several colonies belonging to four clonal lineages, and analyzed their cuticular chemical signature. CHCs varied according to colonies and clonal lineages in two independent data sets, and correlations were found between genetic and chemical distances between colonies. This supports the results of previous research showing that C. biroi workers discriminate between nestmates and non-nestmates, especially when they belong to different clonal lineages. In C. biroi, the production of individuals of a morphological subcaste specialized in reproduction is inversely proportional to colony-level fertility. As chemical signatures usually correlate with fertility and reproductive activity in social Hymenoptera, we asked whether CHCs could function as fertility-signaling primer pheromones determining larval subcaste fate in C. biroi. Interestingly, and contrary to findings for several other ant species, fertility and reproductive activity showed no correlation with chemical signatures, suggesting the absence of fertility related CHCs. This implies that other cues are responsible for subcaste differentiation in this species. PMID:24756691

  8. The Nest Architecture of Three Species of North Florida Aphaenogaster Ants

    PubMed Central

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2011-01-01

    The architecture of the subterranean nests of Aphaenogaster floridana Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), A. treatae Forel and A. ashmeadi (Emery), was studied from plaster, wax, or metal casts. After structural features were quantified from digital images, the entombed ants were retrieved from the plaster by dissolution or wax casts by melting and counted. Nests of all three species were rather simple, small and vertical, with horizontal chambers connected by vertical shafts. Shafts descending to lower chambers tended to arise from chamber edges, whereas those connecting to a chamber above tended to arise from chamber centers. A. floridana had the largest nests and colonies, and multiple shafts commonly connected upper chambers, a feature lacking in the other two species. In A. floridana nests a higher proportion of chamber area and greater spacing between chambers occurred in the deeper parts of the nest, regardless of nest size. The other two species showed no vertical differentiation of any size-free measure at any nest size. In all three species, nest size increased more slowly than the worker population, so crowding was greater in large colonies than in small, in contrast to the situation in three other ant species for which data were available. An appendix with stereo images of all casts is provided. PMID:22221290

  9. Effects of the ant Formica fusca on the transmission of microsporidia infecting gypsy moth larvae.

    PubMed

    Goertz, Dörte; Hoch, Gernot

    2013-06-01

    Transmission plays an integral part in the intimate relationship between a host insect and its pathogen that can be altered by abiotic or biotic factors. The latter include other pathogens, parasitoids, or predators. Ants are important species in food webs that act on various levels in a community structure. Their social behavior allows them to prey on and transport larger prey, or they can dismember the prey where it was found. Thereby they can also influence the horizontal transmission of a pathogen in its host's population. We tested the hypothesis that an ant species like Formica fusca L. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) can affect the horizontal transmission of two microsporidian pathogens, Nosema lymantriae Weiser (Microsporidia: Nosematidae) and Vairimorpha disparis (Timofejeva) (Microsporidia: Burenellidae), infecting the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar L. (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Lymantriinae). Observational studies showed that uninfected and infected L. dispar larvae are potential prey items for F. fusca. Laboratory choice experiments led to the conclusion that F. fusca did not prefer L. dispar larvae infected with N. lymantriae and avoided L. dispar larvae infected with V. disparis over uninfected larvae when given the choice. Experiments carried out on small potted oak, Quercus petraea (Mattuschka) Liebl. (Fagaceae), saplings showed that predation of F. fusca on infected larvae did not significantly change the transmission of either microsporidian species to L. dispar test larvae. Microscopic examination indicated that F. fusca workers never became infected with N. lymantriae or V. disparis after feeding on infected prey. PMID:23926361

  10. The intramandibular gland of leaf-cutting ants (Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel 1908).

    PubMed

    do Amaral, Jônatas Bussador; Caetano, Flávio Henrique

    2006-01-01

    The eusociality developed in Hymenoptera and Isoptera is driven by an efficient interaction between exocrine glands and jointed appendages, both in close interaction with the environment. In this context, the mandible of ants plays an important role, since, in addition to being the main jointed appendage, it possess glandular functions. As an example we might name the two glands associated with the mandible: the mandibular and the intramandibular glands. The intramandibular gland is found inside the mandible and consists of a hypertrophied secretory epithelium and secretory cells in the mandible's lumen. The secretion of the secretory epithelium is liberated through intracuticular ducts that open at the base of hairs at the mandible's surface. The secretion of the intramandibular gland (epithelium and secretory cells) reacted positively to tests for the detection of polysaccharides and proteins, thus suggesting that it consists of glycoproteins. The ultrastructure of the secretory epithelium presents variations related to the developmental stage of the individual, showing a large number of ribosomes and microvilli close to the cuticle in young individuals, while in the older specimens it was possible to note the formation of an intracellular reservoir. These variations of secretory epithelium, as also the interaction between the cellular groups inside the mandible, are important information about this gland in leaf-cutting ants.

  11. A reassessment of the mating system characteristics of the army ant Eciton burchellii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronauer, Daniel J. C.; Berghoff, Stefanie M.; Powell, Scott; Denny, A. Jay; Edwards, Keith J.; Franks, Nigel R.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2006-08-01

    In a recent study, Denny et al. (2004a) showed that queens of the army ant, Eciton burchellii, mate with multiple males and presented estimates suggesting that they mate with more males than queens of any other ant species so far investigated. They also inferred that data were consistent with queens being inseminated repeatedly throughout their life, which would be exceptional among the social Hymenoptera and contradictory to predictions from kin selection theory. In the present study, we reanalyze these data using new software and supplement them with similar microsatellite data from other colonies of the same species. Mating frequencies in E. burchellii are indeed very high (mean observed and effective queen-mating frequencies of 12.9 each) but considerably lower than the previous estimates. We show that the number of patrilines represented in the first worker offspring of a young queen is lower than in older queens but suggest that this may be due to initial sperm clumping in the queen’s sperm storage organ, rather than to repeated inseminations. Moreover, we found no evidence for repeated mating by genotyping sequential worker generations produced by a single old queen, showing that she did not obtain new inseminations despite ample opportunities for mating.

  12. Asexual reproduction in introduced and native populations of the ant Cerapachys biroi.

    PubMed

    Kronauer, Daniel J C; Pierce, Naomi E; Keller, Laurent

    2012-11-01

    Asexual reproduction is particularly common among introduced species, probably because it helps to overcome the negative effects associated with low population densities during colonization. The ant Cerapachys biroi has been introduced to tropical and subtropical islands around the world since the beginning of the last century. In this species, workers can reproduce via thelytokous parthenogenesis. Here, we use genetic markers to reconstruct the history of anthropogenic introductions of C. biroi, and to address the prevalence of female parthenogenesis in introduced and native populations. We show that at least four genetically distinct lineages have been introduced from continental Asia and have led to the species' circumtropical establishment. Our analyses demonstrate that asexual reproduction dominates in the introduced range and is also common in the native range. Given that C. biroi is the only dorylomorph ant that has successfully become established outside of its native range, this unusual mode of reproduction probably facilitated the species' worldwide spread. On the other hand, the rare occurrence of haploid males and at least one clear case of sexual recombination in the introduced range show that C. biroi has not lost the potential for sex. Finally, we show that thelytoky in C. biroi probably has a genetic rather than an infectious origin, and that automixis with central fusion is the most likely underlying cytological mechanism. This is in accordance with what is known for other thelytokous eusocial Hymenoptera.

  13. Multiple Convergent Origins of Workerlessness and Inbreeding in the Socially Parasitic Ant Genus Myrmoxenus

    PubMed Central

    Heinze, Jürgen; Buschinger, Alfred; Poettinger, Theo; Suefuji, Masaki

    2015-01-01

    The socially parasitic ant genus Myrmoxenus varies strongly in fundamental life history traits, such as queen-worker ratio, the timing of sexual production, and mating behavior. Myrmoxenus queens generally take over nests of Temnothorax ants, kill the resident queen by throttling, and force the workers to take care of the social parasite’s brood. Young queens of M. ravouxi and other species produce large numbers of workers, which during “slave-raids” pillage host pupae from neighboring Temnothorax colonies to increase the workforce in their own nests. Other species, such as M. corsicus, have lost caste polyphenism and rear only male and female sexual offspring. Using sequences of the genes CO I / CO II and wingless we reconstruct the phylogeny of Myrmoxenus and document that the worker caste was lost convergently at least three times. Furthermore, mating in the nest and inbreeding obviously also evolved in parallel from ancestors whose sexuals presumably mated during nuptial flights. Myrmoxenus might thus provide a suitable model to investigate caste differentiation and the plasticity of mating behavior in Hymenoptera. PMID:26221735

  14. Target enrichment of ultraconserved elements from arthropods provides a genomic perspective on relationships among Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Faircloth, Brant C; Branstetter, Michael G; White, Noor D; Brady, Seán G

    2015-01-01

    Gaining a genomic perspective on phylogeny requires the collection of data from many putatively independent loci across the genome. Among insects, an increasingly common approach to collecting this class of data involves transcriptome sequencing, because few insects have high-quality genome sequences available; assembling new genomes remains a limiting factor; the transcribed portion of the genome is a reasonable, reduced subset of the genome to target; and the data collected from transcribed portions of the genome are similar in composition to the types of data with which biologists have traditionally worked (e.g. exons). However, molecular techniques requiring RNA as a template, including transcriptome sequencing, are limited to using very high-quality source materials, which are often unavailable from a large proportion of biologically important insect samples. Recent research suggests that DNA-based target enrichment of conserved genomic elements offers another path to collecting phylogenomic data across insect taxa, provided that conserved elements are present in and can be collected from insect genomes. Here, we identify a large set (n = 1510) of ultraconserved elements (UCEs) shared among the insect order Hymenoptera. We used in silico analyses to show that these loci accurately reconstruct relationships among genome-enabled hymenoptera, and we designed a set of RNA baits (n = 2749) for enriching these loci that researchers can use with DNA templates extracted from a variety of sources. We used our UCE bait set to enrich an average of 721 UCE loci from 30 hymenopteran taxa, and we used these UCE loci to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships spanning very old (≥220 Ma) to very young (≤1 Ma) divergences among hymenopteran lineages. In contrast to a recent study addressing hymenopteran phylogeny using transcriptome data, we found ants to be sister to all remaining aculeate lineages with complete support, although this result could be explained by

  15. Target enrichment of ultraconserved elements from arthropods provides a genomic perspective on relationships among Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Faircloth, Brant C; Branstetter, Michael G; White, Noor D; Brady, Seán G

    2015-05-01

    Gaining a genomic perspective on phylogeny requires the collection of data from many putatively independent loci across the genome. Among insects, an increasingly common approach to collecting this class of data involves transcriptome sequencing, because few insects have high-quality genome sequences available; assembling new genomes remains a limiting factor; the transcribed portion of the genome is a reasonable, reduced subset of the genome to target; and the data collected from transcribed portions of the genome are similar in composition to the types of data with which biologists have traditionally worked (e.g. exons). However, molecular techniques requiring RNA as a template, including transcriptome sequencing, are limited to using very high-quality source materials, which are often unavailable from a large proportion of biologically important insect samples. Recent research suggests that DNA-based target enrichment of conserved genomic elements offers another path to collecting phylogenomic data across insect taxa, provided that conserved elements are present in and can be collected from insect genomes. Here, we identify a large set (n = 1510) of ultraconserved elements (UCEs) shared among the insect order Hymenoptera. We used in silico analyses to show that these loci accurately reconstruct relationships among genome-enabled hymenoptera, and we designed a set of RNA baits (n = 2749) for enriching these loci that researchers can use with DNA templates extracted from a variety of sources. We used our UCE bait set to enrich an average of 721 UCE loci from 30 hymenopteran taxa, and we used these UCE loci to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships spanning very old (≥220 Ma) to very young (≤1 Ma) divergences among hymenopteran lineages. In contrast to a recent study addressing hymenopteran phylogeny using transcriptome data, we found ants to be sister to all remaining aculeate lineages with complete support, although this result could be explained by

  16. Cardiochilinae and Ichneutinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) of Konza Prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The results of a survey of Cardiochilinae and Ichneutinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) at Konza Prairie near Manhattan, Kansas are reported. Eleven sites representing prairie and woodland/wetland areas, including gallery forest, were sampled in 2001 and 2005 using Malaise traps and a canopy trap. Selec...

  17. Thermoperiodism synchronizes emergence in the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa seed production in the northwestern United States and western Canada is heavily dependent upon the pollinating services of M. rotundata (F.) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Megachile rotundata females nest in cavities either naturally occurring or in artificial nesting blocks. Because of the ph...

  18. A review of Trachusoides Michener and Griswold (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although Megachile (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) are well-known for their diverse nesting habits, records of the genus nesting in live plants are rare and unknown in the North America. Here, we report the widespread Megachile (Megachile) montivaga Cresson, 1878 nesting in live thistle (Cirsium neomexi...

  19. A phylogenetic analysis of the megadiverse Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera) are extremely diverse with an estimated 500,000 species. We present the first phylogenetic analysis of the superfamily based on a cladistic analysis of both morphological and molecular data. A total of 233 morphological characters were scored for 300 taxa and 265 genera, a...

  20. The First Cytogenetic Data on Strumigenys louisianae Roger, 1863 (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Dacetini): The Lowest Chromosome Number in the Hymenoptera of the Neotropical Region

    PubMed Central

    Alves-Silva, Ana Paula; Barros, Luísa Antônia Campos; Chaul, Júlio Cézar Mário; Pompolo, Silvia das Graças

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, the first cytogenetic data was obtained for the ant species Strumigenys louisianae, from a genus possessing no previous cytogenetic data for the Neotropical region. The chromosome number observed was 2n = 4, all possessing metacentric morphology. Blocks rich in GC base pairs were observed in the interstitial region of the short arm of the largest chromosome pair, which may indicate that this region corresponds to the NORs. The referred species presented the lowest chromosome number observed for the subfamily Myrmicinae and for the Hymenoptera found in the Neotropical region. Observation of a low chromosome number karyotype has been described in Myrmecia croslandi, in which the occurrence of tandem fusions accounts for the most probable rearrangement for its formation. The accumulation of cytogenetic data may carry crucial information to ensure deeper understanding of the systematics of the tribe Dacetini. PMID:25379715

  1. Tracing back the nascence of a new sex-determination pathway to the ancestor of bees and ants.

    PubMed

    Schmieder, Sandra; Colinet, Dominique; Poirié, Marylène

    2012-06-12

    In several Hymenoptera, sexual fate is determined by the allelic composition at the complementary sex-determiner locus, a sex-determination mechanism that can strongly affect population dynamics. To date, the molecular identification of complementary sex determiner has only been achieved in the honeybee, where the complementary sex-determiner gene was reported to have arisen from duplication of the feminizer gene. Strikingly, the complementary sex-determiner gene was also proposed to be unique to the honeybee lineage. Here we identify feminizer and complementary sex-determiner orthologues in bumble bees and ants. We further demonstrate that the duplication of feminizer that produced complementary sex determiner occurred before the divergence of Aculeata species (~120 Myr ago). Finally, we provide evidence that the two genes evolved concertedly through gene conversion, complementary sex-determiner evolution being additionally shaped by mosaic patterns of selection. Thus, the complementary sex-determiner gene likely represents the molecular basis for single locus-complementary sex determination in the Aculeata infra-order, and possibly, in the entire Hymenoptera order.

  2. Ant opsins: sequences from the Saharan silver ant and the carpenter ant.

    PubMed

    Popp, M P; Grisshammer, R; Hargrave, P A; Smith, W C

    1996-03-01

    cDNA clones encoding opsins from compound eyes of carpenter ant, Camponotus abdominalis, and Saharan silver ant, Cataglyphis bombycina, were isolated from cDNA libraries. The opsin cDNAs from each species code for deduced proteins with 378 amino acids which are 92% identical. Of the 30 amino acid differences between the two proteins, 13 are non-conservative. Eight of these non-conservative substitutions are within the membrane spanning domain. The presence of a potential Schiff-base counterion in helix III in both species suggests that these opsins are the protein moiety of the visible range pigments. When compared to all known opsins, these opsins are most similar to the opsin from preying mantis (76% identity at the amino acid level). Phyletic comparisons group the two ant opsins with the other arthropod long wavelength opsins.

  3. Ant opsins: sequences from the Saharan silver ant and the carpenter ant.

    PubMed

    Popp, M P; Grisshammer, R; Hargrave, P A; Smith, W C

    1996-03-01

    cDNA clones encoding opsins from compound eyes of carpenter ant, Camponotus abdominalis, and Saharan silver ant, Cataglyphis bombycina, were isolated from cDNA libraries. The opsin cDNAs from each species code for deduced proteins with 378 amino acids which are 92% identical. Of the 30 amino acid differences between the two proteins, 13 are non-conservative. Eight of these non-conservative substitutions are within the membrane spanning domain. The presence of a potential Schiff-base counterion in helix III in both species suggests that these opsins are the protein moiety of the visible range pigments. When compared to all known opsins, these opsins are most similar to the opsin from preying mantis (76% identity at the amino acid level). Phyletic comparisons group the two ant opsins with the other arthropod long wavelength opsins. PMID:9372150

  4. Serotonin-immunoreactive neurons in the antennal sensory system of the brain in the carpenter ant, Camponotus japonicus.

    PubMed

    Tsuji, Eriko; Aonuma, Hitoshi; Yokohari, Fumio; Nishikawa, Michiko

    2007-08-01

    Social Hymenoptera such as ants or honeybees are known for their extensive behavioral repertories and plasticity. Neurons containing biogenic amines appear to play a major role in controlling behavioral plasticity in these insects. Here we describe the morphology of prominent serotonin-immunoreactive neurons of the antennal sensory system in the brain of an ant, Camponotus japonicus. Immunoreactive fibers were distributed throughout the brain and the subesophageal ganglion (SOG). The complete profile of a calycal input neuron was identified. The soma and dendritic elements are contralaterally located in the lateral protocerebrum. The neuron supplies varicose axon terminals in the lip regions of the calyces of the mushroom body, axon collaterals in the basal ring but not in the collar region, and other axon terminals ipsilaterally in the lateral protocerebrum. A giant neuron innervating the antennal lobe has varicose axon terminals in most of 300 glomeruli in the ventral region of the antennal lobe (AL) and a thick neurite that spans the entire SOG and continues towards the thoracic ganglia. However, neither a soma nor a dendritic element of this neuron was found in the brain or the SOG. A deutocerebral projection neuron has a soma in the lateral cell-body group of the AL, neuronal branches at most of the 12 glomeruli in the dorsocentral region of the ipsilateral AL, and varicose terminal arborizations in both hemispheres of the protocerebrum. Based on the present results, tentative subdivisions in neuropils related to the antennal sensory system of the ant brain are discussed.

  5. Serotonin-immunoreactive neurons in the antennal sensory system of the brain in the carpenter ant, Camponotus japonicus.

    PubMed

    Tsuji, Eriko; Aonuma, Hitoshi; Yokohari, Fumio; Nishikawa, Michiko

    2007-08-01

    Social Hymenoptera such as ants or honeybees are known for their extensive behavioral repertories and plasticity. Neurons containing biogenic amines appear to play a major role in controlling behavioral plasticity in these insects. Here we describe the morphology of prominent serotonin-immunoreactive neurons of the antennal sensory system in the brain of an ant, Camponotus japonicus. Immunoreactive fibers were distributed throughout the brain and the subesophageal ganglion (SOG). The complete profile of a calycal input neuron was identified. The soma and dendritic elements are contralaterally located in the lateral protocerebrum. The neuron supplies varicose axon terminals in the lip regions of the calyces of the mushroom body, axon collaterals in the basal ring but not in the collar region, and other axon terminals ipsilaterally in the lateral protocerebrum. A giant neuron innervating the antennal lobe has varicose axon terminals in most of 300 glomeruli in the ventral region of the antennal lobe (AL) and a thick neurite that spans the entire SOG and continues towards the thoracic ganglia. However, neither a soma nor a dendritic element of this neuron was found in the brain or the SOG. A deutocerebral projection neuron has a soma in the lateral cell-body group of the AL, neuronal branches at most of the 12 glomeruli in the dorsocentral region of the ipsilateral AL, and varicose terminal arborizations in both hemispheres of the protocerebrum. Based on the present results, tentative subdivisions in neuropils related to the antennal sensory system of the ant brain are discussed. PMID:18217492

  6. Biological control of red imported fire ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two species of Imported Fire Ants (IFA), the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and the Black Imported Fire Ant, S. richteri Forel, were introduced into the United States in the early 1900s and currently inhabit over 320 million acres in the southern United States and Puerto Rico. Red ...

  7. Using Ants To Investigate the Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hagevik, Rita A.

    2003-01-01

    Describes three inquiry-based activities designed for students to begin to understand complex environmental relationships in their own backyard. Includes investigations of ants, which allow students to establish a baseline survey of ant fauna, test the importance of ants in nutrient cycling and soil structure maintenances, and increase student…

  8. Using Ants to Investigate the Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hagevik, Rita A.

    2005-01-01

    The best place for students to begin to understand complex environmental relationships is in their own back yards. Doing investigations of ants allows students to establish a baseline survey of ant fauna, test the importance of ants in nutrient cycling and soil structure maintenance, and increase their understanding of the environment and their…

  9. Raves & rants about invasive crazy ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crazy ants” is a name that refers to various species of ants that are characterized by erratic, scurrying, or running, behavior when disturbed. Two of these species, the yellow crazy ant and the Caribbean or Rasberry [sic] crazy ant, are invasive with extremely large populations that inundate lands...

  10. Dynamic thermal structure of imported fire ant mounds.

    PubMed

    Vogt, James T; Wallet, Bradley; Coy, Steven

    2008-01-01

    A study was undertaken to characterize surface temperatures of mounds of imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and S. richteri Forel, and their hybrid, as it relates to sun position and shape of the mounds, to better understand factors that affect absorption of solar radiation by the nest mound and to test feasibility of using thermal infrared imagery to remotely sense mounds. Mean mound surface temperature peaked shortly after solar noon and exceeded mean surface temperature of the surrounding surface. Temperature range for mounds and their surroundings peaked near solar noon, and the temperature range of the mound surface exceeded that of the surrounding area. The temperature difference between mounds and their surroundings peaked around solar noon and ranged from about 2 to 10 degrees C. Quadratic trends relating temperature measurements to time of day (expressed as percentage of daylight hours from apparent sunrise to apparent sunset) explained 77 to 88% of the variation in the data. Mounds were asymmetrical, with the apex offset on average 81.5 +/- 1.2 mm to the north of the average center. South facing aspects were about 20% larger than north facing aspects. Mound surface aspect and slope affected surface temperature; this affect was greatly influenced by time of day. Thermal infrared imagery was used to illustrate the effect of mound shape on surface temperature. These results indicate that the temperature differences between mounds and their surroundings are sufficient for detection using thermal infrared remote sensing, and predictable temporal changes in surface temperature may be useful for classifying mounds in images.

  11. Aphanogmus sp. (Hymenoptera: Ceraphronidae): a hyperparasitoid of the coffee berry borer parasitoid Prorops nasuta (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) in Kenya

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This is the first report of a hyperparasitod of the primary parasitoid of the coffee berry borer Prorops nasuta Waterston (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae). Aphanogmus sp is a gregarious ectoparasitoid of larval and pupal stages of P. nasuta, which was found in coffee berry samples collected on the ground o...

  12. Brain plasticity in Diptera and Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Groh, Claudia; Meinertzhagen, Ian A.

    2010-01-01

    To mediate different types of behaviour, nervous systems must coordinate the proper operation of their neural circuits as well as short- and long-term alterations that occur within those circuits. The latter ultimately devolve upon specific changes in neuronal structures, membrane properties and synaptic connections that are all examples of plasticity. This reorganization of the adult nervous system is shaped by internal and external influences both during development and adult maturation. In adults, behavioural experience is a major driving force of neuronal plasticity studied particularly in sensory systems. The range of adaptation depends on features that are important to a particular species, so that learning is essential for foraging in honeybees, while regenerative capacities are important in hemimetabolous insects with long appendages. Experience is usually effective during a critical period in early adult life, when neural function becomes tuned to future conditions in an insect's life. Changes occur at all levels, in synaptic circuits, neuropile volumes, and behaviour. There are many examples, and this review incorporates only a select few, mainly those from Diptera and Hymenoptera. PMID:20036946

  13. Power over reproduction in social hymenoptera.

    PubMed Central

    Beekman, Madeleine; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2003-01-01

    Inclusive fitness theory has been very successful in predicting and explaining much of the observed variation in the reproductive characteristics of insect societies. For example, the theory correctly predicts sex-ratio biasing by workers in relation to the queen's mating frequency. However, within an insect society there are typically multiple reproductive optima, each corresponding to the interest of different individual(s) or parties of interest. When multiple optima occur, which party's interests prevail? Presumably, the interests of the party with the greatest 'power'; the ability to do or act. This article focuses on factors that influence power over colony reproduction. In particular, we seek to identify the principles that may cause different parties of interest to have greater or lesser power. In doing this, we discuss power from two different angles. On the one hand, we discuss general factors based upon non-idiosyncratic biological features (e.g. information, access to and ability to process food) that are likely to be important to all social Hymenoptera. On the other hand, we discuss idiosyncratic factors that depend upon the biology of a taxon at any hierarchical level. We propose that a better understanding of the diversity of reproductive characteristics of insect societies will come from combining inclusive fitness theory with a wide range of other factors that affect relative power in a conflict situation. PMID:14561330

  14. A Molecular Phylogeny of the Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera)

    PubMed Central

    Munro, James B.; Heraty, John M.; Burks, Roger A.; Hawks, David; Mottern, Jason; Cruaud, Astrid; Rasplus, Jean-Yves; Jansta, Petr

    2011-01-01

    Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera) are extremely diverse with more than 23,000 species described and over 500,000 species estimated to exist. This is the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the superfamily based on a molecular analysis of 18S and 28S ribosomal gene regions for 19 families, 72 subfamilies, 343 genera and 649 species. The 56 outgroups are comprised of Ceraphronoidea and most proctotrupomorph families, including Mymarommatidae. Data alignment and the impact of ambiguous regions are explored using a secondary structure analysis and automated (MAFFT) alignments of the core and pairing regions and regions of ambiguous alignment. Both likelihood and parsimony approaches are used to analyze the data. Overall there is no impact of alignment method, and few but substantial differences between likelihood and parsimony approaches. Monophyly of Chalcidoidea and a sister group relationship between Mymaridae and the remaining Chalcidoidea is strongly supported in all analyses. Either Mymarommatoidea or Diaprioidea are the sister group of Chalcidoidea depending on the analysis. Likelihood analyses place Rotoitidae as the sister group of the remaining Chalcidoidea after Mymaridae, whereas parsimony nests them within Chalcidoidea. Some traditional family groups are supported as monophyletic (Agaonidae, Eucharitidae, Encyrtidae, Eulophidae, Leucospidae, Mymaridae, Ormyridae, Signiphoridae, Tanaostigmatidae and Trichogrammatidae). Several other families are paraphyletic (Perilampidae) or polyphyletic (Aphelinidae, Chalcididae, Eupelmidae, Eurytomidae, Pteromalidae, Tetracampidae and Torymidae). Evolutionary scenarios discussed for Chalcidoidea include the evolution of phytophagy, egg parasitism, sternorrhynchan parasitism, hypermetamorphic development and heteronomy. PMID:22087244

  15. Ant Ecdysteroid Extraction and Radioimmunoassay

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecdysteroids are a group of steroid compounds present in many plant and invertebrate species. In arthropods, they function primarily as hormones involved in the regulation of molting. This protocol describes how to extract ecdysteroid hormones from ant specimens and subsequently quantify circulating...

  16. Optimal cue integration in ants.

    PubMed

    Wystrach, Antoine; Mangan, Michael; Webb, Barbara

    2015-10-01

    In situations with redundant or competing sensory information, humans have been shown to perform cue integration, weighting different cues according to their certainty in a quantifiably optimal manner. Ants have been shown to merge the directional information available from their path integration (PI) and visual memory, but as yet it is not clear that they do so in a way that reflects the relative certainty of the cues. In this study, we manipulate the variance of the PI home vector by allowing ants (Cataglyphis velox) to run different distances and testing their directional choice when the PI vector direction is put in competition with visual memory. Ants show progressively stronger weighting of their PI direction as PI length increases. The weighting is quantitatively predicted by modelling the expected directional variance of home vectors of different lengths and assuming optimal cue integration. However, a subsequent experiment suggests ants may not actually compute an internal estimate of the PI certainty, but are using the PI home vector length as a proxy.

  17. Patterns of split sex ratio in ants have multiple evolutionary causes based on different within-colony conflicts.

    PubMed

    Kümmerli, Rolf; Keller, Laurent

    2009-10-23

    Split sex ratio-a pattern where colonies within a population specialize in either male or queen production-is a widespread phenomenon in ants and other social Hymenoptera. It has often been attributed to variation in colony kin structure, which affects the degree of queen-worker conflict over optimal sex allocation. However, recent findings suggest that split sex ratio is a more diverse phenomenon, which can evolve for multiple reasons. Here, we provide an overview of the main conditions favouring split sex ratio. We show that each split sex-ratio type arises due to a different combination of factors determining colony kin structure, queen or worker control over sex ratio and the type of conflict between colony members.

  18. Evolutional Ant Colony Method Using PSO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morii, Nobuto; Aiyoshi, Eitarou

    The ant colony method is one of heuristic methods capable of solving the traveling salesman problem (TSP), in which a good tour is generated by the artificial ant's probabilistic behavior. However, the generated tour length depends on the parameter describing the ant's behavior, and the best parameters corresponding to the problem to be solved is unknown. In this technical note, the evolutional strategy is presented to find the best parameter of the ant colony by using Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) in the parameter space. Numerical simulations for benchmarks demonstrate effectiveness of the evolutional ant colony method.

  19. Tournaments and slavery in a desert ant.

    PubMed

    Hölldobler, B

    1976-05-28

    Many species of ants engage in physical fighting when territorial borders are challenged. In contrast, colonies of the honeypot ant species Myrmecocystus mimicus conduct ritualized tournaments, in which hundreds of ants perform highly stereotyped display fights. Opposing colonies summon their worker forces to the tournament area by means of an alarm-recruitment system. When one colony is considerably stronger than the other, the tournament quickly ends, and the weaker colony is raided and its ants "enslaved." This is the first example of intraspecific slavery recorded in ants.

  20. Methods for Casting Subterranean Ant Nests

    PubMed Central

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2010-01-01

    The study of subterranean ant nests has been impeded by the difficulty of rendering their structures in visible form. Here, several different casting materials are shown to make perfect casts of the underground nests of ants. Each material (dental plaster, paraffin wax, aluminum, zinc) has advantages and limitations, which are discussed. Some of the materials allow the recovery of the ants entombed in the casts, allowing a census of the ants to be connected with features of their nest architecture. The necessary equipment and procedures are described in the hope that more researchers will study this very important aspect of ant natural history. PMID:20673073

  1. Quantifying ant activity using vibration measurements.

    PubMed

    Oberst, Sebastian; Baro, Enrique Nava; Lai, Joseph C S; Evans, Theodore A

    2014-01-01

    Ant behaviour is of great interest due to their sociality. Ant behaviour is typically observed visually, however there are many circumstances where visual observation is not possible. It may be possible to assess ant behaviour using vibration signals produced by their physical movement. We demonstrate through a series of bioassays with different stimuli that the level of activity of meat ants (Iridomyrmex purpureus) can be quantified using vibrations, corresponding to observations with video. We found that ants exposed to physical shaking produced the highest average vibration amplitudes followed by ants with stones to drag, then ants with neighbours, illuminated ants and ants in darkness. In addition, we devised a novel method based on wavelet decomposition to separate the vibration signal owing to the initial ant behaviour from the substrate response, which will allow signals recorded from different substrates to be compared directly. Our results indicate the potential to use vibration signals to classify some ant behaviours in situations where visual observation could be difficult.

  2. Insect insulin receptors: insights from sequence and caste expression analyses of two cloned hymenopteran insulin receptor cDNAs from the fire ant.

    PubMed

    Lu, H-L; Pietrantonio, Patricia V

    2011-10-01

    The insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signalling (IIS) pathway in the honey bee (Apis mellifera) is linked to reproductive division of labour and foraging behaviour. Two insulin receptor genes are present in the released genomes of other social hymenopterans. Limited information is available on the IIS pathway role in ants. The predicted insulin receptor sequences from the recently released draft genome of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are incomplete and biologically significant data are also lacking. To elucidate the role of the IIS pathway in the fire ant, two putative insulin receptors (SiInR-1 and SiInR-2) were cloned; the first InR cDNAs cloned from social insects. Analyses of putative post-translational modification sites in SiInRs revealed the potential for differential regulation. We investigated the transcriptional expression of both receptors at different developmental stages, castes and queen tissues. In last instar larvae and pharate pupae of workers and reproductive, transcriptional abundance of both receptors was negatively correlated with body size and nutritional status. The expression level of both receptors in different queen tissues appears to correlate with requirements for queen reproductive physiology and behaviours. This study contributes new information to the understanding of social insects because in fire ants juvenile hormone acts as a gonadotropin and workers are fully sterile, contrary to honey bees.

  3. A hymenopterist’s guide to the Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology: utility, clarification, and future directions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hymenoptera exhibit an incredible diversity of phenotypes, the result of ~240 million years of evolution and the primary subject of more than 250 years of research. Here we describe the history, development, and utility of the Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology (HAO) and its associated applications. These...

  4. Circumvention of prey defense by a predator: ant lion vs. ant.

    PubMed Central

    Eisner, T; Baldwin, I T; Conner, J

    1993-01-01

    The pit-dwelling ant lion Myrmeleon carolinus, although topically sensitive to formic acid, is able to prey on formic acid-spraying ants (Camponotus floridanus). It kills the ants without inducing them to spray, and it sucks out the ant's body contents without puncturing the acid sac. Ordinarily, when Camponotus is attacked it retaliates by simultaneously biting and spraying, but it usually refrains from spraying until it has secured a grip with the mandibles. When Myrmeleon pulls Camponotus into the sand at the bottom of the pit, the ant is seemingly unable to grasp the ant lion and it is killed without being induced to spray. When feeding on the ant, the ant lion sucks up the contents of the nutrient-laden crop. How the ant lion differentiates between crop and acid sac, managing to spare the latter while rupturing the former, remains unknown. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 4 PMID:11607414

  5. 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.

  6. Revolutionizing Remote Exploration with ANTS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S.; Truszkowski, W.

    2002-05-01

    We are developing the Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) architecture based on an insect colony analogue for the cost-effective, efficient, systematic survey of remote or inaccessible areas with multiple object targets, including planetary surface, marine, airborne, and space environments. The mission context is the exploration in the 2020s of the most compelling remaining targets in the solar system: main belt asteroids. Main belt asteroids harbor important clues to Solar System origins and evolution which are central to NASA's goals in Space Science. Asteroids are smaller than planets, but their number is far greater, and their combined surface area likely dwarfs the Earth's. An asteroid survey will dramatically increase our understanding of the local resources available for the Human Exploration and Development of Space. During the mission composition, shape, gravity, and orbit parameters could be returned to Earth for perhaps several thousand asteroids. A survey of this area will rival the great explorations that encircled this globe, opened up the New World, and laid the groundwork for the progress and challenges of the last centuries. The ANTS architecture for a main belt survey consists of a swarm of as many as a thousand or more highly specialized pico-spacecraft that form teams to survey as many as one hundred asteroids a month. Multi-level autonomy is critical for ANTS and the objective of the proposed study is to work through the implications and constraints this entails. ANTS couples biologically inspired autonomic control for basic functions to higher level artificial intelligence that together enable individual spacecraft to operate as specialized, cooperative, social agents. This revolutionary approach postulates highly advanced, but familiar, components integrated and operated in a way that uniquely transcends any evolutionary extrapolation of existing trends and enables thousand-spacecraft missions.

  7. Fire ant-detecting canines: a complementary method in detecting red imported fire ants.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hui-Min; Chi, Wei-Lien; Lin, Chung-Chi; Tseng, Yu-Ching; Chen, Wang-Ting; Kung, Yu-Ling; Lien, Yi-Yang; Chen, Yang-Yuan

    2011-02-01

    In this investigation, detection dogs are trained and used in identifying red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and their nests. The methodology could assist in reducing the frequency and scope of chemical treatments for red imported fire ant management and thus reduce labor costs and chemical use as well as improve control and quarantine efficiency. Three dogs previously trained for customs quarantine were retrained to detect the scents of red imported fire ants. After passing tests involving different numbers of live red imported fire ants and three other ant species--Crematogaster rogenhoferi Mayr, Paratrechina longicornis Latreille, and Pheidole megacephala F.--placed in containers, ajoint field survey for red imported fire ant nests by detection dogs and bait traps was conducted to demonstrate their use as a supplement to conventional detection methods. The most significant findings in this report are (1) with 10 or more red imported fire ants in scent containers, the dogs had >98% chance in tracing the red imported fire ant. Upon the introduction of other ant species, the dogs still achieved on average, a 93% correct red imported fire ant indication rate. Moreover, the dogs demonstrated great competence in pinpointing emerging and smaller red imported fire ant nests in red imported fire ant-infested areas that had been previously confirmed by bait trap stations. (2) Along with the bait trap method, we also discovered that approximately 90% of red imported fire ants foraged within a distance of 14 m away from their nests. The results prove detection dogs to be most effective for red imported fire ant control in areas that have been previously treated with pesticides and therefore containing a low density of remaining red imported fire ant nests. Furthermore, as a complement to other red imported fire ant monitoring methods, this strategy will significantly increase the efficacy of red imported fire ant control in cases of individual mount treatment.

  8. Ant Larval Demand Reduces Aphid Colony Growth Rates in an Ant-Aphid Interactio

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Tom H.; Leather, Simon R.; Cook, James M.

    2012-01-01

    Ants often form mutualistic interactions with aphids, soliciting honeydew in return for protective services. Under certain circumstances, however, ants will prey upon aphids. In addition, in the presence of ants aphids may increase the quantity or quality of honeydew produced, which is costly. Through these mechanisms, ant attendance can reduce aphid colony growth rates. However, it is unknown whether demand from within the ant colony can affect the ant-aphid interaction. In a factorial experiment, we tested whether the presence of larvae in Lasius niger ant colonies affected the growth rate of Aphis fabae colonies. Other explanatory variables tested were the origin of ant colonies (two separate colonies were used) and previous diet (sugar only or sugar and protein). We found that the presence of larvae in the ant colony significantly reduced the growth rate of aphid colonies. Previous diet and colony origin did not affect aphid colony growth rates. Our results suggest that ant colonies balance the flow of two separate resources from aphid colonies- renewable sugars or a protein-rich meal, depending on demand from ant larvae within the nest. Aphid payoffs from the ant-aphid interaction may change on a seasonal basis, as the demand from larvae within the ant colony waxes and wanes. PMID:26467951

  9. Allometric ecological distributions in a local community of Hymenoptera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulrich, Werner

    2004-05-01

    The present paper describes basic ecological distributions in a community of beech forest Hymenoptera. It shows that the species diversity-body weight and the density-body weight distributions give rise to a new distribution that relates total community biomass to species diversity. For Hymenoptera this distribution follows a power function with a slope of 1.3. Combining this relation with the species-area and the individuals-area relations resulted in two other distributions that relate community biomass to area and individual numbers. It appeared that population densities decrease when computed over larger areas. The biomass-species diversity relation offers a new and simple way to estimate total community biomass from samples. The possible implications of this distribution to the productivity-diversity debate are discussed.

  10. A taxonomic study of Ooctonus (Hymenoptera, Mymaridae) from Heilongjiang, China

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Hai-Feng; Jin, Xiang-Xiang; Li, Cheng-De

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Five species of Ooctonus Haliday (Hymenoptera, Mymaridae) from Heilongjiang Province, China, are reviewed. One species, Ooctonus huberi sp. n., is described as new, and four species, Ooctonus orientalis Doutt, Ooctonus saturn Triapitsyn, Ooctonus sublaevis Förster and Ooctonus vulgatus Haliday are reported as new to China. A key to the females of the 10 described Chinese species is given. All the specimens are deposited in the insect collections of Northeast Forestry University, China. PMID:25685015

  11. Blind and myopic ants in heterogeneous networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, S.; Lee, D.-S.; Kahng, B.

    2014-11-01

    The diffusion processes on complex networks may be described by different Laplacian matrices due to heterogeneous connectivity. Here we investigate the random walks of blind ants and myopic ants on heterogeneous networks: While a myopic ant hops to a neighbor node every step, a blind ant may stay or hop with probabilities that depend on node connectivity. By analyzing the trajectories of blind ants, we show that the asymptotic behaviors of both random walks are related by rescaling time and probability with node connectivity. Using this result, we show how the small eigenvalues of the Laplacian matrices generating the two random walks are related. As an application, we show how the return-to-origin probability of a myopic ant can be used to compute the scaling behaviors of the Edwards-Wilkinson model, a representative model of load balancing on networks.

  12. 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...

  13. Symbiont recruitment versus ant-symbiont co-evolution in the attine ant-microbe symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Ulrich G

    2012-06-01

    The symbiosis between fungus-farming ants (Attini, Formicidae), their cultivated fungi, garden-infecting Escovopsis pathogens, and Pseudonocardia bacteria on the ant integument has been popularized as an example of ant-Escovopsis-Pseudonocardia co-evolution. Recent research could not verify earlier conclusions regarding antibiotic-secreting, integumental Pseudonocardia that co-evolve to specifically suppress Escovopsis disease in an ancient co-evolutionary arms-race. Rather than long-term association with a single, co-evolving Pseudonocardia strain, attine ants accumulate complex, dynamic biofilms on their integument and in their gardens. Emerging views are that the integumental biofilms protect the ants primarily against ant diseases, whereas garden biofilms protect primarily against garden diseases; attine ants selectively recruit ('screen in') microbes into their biofilms; and the biofilms of ants and gardens serve diverse functions beyond disease-suppression.

  14. Prevalence of allergic reactions to Hymenoptera stings in northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Incorvaia, C; Senna, G; Mauro, M; Bonadonna, P; Marconi, I; Asero, R; Nitti, F

    2004-12-01

    The epidemiology of Hymenoptera venom allergy in Europe showed prevalence of systemic reactions of about 3%, but is scantly investigated in Italy. We studied two samples of the general and an at risk population, i.e. the foresters, in northern Italy. A standardized questionnaire dealing with allergic reactions to Hymenoptera stings was submitted to the subjects included in the study, who were factory workers in Milan and Verona and foresters in Lombardy. An overall number of 574 subjects participated to the study, 462 (299 males and 163 females, mean age 40.1 yrs, range 20-63 yrs) were factory workers and 112 (all males, mean age 38.8 yrs, range 24-59 yrs) were foresters. Among factory workers, 302 (65.4%) were stung by Hymenoptera, 49 (10.6%) had had large local reactions, and 13 (2.8%) systemic reactions. Among foresters, 76 (67.8%) were stung, 11 (9.8%) had had large local reactions, and 5 (4.5%) systemic reactions. The systemic reactions were life-threatening in 3 (0.6%) industrial workers and 2 (1.8%) foresters. The prevalence of systemic reaction of 2.8% in the general population agrees with the data reported from a number of countries with temperate climate. The prevalence of 4.5% in foresters attributed to this population a risk only slightly increased.

  15. Prevalence of allergic reactions to Hymenoptera stings in northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Incorvaia, C; Senna, G; Mauro, M; Bonadonna, P; Marconi, I; Asero, R; Nitti, F

    2004-12-01

    The epidemiology of Hymenoptera venom allergy in Europe showed prevalence of systemic reactions of about 3%, but is scantly investigated in Italy. We studied two samples of the general and an at risk population, i.e. the foresters, in northern Italy. A standardized questionnaire dealing with allergic reactions to Hymenoptera stings was submitted to the subjects included in the study, who were factory workers in Milan and Verona and foresters in Lombardy. An overall number of 574 subjects participated to the study, 462 (299 males and 163 females, mean age 40.1 yrs, range 20-63 yrs) were factory workers and 112 (all males, mean age 38.8 yrs, range 24-59 yrs) were foresters. Among factory workers, 302 (65.4%) were stung by Hymenoptera, 49 (10.6%) had had large local reactions, and 13 (2.8%) systemic reactions. Among foresters, 76 (67.8%) were stung, 11 (9.8%) had had large local reactions, and 5 (4.5%) systemic reactions. The systemic reactions were life-threatening in 3 (0.6%) industrial workers and 2 (1.8%) foresters. The prevalence of systemic reaction of 2.8% in the general population agrees with the data reported from a number of countries with temperate climate. The prevalence of 4.5% in foresters attributed to this population a risk only slightly increased. PMID:15662965

  16. A case of anaphylaxis: horse-fly or hymenoptera sting?

    PubMed

    Quercia, O; Emiliani, F; Foschi, F G; Stefanini, G F

    2009-10-01

    In literature it has been described a high risk of systemic reaction after blood-sucking Dyptera bites, like mosquitoes and horsefly, in people sensitive to hymenoptera. A 51 year old man, allergic to hymenoptera venom and with a history of i.v. reaction after Mueller, who has been treated with Vespula sp. ITS for the last 3 years, was stung by a yellow, black and green insect on the neck. Five minutes after the bite, he suffered generalized hitching and urticaria, oral cavity and lower limbs paresthesia, followed by lost of consciousness. At the Emergency Room he was successfully treated with adrenaline, intravenous antihistamines and corticosteroid. The description of the insect as well as the lack of the sting on the site suggested a wasp as the culprit. By studying one of these insect that has been captured by the patient, it turned out it wasn't a Vespula, but a horsefly, the Tabanus bovinus, which resembles Hymenoptera. Skin prick test and RAST for Tabanus confirmed the allergology diagnosis. In conclusion, also Tabanus bovines can cause systemic reaction up to anaphylactic shock.

  17. Management of hymenoptera sting anaphylaxis: a preventive medicine survey.

    PubMed

    McDougle, L; Klein, G L; Hoehler, F K

    1995-01-01

    The evaluation of aftercare instructions given to patients suffering from hymenoptera sting anaphylaxis was the objective of the study. Part of this evaluation included asking the physicians questions to examine the knowledge on which they based their aftercare instructions. Survey questionnaires were completed by 124 of 174 (71%) physicians who worked in an emergency department or urgent care center. Fifty-eight percent of the physicians never provided written avoidance instructions, 24% provided or prescribed anaphylaxis ID bracelets, 44% referred all of their patients to an allergist for further evaluation, and 73% reported prescribing an Epi-pen or Ana-kit to all hymenoptera sting anaphylaxis victims. Twenty-four percent of physicians did not know where to obtain anaphylaxis identification bracelets. This survey demonstrates that a substantial number of physicians practicing emergency medicine are not providing appropriate aftercare instructions to patients, and substantiates the need for educational efforts to increase the awareness of physicians concerning the implications of hymenoptera allergy and the value of proper preventive measures. PMID:7782631

  18. Facing Hymenoptera Venom Allergy: From Natural to Recombinant Allergens

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Riverol, Amilcar; Justo-Jacomini, Débora Lais; Zollner, Ricardo de Lima; Brochetto-Braga, Márcia Regina

    2015-01-01

    Along with food and drug allergic reactions, a Hymenoptera insect Sting (Apoidea, Vespidae, Formicidae) is one of the most common causes of anaphylaxis worldwide. Diagnoses of Hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA) and specific immunotherapy (SIT) have been based on the use of crude venom extracts. However, the incidence of cross-reactivity and low levels of sensibility during diagnosis, as well as the occurrence of nonspecific sensitization and undesired side effects during SIT, encourage the search for novel allergenic materials. Recombinant allergens are an interesting approach to improve allergy diagnosis and SIT because they circumvent major problems associated with the use of crude venom. Production of recombinant allergens depends on the profound molecular characterization of the natural counterpart by combining some “omics” approaches with high-throughput screening techniques and the selection of an appropriate system for heterologous expression. To date, several clinically relevant allergens and novel venom toxins have been identified, cloned and characterized, enabling a better understanding of the whole allergenic and envenoming processes. Here, we review recent findings on identification, molecular characterization and recombinant expression of Hymenoptera venom allergens and on the evaluation of these heterologous proteins as valuable tools for tackling remaining pitfalls on HVA diagnosis and immunotherapy. PMID:26184309

  19. Facing Hymenoptera Venom Allergy: From Natural to Recombinant Allergens.

    PubMed

    Perez-Riverol, Amilcar; Justo-Jacomini, Débora Lais; Zollner, Ricardo de Lima; Brochetto-Braga, Márcia Regina

    2015-07-09

    Along with food and drug allergic reactions, a Hymenoptera insect Sting (Apoidea, Vespidae, Formicidae) is one of the most common causes of anaphylaxis worldwide. Diagnoses of Hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA) and specific immunotherapy (SIT) have been based on the use of crude venom extracts. However, the incidence of cross-reactivity and low levels of sensibility during diagnosis, as well as the occurrence of nonspecific sensitization and undesired side effects during SIT, encourage the search for novel allergenic materials. Recombinant allergens are an interesting approach to improve allergy diagnosis and SIT because they circumvent major problems associated with the use of crude venom. Production of recombinant allergens depends on the profound molecular characterization of the natural counterpart by combining some "omics" approaches with high-throughput screening techniques and the selection of an appropriate system for heterologous expression. To date, several clinically relevant allergens and novel venom toxins have been identified, cloned and characterized, enabling a better understanding of the whole allergenic and envenoming processes. Here, we review recent findings on identification, molecular characterization and recombinant expression of Hymenoptera venom allergens and on the evaluation of these heterologous proteins as valuable tools for tackling remaining pitfalls on HVA diagnosis and immunotherapy.

  20. An Efficient Ant-Based Edge Detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aydın, Doğan

    An efficient ant-based edge detector is presented. It is based on the distribution of ants on an image, ants try to find possible edges by using a state transition function based on 5x5 edge structures. Visual comparisons show that the proposed method gives finer details and thinner edges at lesser computational times when compared to earlier ant-based approaches. When compared to standard edge detectors, it shows robustness to Gaussian and Salt & Pepper noise and provides finer details than others with same parameter set in both clear and noisy images.