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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. Ground Dwelling Ants as Surrogates for Establishing Conservation Priorities in the Australian Wet Tropics

    PubMed Central

    Yek, Sze Huei; Willliams, Stephen E; Burwell, Chris J.; Robson, Simon K.A.; Crozier, Ross H.

    2009-01-01

    This study aims to identify a set of areas with high biodiversity value over a small spatial scale within the Australian Wet Tropics. We identified sites of high biodiversity value across an altitudinal gradient of ground dwelling ant communities using three measures of biodiversity. The three measures considered were estimated species richness, complementarity between sites and evolutionary history. The latter measure was derived using the systematic nomenclature of the ants to infer a surrogate phylogeny. The goal of conservation assessments could then be achieved by choosing the most diverse site combinations. This approach was found to be valuable for identifying the most diverse site combinations across an altitudinal gradient that could ensure the preservation of terrestrial ground dwelling invertebrates in the Australian Wet Tropics. PMID:19613441

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  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. Ants, Wasps, and Bees (Hymenoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  9. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  16. Activity of bifenthrin, chlorfenapyr, fipronil, and thiamethoxam against Argentine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Wiltz, B A; Suiter, D R; Gardner, W A

    2009-12-01

    Bifenthrin, chlorfenapyr, fipronil, and thiamethoxam were evaluated for activity against the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Mobility impairment and lethal times were determined after topical treatments. Ants were immobilized most quickly by bifenthrin, followed by chlorfenapyr and thiamethoxam. After 2 h, the number of fipronil-treated ants unable to walk out of test arenas did not differ from control ants. Median lethal time (LT50) after topical treatment was lowest in the bifenthrin treatment, followed by thiamethoxam, chlorfenapyr, and then fipronil. Mortality due to horizontal exposure was evaluated at 10, 20, or 30 degrees C, with topically treated ant corpses serving as donors. There was low to moderate horizontal activity in bifenthrin and chlorfenapyr treatments, with no temperature effect in bifenthrin treatments and a positive temperature effect in chlorfenapyr treatments. Mortality in the fipronil treatments was highest and was positively correlated with temperature. Thiamethoxam treatments did not differ from controls at 10 degrees C, but mortality increased with temperature. To evaluate contact activity, either all of 20% of the ants in a cohort were exposed to insecticide-treated pine needles. In both tests, mortality was highest in fipronil and bifenthrin treatments, followed by thiamethoxam, with lowest mortality in chlorfenapyr treatments. Effectiveness as a barrier was evaluated by providing a choice between bridges treated with insecticide or water. Although bifenthrin did not provide an impenetrable barrier, it was the only treatment having fewer ants than its paired control. Mortality data suggest that lack of recruitment rather than repellency account for this result.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Taheri, Ahmed; Reyes-López, Joaquin L

    2015-01-01

    A recent catalogue of the rich ant fauna of Morocco included 214 species, with later studies adding an additional 12 species. Following recent fieldwork in the north of Morocco, we report five new records for the country (Plagiolepis pygmaea Latreille, 1798, Ponera testacea Emery, 1895, Strumigenys tenuipilis Emery, 1915, Temnothorax pardoi Tinaut, 1987, and Tetramorium parvioculum Guillem & Bensusan, 2009) and we present new data on the distribution and natural history of six additional species. This work brings the total number of ants known from Morocco to 233, taking into account two species which were omitted in the list of Cagniant.

  20. Five New Records of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) From Morocco

    PubMed Central

    Taheri, Ahmed; Reyes-López, Joaquin L.

    2015-01-01

    A recent catalogue of the rich ant fauna of Morocco included 214 species, with later studies adding an additional 12 species. Following recent fieldwork in the north of Morocco, we report five new records for the country (Plagiolepis pygmaea Latreille, 1798, Ponera testacea Emery, 1895, Strumigenys tenuipilis Emery, 1915, Temnothorax pardoi Tinaut, 1987, and Tetramorium parvioculum Guillem & Bensusan, 2009) and we present new data on the distribution and natural history of six additional species. This work brings the total number of ants known from Morocco to 233, taking into account two species which were omitted in the list of Cagniant. PMID:25843590

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Meissner, H E; Silverman, J

    2001-12-01

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

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Thelytokous Parthenogenesis in the Ant Myrmecina nipponica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Masuko, Keiichi

    2014-09-01

    Myrmecina nipponica Wheeler is a terrestrial ant nesting chiefly in the soil in forest. It is a specialized predator of oribatid mites, but also scavenges on a broad spectrum of other arthropods. In the studied population at Cape Manazuru in central Japan, M. nipponica colonies are typically monogynous, and previous dissections of queens suggested that these individuals were not inseminated, thus suggesting these ants can reproduce via thelytokous parthenogenesis. To test for thelytokous parthenogenesis in M. nipponica the spermathecae of queens (dealate gynes) from worker-containing colonies were histologically examined in detail. All specimens examined (n=5) had no spermatozoa in the spermatheca. In addition, a total of four colony-founding queens were reared in isolation in the laboratory to test whether non-inseminated females were capable of egg laying and to test whether female offspring emerged from this brood. In all of four culture replicates, only new workers were produced from the eggs those queens had laid and male offspring was absent. After the breeding experiment, the queens' spermathecae were histologically examined and no sperm were detected in their spermathecae. These results reveal that M. nipponica queens of the Manazuru population are capable of producing female offspring thelytokously. Sexual reproduction by typical gynes and also by intermorphs has been known from other local populations of M. nipponica; therefore, this species shows geographical polymorphism in sexuality.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Baby Killers: Documentation and Evolution of Scuttle Fly (Diptera: Phoridae) Parasitism of Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Brood

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Brian V.; Hash, John M.; Porras, Wendy; Amorim, Dalton de Souza

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Background Numerous well-documented associations occur among species of scuttle flies (Diptera: Phoridae) and ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), but examples of brood parasitism are rare and the mechanisms of parasitism often remain unsubstantiated. New information We present two video-documented examples of ant brood (larvae and pupae) parasitism by scuttle flies. In footage from Estação Biológica de Boracéia in Brazil, adult females of Ceratoconus setipennis Borgmeier can be seen attacking workers of Linepithema humile (Mayr) species group while they are carrying brood, and ovipositing directly onto brood in the nest. In another remarkable example, footage from the Soltis Center, near Peñas Blancas in Costa Rica, shows adult females of an unidentified species of the Apocephalus grandipalpus Borgmeier group mounting Pheidole Westwood brood upside-down and ovipositing while the brood are being transported by workers. Analysis of evolutionary relationships (in preparation) among Apocephalus Coquillett species shows that this is a newly derived behavior within the genus, as the A. grandipalpus group arises within a group of adult ant parasitoids. In contrast, relationships of Ceratoconus Borgmeier have not been studied, and the lifestyles of the other species in the genus are largely unknown. PMID:28325980

  10. Activity of bifenthrin, chlorfenapyr, fipronil, and thiamethoxam against red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Wiltz, B A; Suiter, D R; Gardner, W A

    2010-06-01

    Bifenthrin, chlorfenapyr, fipronil, and thiamethoxam were evaluated for activity against the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Mobility impairment and lethal times were determined after topical treatments. Both immobilization and mortality occurred most quickly with bifenthrin, followed by thiamethoxam, chlorfenapyr, and fipronil. Mortality due to horizontal exposure was evaluated at 10, 20, or 30 degrees C, with three ratios of topically treated donor ant corpses to live recipients (5, 10, or 20% donors). Bifenthrin had the greatest horizontal activity of the chemicals tested. For chlorfenapyr, the only treatments having higher mortality than controls were the highest percentage donors at either 10 or 30 degrees C. Horizontal activity of fipronil was temperature dependent only with the highest proportion of donors and was lower than that ofbifenthrin but higher than that of chlorfenapyr or thiamethoxam. Mean mortality due to thiamethoxam was similar to that with chlorfenapyr. Significant mortality occurred in all of the 20 and 30 degrees C thiamethoxam treatments, but none of the 10 degrees C treatments. Effectiveness as a barrier was evaluated by providing a choice between bridges treated with insecticide or water. Although bifenthrin did not provide an impenetrable barrier, it was the only treatment having fewer ants than its paired control bridge. Mortality data suggest that a reduction in recruitment rather than repellency account for this result.

  11. Evaluation of Malaise and Yellow Pan Trap Performance to Assess Velvet Ant (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) Diversity in a Neotropical Savanna.

    PubMed

    Vieira, C R; Waichert, C; Williams, K A; P Pitts, J

    2017-03-06

    Given the global biodiversity crisis, it is crucial to identify methods best suited for conducting inventories. We evaluated the relative merits of Malaise traps (MT) and ground-level yellow pan traps (YPT) to sample male velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) in a Neotropical savanna biodiversity hotspot. We compared richness, number of captures, evenness, composition, and body size of male velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) sampled with both methods in four sites at Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Veadeiros, central Brazil, during 19 d. We expected reduced diversity and smaller body size of velvet ants sampled with YPT, because they target visually oriented insects that are active closer to the ground, whereas MT represent a passive method that intercepts insects flying at different heights. Richness, total number of captures, and evenness of species and genera were significantly higher in MT. The body size of velvet ants captured with MT was significantly larger than those found in YPT. Generalized linear model and nonmetric multidimensional scaling analyses revealed a clear difference in the patterns of abundances and composition of velvet ants sampled with MT and YPT, especially for the genera Darditilla, Traumatomutilla, Lomachaeta, Pseudomethoca, Tallium, and Ephuta. YPT were effective at capturing few species that were rare in MT but, overall, MT were much more effective than YPT. We found similar patterns when using either species or genus for assessing samples obtained with MT or YPT, suggesting that ecological studies on Neotropical velvet ants may not require taxonomic resolution to the species level.

  12. 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.

  13. Impacts of Rotation Schemes on Ground-Dwelling Beneficial Arthropods.

    PubMed

    Dunbar, Mike W; Gassmann, Aaron J; O'Neal, Matthew E

    2016-10-01

    Crop rotation alters agroecosystem diversity temporally, and increasing the number of crops in rotation schemes can increase crop yields and reduce reliance on pesticides. We hypothesized that increasing the number of crops in annual rotation schemes would positively affect ground-dwelling beneficial arthropod communities. During 2012 and 2013, pitfall traps were used to measure activity-density and diversity of ground-dwelling communities within three previously established, long-term crop rotation studies located in Wisconsin and Illinois. Rotation schemes sampled included continuous corn, a 2-yr annual rotation of corn and soybean, and a 3-yr annual rotation of corn, soybean, and wheat. Insects captured were identified to family, and non-insect arthropods were identified to class, order, or family, depending upon the taxa. Beneficial arthropods captured included natural enemies, granivores, and detritivores. The beneficial community from continuous corn plots was significantly more diverse compared with the community in the 2-yr rotation, whereas the community in the 3-yr rotation did not differ from either rotation scheme. The activity-density of the total community and any individual taxa did not differ among rotation schemes in either corn or soybean. Crop species within all three rotation schemes were annual crops, and are associated with agricultural practices that make infield habitat subject to anthropogenic disturbances and temporally unstable. Habitat instability and disturbance can limit the effectiveness and retention of beneficial arthropods, including natural enemies, granivores, and detritivores. Increasing non-crop and perennial species within landscapes in conjunction with more diverse rotation schemes may increase the effect of biological control of pests by natural enemies.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Guillade, Andrea C; Folgarait, Patricia J

    2014-02-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-15

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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. [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.

  11. Heat-induced symmetry breaking in ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) escape behavior

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Yuan-Kai

    2017-01-01

    The collective egress of social insects is important in dangerous situations such as natural disasters or enemy attacks. Some studies have described the phenomenon of symmetry breaking in ants, with two exits induced by a repellent. However, whether symmetry breaking occurs under high temperature conditions, which are a common abiotic stress, remains unknown. In our study, we deposited a group of Polyrhachis dives ants on a heated platform and counted the number of escaping ants with two identical exits. We discovered that ants asymmetrically escaped through two exits when the temperature of the heated platform was >32.75°C. The degree of asymmetry increased linearly with the temperature of the platform. Furthermore, the higher the temperature of heated platform was, the more ants escaped from the heated platform. However, the number of escaping ants decreased for 3 min when the temperature was higher than the critical thermal limit (39.46°C), which is the threshold for ants to endure high temperature without a loss of performance. Moreover, the ants tended to form small groups to escape from the thermal stress. A preparatory formation of ant grouping was observed before they reached the exit, indicating that the ants actively clustered rather than accidentally gathered at the exits to escape. We suggest that a combination of individual and grouping ants may help to optimize the likelihood of survival during evacuation. PMID:28355235

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Effect of aromatic cedar mulch on Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) foraging activity and nest establishment.

    PubMed

    Meissner, Heike E; Silverman, Jules

    2003-06-01

    In the laboratory, Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), mortality was positively correlated to the length of an aromatic cedar mulch section that had to be crossed before food could be reached. When ants could access food without crossing the mulch, mortality was not correlated to mulch section length. In the field, Argentine ants showed a tendency to avoid aromatic cedar mulch as a nesting substrate. In plant beds alongside buildings the number of ant nests (pockets containing brood) found was not significantly different between aromatic cedar and cypress mulch. However, when pine straw mulch around oak trees was replaced with aromatic cedar or cypress mulch, a similar number of ant nests was found in the cypress mulch as in the original pine straw, whereas numbers in aromatic cedar mulch were significantly lower. Also, fewer ants were trailing on the trees surrounded by aromatic cedar mulch compared with cypress mulch or the original pine straw. The number of ants attracted to apple jelly baits placed alongside the buildings did not differ between mulch types; neither did the number of ant trails crossing the mulch beds around the buildings. We suggest that aromatic cedar mulch may help control Argentine ants and reduce insecticide input when applied in combination with conventional control methods.

  16. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. 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,...

  19. Ant (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) diversity along a pollution gradient near the Middle Ural Copper Smelter, Russia.

    PubMed

    Belskaya, Elena; Gilev, Alexey; Belskii, Eugen

    2017-03-13

    Ants are considered to be suitable indicators of ecological change and are widely used in land management and environmental monitoring. However, responses of ant communities to industrial pollution are less known so far. We studied pollution-related variations of ant diversity and abundance near the Middle Ural Copper Smelter (Russia) in 2009 and 2013, with pitfall traps set up at 10 sites in Picea obovata and Abies sibirica forest. This study provided evidences for humped pollution-induced dynamics of ant diversity and abundance. Species richness and diversity peaked in the habitat intermediate between slightly damaged and fully destroyed forest ecosystems. The total abundance of ants peaked in the middle of the pollution gradient and was determined mainly by the dominant species Formica aquilonia. The abundance of other species increased towards the smelter, but was less important for total abundance than that of red wood ants. Community dominants changed with increase of exposure; F. aquilonia, a typical species of mature forests, was replaced by species of open habitats, Lasius niger and Myrmica ruginodis. Habitat variables and competition between species seem to affect local ant communities more strongly than pollution exposure. Stand basal area and cover of the field layer were the main determinants of ant diversity and abundance of individual species.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Ant diversity and distribution (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) throughout Maine lowbush blueberry fields in Hancock and Washington Counties.

    PubMed

    Choate, Beth; Drummond, Francis A

    2012-04-01

    A 6-yr survey (2003-2008) identifying the ant fauna present in Maine lowbush blueberry fields was conducted in Washington and Hancock Counties. Pitfall trapping, leaf litter, and hand collections, as well as protein and sugar baits were used to characterize the resident ant community in this habitat. Estimates of faunal richness as impacted by the blueberry crop stage (pruned or fruit-bearing), methods of pest management (grower standard, reduced-risk, or organic), and location within fields (middle, edge, or forested perimeters) were determined. In total, 42 species were collected from blueberry fields, comprising five subfamilies and 15 genera. Myrmica sculptilis Francoeur, Myrmica americana Weber, and Formica exsectoides Forel were the three most abundant species. Formica ulkei Emery, Myrmecina americana Emery, and Leptothorax canadensis Provancher represent new species records for Maine. Ants were most diverse in organic fields, and along the edge and within the wooded areas surrounding fields. Results suggest insecticide application reduces ant diversity.

  7. Integrated pest management concepts for red imported fire ants Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Drees, Bastiaan M; Calixto, Alejandro A; Nester, Paul R

    2013-08-01

    Management of imported fire ant species has evolved since their accidental introduction into the United States and currently uses integrated pest management concepts to design, implement, and evaluate suppression programs. Although eradication is the management goal in certain isolated infestation sites, localized goals vary dramatically in larger infestations where reinvasion of treated areas is likely. These goals are influenced by regulatory policies, medical liabilities, ecological impact, and/or economic considerations. Tactics employed in fire ant management programs presented here include cultural and biological control options along with judicious use of site-specific insecticide products. In addition, program design considerations that include management goal(s), action level(s), ant form (monogyne or polygyne), presence of nontarget ant species, size of treatment area, seasonality, implementation cost, and environmental impact are also presented. Optimally, elegant IPM programs are target specific, threshold driven, environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

  8. Foraging and leaf-cutting of the desert gardening ant Acromyrmex versicolor versicolor (Pergande) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Gamboa, George J

    1975-03-01

    Four colonies of the desert leaf-cutter ant Acromyrmex versicolor versicolor (Pergande) located 30 miles N.E. of Tempe, Arizona were observed over a 7 month period. The ants utilized trails in foraging, a characteristic of higher attines, as well as foraging singly, a typical pattern among the more primitive gardeners. The ants cut and collected both dry and green vegetation with dry grasses comprising the bulk of the forage. The ants increased their cutting of green vegetation after significant rainfall but collected dry grasses almost exclusively during dry periods. Detailed macro-motion picture analysis of leaf-cutting revealed that the desert gardener utilized a unique technique for cutting compound desert leaves.

  9. 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

  10. Precision Targeting: Reduced Pesticide Use Strategy for Pharaoh’s Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Control

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-02-09

    majority of 14. SUBJECT TERMS SERDP, Baits, pest control, social insects , exterior treatments 15. NUMBER OF PAGES 7 16. PRICE CODE MIA 17...eliminated with exterior bait treatments. Key words - Baits, pest control, social insects , exterior treatments INTRODUCTION The Pharaoh’s ant...used to control the Pharaoh’s ant. Commercial toxic baits contain methoprene, an insect growth regulator, or boric acid, hydramethylnon, or

  11. Vinasse and Its Influence on Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Communities in Sugarcane Crops.

    PubMed

    Saad, L P; Souza-Campana, D R; Bueno, O C; Morini, M S C

    2017-01-01

    Sugarcane is an important crop within the Brazilian socioeconomic landscape. There is a constant need for approaches to increase sustainability at all steps of the production chain. Irrigating sugarcane crops with vinasse is one of these approaches, because vinasse is a residue of sugarcane processing that can be used to fertilize these same crops. However, due to its chemical properties, vinasse may be harmful to soil fauna. Analyzing the structure and functional organization of ant communities is a fast and practical way to monitor sites affected by the addition of chemicals. This study compared the structure of soil ant communities in vinasse-irrigated sugarcane crops to those in secondary forests adjacent to the crops. In total, 32 genera and 107 species of ants were observed; of these, 30 species foraged in crop fields and 102 foraged in forests. Twenty-five percent of the species were present in both crops and forests. Ant communities in crop soil had poorer taxonomic composition and lower richness in each functional group compared to communities in forest remnants. However, regardless of vegetation type, epigeic ants were more diverse, and Dorymyrmex brunneus (crop) and Pachycondyla striata (forest) were very frequent. Vinasse did not increase the diversity of epigeic and hypogeic ants, but it may affect the community composition.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-06-01

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

  13. Vinasse and Its Influence on Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Communities in Sugarcane Crops

    PubMed Central

    Saad, L. P.; Souza-Campana, D. R.; Bueno, O. C.

    2017-01-01

    Sugarcane is an important crop within the Brazilian socioeconomic landscape. There is a constant need for approaches to increase sustainability at all steps of the production chain. Irrigating sugarcane crops with vinasse is one of these approaches, because vinasse is a residue of sugarcane processing that can be used to fertilize these same crops. However, due to its chemical properties, vinasse may be harmful to soil fauna. Analyzing the structure and functional organization of ant communities is a fast and practical way to monitor sites affected by the addition of chemicals. This study compared the structure of soil ant communities in vinasse-irrigated sugarcane crops to those in secondary forests adjacent to the crops. In total, 32 genera and 107 species of ants were observed; of these, 30 species foraged in crop fields and 102 foraged in forests. Twenty-five percent of the species were present in both crops and forests. Ant communities in crop soil had poorer taxonomic composition and lower richness in each functional group compared to communities in forest remnants. However, regardless of vegetation type, epigeic ants were more diverse, and Dorymyrmex brunneus (crop) and Pachycondyla striata (forest) were very frequent. Vinasse did not increase the diversity of epigeic and hypogeic ants, but it may affect the community composition. PMID:28130455

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bernadou, Abel; Fourcassié, Vincent; Espadaler, Xavier

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Within the last decade, checklists of the ant fauna of several European countries have been published or updated. Nevertheless, no ant checklists have hitherto been published for the principality of Andorra, a small landlocked country located in the eastern part of the Pyrenees. This work presents a critical list of the ant species of Andorra based on a review of the literature and on the biological material we collected during several field campaigns conducted in Andorra since the year 2005. Seventy-five species belonging to 21 genera of Formicidae were recorded. Nine species were recorded for the first time in Andorra: Aphaenogaster gibbosa (Latreille, 1798), Camponotus lateralis (Olivier, 1792), Camponotus piceus (Leach, 1825), Formica exsecta Nylander, 1846, Lasius piliferus Seifert, 1992, Tapinoma madeirense Forel, 1895, Temnothorax lichtensteini (Bondroit, 1918), Temnothorax niger (Forel, 1894), Temnothorax nigriceps (Mayr, 1855). The most speciose genera were Formica Linnaeus, 1758 and Temnothorax Forel, 1890 with 14 and 12 species, respectively. The ant fauna of Andorra is mostly dominated by Central European species (some are typical cold climate specialists); however species belonging to the Mediterranean ant fauna were also found. This can be explained by the particular geographic situation of Andorra which is characterized by a high mountain Mediterranean climate. PMID:23794821

  17. Fungus-growing ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on Santa Catarina Island, Brazil: patterns of occurrence.

    PubMed

    Lopes, B C; Fowler, H G

    2000-01-01

    A taxonomic survey on fungus-growing ants (Attini) was made at 14 beaches on Santa Catarina Island (SC), Brazil. The samplings were manual, in soil or litterfall, in the following habitats: sandy beach, herbaceous vegetation and shrubby vegetation. From 12 species of Attini (ten of Acromyrmex Mayr and two of Cyphomyrmex Mayr), the most frequent were Cyphomyrmex morschi Emery and Acromyrmex crassispinus Forel, collected, respectively, on eight and ten of the monitored beaches. Altogether, Sorensen's similarity coefficients were high (range: 0.59-0.80), in spite of the lower numbers of ant species on sandy beaches.

  18. Ant assemblage (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in three wind farms in the State of Paraná, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lutinski, J A; Baucke, L; Filtro, M; Busato, M A; Knakiewicz, A C; Garcia, F R M

    2017-03-01

    The transformation of natural habitats into areas destined to agriculture or projects of energy production has generated a growing concern about the impact on biological diversity. Thus, this study evaluated the diversity of ants in agroecosystems in the area of direct influence of three wind farms in the municipality of Marmeleiro, State of Paraná and examined the association of occurrences with sampling periods. To this end, four samplings were conducted in 2013, one per season. Pitfalls, Malaise trap and Net sweep were used. The assemblages were characterized and compared using richness and number of occurrences of ants. Chao 2 estimates were calculated and a comparison (rarefaction analysis) of the assemblages was performed. The association of the species with the samples was evaluated by a Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Altogether, there were 1,576 occurrences of ants, totaling 55 species. The obtained estimate indicated that richness may be up to 35% higher. Our study adds important information about richness and occurrence of ants in a region poorly analyzed for this group. Most of all, it presents a survey of species occurring in agricultural ecosystems that may serve as a parameter for future evaluations when wind farms are installed.

  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. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. Update on the defensive chemicals of the Little Black Ant, Monomorium minimum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alkaloids, including 2,5-dialkylpyrrolidines and 2,5-dialkylpyrrolines, have been reported to be components in the venom of little black ants, Monomorium minimum (Buckley). Two fatty amines were recently reported as minor compounds. By analyzing the discharge collected from the stinger apparatus (...

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. 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

  9. Revision of the ant genus Proceratium Roger (Hymenoptera, Proceratiinae) in Fiji

    PubMed Central

    Hita Garcia, Francisco; Sarnat, Eli M.; Economo, Evan P.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The Fiji archipelago harbours a surprisingly diverse and endemic ant fauna, despite its isolated and remote location in the South Pacific. The ant genus Proceratium is present on Fiji with three endemic species, of which Proceratium oceanicum De Andrade, 2003 and Proceratium relictum Mann, 1921 were previously known. In this study we describe the third species: Proceratium vinaka sp. n. All three species are members of the widespread and species-rich Proceratium silaceum clade. In order to integrate the new species into the current taxonomic system, we present an illustrated identification key to the worker caste of the three Fijian species. In addition, we provide a detailed description of Proceratium vinaka, as well as species accounts for the other two species, which include diagnoses, taxonomic discussions, specimen photographs, and a distribution map. PMID:25684999

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

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Himender; Akbar, Shahid Ali

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Insecticidal activity of Piper essential oils from the Amazon against the fire ant Solenopsis saevissima (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Souto, R N P; Harada, A Y; Andrade, E H A; Maia, J G S

    2012-12-01

    Pepper plants in the genus Piper (Piperales: Piperaceae) are common in the Brazilian Amazon and many produce compounds with biological activity against insect pests. We evaluated the insecticidal effect of essential oils from Piper aduncum, Piper marginatum (chemotypes A and B), Piper divaricatum and Piper callosum against workers of the fire ant Solenopsis saevissima (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), as well as their chemical composition by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The lowest median lethal concentration (LC50) in 48 h was obtained with the oil of P. aduncum (58.4 mg/L), followed by the oils of P. marginatum types A (122.4 mg/L) and B (167.0 mg/L), P. divaricatum (301.7 mg/L), and P. callosum (312.6 mg/L). The major chemical constituents were dillapiole (64.4%) in the oil of P. aduncum; p-mentha-1(7),8-diene (39.0%), 3,4-methylenedioxypropiophenone (19.0%), and (E)-β-ocimene (9.8%) in P. marginatum chemotype A and (E)-isoosmorhizole (32.2%), (E)-anethole (26.4%), isoosmorhizole (11.2%), and (Z)-anethole (6.0%) in P. marginatum chemotype B; methyleugenol (69.2%) and eugenol (16.2%) in P. divaricatum; and safrole (69.2%), methyleugenol (8.6%), and β-pinene (6.2%) in P. callosum. These chemical constituents have been previously known to possess insecticidal properties.

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

    PubMed

    Blaimer, Bonnie B

    2012-11-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. [Temperature and photoperiodic control of diapause induction in the ant Lepisiota semenovi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Turkmenistan].

    PubMed

    Kipiatkov, V E; Lopatina, E B

    2009-01-01

    The ant L. semenovi has been found to belong to species with endogenous-heterodynamic seasonal life cycles with the obligate diapause induced predominantly by factors internal for a colony, whereas external ecological factors (photoperiods and temperature) produce merely modifying effects by accelerating or delaying the diapause onset. The photoperiodic and temperature regulation of diapause induction in larvae and queens is shown. Under effect of short days and low temperature the periods of larval pupation and queen oviposition in a colony are shortened markedly, i. e., the periods of larvae and queens occurs earlier. The daily rhythms of temperature 15/25 degrees C and particularly 20/30 degrees C as compared with constant temperatures 20 and 25 degrees C that correspond to the mean daily temperatures of the thermorhythm, inhibit manifestations of the short day effects by stimulating the non-diapause development and increasing duration of the seasonal development cycle of ant colonies. The L. semenovi photoperiodic reaction is quantitative, as development and pupation of larvae and egg-laying of queens cease sooner or later under both the short and the long days, but in the latter case significantly later. Thus, L. semenovi is one more example among very rare ant species that are revealed to have the photoperiodic regulation of the colony development seasonal cycle.

  16. Bait preference by the Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krushelnycky, Paul D.; Reimer, Neil J.

    1998-01-01

    The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), has proven to be a threat to native arthropod species in Haleakala National Park, Maui, HI, and is also a potential threat to the park's native flora. As it continues to expand its range, an effort has been undertaken to eradicate it, or at the least, control its spread. The 1st part of this effort focused on finding a bait carrier for subsequent toxicant-based control tests. A year-long bait preference test was implemented at each of the ant's 2 infestation sites in Haleakala National Park, in which 6 solid baits and 2 liquid baits were assessed for attractiveness and feasibility for large scale control. At both sites, a toxicant-free formulation of Maxforce, a protein-based granular bait made from ground silkworm, Bombyx mori (L.), pupae, and a 25% sugar water solution were the most attractive baits. Ants took more Maxforce (without toxicant) and sugar water than all other baits, including honey granules and a fish protein bait. Sugar water, however, is difficult to distribute over large natural areas. Maxforce was therefore concluded to be the best bait carrier for toxicant-based control at Haleakala National Park because of its attractiveness and its ease for large scale broadcast dispersal.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-11-30

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

  18. A new genus of highly specialized ants in Cretaceous Burmese amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David

    2013-01-01

    A new genus of ants, Zigrasimecia Barden and Grimaldi, is described for a new and uniquely specialized species, Z. tonsora Barden and Grimaldi n.sp., preserved in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar. The amber is radiometrically dated at 99 myo. Zigrasimecia is closely related to another basal genus of ants known only in Burmese and French Cretaceous amber, Sphecomyrmodes Engel and Grimaldi, based in part on the shared possession of a comb of pegs on the clypeal margin, as well as mandible structure. Highly specialized features of Zigrasimecia include extensive development of the clypeal comb, a thick brush of setae on the oral surface of the mandibles and on the labrum, and a head that is broad, flattened, and which bears a crown of blackened, rugose cuticle. Mouthparts are hypothesized to have functioned in a unique manner, showing no clear signs of dentition representative of "chewing" or otherwise processing solid food. Although all ants in Burmese amber are basal, stem-group taxa, there is an unexpected diversity of mouthpart morphologies and probable feeding modes.

  19. 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.

  20. Practical Pest Management Strategies to Reduce Pesticide Runoff for Argentine Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Control.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Les; Rust, Michael K; Richards, Jaben; Wu, Xiaoqin; Kabashima, John; Wilen, Cheryl; Gan, Jay; Choe, Dong-Hwan

    2014-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to involve pest management professionals in the design of application techniques and strategies that would be efficacious and also reduce insecticide runoff. Our study involved measuring both the efficacy of treatments for the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and the concurrent runoff of fipronil and pyrethroids. Two collaborating companies used low-impact protocols for controlling ants while minimizing runoff. Protocol 1 involved bimonthly treatments, while Protocol 2 was monthly. Both protocols involved an initial treatment with a fipronil spray around the foundation. At the garage door-driveway interface, the fipronil application was done as a pin stream for Protocol 1, and as a crack and crevice application in the expansion joint near the garage for Protocol 2. Protocol 1 replaced most pyrethroid sprays with bifenthrin granules placed around bushes and away from the driveway. For the next treatment on day 63, Protocol 1 also included cyfluthrin spray treatments around the house foundation and crack and crevice applications around the edge of the driveway. For the first treatment in Protocol 2, the fipronil spray was supplemented with spot treatments of cyfluthrin. For subsequent Protocol 2 treatments, botanical insecticides were applied. For weeks 1 and 2 posttreatment combined, Protocol 1 had significantly higher reductions in ant numbers compared with Protocol 2. Thereafter there were no significant differences between the protocols. Runoff of bifenthrin from the granules used with Protocol 1 was much lower than in previous trials involving bifenthrin sprays. Day 1 fipronil runoff for Protocol 2 was significantly lower than that for Protocol 1. This difference may be because of the crack and crevice application applied in Protocol 2. Cyfluthrin runoff was minimal for Protocol 2, which involved spot treatments to supplement the fipronil on day 1, or the botanical insecticides for subsequent treatments. Protocol 1 had a

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  4. Esterase in Imported Fire Ants, Solenopsis invicta and S. richteri (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Activity, Kinetics and Variation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, J.; Rashid, T.; Feng, G.

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Geographical Distribution Patterns and Niche Modeling of the Iconic Leafcutter Ant Acromyrmex striatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Simões-Gomes, Flávia Carolina; Cardoso, Danon Clemes; Cristiano, Maykon Passos

    2017-01-01

    Ants are considered one of the most successful groups in the planet's evolutionary history. Among them highlights the fungus-farming ants of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex that occur throughout most of the Americas. Within the Acromyrmex genus, the species A. striatus distinguishes from other Acromyrmex species as its morphology and karyotype differ from its congeners. This species is found in open environments of dry climate in the southern States of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay; however, little is known about the current distribution of the species. This article aimed to investigate the current distribution of the species by compiling its known distribution and discussing its distributional range. To achieve this, published and unpublished data obtained through a literature search and active collections in various locations were compiled. Published and unpublished data revealed that 386 colonies were recorded, distributed across four countries where its occurrence is known. Environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, soil type and vegetation, as well as historical geological and climate events that have modified Earth's surface may have influenced species distribution patterns. In the Neotropics, the environmental factors that most impacted the distribution of species were the glaciation periods that occurred in the Quaternary, leading to a great migratory process. These factors may have contributed to the current geographical distribution of A. striatus.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    LaPolla, John S.; Fisher, Brian L.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  12. On the morphology of the worker immatures of the leafcutter ant Atta sexdens Linnaeus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Solis, Daniel Russ; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Ceccato, Marcela; Reiss, Itamar Cristina; Décio, Pâmela; Lorenzon, Natalia; Da Silva, Natiele Gonçalves; Bueno, Odair Correa

    2012-08-01

    Leafcutter ants of the genus Atta Fabricius are serious agricultural pests. Morphological studies of immature stages within this group are few, and the data provided for species of considerable importance are usually incomplete. In this study, the immatures of Atta sexdens Linnaeus are described and compared using light and scanning electron microscopy. Only specimens from founding stage colonies (i.e., lacking adult workers) were used. The existence of four larval instars was estimated by a frequency plot of maximum head widths, and the larvae of different instars differed from each other mainly by their bodily dimensions. Worker larvae belonged to two distinct morphological castes: (1) gardeners and nurses and (2) within-nest generalists. The worker larvae described in this study differed from a previous description of the same species by the following traits: the existence of a genal lobe, the number of clypeal hairs, the presence of two hairs on the ninth abdominal somite, the presence of hairs on the anterior surface of the labrum, and the shape of the maxillary palpus. This study provides a comparative analysis of immature stages of A. sexdens that may be relevant to future morphological and biological studies of the Attini.

  13. Molecular Profile of the Brazilian Weaver Ant Camponotus textor Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Ramalho, M O; Martins, C; Silva, L M R; Martins, V G; Bueno, O C

    2016-10-01

    Camponotus textor Forel is, to date, the only weaver ant recorded from Brazil, and all existing studies on the species are restricted to describing its weaving and nesting behaviors. The aim of this work is to establish the molecular profile of the species. We sampled eight different colonies by sequencing mitochondrial genes (COI, transfer DNA (tRNA), and an intergenic spacer) and the nuclear gene 28S ribosomal DNA (rDNA). We then assessed haplotype diversity and also analyzed distribution patterns of this species based on the correlation between genetic and geographic distances. Our results provide an additional tool for species identification by identifying new regions that can be used as molecular markers for barcoding (such as the intergenic spacer (IGS) and tRNA-Leu). In addition, the phylogenetic analysis revealed that C. textor has features that could be associated with deep population divergences. We identified a wide range of mitotypes and three distinct groups, suggesting a possible reduction of gene flow between colonies.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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 ...

  18. Morphophysiological Differences between the Metapleural Glands of Fungus-Growing and Non–Fungus-Growing Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Vieira, Alexsandro Santana; Bueno, Odair Correa; Camargo-Mathias, Maria Izabel

    2012-01-01

    The metapleural gland is an organ exclusive to ants. Its main role is to produce secretions that inhibit the proliferation of different types of pathogens. The aim of the present study was to examine the morphophysiological differences between the metapleural gland of 3 non–fungus-growing ants of the tribes Ectatommini, Myrmicini, and Blepharidattini and that of 5 fungus-growing ants from 2 basal and 3 derived attine genera. The metapleural gland of the non–fungus-growing ants and the basal attine ants has fewer secretory cells than that of the derived attine ants (leaf-cutting ants). In addition, the metapleural gland of the latter had more clusters of secretory cells and sieve plates, indicating a greater storage capacity and demand for secretion in these more advanced farming ants. The glands of the derived attine ants also produced higher levels of polysaccharides and acidic lipids than those of Myrmicini, Blepharidattini, and basal attines. Our results confirm morphophysiological differences between the metapleural glands of the derived attines and those of the basal attines and non–fungus-growing ants, suggesting that the metapleural glands of the derived attines (leaf-cutting ants) are more developed in morphology and physiology, with enhanced secretion production (acidic lipids and protein) to protect against the proliferation of unwanted fungi and bacteria in the fungal garden, it is possible that leaf-cutting ants may have evolved more developed metapleural glands in response to stronger pressure from parasites. PMID:22927993

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. An Automatic System for Continuously Monitoring Digging Volume of Red Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Laboratory

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In studying the dynamics of ant nest excavation, the nest volume has to be continuously monitored. One common method to estimate nest volume is to weigh the substrate excavated by the ants and then convert the weight into volume. In many laboratory studies, sand has been used as a digging substrat...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

    2016-01-04

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. A preliminary report on ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) recovered from forensic entomological studies conducted in different ecological habitats in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Chen, C D; Nazni, W A; Lee, H L; Hashim, R; Abdullah, N A; Ramli, R; Lau, K W; Heo, C C; Goh, T G; Izzul, A A; Sofian-Azirun, M

    2014-06-01

    This study reported the ant species that were recovered from monkey carcasses in three different ecological habitats in Malaysia. The study was conducted from 9 May - 10 October 2007, 6 May - 6 August 2008 and 26 May - 14 July 2009 in forested area (Gombak, Selangor), coastal area (Tanjong Sepat, Selangor) and highland area (Bukit Cincin, Pahang), respectively. Monkey carcass was used as a model for human decomposition in this study. A total of 4 replicates were used in each of the study sites. Ants were observed to prey on eggs, larvae, pupae and newly emerged flies. This study found that ant species could be found at all stages of decomposition, indicating that ants were not a significant indicator for faunal succession. However, different species of ants were obtained from monkey carcasses placed in different ecological habitats. Cardiocondyla sp. was only found on carcasses placed in the coastal area; while Pheidole longipes, Hypoponera sp. and Pachycondyla sp. were solely found on carcasses placed in the highland area. On the other hand, Pheidologeton diversus and Paratrechina longicornis were found in several ecological habitats. These data suggests that specific ant species can act as geographic indicators for different ecological habitats in forensic entomology cases in Malaysia.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1989-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Efficacy of Maxforce bait for control of the Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krushelnycky, Paul D.; Reimer, Neil J.

    1998-01-01

    In an effort to develop a chemical control strategy for the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), in Haleakala National Park, Maxforce, which is formulated with 0.9% hydramethylnon, was used in test plots to determine the efficacy of the ant bait in the field. Initially, Maxforce was tested at 2 application rates: broadcast at 2.25 kg/ha (2 lb/acre) and 4.5 kg/ha (4 lb/acre). Later, the following treatments were also tested: a Maxforce and honey granule mix, Maxforce with 0.5% hydramethylnon, Maxforce with a different solvent, Maxforce distributed in exposed piles, and Maxforce distributed in covered piles. Although there were significant differences in the magnitude of ant reduction among the various treatments, all yielded the same general result. Foraging ant numbers at monitoring bait stations declined an average maximum of 97.0% in the test plots, with no plots achieving 100% reduction. At 2 mo after treatment the mean number of foraging ants was reduced by 92.1%. Nest survival in the plots appeared to be affected to a lesser degree, but could not be monitored accurately over the longer term because of the phenomenon of nest movement. A 2nd identical application 1 mo after the initial application in plots treated with Maxforce at 2.25 and 4.5 kg/ha did not result in eradication. Bait molding, quick mortality, and toxicant breakdown from UV radiation created a short exposure time to the bait and toxicant, which may have been the main obstacle to achieving eradication.

  6. 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

  7. Sun Basking in Red Wood Ants Formica polyctena (Hymenoptera, Formicidae): Individual Behaviour and Temperature-Dependent Respiration Rates

    PubMed Central

    Kadochová, Štěpánka; Frouz, Jan; Roces, Flavio

    2017-01-01

    In early spring, red wood ants Formica polyctena are often observed clustering on the nest surface in large numbers basking in the sun. It has been hypothesized that sun-basking behaviour may contribute to nest heating because of both heat carriage into the nest by sun-basking workers, and catabolic heat production from the mobilization of the workers’ lipid reserves. We investigated sun-basking behaviour in laboratory colonies of F. polyctena exposed to an artificial heat source. Observations on identified individuals revealed that not all ants bask in the sun. Sun-basking and non-sun-basking workers did not differ in body size nor in respiration rates. The number of sun-basking ants and the number of their visits to the hot spot depended on the temperature of both the air and the hot spot. To investigate whether sun basking leads to a physiological activation linked with increased lipolysis, we measured respiration rates of individual workers as a function of temperature, and compared respiration rates of sun-basking workers before and two days after they were allowed to expose themselves to a heat source over 10 days, at self-determined intervals. As expected for ectothermic animals, respiration rates increased with increasing temperatures in the range 5 to 35°C. However, the respiration rates of sun-basking workers measured two days after a long-term exposure to the heat source were similar to those before sun basking, providing no evidence for a sustained increase of the basal metabolic rates after prolonged sun basking. Based on our measurements, we argue that self-heating of the nest mound in early spring has therefore to rely on alternative heat sources, and speculate that physical transport of heat in the ant bodies may have a significant effect. PMID:28114396

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

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Himender; Rilta, Joginder Singh

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. [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.

  12. Ground-foraging ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and rainfall effect on pitfall trapping in a deciduous thorn woodland (caatinga), Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Francyregis A; Segundo, Glauco B Martins; Vasconcelos, Yuri B; Azevedo, Raul; Quinet, Yves

    2011-12-01

    The semi-arid Caatinga is the fourth largest biome of Brazil, which biota still remains one of the most poorly known, especially with regard to invertebrate groups. In this study, a ground-foraging ant assemblage was surveyed during one year and the effect of rainfall on pitfall trapping was assessed. The study was performed in an area located in the municipality of Pentecoste (3 degrees 48' S - 39 degrees 20' W), in the State of Ceará. A 200m transect with 20 equidistant sampling points was established. Transect sampling was performed once a month during 12 months, over the period August 2008-August 2009. At each sampling point, a pitfall trap partially filled with a mixture of ethanol and monoethylene glycol was placed at the beginning of each month and remained in the field for seven days. 39 species belonging to six subfamilies and 19 genera, plus two unidentified species, were collected, with Pheidole (10 spp.) and Camponotus (8 spp.) being the taxa with the most species. 23 species were frequent, being found in more than 50% of the 12 transect samplings. Five species had an intermediate frequency (25 to 50%), while 13 were relatively infrequent (less than 25%). Most of the species (22) showed low occurrence, being found in less than 10% of the 240 samples (20 samples each month, during 12 months). Only five species were collected in more than 50% of the samples, those species being also responsible for most of the total abundance (number of captured individuals of all species) observed each month. The species-accumulation curves (observed and estimated) indicated that sampling sufficiency was attained, and that about 92% of the estimated ground-foraging ant fauna had been collected. 40 and 29 species were collected in the dry and rainy season, respectively, with monthly species richness ranging from 13 to 28. The total ant abundance showed a drastic decrease during the rainy season, and a negative linear correlation was found between rainfall and total ant

  13. Morphology of a novel glandular epithelium lining the infrabuccal cavity in the ant Monomorium pharaonis (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Eelen, Dieter; Børgesen, Lisbeth W; Billen, Johan

    2004-10-01

    A novel glandular epithelium lining the infrabuccal cavity and anterior pharynx is described in both workers and queens of the pharaoh's ant Monomorium pharaonis. The infrabuccal cavity, connected with the buccal tube, forms a ventral outgrowth of the anterior pharynx, and as such displays the tegumental lining with a cuticle and an epithelial layer. In its dorsal region, the cavity's epithelium reaches a thickness of approx. 11-12mum in both workers and queens, which is considerably thicker than the epithelium lining the rest of the infrabuccal cavity. Also the possible role of the infrabuccal gland is discussed.

  14. 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

    2015-09-29

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Does selective logging change ground-dwelling beetle assemblages in a subtropical broad-leafed forest of China?

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

    Selective logging with natural regeneration is advocated as a near-to-nature strategy and has been implemented in many forested systems during the last decades. However, the efficiency of such practices for the maintenance of forest species are poorly understood. We compared the species richness, abundance and composition of ground-dwelling beetles between selectively logged and unlogged forests to evaluate the possible effects of selective logging in a subtropical broad-leafed forest in southeastern China. Using pitfall traps, beetles were sampled in two naturally regenerating stands after clearcuts (ca. 50 years old, stem-exclusion stage: selectively logged 20 years ago) and two mature stands (> 80 years old, understory re-initiation stage: selectively logged 50 years ago) during 2009 and 2010. Overall, selective logging had no significant effects on total beetle richness and abundance, but saproxylic species group and some abundant forest species significantly decreased in abundance in selectively logged plots compared with unlogged plots in mature stands. Beetle assemblages showed significant differences between selectively logged and unlogged plots in mature stands. Some environmental characteristics associated with selective logging (e.g., logging strategy, stand age, and cover of shrub and moss layers) were the most important variables explaining beetle assemblage structure. Our results conclude that selective logging has no significant impacts on overall richness and abundance of ground-dwelling beetles. However, the negative effects of selective logging on saproxylic species group and some unlogged forest specialists highlight the need for large intact forested areas for sustaining the existence of forest specialist beetles.

  19. Intercolony aggression within and among local populations of the invasive ant, Myrmica rubra (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in coastal Maine.

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-01

    Myrmica rubra L. was introduced into New England in the early 20th century, and at present, has a patchy distribution in parts of northeastern North America, including records from 31 communities in Maine. M. rubra is highly polygynous, and colonies reproduce vegetatively, forming dense local populations where conditions are favorable. Using mobile nests and baited arenas in a series of field aggression bioassays, we tested patterns of internest tolerance within and among local populations on Mt. Desert Island, ME. We found that foragers originating from fragments of the same colony or from neighboring nests retained a high level of intraspecific tolerance over several months, whereas significant intercolony aggression among workers was present between colonies within the same local patch separated by approximately 10 m. Within populations, aggression score values were found to increase linearly with internest distance within a site. Aggression was highest between colonies from spatially different populations on the island and was higher still when nests were assayed against colonies at an off-island site 70 km away in Castine, ME. These data strongly suggest a multicolonial organization within and among local populations of M. rubra in parts of its introduced range. These findings contradict the loss of intraspecific aggression and unicolonial social structure over large geographic areas that have previously been observed in other invasive ant species, particularly Linepithema humile Mayr.

  20. New distribution records of the savanna specialist fungus-farming ant Cyatta Sosa-Calvo et al. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae)

    PubMed Central

    Feitosa, Rodrigo Machado; Vasconcelos, Heraldo Luis; Maravalhas, Jonas

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The fungus-farming ant genus Cyatta (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) is represented by a single species, C. abscondita Sosa-Calvo et al., known from a few localities in Brazil (in the states of Ceará, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and the Distrito Federal), and a single locality in the Misiones province, Argentina. Cyatta is known to occur predominantly in savanna habitats and occasionally in the transition zones between the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado. New information The new records reported here significantly expand the previously known distribution of Cyatta abscondita and provide further support for the intimate relation between this species and the savannas of South America. We report the first occurrence of the genus in southern Brazil (Paraná state) and the westernmost occurrence (Bolivia) of Cyatta abscondita, which extend its distribution approximately 1450 km to the west. Finally, we discuss the importance of mapping inconspicuous species in order to develop strategies for protecting endangered areas and to increase our understanding of the evolutionary history of organisms and biomes. PMID:27932931

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Evolutionary History of the Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Peters, Ralph S; Krogmann, Lars; Mayer, Christoph; Donath, Alexander; Gunkel, Simon; Meusemann, Karen; Kozlov, Alexey; Podsiadlowski, Lars; Petersen, Malte; Lanfear, Robert; Diez, Patricia A; Heraty, John; Kjer, Karl M; Klopfstein, Seraina; Meier, Rudolf; Polidori, Carlo; Schmitt, Thomas; Liu, Shanlin; Zhou, Xin; Wappler, Torsten; Rust, Jes; Misof, Bernhard; Niehuis, Oliver

    2017-04-03

    Hymenoptera (sawflies, wasps, ants, and bees) are one of four mega-diverse insect orders, comprising more than 153,000 described and possibly up to one million undescribed extant species [1, 2]. As parasitoids, predators, and pollinators, Hymenoptera play a fundamental role in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems and are of substantial economic importance [1, 3]. To understand the diversification and key evolutionary transitions of Hymenoptera, most notably from phytophagy to parasitoidism and predation (and vice versa) and from solitary to eusocial life, we inferred the phylogeny and divergence times of all major lineages of Hymenoptera by analyzing 3,256 protein-coding genes in 173 insect species. Our analyses suggest that extant Hymenoptera started to diversify around 281 million years ago (mya). The primarily ectophytophagous sawflies are found to be monophyletic. The species-rich lineages of parasitoid wasps constitute a monophyletic group as well. The little-known, species-poor Trigonaloidea are identified as the sister group of the stinging wasps (Aculeata). Finally, we located the evolutionary root of bees within the apoid wasp family "Crabronidae." Our results reveal that the extant sawfly diversity is largely the result of a previously unrecognized major radiation of phytophagous Hymenoptera that did not lead to wood-dwelling and parasitoidism. They also confirm that all primarily parasitoid wasps are descendants of a single endophytic parasitoid ancestor that lived around 247 mya. Our findings provide the basis for a natural classification of Hymenoptera and allow for future comparative analyses of Hymenoptera, including their genomes, morphology, venoms, and parasitoid and eusocial life styles.

  7. 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

  8. Spatio-temporal gait characteristics of level and vertical locomotion in a ground-dwelling and a climbing gecko.

    PubMed

    Zaaf, A; Van Damme, R; Herrel, A; Aerts, P

    2001-04-01

    The effects of incline (vertical versus horizontal) on spatio-temporal gait characteristics (stride and step length, frequency, duty factor, degree of sprawling) were measured over a range of speeds in a ground-dwelling (Eublepharis macularius) and a climbing (Gekko gecko) species of gecko. Surprisingly, the climbing species also performs very well when moving on the horizontal substratum. In the present experiments, climbing speeds ranged from 0.6 to 1.2 m s(-1), whereas speeds for level locomotion were between 0.6 and 1.8 m s(-1). In contrast, the vertical climbing capacities of the ground-dweller are limited (speeds below 0.1 m s(-1 )versus level speeds between 0.2 and 1.1 m s(-1)). In general, we demonstrate that very little adjustment in gait characteristics is made by either species when they are forced to move on their non-habitual substratum. Moreover, gait characteristics differ little between the species despite the clear differences in ecological niche. Higher level or climbing speeds are realized mainly (or exclusively in the case of level locomotion in G. gecko) by increasing stride frequency. Stride lengths and duty factors vary with speed in the ground-dweller, but not in the climbing species. Step length and the degree of sprawling are speed-independent (except for hind-limb sprawling in G. gecko on the level). It is argued that this common strategy suits climbing (fixed spatial variables, no floating phases) rather than level locomotion.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Efficacy of Pitfall Trapping, Winkler and Berlese Extraction Methods for Measuring Ground-Dwelling Arthropods in Moist-Deciduous Forests in the Western Ghats

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:20673122

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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. Factors affecting distribution of the mound-building ant Lasius neoniger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and implications for management on golf course putting greens.

    PubMed

    Maier, Reid M; Potter, Daniel A

    2005-06-01

    Lasius neoniger (Emery), a cosmopolitan ant species, can be a serious pest when its mound-building activities occur on golf course putting greens and other closely mowed turfgrass sites. We mapped the distribution of 735 ant mounds on 30 sand-based putting greens of three golf courses. We then examined factors that might explain why >90% of the mounds on such greens were concentrated in a 2-m wide band just inside the perimeter. Root aphids (Homoptera: Aphididae) from which L. neoniger obtains honeydew were largely absent from high-sand root zone mix of greens but present in surrounding turfgrass on natural soil. Main ant nests, with brood, also were absent from sand-based greens but abundant in adjacent roughs. Although more root aphids were found within ant nests than away from nests, their numbers seem too low to be the main factor restricting the ants' distribution to edges of putting greens. In manipulative experiments, ants responded to low cut (scalped) turf and to sand-filled holes by increased mound building. We suggest that most ant mounds on sand-based greens are associated with subnests, used by foraging workers, which are connected to main nests located just outside the collar in natural soil. Encroachment of mounds into greens occurs when the polydomous colonies seasonally expand their foraging territories, accounting for mounds being concentrated around the perimeter. Control actions for L. neoniger on golf courses should focus on the perimeter of sand-based greens.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-28

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

  18. Activity of Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae) and ricinine against the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the symbiotic fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus.

    PubMed

    Bigi, Maria Fátima; Torkomian, Vera L V; de Groote, Suzanne T C S; Hebling, Maria José A; Bueno, Odair C; Pagnocca, Fernando C; Fernandes, João B; Vieira, Paulo C; da Silva, Maria Fátima G F

    2004-09-01

    The focus of this study was the identification of compounds from plant extracts for use in crop protection. This paper reports on the toxic activity of fractions of leaf extracts of Ricinus communis L (Euphorbiaceae) and isolated active compounds in the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel and its symbiotic fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus (Singer) Möller. The main compounds responsible for activity against the fungus and ant in leaf extracts of R communis were found to be fatty acids for the former and ricinine for the ants.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Composition and distribution of ground-dwelling beetles among oak fragments and surrounding pine plantations in a temperate forest of North China.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiao-Dong; Luo, Tian-Hong; Zhou, Hong-Zhang

    2014-02-01

    In this study, we compared ground-dwelling beetle assemblages (Coleoptera) from a range of different oak fragments and surrounding conifer plantations to evaluate effects of forest size and surrounding matrix habitat in a temperate forest of north China. During 2000, beetles were sampled via pitfall traps within two large oak fragments (ca. 2.0-4.0 ha), two small oak fragments (ca. 0.2-0.4 ha) and two surrounding matrices dominated by pine plantations (>4 ha) in two sites of different aspects. Overall, no significantly negative effects from forest patch size and the surrounding matrix habitat were detected in total species number and abundance of ground-dwelling beetles. However, compared with small oak patches or pine plantations, more species were associated with an affinity for at least one large oak patch of the two aspects. Multivariate regression trees showed that the habitat type better determined the beetle assemblage structure than patch size and aspect, indicating a strong impact of the surrounding matrix. Linear mixed models indicated that species richness and abundance of all ground-dwelling beetles or beetle families showed different responses to the selected environmental variables. Our results suggest that more disturbed sites are significantly poorer in oak forest specialists, which are usually more abundant in large oak fragments and decrease in abundance or disappear in small fragments and surrounding matrix habitats. Thus, it is necessary to preserve a minimum size of forest patch to create conditions characteristic for forest interior, rather than the more difficult task of increasing habitat connectivity.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. 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.

  3. Comparison Between Ground Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Communities Foraging in the Straw Mulch of Sugarcane Crops and in the Leaf Litter of Neighboring Forests.

    PubMed

    Silva, N S; Saad, L P; Souza-Campana, D R; Bueno, O C; Morini, M S C

    2017-02-01

    In many sugarcane plantations in Brazil, the straw is left on the soil after harvesting, and vinasse, a by-product of the production of sugar and ethanol, is used for fertigation. Our goal was to compare ant community composition and species richness in the straw mulch of sugarcane crops with the leaf litter of neighboring forests. We tested the hypothesis that ant communities in the straw mulch of vinasse-irrigated sugarcane crops and in the forest leaf litter were similar, because the combination of straw mulching and vinasse irrigation has a positive effect on soil fauna. Straw mulch and leaf litter were collected from 21 sites and placed in Berlese funnels. In total, 61 species were found in the forest leaf litter, whereas 34 and 28 species were found in the straw mulch of sugarcane fields with and without vinasse, respectively. Ant communities differed between forest and crop fields, but the species in the sugarcane straw mulch were a subset of the species found in the forest leaf litter. Although vinasse is rich in organic matter, it did not increase ant diversity. Seven feeding and/or foraging types were identified and, among the different types, surface-foraging omnivorous ants were the most prevalent in all habitats. Vinasse-irrigated sugarcane straw mulch had more predatory species than mulch from vinasse-free fields, but fewer than forest leaf litter. However, this positive effect of vinasse irrigation should be carefully evaluated because vinasse has negative effects on the environment.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Prey Capture Behavior in an Arboreal African Ponerine Ant

    PubMed Central

    Dejean, Alain

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Georg; Liu, Cong; Audisio, Tracy L.; Alpert, Gary D.; Fisher, Brian L.; Economo, Evan P.

    2017-01-01

    We explore the potential of x-ray micro computed tomography (μCT) for the field of ant taxonomy by using it to enhance the descriptions of two remarkable new species of the ant genus Terataner: T. balrog sp. n. and T. nymeria sp. n.. We provide an illustrated worker-based species identification key for all species found on Madagascar, as well as detailed taxonomic descriptions, which include diagnoses, discussions, measurements, natural history data, high-quality montage images and distribution maps for both new species. In addition to conventional morphological examination, we have used virtual reconstructions based on volumetric μCT scanning data for the species descriptions. We also include 3D PDFs, still images of virtual reconstructions, and 3D rotation videos for both holotype workers and one paratype queen. The complete μCT datasets have been made available online (Dryad, https://datadryad.org) and represent the first cybertypes in ants (and insects). We discuss the potential of μCT scanning and critically assess the usefulness of cybertypes for ant taxonomy. PMID:28328931

  9. 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

  10. Thelytokous parthenogenesis in eusocial Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Rabeling, Christian; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2013-01-01

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

  11. A comparison of two parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) of the vine mealybug: rapid, non-discriminatory oviposition is favored when ants tend the host.

    PubMed

    Sime, Karen R; Daane, Kent M

    2014-08-01

    The encyrtid parasitoids Coccidoxenoides perminutus Girault and Anagyrus nr. sp. pseudococci (Girault) were compared in the laboratory as parasitoids of the mealybug Planococcus ficus (Signoret). Female C. perminutus preferred second-instar P. ficus for oviposition, and produced more adult offspring (149.3 per female) than A. nr. sp. pseudococci (54.1 per female). The development time, from egg to adult emergence, of C. perminutus decreased with increasing constant temperatures between 18.5 and 30.1°C; at lower (12.0 and 15.0°C) and higher (31.1, 32.7, and 34.2°C) temperatures, the parasitoid did not develop. The lower threshold was calculated by linear methods to be 10.97°C, and the thermal constant was calculated to be 507.98 degree-days. The development times of C. perminutus were longer than those of A. nr. sp. pseudococci, and C. perminutus had narrower temperature tolerances than P. ficus or A. pseudococci. Argentine ants (Linepithema humile (Mayr)) reduced the amount of time C. perminutus foraged on mealybug-infested squash, but did not affect the number of oviposition attempts or offspring produced, whereas Argentine ants reduced A. nr. sp. pseudococci foraging time, oviposition attempts, and number of offspring obtained. Overall, the results suggest that under certain conditions, including optimal conditions of temperature and host-stage availability, C. perminutus outperforms A. nr. sp. pseudococci, and may be an effective augmentative control agent even when ants are tending the hosts. However, temperature limitations and host-stage selection behaviors would reduce C. perminutus performance in the field, and in the absence of ants, other parasitoids may be favored.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

    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

  16. A mutualism with a native membracid facilitates pollinator displacement by Argentine ants.

    PubMed

    Lach, Lori

    2007-08-01

    The loss of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services are major threats posed by the spread of alien invasive species. Invasive ants are frequently associated with declines in the diversity of ground-dwelling arthropods but also may affect plants through their attraction to floral nectar and tending of hemipterans. Protea nitida is a tree native to the South African fynbos that hosts a native membracid, Beaufortiana sp., which is tended by ants. Here I compare Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) to native ants in their attraction to P. nitida inflorescences in the presence and absence of the membracid, and their effects on other floral arthropod visitors, seed set, and ovule predation. Argentine ant discovery of inflorescences increased at least 13-fold when membracids were present on the branch, whereas native ant discovery of inflorescences was only doubled by membracid presence at one site in one study year and was unaffected in the other three site-years. Excluding Argentine ants from inflorescences resulted in an increase in several arthropod taxa and potential pollinators; native ant exclusion had no positive effects. Thus the mutualism between Argentine ants and the membracid is facilitating pollinator deterrence by the ants. Though Argentine ants were not associated with a decline in P. nitida seed set or ovule predation, declines in generalist insect pollinators may have ramifications for the 83% of fynbos plants that are insect pollinated. Pitfall traps showed that Argentine ants were not more abundant than native ants in non-invaded sites. Focusing only on abundance on the ground and displacement of ground-dwelling arthropod fauna may lead to an underestimate of the effects of invasive ants on their adopted communities.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 scattered literature to determine the patterns in ant host use. Some degr...

  20. 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

    2016-03-30

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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

    2015-01-21

    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. 

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Ishan; Karanth, K Praveen

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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,...

  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 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

  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. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. 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

  17. Differential Field Responses of the Little Fire Ants, Wasmannia auropunctata(Roger), to Alarm Pheromone Enantiomers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. Since the discovery of W.auropunctata in Puna in 1999,it has established across the eastern side of Hawaii I...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Fire ants

    MedlinePlus

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

  2. 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...

  3. First description of the karyotype of a eucharitid wasp (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Eucharitidae)

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Igor Silva; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles; Costa, Marco Antonio; Mariano, Cléa Santos Ferreira; Silva, Janisete Gomes

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The haploid karyotype of Kapala sp. (Eucharitidae), a parasite of the Neotropical ant Dinoponera lucida Emery, 1901 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), is reported for the first time. It consists of four metacentric chromosomes. Chromosomes in the family Eucharitidae were unknown so far; therefore, our results confirm that multiple parallel chromosomal fusions have taken place in several lineages within the superfamily Chalcidoidea. PMID:26753077

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. [Toxicology of Hymenoptera venoms].

    PubMed

    Ciszowski, Krzysztof; Mietka-Ciszowska, Aneta

    2012-01-01

    Hymenoptera venom is a secretion of special poison glands of insects. It serves both as a defensive substance against aggressors, as well as weapon used to paralyze the victim during gaining food. Chemically, the venom is a mixture of biologically active substances of high-, medium-, and small molecular weight with a variety of physiological functions. Individual substances may have toxic effects on stung human contributing to certain clinical signs and symptoms of venom poisoning. In the present paper, chemical structure, physiological role and toxicity of particular components of Hymenoptera venom are described.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. The evolution of multiple mating in army ants.

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-01

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

  13. The Madagascan endemic myrmicine ants related to Eutetramorium (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): taxonomy of the genera Eutetramorium Emery, Malagidris nom. n., Myrmisaraka gen. n., Royidris gen. n., and Vitsika gen. n.

    PubMed

    Bolton, Barry; Fisher, Brian L

    2014-04-24

    The monophyletic group of myrmicine ant genera related to Eutetramorium is described and its taxonomy is documented. The group is endemic in Madagascar and contains five genera: Eutetramorium Emery, 1899 (3 species, 1 of which is new); Malagidris nom. n., a replacement name for Brunella Forel, 1917, junior homonym of Brunella Smith, G.W. 1909 (Crustacea) (6 species, 5 of which are new); Myrmisaraka gen. n. (2 species, both new); Royidris gen. n. (15 species, 11 of which are new); Vitsika gen. n. (14 species, all of which are new). Keys to the worker caste are provided for all genera, and provisional keys to known males are given for Malagidris and Vitsika.

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

    PubMed

    Gadau, Jürgen; Helmkampf, Martin; Nygaard, Sanne; Roux, Julien; Simola, Daniel F; Smith, Chris R; Suen, Garret; Wurm, Yannick; Smith, Christopher D

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  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. The evolution of genome size in ants

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

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

  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."

  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 Central

    Wong, Mark K. L.; Guénard, Benoit

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. A review of the Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus and Pseudomyrmex goeldii species groups: acacia-ants and relatives (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Ward, Philip S

    2017-02-06

    The Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus group contains the Mesoamerican acacia-ants, an assemblage of species that inhabit and protect swollen-thorn acacias (Vachellia spp.). Recent phylogenetic studies have confirmed the existence of two generalist (dead twig-inhabiting) species that are embedded within the P. ferrugineus group. They are described here as P. evitus sp. nov. (occurring from Mexico to Costa Rica) and P. feralis sp. nov. (Guatemala). The morphological definition of the P. ferrugineus group is revised to incorporate additional variability in the worker and queen castes. The previous diagnosis of the males, based largely on features of the genitalia, requires little revision. Closely related to the P. ferrugineus group is a clade of five predominantly South American species, here designated and diagnosed as the P. goeldii group. The five species, P. goeldii (Forel), P. laevifrons Ward, P. micans sp. nov., P. obtusus sp. nov., and P. parvulus sp. nov., are characterized and illustrated. P. laevifrons and P. micans are closely related and difficult to distinguish, possibly reflecting incomplete isolation. Keys are provided for the identification of the species in both groups.

  8. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. Ants of Ambon Island – diversity survey and checklist

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. A Gross Anatomy Ontology for Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. A gross anatomy ontology for hymenoptera.

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-29

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Tracing the rise of ants - out of the ground.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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.

  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. Afrotropical cynipoidea (hymenoptera).

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. 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.

  8. Action of Ants on Vertebrate Carcasses and Blow Flies (Calliphoridae).

    PubMed

    Paula, Michele C; Morishita, Gustavo M; Cavarson, Carolina H; Gonçalves, Cristiano R; Tavares, Paulo R A; Mendonça, Angélica; Súarez, Yzel R; Antonialli-Junior, William F

    2016-11-01

    Forensic entomology is a science that uses insect fauna as a tool to assist in criminal investigations and civil proceedings. Although the most researched insects are the Diptera and Coleoptera, ants may be present in all stages of decomposition. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of ants and their action on blow flies during the decomposition process. Experiments were performed in which four pig carcasses were exposed in the cold and dry season (November/2012 and March/2013) and four in the hot and wet season (May/2013 and August/2013). Flies were the first insects to detect and interact with the carcasses, and six species of the Calliphoridae family were identified. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) were the second group, with six subfamilies identified. Myrmycinae represented 42% of the species, followed by Formicinae (28%), Ectatominae and Ponerinae (both 10%), and Ecitoninae and Dolichoderinae (both 5%). The ants acted on the carcasses as predators of visiting species, omnivores, and necrophagous, in all cases significantly affecting the decomposition time, slowing it down when the ants preyed on adult and immature insects consuming the carcass, or accelerating it by consuming the carcass and creating holes that could serve as gateways for the action of other organisms. The ants also generated artifacts that could lead to forensic misinterpretation.

  9. 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

  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.

  11. Polarization-Sensitive Interneurons in the Optic Lobe of the Desert Ant Cataglyphis bicolor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labhart, Thomas

    Desert ants, Cataglyphis bicolor (Hymenoptera), navigate by using compass information provided by skylight polarization. In this study, electrophysiological recordings were made from polarization-sensitive interneurons (POL-neurons) in the optic lobe of Cataglyphis. The POL-neurons exhibit a characteristic polarization opponency. They receive monochromatic input from the UV receptors of the specialized dorsal rim area of the compound eye. Both polarization opponency and monochromacy are features also found in the POL-neurons of crickets (Orthoptera).

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

    PubMed

    Stanley, Margaret C; Robinson, Wayne A

    2007-04-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Ant Mimicry by an Aphid Parasitoid, Lysiphlebus fabarum

    PubMed Central

    Rasekh, Arash; Michaud, J.P.; Kharazi-Pakdel, Aziz; Allahyari, Hossein

    2010-01-01

    In Iran, Lysiphlebus fabarum (Marshall) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Aphidiinae) is a uniparental parasitoid of the black bean aphid, Aphis fabae Scopoli (Hemiptera: Aphididae), that possesses various highly evolved adaptations for foraging within ant-tended aphid colonies. Direct observations and video recordings were used to analyze the behavior of individual females foraging for A. fabae on bean leaf disks in open arenas in the laboratory. Females exploited aphids as hosts and as a source of food, allocating within-patch time as follows: resting - 10.4%, grooming - 8.2%, searching - 11.5%, antennation (host recognition) - 7.5%, antennation (honeydew solicitation mimicking ants) - 31.9%, abdominal bending (attack preparation) 19.7%, probing with the ovipositor (attack) - 10.8%. The mean handling time for each aphid encountered was 2.0 ± 0.5 min. Females encountered an average of 47.4 ± 6.4 aphids per hour, but laid only 1.2 eggs per hour. The ovipositor insertion time for parasitism ranged from 2 sec to longer than a minute, but most insertions did not result in an egg being laid. A. fabae defensive behaviors included kicking, raising and swiveling the body, and attempts to smear the attacker with cornicle secretions, sometimes with lethal results. Food deprivation for 4–6 h prior to testing increased the frequency of ant mimcry by L. fabarum. Females also used ant-like antennation to reduce A. fabae defensive behavior, e.g. the frequency of kicking. L. fabarum attacks primed A. fabae to be more responsive to subsequent honeydew solicitation, such that experienced females improved their feeding success by alternating between the roles of parasitoid and ant mimic. These results reveal the possibility for mutualisms to evolve between L. fabarum and the ant species that tend A. fabae, since L. fabarum receive ant protection for their progeny and may benefit the ants by improving A. fabae responsiveness to honeydew solicitation. PMID:20879920

  19. Isolation and characterization of actinobacteria ectosymbionts from Acromyrmex subterraneus brunneus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Zucchi, Tiago D; Guidolin, Aline S; Cônsoli, Fernando L

    2011-01-20

    The ectosymbiont actinobacterium Pseudonocardia was isolated from the integument of Acromyrmex leaf-cutter ants and seems to play a crucial role in maintaining asepsis of the nest. Currently, there has been an intensive search for Pseudonocardia associated with several attine species, but few studies have indicated that other actinobacteria may be associated with these ants as well. We therefore characterized the culturable actinobacteria community associated with the integument of the fungus-growing ant Acromyrmex subterraneus brunneus Forel, 1893 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Ectosymbionts were isolated using four different media and characterized by morphological and molecular (16S rDNA) methods. A total of 20 strains were isolated, of which 17 were characterized as Streptomyces spp., and one isolate each as Pseudonocardia, Kitassatospora and Propionicimonas. Unlike other Acromyrmex species, A. subterraneus brunneus is associated with a diversity of actinobacteria. Even though Pseudonocardia is present on this leaf-cutting ant's integument, the number and diversity of Streptomyces spp. found differs from those of previous studies with other attine ants and suggest that different culturing approaches are needed to characterize the true diversity of microbes colonizing the integument of attine ants. Moreover, understanding the diversity of the culturable actinobacteria associated with A. subterraneus brunneus should increase our knowledge of the evolutionary relationship of this intricate symbiotic association.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Morphology and behavior of the early stages of the skipper, Urbanus esmeraldus, on Urera baccifera, an ant-visited host plant.

    PubMed

    Moraes, Alice R; Greeney, Harold F; Oliveira, Paulo S; Barbosa, Eduardo P; Freitas, André V L

    2012-01-01

    The Neotropical genus Urbanus (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) contains around 34 described species, and is widely distributed from the extreme southern United States to Argentina. Here, we describe the larval morphology and behavior of Urbanus esmeraldus (Hübner)(Hesperiidae) in Urera baccifera (Urticaceae), a plant producing food rewards and fleshy fruits that attract ants (including predacious species) in a Brazilian forest. Larvae pass through five instars and construct two kinds of leaf shelters. Experiments with ejected fecal pellets showed that these can serve as cues to ground-dwelling ants that climb onto host plants and potentially attack the larvae. Manipulation with pellets placed at different distances suggests that ejection behavior decreases larval vulnerability to ant predation. Larval preference for mature leaves may be related with increased predation risk at ant-visited young leaves. The study shows that a combination of natural history and experimental data can help understand the life history of a butterfly using a plant with high predation risk.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kergunteuil, Alan; Basso, César; Pintureau, Bernard

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Fire Ant Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... be wary of these systemic reactions. They are: serum sickness, seizures, mononeuritis, nephrotic syndrome, and worsening of preexisting cardiopulmonary disease. When you first identify the fire ant you ...

  14. Field Trapping the Little Fire Ant, Wasmannia auropunctata

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Raft Formation by the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Benjamin J.; Hooper-Bùi, Linda M.; Strecker, Rachel M.; O'Brien, Daniel M.

    2011-01-01

    The raft behavior of the invasive red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), has been documented for over a century. However, no rigorous tests have been performed elucidating the structure, limits, and important characteristics of this behavior. Rafting makes S. invicta competitive in both native and foreign environments. Further understanding of this behavior will provide critical advancement to the comprehension of this ant's global invasion ecology. Though speculations exist, no one has looked at the movements of individuals within the raft formation, the longevity of rafts, raft success rate, or the importance of different life stages and varying types of adults to raft formation. Furthermore, bubble use has been extensively studied in arthropods, but it has never been documented in social insects. The use of bubbles as a means of floatation has never before been noted in raft formation. This study shows that ants trapped under water escape by lifting themselves to the air-water interface through the use of bubbles collected from submerged substrate. The presence of larvae was noted to increase colony survival and maximize raft longevity due in part their ability to hold bubbles under hydrophobic setae. PMID:22950473

  18. Microbiological activity of soils populated by Lasius niger ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. Hymenoptera venom allergy in humans.

    PubMed

    Cichocka-Jarosz, Ewa

    2012-01-01

    Reactions to Hymenoptera stings may appear as local or systemic responses. According to European data, the incidence of systemic reactions to Hymenoptera stings in the general population is 0.3-7.5%, with the value being 0.3-0.8% in children and 14-43% in beekeepers. The most common systemic allergic (anaphylactic) reactions are caused by honeybees (Apis mellifera), and certain species of wasps in the family Vespidae. Severe generalized immediate-type allergic (anaphylactic) reactions to insect stings are of the highest clinical importance. They affect skin, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory and cardiovascular system. The classification of severity of anaphylactic reaction following insect stings is based on the 4-grade Mueller scale. Crucial in patomechanism of anaphylaxis are specific IgE antibodies directed against the components of the venom, which mediate the activation of mast cells, the main effector cells of anaphylaxis. Therapeutic management in insect venom allergy should be considered in the context of prophylaxis, intervention in case symptoms develop, prevention in the form of venom specific immunotherapy (VIT). There are two steps of VIT 1. Initial dose venom immunotherapy (given according to four protocols which differ the time to reach the maintenance dose) 2. Maintenance dose VIT, usually equal 100 µg. Standard treatment time should span 3-5 years. The main mechanisms of immune tolerance that are initiated by VIT are associated with: 1. a decreased reactivity of effector cells, 2. expansion of T regulatory lymphocytes with IL-10 expression. Therapeutic effectiveness amounts to 90-100% in wasp venom allergy and approximately 80% in bee venom allergy.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Fighting for a harem of queens: physiology of reproduction in Cardiocondyla male ants.

    PubMed

    Heinze, J; Hölldobler, B

    1993-09-15

    Several species of the ant genus Cardiocondyla produce dimorphic males, which exhibit sharply different mating strategies. Winged males typically disperse to mate outside the nest, whereas wingless, ergatoid males stay in the nest and aggressively employ their mandibles against competing ergatoid males to monopolize the virgin queens eclosing in the nest. Such aggressive mating strategy would only be adaptive if the males had unlimited sperm supply. Histological studies showed that, contrary to the rule in the Hymenoptera order, the ergatoid Cardiocondyla males are indeed able to produce sperm during their entire adult life. Winged males, on the other hand, have only a limited sperm supply since spermatogenesis ceases in the late pupal stage.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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 δ(15)N 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

  8. 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

  9. Fire Ant Allergy

    MedlinePlus

    ... Pongdee, MD, FAAAAI Fire ants are a stinging insect typically found in the South/Southeast areas of ... specialized training and skills to test for stinging insect allergy and develop a plan to manage allergies. ...

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-04-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Cheating on a mutualism: indirect benefits of ant attendance to a coccidophagous coccinellid.

    PubMed

    Liere, Heidi; Perfecto, Ivette

    2008-02-01

    Coccinellids (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) are generally unable to prey on ant-tended prey. However, particular coccinellid species have morphological, behavioral, or chemical characteristics that render them immune to ant attacks, and some species are even restricted to ant-tending areas. The benefit gained from living in close association with ants can be twofold: (1) gaining access to high-density prey areas and (2) gaining enemy-free space. Here, the myrmecophily of Azya orbigera Mulsant (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), an important predator of the green coffee scale, Coccus viridis (Green) (Hemiptera: Coccidae), is reported. In this paper, three main questions were studied. (1) Are the waxy filaments of A. orbigera larvae effective as defense against attacks of the mutualistic ant partner of C. viridis, Azteca instabilis F. Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)? (2) Does A. instabilis reduce the rate at which A. orbigera larvae prey on scales? (3) Do A. orbigera larvae gain enemy-free space by living in close association with A. instabilis? Laboratory and field experiments were conducted to answer these questions. We found that, because of the sticky waxy filaments of A. orbigera larvae, A. instabilis is incapable of effectively attacking them and, therefore, the predation rate of A. orbigera on C. viridis does not decrease in the presence of ants. Furthermore, A. instabilis showed aggressive behavior toward A. orbigera's parasitoids, and the presence of ants reduced the parasitism suffered by A. orbigera. This is the first time that this kind of indirect positive effect is reported for an ant and a coccidophagous coccinellid. Furthermore, this indirect positive effect may be key to the persistence of A. orbigera's populations.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Fine tuning of social integration by two myrmecophiles of the ponerine army ant, Leptogenys distinguenda.

    PubMed

    Witte, Volker; Foitzik, Susanne; Hashim, Rosli; Maschwitz, Ulrich; Schulz, Stefan

    2009-03-01

    Myrmecophiles are animals that live in close association with ants and that frequently develop elaborate mechanisms to infiltrate their well-defended host societies. We compare the social integration strategies of two myrmecophilic species, the spider, Gamasomorpha maschwitzi, and the newly described silverfish, Malayatelura ponerophila gen. n. sp. n., into colonies of the ponerine army ant, Leptogenys distinguenda (Emery) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Both symbionts use chemical mimicry through adoption of host cuticular hydrocarbons. Exchange experiments between L. distinguenda and an undetermined Leptogenys species demonstrate that reduced aggression toward alien ants and increased social acceptance occurred with individuals of higher chemical similarity in their cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. We found striking differences in chemical and behavioral strategies between the two myrmecophiles. Spider cuticular hydrocarbon profiles were chemically less similar to the host than silverfish profiles were. Nevertheless, spiders received significantly fewer attacks from host ants and survived longer in laboratory colonies, whereas silverfish were treated with high aggression and were killed more frequently. When discovered and confronted by the host, silverfish tended to escape and were chased aggressively, whereas spiders remained in contact with the confronting host ant until aggression ceased. Thus, spiders relied less on chemical mimicry but were nevertheless accepted more frequently by the host on the basis of behavioral mechanisms. These findings give insights into the fine tuning of social integration mechanisms and show the significance of qualitative differences among strategies.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Multiple paternity or multiple queens: two routes to greater intracolonial genetic diversity in the eusocial Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Hughes, W O H; Ratnieks, F L W; Oldroyd, B P

    2008-07-01

    Understanding the evolution of multiple mating by females (polyandry) is an important question in behavioural ecology. Most leading explanations for polyandry by social insect queens are based upon a postulated fitness benefit from increased intracolonial genetic diversity, which also arises when colonies are headed by multiple queens (polygyny). An indirect test of the genetic diversity hypotheses is therefore provided by the relationship between polyandry and polygyny across species, which should be negative if the genetic diversity hypotheses are correct. Here, we conduct a powerful comparative investigation of the relationship between polyandry and polygyny for 241 species of eusocial Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). We find a clear and significant negative relationship between polyandry and polygyny after controlling for phylogeny. These results strongly suggest that fitness benefits resulting from increased intracolonial genetic diversity have played an important role in the evolution of polyandry, and possibly polygyny, in social insects.

  1. Changes in follicular cells architecture during vitellogenin transport in the ovary of social Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Ronnau, Milton; Azevedo, Dihego Oliveira; Fialho, Maria do Carmo Queiroz; Gonçlaves, Wagner Gonzaga; Zanuncio, José Cola; Serrão, José Eduardo

    2016-05-01

    Vitellogenins are the major yolk proteins, synthesized in the fat body, released into the hemolymph and captured by the developing oocytes, but the mechanisms by which these proteins cross the follicular cell layer are still poorly understood. This study describes the actin distribution in follicular cells during vitellogenin transport to the oocyte in social Hymenoptera represented by bees Apis mellifera and Melipona quadrifasciata, the wasp Mischocyttarus cassununga and the ant Pachycondyla curvinodis. In oocytic chambers of vitellogenic follicles, vitellogenin was found within the follicular cells, perivitelline space and oocyte, indicating a transcellular route from the hemolymph to the perivitelline space. The cortical actin cytoskeleton in follicular cells underwent reorganization during transport of vitellogenin across this epithelium suggesting that in the ovary of social hymenopterans, vitellogenin delivery to oocytes requires a dynamic cytoskeletal rearrangement of actin filaments in the follicular cells.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. The ants go marching millions by millions: invasive ant research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive ants are a worldwide problem that is expanding both geographically and in intensity. Population explosions of invasive ants can overrun landscapes and inundate structures. Pest management professionals are often the first responders to complaints about invading ants. This session will fo...

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Army ants: an evolutionary bestseller?

    PubMed

    Berghoff, Stefanie M

    2003-09-02

    Army ants are characterized by a complex combination of behavioral and morphological traits. Molecular data now indicate that army ant behavior has a unique evolutionary origin and has been conserved for over more than 100 million years.

  11. 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…

  12. Ants: the supreme soil manipulators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This review focuses on the semiochemical interactions between ants and their soil environment. Ants occupy virtually every ecological niche and have evolved mechanisms to not just cope with, but also manipulate soil organisms. The metapleural gland, specific to ants was thought to be the major sourc...

  13. 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.

  14. Outdoor post-mortem bite injuries by Tapinoma nigerrimum (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) on a human corpse: Case report.

    PubMed

    Bonacci, Teresa; Vercillo, Vannio

    2015-07-01

    Ants are among the insects that colonize exposed human and animal corpses during the early stage of decomposition. In Calabria, Italy (as well as in other countries), Formicidae have been observed preying on immature stages of Diptera and other insects, as well as causing irregular scalloped areas of superficial skin loss on human corpses and animal carcasses. We present a case of injuries on a human corpse caused by ant feeding. The macroscopic appearance is described and the results of a histochemical investigation of the skin lesions caused by worker ants are reported for the first time. The investigation was carried out on the fresh corpse of a 53-year-old man discovered in a rural area of Cosenza province (Calabria, southern Italy). Numerous irregular areas of superficial skin loss caused by the ant Tapinoma nigerrimum (Nylander 1856) (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) were observed on the body surface, inflicted very early in the post-mortem period. Because the classification of lesions is of crucial importance for forensic investigations, the macroscopic appearance and distribution pattern of the lesions on the corpse are illustrated. The histochemical investigation of the damaged skin explains, for the first time, the mechanism of production of the lesions.

  15. Review of the Chinese Leucospidae (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea)

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Xin-hai; van Achterberg, Cornelis; Yue, Qi; Xu, Zai-fu

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The Chinese fauna of the family Leucospidae (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea) is reviewed and illustrated for the first time. Twelve species of Leucospis Fabricius, 1775 are recorded; of which two species are new to science: Leucospis aequidentata sp. n. and Leucospis shaanxiensis sp. n. and one species is reported new for China: Leucospis intermedia Illiger, 1807. An identification key to Chinese species is included. A lectotype is designated for Leucospis aurantiaca Shestakov, 1923. PMID:28331388

  16. 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.

  17. Fauna Europaea: Hymenoptera - Apocrita (excl. Ichneumonoidea).

    PubMed

    Mitroiu, Mircea-Dan; Noyes, John; Cetkovic, Aleksandar; Nonveiller, Guido; Radchenko, Alexander; Polaszek, Andrew; Ronquist, Fredrick; Forshage, Mattias; Pagliano, Guido; Gusenleitner, Josef; Bartalucci, Mario Boni; Olmi, Massimo; Fusu, Lucian; Madl, Michael; Johnson, Norman F; Jansta, Petr; Wahis, Raymond; Soon, Villu; Rosa, Paolo; Osten, Till; Barbier, Yvan; de Jong, Yde

    2015-01-01

    Fauna Europaea provides a public web-service with an index of scientific names (including important synonyms) of all living European land and freshwater animals, their geographical distribution at country level (up to the Urals, excluding the Caucasus region), and some additional information. The Fauna Europaea project covers about 230,000 taxonomic names, including 130,000 accepted species and 14,000 accepted subspecies. This represents a huge effort by more than 400 contributing specialists throughout Europe and is a unique (standard) reference suitable for many users in science, government, industry, nature conservation and education. Hymenoptera is one of the four largest orders of insects, with about 130,000 described species. In the Fauna Europaea database, 'Hymenoptera - Apocrita (excluding Ichneumonoidea)' comprises 13 superfamilies, 52 families, 91 subfamilies, 38 tribes and 13,211 species. The paper includes a complete list of taxa dealt with, the number of species in each and the name of the specialist responsible for data acquisition. As a general conclusion about the European fauna of Hymenoptera, the best known countries in terms of recorded species are those from northwestern Europe, with the least known fauna probably in the more eastern and southeastern parts of Europe.

  18. The Frugal Cosmic Ant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-09-01

    Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer and its unique ability to see small details, astronomers have uncovered a flat, nearly edge-on disc of silicates in the heart of the magnificent Ant Nebula. The disc seems, however, too 'skinny' to explain how the nebula got its intriguing ant-like shape. ESO PR Photo 42/07 ESO PR Photo 42/07 A Disc in the Ant Nebula The Ant Nebula is one of the most striking planetary nebulae known. Planetary nebulae - whose name arises because most are spherical and looked like planets when they were first discovered through older, less powerful telescopes - are glowing structures of gas cast off by solar-like stars at the ends of their lives. The morphology of the Ant Nebula - a bright core, three nested pairs of bipolar lobes and a ring-like outflow - is so unique that it was nicknamed the 'Chamber of Horrors' of planetary nebulae in the late 1950s. But how can a spherical star produce such complex structures? The answer, many astronomers think, requires understanding of the discs surrounding the central star. By their nature, these discs bear witness to the phenomena that lead to the asymmetrical structures of planetary nebulae. "The challenge is to actually detect these discs," explains team leader Olivier Chesneau, from the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, France. "Most astronomical instruments do not have a sharp enough view to find, let alone study them. The Very Large Telescope Interferometer however, with its exceptionally high spatial resolution, is a powerful disc-hunter." The disc of the Ant Nebula, which cannot be detected with a single 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescope, was uncovered in the interferometric mode where two 8.2-m Unit Telescopes were used to combine light, through the MID-infrared Interferometric instrument (MIDI). The observations reveal a flat, nearly edge-on disc whose major axis is perpendicular to the axis of the bipolar lobes. The disc extends from about 9 times the mean distance between the Earth and the

  19. 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.

  20. Studies of Laboulbeniales on Myrmica ants (III): myrmecophilous arthropods as alternative hosts of Rickia wasmannii

    PubMed Central

    Pfliegler, Walter P.; Báthori, Ferenc; Haelewaters, Danny; Tartally, András

    2016-01-01

    Myrmecophilous arthropods and their manifold relations to host ants are interesting from an evolutionary perspective. Rickia wasmannii is an ectoparasitic fungus belonging to the Laboulbeniales order. Here, we show that inquiline mites can become infected by R. wasmannii, which was thought to be restricted to the genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). This is the first report of R. wasmannii from an alternative host in another subphylum (Chelicerata). We also found immature fruiting bodies on a larva of Microdon myrmicae (Diptera: Syrphidae), which represents the first report of any Rickia species on flies. This fungus is capable of infecting alternative, unrelated host species as they co-occur in the ant nest “microhabitat”. These observations provide direct evidence for ecological specificity in Laboulbeniales. The presence of R. wasmannii on inquilines in Myrmica ant nests suggests that the parasite may have adapted to the ant nest environment and is less dependent on acquiring specific nutrients from the hosts. However, the alternative cannot be excluded; these infections might also represent chance events if the fungus is incapable of fulfilling its life cycle. PMID:27849516

  1. Natural History of the Neotropical Arboreal Ant, Odontomachus hastatus: Nest Sites, Foraging Schedule, and Diet

    PubMed Central

    Camargo, Rafael X.; Oliveira, Paulo S.

    2012-01-01

    The ecology of most arboreal ants remains poorly documented because of the difficulty in accessing ant nests and foragers in the forest canopy. This study documents the nesting and foraging ecology of a large (∼13 mm total length) arboreal trap—jaw ant, Odontomachus hastatus (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a sandy plain forest on Cardoso Island, off the coast of Southeast Brazil. The results showed that O. hastatus nested in root clusters of epiphytic bromeliads, most commonly Vriesea procera (70% of nest plants). Mature O. hastatus colonies include one to several queens and about 500 workers. Foraging by O. hastatus is primarily nocturnal year—round, with increased foraging activity during the wet/warm season. The foragers hunt singly in the trees, preying on a variety of canopy—dwelling arthropods, with flies, moths, ants, and spiders accounting for > 60% of the prey captured. Although predators often have impacts on prey populations, the ecological importance of O. hastatus remains to be studied. PMID:22957686

  2. 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

  3. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants.

    PubMed

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-05-07

    We propose a distributed model of nestmate recognition, analogous to the one used by the vertebrate immune system, in which colony response results from the diverse reactions of many ants. The model describes how individual behaviour produces colony response to non-nestmates. No single ant knows the odour identity of the colony. Instead, colony identity is defined collectively by all the ants in the colony. Each ant responds to the odour of other ants by reference to its own unique decision boundary, which is a result of its experience of encounters with other ants. Each ant thus recognizes a particular set of chemical profiles as being those of non-nestmates. This model predicts, as experimental results have shown, that the outcome of behavioural assays is likely to be variable, that it depends on the number of ants tested, that response to non-nestmates changes over time and that it changes in response to the experience of individual ants. A distributed system allows a colony to identify non-nestmates without requiring that all individuals have the same complete information and helps to facilitate the tracking of changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, because only a subset of ants must respond to provide an adequate response.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Tschinkel, Walter R

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Phylogenomic Insights into the Evolution of Stinging Wasps and the Origins of Ants and Bees.

    PubMed

    Branstetter, Michael G; Danforth, Bryan N; Pitts, James P; Faircloth, Brant C; Ward, Philip S; Buffington, Matthew L; Gates, Michael W; Kula, Robert R; Brady, Seán G

    2017-04-03

    The stinging wasps (Hymenoptera: Aculeata) are an extremely diverse lineage of hymenopteran insects, encompassing over 70,000 described species and a diversity of life history traits, including ectoparasitism, cleptoparasitism, predation, pollen feeding (bees [Anthophila] and Masarinae), and eusociality (social vespid wasps, ants, and some bees) [1]. The most well-studied lineages of Aculeata are the ants, which are ecologically dominant in most terrestrial ecosystems [2], and the bees, the most important lineage of angiosperm-pollinating insects [3]. Establishing the phylogenetic affinities of ants and bees helps us understand and reconstruct patterns of social evolution as well as fully appreciate the biological implications of the switch from carnivory to pollen feeding (pollenivory). Despite recent advancements in aculeate phylogeny [4-11], considerable uncertainty remains regarding higher-level relationships within Aculeata, including the phylogenetic affinities of ants and bees [5-7]. We used ultraconserved element (UCE) phylogenomics [7, 12] to resolve relationships among stinging-wasp families, gathering sequence data from >800 UCE loci and 187 samples, including 30 out of 31 aculeate families. We analyzed the 187-taxon dataset using multiple analytical approaches, and we evaluated several alternative taxon sets. We also tested alternative hypotheses for the phylogenetic positions of ants and bees. Our results present a highly supported phylogeny of the stinging wasps. Most importantly, we find unequivocal evidence that ants are the sister group to bees+apoid wasps (Apoidea) and that bees are nested within a paraphyletic Crabronidae. We also demonstrate that taxon choice can fundamentally impact tree topology and clade support in phylogenomic inference.

  7. Host ranges of gregarious muscoid fly parasitoids: Muscidifurax raptorellus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), Tachinaephagus zealandicus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), and Trichopria nigra (Hymenoptera: Diapriidae).

    PubMed

    Geden, Christopher J; Moon, Roger D

    2009-06-01

    Attack rates, progeny production, sex ratios, and host utilization efficiency of Muscidifurax raptorellus (Kogan and Legner) (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), Tachinaephagus zealandicus Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), and Trichopria nigra (Nees) (Hymenoptera: Diapriidae) were evaluated in laboratory bioassays with five dipteran hosts: house fly (Musca domestica L.), stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans L.), horn fly (Hematobia irritans L.), black dump fly [Hydrotaea aenescens (Weidemann)] (Diptera: Muscidae), and a flesh fly (Sarcophaga bullata Parker) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae). M. raptorellus killed and successfully parasitized all five host species and produced an average 2.6 parasitoid progeny from each host. Host attack rates were highest on stable fly and lowest on horn fly; there were no differences among hosts in the total number of progeny produced. T. zealandicus killed larvae of all fly host species in similar numbers, but parasitism was most successful on H. aenescens and S. bullata and least successful on horn fly and house fly hosts. Significantly more parasitoid progeny emerged from S. bullata (10.2 parasitoids per host) than the other hosts; only 2.5 progeny were produced from parasitized horn fly hosts. Most of the killed puparia that produced neither adult flies nor parasitoids ("duds") contained dead parasitoids; in house fly, stable fly, and horn fly hosts, >30% of these dudded pupae contained adult wasps that failed to eclose. T. nigra successfully parasitized pupae of all host species except house fly and was most successful on stable fly. Significantly more parasitoid progeny emerged from S. bullata (30.6 parasitoids per host) than the other hosts; only 5.7 progeny were produced from horn fly hosts.

  8. A new Tanaostigmodes Ashmead (Hymenoptera, Tanaostigmatidae) from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Perioto, N W; Lara, R I R

    2013-05-01

    Tanaostigmodes horacioi sp. nov. Perioto & Lara (Hymenoptera, Tanaostigmatidae) from Brazil is described and illustrated. T. horacioi is the second included species in the insculptus species group of Tanaostigmodes Ashmead, 1896. A key to species of the insculptus group is provided.

  9. Fire ant microsporidia acquired by parasitoid flies of fire ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The microsporidium Kneallhazia (formerly Thelohania) solenopsae and parasitoid flies in the genus Pseudacteon are natural enemies of the invasive fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Pseudacteon flies oviposit into adult fire ants, where maggots that eclose from eggs migrate to the ants’ head, pupate, and...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Natural history of interaction between Meteorus sp. Haliday, 1835 (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and its hyperparasitoid Toxeumella albipes Girault, 1913 (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae).

    PubMed

    Sobczak, J F; Maia, D P; Moura, J C M S; Costa, V A; Vasconcellos-Neto, J

    2012-02-01

    Some parasitoids build a cocoon mass that hangs in the host body until the adults emergence, which is an advantage against attack by predators who troll the vegetation in search of prey. However, such behaviour is not effective against the hyperparasitoid attacks. This study reports the interaction between the caterpillar Manduca sexta Linnaeus, 1763 (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae) parasitised by Meteorus sp. (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) larvae and its hyperparasitoid Toxeumella albipes (Hymenoptera, Pteromalidae). This is the first description of the attack and oviposition of T. albipes.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The Seasonal Natural History of the Ant, Dolichoderus mariae, in Northern Florida

    PubMed Central

    Laskis, Kristina O.; Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2009-01-01

    Dolichoderus mariae Forel, (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is an uncommon, monomorphic but locally abundant, reddish-brown ant of peculiar nesting habits, whose range includes most of the eastern USA. In north Florida the ant excavates soil under wiregrass clumps or other plants with fibrous roots to form a single, large, shallow, conical or ovoid chamber broadly open to the surface around the plant base. Colonies are highly polygyne and, during the warm season, inhabit multiple nests connected only by above ground trails, over which nests exchange workers. Although monomorphic, worker size may differ significantly between colonies. The colony cycle is dominated by strong seasonal polydomy. From one or two over-wintering nests, the colonies expanded to occupy up to 60 nests by late summer, then retract once more to one or two nests by mid-winter. The worker-to-queen ratio changed greatly during this cycle, with over two thousand workers per queen during fall and winter, dropping to a low of about 300 during midsummer. Most of these summer queens probably die during the fall. Colonies reoccupy roughly the same area year to year even though they contract down to one or two nests in winter. Observation of fights in the contact zone between colonies suggested that the colonies are territorial. The ants subsist by tending aphids and scale insects for honeydew and scavenging for dead insects within their territories. PMID:19611227

  1. 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.

  2. Quantification of Supercolonial Traits in the Yellow Crazy Ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Supercoloniality is a social structure displayed by many invasive ant species, but there has been surprisingly little research quantifying the extent to which individual species display traits underlying such social organisation. This study quantifies three traits for the yellow crazy ant, Anoplolepis gracilipes Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): little or no aggression between workers from different nests; the exchange of workers among nests; and resource exchange among nests, as well as supercolony structure arising from patterns of distribution and density of detections. Supercolonies displayed a structural continuum from being small (< 10 ha) and “aggregated” with great continuity among detections through to being large (> 10,000 ha) and “diffuse” with little continuity among detections. Smaller supercolonies had greater ant densities than larger supercolonies. In laboratory trials, no aggression was observed between workers from different nests sourced from different supercolonies, and paired nests merged within 24 hours. Workers lacked nest fidelity by rapidly populating artificial nests containing alien queens. The daily worker turnover rate per nest was estimated to be below 20%. Resources were readily moved among nests, with a resource being detected up to 13 m away from a source within 24 hours, and as far as 32 m after four days. The rate and distance of resource movement increased with increasing worker and nest density. This research has demonstrated that A. gracilipes displays supercoloniality equivalent to that of the well-studied Argentine ant Linepithema humile. Quantification of these traits is required for other supercolonial species to improve our understanding of this social strategy, especially for invasive ants to aid in understanding factors that promote invasion success and to improve management. PMID:25373172

  3. 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

  4. [Allergy to hymenoptera venoms in children].

    PubMed

    Rancé, F; Abbal, M; Brémont, F; Dutau, G

    1999-01-01

    Incidence of hymenoptera venom allergy in children is about 0.4 to 0.8%. Clinical features usually range from urticaria to anaphylaxis. Fatal reactions can occur but with less frequency than in adults. Allergologic investigations must be performed in children with systemic or generalized reactions after hymenoptera stings, which may lead to venom immunotherapy. Venom immunotherapy is well reported, but protocols differ according to the authors: ultra-rush in 3 h, accelerated in 3 to 5 days and semi-rush in 2 to 8 weeks. Results are always excellent (90 to 100%). We report our experience with 91 children receiving venom immunotherapy. Clinical history and positivity of skin tests indicated immunotherapy. Clinical symptoms were anaphylaxis (15.3%), serious reaction (37.3%) strong reaction (34%), and mild reaction (7.6%). Changes in immunological parameters revealed wide individual variations, not differing from data in the literature, with no correlation with evolution of immunotherapy. Venom immunotherapy appeared with good tolerability in children, whatever the protocol used.

  5. The role of symbiont genetic distance and potential adaptability in host preference towards Pseudonocardia symbionts in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Poulsen, Michael; Maynard, Janielle; Roland, Damien L; Currie, Cameron R

    2011-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants display symbiont preference in behavioral assays, both towards the fungus they cultivate for food and Actinobacteria they maintain on their cuticle for antibiotic production against parasites. These Actinobacteria, genus Pseudonocardia Henssen (Pseudonocardiacea: Actinomycetales), help defend the ants' fungal mutualist from specialized parasites. In Acromyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) leaf-cutting ants, individual colonies maintain either a single or a few strains of Pseudonocardia, and the symbiont is primarily vertically transmitted between generations by colony-founding queens. A recent report found that Acromyrmex workers are able to differentiate between their native Pseudonocardia strain and non-native strains isolated from sympatric or allopatric Acromyrmex species, and show preference for their native strain. Here we explore worker preference when presented with two non-native strains, elucidating the role of genetic distance on preference between strains and Pseudonocardia origin. Our findings suggest that ants tend to prefer bacteria more closely related to their native bacterium and that genetic similarity is probably more important than whether symbionts are ant-associated or free-living. Preliminary findings suggest that when continued exposure to a novel Pseudonocardia strain occurs, ant symbiont preference is potentially adaptable, with colonies apparently being able to alter symbiont preference over time. These findings are discussed in relation to the role of adaptive recognition, potential ecological flexibility in symbiont preference, and more broadly, in relation to self versus non-self recognition.

  6. 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

  7. Solenopsis invicta virus 3: Further host-specificity tests with native Solenopsis ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A thorough understanding of host specificity is essential before pathogens can be used as biopesticides or self-sustaining biocontrol agents. In order to better define the host range of the recently discovered Solenopsis invicta virus 3 (SINV-3), we collected and exposed colonies of two native fire...

  8. Global revision of the dulotic ant genus Polyergus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Formicinae, Formicini).

    PubMed

    Trager, James C

    2013-01-01

    The genus Polyergus is characterized, and all valid species reinstated and re-described, and five new species described, based on morphometric, ecological, host-association, and biogeographic characteristics. Polyergus contains 14 species: 3 Palaearctic, 11 Nearctic. The rufescens group comprises western Eurasian rufescens Latreille 1804 including its former eastern subspecies tianschanicus Kuznetsov-Ugamsky 1927 new synonymy, and the following American species, informally called the breviceps complex: breviceps Emery 1893 sensu stricto, revised status, bicolor Wasmann 1901 new status, mexicanus Forel 1899 new status, topoffi new species, and vinosus new species. The lucidus group comprises longicornis M. R. Smith 1947 new status, lucidus Mayr 1870 sensu stricto, revised status, montivagus Wheeler 1915 new status, oligergus new species, ruber new species, and sanwaldi new species. The samurai group comprises two blackish forms: the western Asian P. nigerrimus Marikovsky 1963 and eastern Asian P. samurai Yano 1911. Polyergus texana Buckley 1866 is excluded from Polyergus.

  9. 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 &...

  10. 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.

  11. A Review of the Tawny Crazy Ant, Nylanderia fulva, an Emergent Ant Invader in the Southern United States: Is Biological Control a Feasible Management Option?

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zinan; Moshman, Lori; Kraus, Emily C.; Wilson, Blake E.; Acharya, Namoona; Diaz, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    The tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), has invaded states of the U.S. including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Native to South America, N. fulva is considered a pest in the U.S. capable of annoying homeowners and farmers, as well as displacing native ant species. As it continues to expand its range, there is a growing need to develop novel management techniques to control the pest and prevent further spread. Current management efforts rely heavily on chemical control, but these methods have not been successful. A review of the biology, taxonomy, ecology, and distribution of N. fulva, including discussion of ecological and economic consequences of this invasive species, is presented. Options for future management are suggested focusing on biological control, including parasitoid flies in the genus Pseudacteon, the microsporidian parasite Myrmecomorba nylanderiae, and a novel polynucleotide virus as potential biological control agents. We suggest further investigation of natural enemies present in the adventive range, as well as foreign exploration undertaken in the native range including Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. We conclude that N. fulva may be a suitable candidate for biological control. PMID:27983690

  12. 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

  13. The natural history of the arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi.

    PubMed

    Tschinkel, Walter R

    2002-01-01

    The arboreal ant, Crematogaster ashmeadi Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is the most dominant arboreal ant in the pine forests of the coastal plain of northern Florida. The majority of pine trees harbor a colony of these ants. The colonies inhabit multiple chambers abandoned by bark-mining caterpillars, especially those of the family Cossidae, in the outer bark of living pines. They also inhabit ground level termite galleries in the bark, often locating the queen in galleries. The density of chambers and ants is highest in the base of the tree and drops sharply with height on the trunk. Because chambers are formed in the inner layer of bark, they gradually move outward as more bark layers are laid down, eventually sloughing off the tree's outer surface. Chambers have a mean lifetime of about 25 yr. The abundant chambers in pine bark are excavated by a small population of caterpillars and accumulate over decades. Ant colonies also inhabit abandoned galleries of woodboring beetles in dead branches in the crowns of pines. Because newly mated queens found colonies in abandoned woodboring beetle galleries in the first dead branches that form on pine saplings, C. ashmeadi is dependent on cavities made by other insects throughout its life cycle, and does little if any excavation of its own. Mature colonies nest preferentially in chambers greater than 10 cm(2) in area, a relatively rare chamber size. In natural pine forests, this does not seem to limit the ant's populations. Founding queens contain about 50% fat and lose about half of their dry weight during the claustral period, converting approximately half of this lost weight into progeny. The claustral period is about 40 to 50 days at 27 degrees C. Mature colonies contain several tens of thousands of workers (est. up to 80,000), and have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. Each colony occupies an entire tree, and sometimes two trees if they are close together. Within a colony, there is a single queen capable of

  14. 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.

  15. Catalogue of the Iranian Microgastrinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae).

    PubMed

    Gadallah, Neveen S; Ghahari, Hassan; Peris-Felipo, Francisco Javier

    2015-11-16

    In the present study, the Iranian Microgastrinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) fauna is summarized. It is based on a detailed study of all available published data and new material collected. In total 99 species belonging to 8 genera are from Iran: Apanteles Förster, 1862 (36 species), Cotesia Cameron, 1891 (34 species), Deuterixys Mason, 1981 (1 species), Diolcogaster Ashmead, 1900 (4 species), Microgaster Latreille, 1804 (4 species), Microplitis Förster, 1862 (11 species), Pholesetor Mason, 1981 (4 species) and Protapanteles Ashmead, 1898 (5 species) in 4 tribes (Apantilini, Cotesiini, Microgastrini and Microplitini). A faunistic list with distribution data, and host records are given. Four species are new records for the fauna of Iran: Apanteles brunnistigma Abdinbekova, 1969, A. ingenuoides Papp, 1971, Microplitis decipiens Prell, 1925 and M. marshallii Kokujev, 1898.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Head capsule characters in the Hymenoptera and their phylogenetic implications

    PubMed Central

    Vilhelmsen, Lars

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The head capsule of a taxon sample of three outgroup and 86 ingroup taxa is examined for characters of possible phylogenetic significance within Hymenoptera. 21 morphological characters are illustrated and scored, and their character evolution explored by mapping them onto a phylogeny recently produced from a large morphological data set. Many of the characters are informative and display unambiguous changes. Most of the character support demonstrated is supportive at the superfamily or family level. In contrast, only few characters corroborate deeper nodes in the phylogeny of Hymenoptera. PMID:22259288

  3. 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

  4. Macroevolutionary assembly of ant/plant symbioses: Pseudomyrmex ants and their ant-housing plants in the Neotropics

    PubMed Central

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Ward, Philip S.; Renner, Susanne S.

    2015-01-01

    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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Description of Cephalotes specularis n. sp. (Formicidae: Myrmicinae)-the mirror turtle ant.

    PubMed

    Brandão, Carlos Roberto F; Feitosa, Rodrigo M; Powell, Scott; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2014-05-20

    We describe here Cephalotes specularis n. sp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Cephalotini) based on minor and major workers, gynes and larvae from Uberlândia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. On morphological and molecular grounds, this new species belongs to the C. fiebrigi + C. bruchi species complex, of which there are 11 previously described species (one in C. bruchi group and 10 in the C. fiebrigi group). All members of these groups are found in, or are limited to the South American "arid diagonal", comprised of the Argentinian Chaco, the Cerrados of central South America, and the Brazilian northeastern caatingas. Workers of C. specularis n. sp. have an extremely shiny gaster which is mirror-like, notwithstanding its sparse covering by minute hairs. This species engages in a form of resource-based social parasitism of the host ant Crematogaster ampla (Myrmicinae: Crematogastrini). Cephalotes specularis foragers move freely in the dense traffic of Crematogaster ampla foraging trails. They exhibit highly atypical body posturing for turtle ants, which makes them hard to distinguish from the Crematogaster foragers.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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.

  14. Microgynous Queens in the Paleartic Ant, Manica rubida: Dispersal Morphs or Social Parasites?

    PubMed Central

    Lenoir, Alain; Devers, Séverine; Marchand, Philippe; Bressac, Christophe; Savolainen, Riitta

    2010-01-01

    In many ant species, queen size is dimorphic, with small microgynes and large macrogynes, which differ, for example, in size, insemination rate, ovary development, and dispersal tactics. These polymorphic queens often correspond with alternative reproductive strategies. The Palearctic ant, Manica rubida (Latreille) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), lives mostly in mountainous regions in either monogynous colonies, containing one macrogynous queen or polygynous colonies, containing a few large macrogynous queens. In 1998, a colony of M. rubida was discovered containing macrogynes and many small alate microgynes that did not engage in a nuptial flight but, instead, stayed in the home nest the following winter. These microgynes were studied more closely by investigating their size, behavior, and spermatheca in relation to M. rubida macrogynes and workers. Mitochondrial DNA of macrogynes, microgynes and workers from four nests was sequenced to detect possible genetic differences between them. The microgynes were significantly smaller than the macrogynes, and the head width of the gynes was completely bimodal. The microgynes behaved like workers of the macrogynes in every experiment tested. Furthermore, the microgynes had a normal spermatheca and could be fecundated, but rarely (only one in several years). Finally, all the individuals were genetically identical, except three workers that differed by only one codon position. Because these microgynes have features of both queens and workers, their functional significance in the colony is not yet clear. PMID:20578881

  15. Multiple Convergent Origins of Workerlessness and Inbreeding in the Socially Parasitic Ant Genus Myrmoxenus

    PubMed Central

    Heinze, Jürgen; Buschinger, Alfred; Poettinger, Theo; Suefuji, Masaki

    2015-01-01

    The socially parasitic ant genus Myrmoxenus varies strongly in fundamental life history traits, such as queen-worker ratio, the timing of sexual production, and mating behavior. Myrmoxenus queens generally take over nests of Temnothorax ants, kill the resident queen by throttling, and force the workers to take care of the social parasite’s brood. Young queens of M. ravouxi and other species produce large numbers of workers, which during “slave-raids” pillage host pupae from neighboring Temnothorax colonies to increase the workforce in their own nests. Other species, such as M. corsicus, have lost caste polyphenism and rear only male and female sexual offspring. Using sequences of the genes CO I / CO II and wingless we reconstruct the phylogeny of Myrmoxenus and document that the worker caste was lost convergently at least three times. Furthermore, mating in the nest and inbreeding obviously also evolved in parallel from ancestors whose sexuals presumably mated during nuptial flights. Myrmoxenus might thus provide a suitable model to investigate caste differentiation and the plasticity of mating behavior in Hymenoptera. PMID:26221735

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. Optimal cue integration in ants

    PubMed Central

    Wystrach, Antoine; Mangan, Michael; Webb, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26400741

  5. Optimal cue integration in ants.

    PubMed

    Wystrach, Antoine; Mangan, Michael; Webb, Barbara

    2015-10-07

    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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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...

  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. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Checklist of Turkish Opiinae (Hymenoptera, Braconidae).

    PubMed

    Beyarslan, Ahmet; Fischer, Maximilian

    2013-01-01

    The Opiinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) species recorded from Turkey until the end of 2011 are listed, the present total number being 182. Changes with respect to the previous Turkish fauna are briefly annotated and the distributions for all the species in each of the 68 biogeographical provinces of Turkey are presented. After the publication of our previous fauna, 174 species have been recorded as new to Turkey. Of these, 105 species are distributed only in Asian Turkey and ten species are distributed only in European Turkey, while 73 species occur in both. The presented checklist covers synonyms, zoogeographical region(s), hosts, host plants of the host species and parasitoid data for the species. In total, 182 species belonging to ten genera are reported for Turkey. The number of species of each genus is represented by: Atormus van Achterberg, 1997: one; Biosteres Foerster, 1862: 17; Bitomus Szépligeti, 1910: three; Diachasma Foerster, 1862: one; Diachasmimorpha Viereck, 1913: one; Eurytenes Foerster, 1862: three; Indiopius Fischer, 1966: three; Opius Wesmael, 1835: 151, Psyttalia Walker, 1860: one; Sternaulopius Fischer, 1965: one.

  13. 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

  14. Quantifying Ant Activity Using Vibration Measurements

    PubMed Central

    Oberst, Sebastian; Baro, Enrique Nava; Lai, Joseph C. S.; Evans, Theodore A.

    2014-01-01

    Ant behaviour is of great interest due to their sociality. Ant behaviour is typically observed visually, however there are many circumstances where visual observation is not possible. It may be possible to assess ant behaviour using vibration signals produced by their physical movement. We demonstrate through a series of bioassays with different stimuli that the level of activity of meat ants (Iridomyrmex purpureus) can be quantified using vibrations, corresponding to observations with video. We found that ants exposed to physical shaking produced the highest average vibration amplitudes followed by ants with stones to drag, then ants with neighbours, illuminated ants and ants in darkness. In addition, we devised a novel method based on wavelet decomposition to separate the vibration signal owing to the initial ant behaviour from the substrate response, which will allow signals recorded from different substrates to be compared directly. Our results indicate the potential to use vibration signals to classify some ant behaviours in situations where visual observation could be difficult. PMID:24658467

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Ants on plants: a meta-analysis of the role of ants as plant biotic defenses.

    PubMed

    Rosumek, Felix B; Silveira, Fernando A O; de S Neves, Frederico; de U Barbosa, Newton P; Diniz, Livia; Oki, Yumi; Pezzini, Flavia; Fernandes, G Wilson; Cornelissen, Tatiana

    2009-06-01

    We reviewed the evidence on the role of ants as plant biotic defenses, by conducting meta-analyses for the effects of experimental removal of ants on plant herbivory and fitness with data pooled from 81 studies. Effects reviewed were plant herbivory, herbivore abundance, hemipteran abundance, predator abundance, plant biomass and reproduction in studies where ants were experimentally removed (n = 273 independent comparisons). Ant removal exhibited strong effects on herbivory rates, as plants without ants suffered almost twice as much damage and exhibited 50% more herbivores than plants with ants. Ants also influenced several parameters of plant fitness, as plants without ants suffered a reduction in biomass (-23.7%), leaf production (-51.8%), and reproduction (-24.3%). Effects were much stronger in tropical regions compared to temperate ones. Tropical plants suffered almost threefold higher herbivore damage than plants from temperate regions and exhibited three times more herbivores. Ant removal in tropical plants resulted in a decrease in plant fitness of about 59%, whereas in temperate plants this reduction was not statistically significant. Ant removal effects were also more important in obligate ant-plants (=myrmecophytes) compared to plants exhibiting facultative relationships with hemiptera or those plants with extrafloral nectaries and food bodies. When only tropical plants were considered and the strength of the association between ants and plants taken into account, plants with obligate association with ants exhibited almost four times higher herbivory compared to plants with facultative associations with ants, but similar reductions in plant reproduction. The removal of a single ant species increased plant herbivory by almost three times compared to the removal of several ant species. Altogether, these results suggest that ants do act as plant biotic defenses, but the effects of their presence are more pronounced in tropical systems, especially in

  20. 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.

  1. The re-discovered Maculinea rebeli (Hirschke, 1904): Host ant usage, parasitoid and initial food plant around the type locality with taxonomical aspects (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae).

    PubMed

    Tartally, András; Koschuh, Anton; Varga, Zoltán

    2014-01-01

    The taxonomy of the myrmecophilous Maculinea alcon group (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) is highly debated. The host-plant and host-ant usage of these butterflies have conventionally been important in their identification. Maculinea 'rebeli' has generally been considered to be the xerophilous form of Ma. alcon (Ma. alcon X hereafter) with Gentiana cruciata as initial food plant. However, the type locality and all other known sites of Ma. rebeli are found above the coniferous zone, and are well separated from the lower regions where Ma. alcon X sites are found. Furthermore, no food plant and host ant data for the nominotypic Ma. rebeli have yet been published. Our aim was therefore to identify the host ant(s) of Ma. rebeli around the type locality and compare this with the host ant usage of nearby Ma. alcon X. Nests of Myrmica spp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) close to the host plants were opened on one Ma. alcon X (host plant: Gentiana cruciata) and two Ma. rebeli (host plant: Gentianella rhaetica, first record, confirmed by oviposition and emerging larvae) sites just before the flying period, to find prepupal larvae and pupae. Three Myrmica species (My. lobulicornis, My. ruginodis, My. sulcinodis) were found on the two Ma. rebeli sites, which parasitized exclusively My. sulcinodis (22 individuals in 7 nests). On the Ma. alcon X site Myrmica sabuleti and My. lonae were found, with My. sabuleti the exclusive host (51 individuals in 10 nests). Ichneumon cf. eumerus parasitized both butterflies. The results highlight the differentiation of Maculinea rebeli from Ma. alcon X, from both conservation biological and ecological points of view. Thus, it should be concluded that Ma. rebeli does not simply represent an individual form of Ma. alcon but it can be considered as at least an ecological form adapted to high mountain conditions both in its initial food plant and host ant species. In addition, it should be emphasized that Ma. alcon X (= Ma. rebeli auct. nec Hirschke) cannot be

  2. 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

  3. Four new species of Aphelinidae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) from Mexico.

    PubMed

    Myartseva, Svetlana Nikolaevna; Ruíz-Cancino, Enrique; Coronado-Blanco, Juana María

    2013-01-01

    Four new species of Encarsia Förster (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) from Mexico are described--E. albata Myartseva sp. n. (State of Nuevo León), E. barracas Myartseva sp. n. (State of Baja California Sur), E. chichenitza Myartseva sp. n. (State of Yucatán) and E. elenae Myartseva sp. n. (State of Tamaulipas). A key to the species of Encarsia in Mexico published in 2012 is modified to include the newly described species.

  4. New records of Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera) for the Italian fauna

    PubMed Central

    Riedel, Matthias; Diller, Erich; Schwarz, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Abstract New distributional records on 55 ichneumonids (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) from Italy are provided. Of these, 47 species are new for Italy, including representatives of the subfamily Diacritinae and of the tribes Zimmeriini (Ichneumoninae) and Pseudorhyssini (Poemeniinae); six species are new for Sardinia, one for Sicily and one for the Italian mainland. The hitherto unknown female of Baranisobas hibericus Heinrich, 1972 (Ichneumoninae) is described. PMID:26175609

  5. 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.

  6. Analysis of Hymenoptera stings reported to the Illinois Poison Center.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Lee S; Modi, Pinal; Liang, Shile; Hryhorczuk, Daniel

    2010-09-01

    Although there is some detailed research on anaphylactic reactions to Hymenoptera venom, there continues to be little epidemiological data about the distribution, trend, and factors associated with the occurrence of Hymenoptera envenomations in humans. We describe characteristics of persons suffering Hymenoptera stings from bees, wasps, and hornets as reported to the Illinois Poison Center, and assess seasonal, climatologic, and time trends of calls for envenomations between 2002 and 2007. Mean daily temperature and mean daily atmospheric pressure were positively associated with envenomations, whereas wind speed was negatively associated with envenomations. We also observed a significant increase in calls for envenomations on summer holidays (P < 0.001). In addition, our findings showed that the number of calls for envenomations declined by nearly half after 2005 (P < 0.001) compared with previous years. Our findings indicate that the decline in bees, wasps, and hornets may be widespread, affecting both wild and commercial populations, and that the decline appears to have been rapid and sustained in recent years. Poison center data are a valuable resource for the surveillance of poisoning in humans, but our findings show that the data can be used to monitor changes in nonhuman species.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Path integration in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Martin; Wehner, Rüdiger

    1988-01-01

    Foraging desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, continually keep track of their own posotions relative to home— i.e., integrate their tortuous outbound routes and return home along straight (inbound) routes. By experimentally manipulating the ants' outbound trajectories we show that the ants solve this path integration problem not by performing a true vector summation (as a human navigator does) but by employing a computationally simple approximation. This approximation is characterized by small, but systematic, navigational errors that helped us elucidate the ant's way of computing its mean home vector. PMID:16593958

  10. Major evolutionary transitions in ant agriculture.

    PubMed

    Schultz, Ted R; Brady, Seán G

    2008-04-08

    Agriculture is a specialized form of symbiosis that is known to have evolved in only four animal groups: humans, bark beetles, termites, and ants. Here, we reconstruct the major evolutionary transitions that produced the five distinct agricultural systems of the fungus-growing ants, the most well studied of the nonhuman agriculturalists. We do so with reference to the first fossil-calibrated, multiple-gene, molecular phylogeny that incorporates the full range of taxonomic diversity within the fungus-growing ant tribe Attini. Our analyses indicate that the original form of ant agriculture, the cultivation of a diverse subset of fungal species in the tribe Leucocoprineae, evolved approximately 50 million years ago in the Neotropics, coincident with the early Eocene climatic optimum. During the past 30 million years, three known ant agricultural systems, each involving a phylogenetically distinct set of derived fungal cultivars, have separately arisen from the original agricultural system. One of these derived systems subsequently gave rise to the fifth known system of agriculture, in which a single fungal species is cultivated by leaf-cutter ants. Leaf-cutter ants evolved remarkably recently ( approximately 8-12 million years ago) to become the dominant herbivores of the New World tropics. Our analyses identify relict, extant attine ant species that occupy phylogenetic positions that are transitional between the agricultural systems. Intensive study of those species holds particular promise for clarifying the sequential accretion of ecological and behavioral characters that produced each of the major ant agricultural systems.

  11. Usefulness of fire ant genetics in insecticide efficacy trials

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mature fire ant colonies contain an average of 80,000 worker ants. For this study, eight fire ant workers were randomly sampled from each colony. DNA fingerprints for each individual ant were generated using 21 simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers that were developed from fire ant DNA by other lab...

  12. Plants in Your Ants: Using Ant Mounds to Test Basic Ecological Principles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zettler, Jennifer A.; Collier, Alexander; Leidersdorf, Bil; Sanou, Missa Patrick

    2010-01-01

    Urban students often have limited access to field sites for ecological studies. Ubiquitous ants and their mounds can be used to study and test ecology-based questions. We describe how soil collected from ant mounds can be used to investigate how biotic factors (ants) can affect abiotic factors in the soil that can, in turn, influence plant growth.

  13. Spectacular Batesian mimicry in ants.

    PubMed

    Ito, Fuminori; Hashim, Rosli; Huei, Yek Sze; Kaufmann, Eva; Akino, Toshiharu; Billen, Johan

    2004-10-01

    The mechanism by which palatable species take advantage of their similarity in appearance to those that are unpalatable, in order to avoid predation, is called Batesian mimicry. Several arthropods are thought to be Batesian mimics of social insects; however, social insects that are Batesian mimics among themselves are rare. In Malaysia we found a possible Batesian mimic in an arboreal ant species, Camponotus sp., which was exclusively observed on foraging trails of the myrmicine ant Crematogaster inflata. The bright yellow and black colouring pattern, as well as the walking behaviour, were very similar in both species. We observed general interactions between the two species, and tested their palatability and the significance of the remarkably similar visual colour patterns for predator avoidance. Prey offered to C. inflata was also eaten by Camponotus workers in spite of their being attacked by C. inflata, indicating that Camponotus sp. is a commensal of C. inflata. An experiment with chicks as potential predators suggests that Camponotus sp. is palatable whereas C. inflata is unpalatable. After tasting C. inflata, the chicks no longer attacked Camponotus sp., indicating that Camponotus sp. is a Batesian mimic of Crematogaster inflata.

  14. Spectacular Batesian mimicry in ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Fuminori; Hashim, Rosli; Huei, Yek Sze; Kaufmann, Eva; Akino, Toshiharu; Billen, Johan

    2004-10-01

    The mechanism by which palatable species take advantage of their similarity in appearance to those that are unpalatable, in order to avoid predation, is called Batesian mimicry. Several arthropods are thought to be Batesian mimics of social insects; however, social insects that are Batesian mimics among themselves are rare. In Malaysia we found a possible Batesian mimic in an arboreal ant species, Camponotus sp., which was exclusively observed on foraging trails of the myrmicine ant Crematogaster inflata. The bright yellow and black colouring pattern, as well as the walking behaviour, were very similar in both species. We observed general interactions between the two species, and tested their palatability and the significance of the remarkably similar visual colour patterns for predator avoidance. Prey offered to C. inflata was also eaten by Camponotus workers in spite of their being attacked by C. inflata, indicating that Camponotus sp. is a commensal of C. inflata. An experiment with chicks as potential predators suggests that Camponotus sp. is palatable whereas C. inflata is unpalatable. After tasting C. inflata, the chicks no longer attacked Camponotus sp., indicating that Camponotus sp. is a Batesian mimic of Crematogaster inflata.

  15. Foraging activity and seasonal food preference of Linepithema micans (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), a species associated with the spread of Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Hemiptera: Margarodidae).

    PubMed

    Nondillo, Aline; Ferrari, Leonardo; Lerin, Sabrina; Bueno, Odair Correa; Bottona, Marcos

    2014-08-01

    Linepithema micans (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is the main ant species responsible for the spread of Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Wille) (Hemiptera: Margarodidae), a soil scale that damages vine plants in southern Brazil. The daily foraging activity of L. micans and its seasonal preference for protein- and carbohydrate-based foods were evaluated. The study was carried out in a greenhouse using seedlings of the Paulsen 1103 rootstock (Vitis berlandieri x Vitis rupestris) planted individually in pots and infested with colonies of L. micans. To determine the daily foraging activity and seasonal preference, a cricket (Gryllus sp.) and a 70% solution of inverted sugar and water were offered once a month for 12 mo. The ants foraging on each food source were counted hourly for 24 h. L. micans foraged from dusk until the end of the next morning, with higher intensity in the spring and summer. Workers of L. micans showed changes in food preference during the year, with a predominance of protein-based food during winter and spring and carbohydrate-based food during autumn. The implications of this behavior for control of the species with the use of toxic baits are discussed.

  16. Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me!

    MedlinePlus

    ... Emergency Room? What Happens in the Operating Room? Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me! KidsHealth > For Kids > Hey! A Fire Ant Stung Me! Print A A ... For Kids For Parents MORE ON THIS TOPIC Hey! A Bee Stung Me! Hey! A Scorpion Stung ...

  17. The Use of Ants in Field Work.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skinner, Gary J.

    1988-01-01

    Provided is a brief description of the biology and taxonomy of British ants. Suggested are a range of exercises which could be used for class or project work in secondary biology classes. Illustrates many ecological, behavioral and physiological points regarding the species of ants found in Great Britain. (Author/CW)

  18. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Improving Emergency Management by Modeling Ant Colonies

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-03-01

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

  20. Neuropeptidomics of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Franziska; Vanselow, Jens T; Schlosser, Andreas; Kahnt, Jörg; Rössler, Wolfgang; Wegener, Christian

    2015-03-06

    Ants show a rich behavioral repertoire and a highly complex organization, which have been attracting behavioral and sociobiological researchers for a long time. The neuronal underpinnings of ant behavior and social organization are, however, much less understood. Neuropeptides are key signals that orchestrate animal behavior and physiology, and it is thus feasible to assume that they play an important role also for the social constitution of ants. Despite the availability of different ant genomes and in silico prediction of ant neuropeptides, a comprehensive biochemical survey of the neuropeptidergic communication possibilities of ants is missing. We therefore combined different mass spectrometric methods to characterize the neuropeptidome of the adult carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. We also characterized the local neuropeptide complement in different parts of the nervous and neuroendocrine system, including the antennal and optic lobes. Our analysis identifies 39 neuropeptides encoded by different prepropeptide genes, and in silico predicts new prepropeptide genes encoding CAPA peptides, CNMamide as well as homologues of the honey bee IDLSRFYGHFNT- and ITGQGNRIF-containing peptides. Our data provides basic information about the identity and localization of neuropeptides that is required to anatomically and functionally address the role and significance of neuropeptides in ant behavior and physiology.

  1. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-20

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

  2. Urban Pest Management of Ants in California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Keeping pace with the dynamic and evolving landscape of invasive ants in California presents a formidable challenge to the pest management industry. Pest management professionals (PMPs) are on the frontlines when it comes to battling these exotic ant pests, and are often the first ones to intercept ...

  3. Evolution of a soldier caste specialized to lay unfertilized eggs in the ant genus Crematogaster (subgenus Orthocrema).

    PubMed

    Peeters, Christian; Lin, Chung-Chi; Quinet, Yves; Martins Segundo, Glauco; Billen, Johan

    2013-05-01

    Among social Hymenoptera, only some ant genera have more than one morphological kind of non-reproductive adults. Individuals that are bigger than ordinary workers can function for defence and/or food storage. In Crematogaster (Orthocrema) smithi from Arizona, a third caste exists in addition to winged queens and workers; it is intermediate in size, weight and morphology, and individuals lay many unfertilized eggs that are mostly eaten by larvae (Heinze et al., 1995, 1999). We studied another three species belonging to the subgenus Orthocrema: Crematogaster pygmaea from Brazil, Crematogaster biroi and Crematogaster schimmeri from Taiwan. Using scanning electron microscopy and ovarian dissections, we show that 'intermediates' are a patchwork of queen-like and worker-like traits, just as in C. smithi; importantly the combinations differ across species. 'Intermediates' are numerically few in the colonies, and in C. pygmaea they are produced seasonally. Using histology we confirmed the lack of a spermatheca, thus they are not ergatoid queens. Based on the similarity of their mosaic phenotypes with those in other ant lineages, we suggest that Orthocrema 'intermediates' are a soldier caste with a specialized trophic function. This soldier caste has been reported in other Orthocrema species from Madagascar, Guinea and Costa Rica, suggesting that it is widespread in this subgenus.

  4. Cytogenetic analysis of three species of Pseudacteon (Diptera, Phoridae) parasitoids of the fire ants using standard and molecular techniques

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Pseudacteon flies, parasitoids of worker ants, are being intensively studied as potentially effective agents in the biological control of the invasive pest fire ant genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). This is the first attempt to describe the karyotype of P. curvatus Borgmeier, P. nocens Borgmeier and P. tricuspis Borgmeier. The three species possess 2n = 6; chromosomes I and II were metacentric in the three species, but chromosome pair III was subtelocentric in P. curvatus and P. tricuspis, and telocentric in P. nocens. All three species possess a C positive band in chromosome II, lack C positive heterochromatin on chromosome I, and are mostly differentiated with respect to chromosome III. P. curvatus and P. tricuspis possess a C positive band, but at different locations, whereas this band is absent in P. nocens. Heterochromatic bands are neither AT nor GC rich as revealed by fluorescent banding. In situ hybridization with an 18S rDNA probe revealed a signal on chromosome II in a similar location to the C positive band in the three species. The apparent lack of morphologically distinct sex chromosomes is consistent with proposals of environmental sex determination in the genus. Small differences detected in chromosome length and morphology suggests that chromosomes have been highly conserved during the evolutionary radiation of Pseudacteon. Possible mechanisms of karyotype evolution in the three species are suggested. PMID:21637448

  5. Re-investigation of venom chemistry of Solenopsis fire ants. I. Identification of novel alkaloids in S. richteri.

    PubMed

    Chen, Li; Fadamiro, Henry Y

    2009-04-01

    Dialkylpiperidines are characteristic of fire ants in the genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Workers of the black imported fire ant, S. richteri produce cis and trans stereoisomers of 2,6-dialkylpiperidines with the trans isomer predominating. We used silica gel short column chromatography to separate both stereoisomers (cis and trans) of S. richteri venom alkaloids and coupled gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to identify novel minor components. The identities of various peaks in GC-MS analyses of the venom fractions were based on relative retention times and mass spectral data. GC profiles verified the presence of both cis and trans stereoisomers of C15:1 and C15 in S. richteri. The GC trace of the cis stereoisomers of S. richteri alkaloids was presented for the first time. In addition to the previously described components of S. richteri venom, seven novel 2,6-dialkyl-delta1,2-piperideines and 2,6-dialkyl-delta1,6-piperideines were detected. The chemical identities of these minor components were determined by comparing with fragmentations of known compounds. Possible biosynthetic pathways for the production of cis and trans solenopsins by S. richteri are discussed.

  6. Body size, but not cooling rate, affects supercooling points in the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Daniel A; Martin, Adam R; Porter, Sanford D

    2008-10-01

    The level of an animal's stress resistance is set by multiple intrinsic physiological and extrinsic environmental parameters. Body size is a critical intrinsic parameter that affects numerous fitness-related organismal traits including fecundity, survival, mating success, and stress resistance. The rate of cooling is a critical extrinsic environmental factor that can affect thermal stress resistance. Workers of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), display considerable variation in adult body size. Therefore, developing ecologically realistic models of thermotolerance in this species requires a consideration of body size. We tested the hypothesis that body size and cooling rate would interact to set the supercooling point in fire ant workers by exposing workers of a range of body sizes to three different cooling regimens: a very fast ramp of -10 degrees C/min, an intermediate ramp of -1 degrees C/min, and an ecologically relevant slow ramp of -0.1 degrees C/min. Specifically, we asked whether large workers were more susceptible to differences in cooling rate than smaller workers. We found that body size had a considerable effect on supercooling point with the largest workers freezing at a temperature approximately 3 degrees C higher than the smallest workers. Cooling rate had a very small effect on supercooling point, and there was no interaction between the two factors. Therefore, the allometry of supercooling points across the range of worker body sizes does not change with cooling rate.

  7. Ant-seed mutualisms: Can red imported fire ants sour the relationship?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

    Invasion by the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, has had negative impacts on individual animal and plant species, but little is known about how S. invicta affects complex mutualistic relationships. In some eastern forests of North America, 30% of herbaceous species have ant-dispersed seeds. We conducted experiments to determine if fire ants are attracted to seeds of these plant species and assessed the amount of scarification or damage that results from handling by fire ants. Fire ants removed nearly 100% of seeds of the ant-dispersed plants Trillium undulatum, T. discolor, T. catesbaei, Viola rotundifolia, and Sanguinaria canadensis. In recovered seeds fed to ant colonies, fire ants scarified 80% of S. canadensis seeds and destroyed 86% of V. rotundifolia seeds. Our study is the first to document that red imported fire ants are attracted to and remove seeds of species adapted for ant dispersal. Moreover, fire ants might damage these seeds and discard them in sites unfavorable for germination and seedling establishment. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. ANT2-defective fibroblasts exhibit normal mitochondrial bioenergetics

    PubMed Central

    Prabhu, Dolly; Goldstein, Amy C.; El-Khoury, Riyad; Rak, Malgorzata; Edmunds, Lia; Rustin, Pierre; Vockley, Jerry; Schiff, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Adenine nucleotide translocase 2 (ANT2) transports glycolytic ATP across the inner mitochondrial membrane. Patients with ANT2 deletion were recently reported. We aimed at characterizing mitochondrial functions in ANT2-defective fibroblasts. In spite of ANT2 expression in fibroblasts, we observed no difference between ANT2-defective and control fibroblasts for mitochondrial respiration, respiratory chain activities, mitochondrial membrane potential and intracellular ATP levels. This indicates that ANT2 insufficiency does not alter fibroblast basal mitochondrial bioenergetics. PMID:26000237

  9. Microclimatic conditions of Lasius flavus ant mounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Véle, Adam; Holuša, Jaroslav

    2016-11-01

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

  10. Microclimatic conditions of Lasius flavus ant mounds.

    PubMed

    Véle, Adam; Holuša, Jaroslav

    2016-11-23

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

  11. Ants defend aphids against lethal disease.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-23

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

  12. Persistence of pollination mutualisms in the presence of ants.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wang, Shikun

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers plant-pollinator-ant systems in which the plant-pollinator interaction is mutualistic but ants have both positive and negative effects on plants. The ants also interfere with pollinators by preventing them from accessing plants. While a Beddington-DeAngelis (BD) formula can describe the plant-pollinator interaction, the formula is extended in this paper to characterize the pollination mutualism under the ant interference. Then, a plant-pollinator-ant system with the extended BD functional response is discussed, and global dynamics of the model demonstrate the mechanisms by which pollination mutualism can persist in the presence of ants. When the ant interference is strong, it can result in extinction of pollinators. Moreover, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for survival, the strong interference could drive pollinators into extinction, which consequently lead to extinction of the ants themselves. When the ant interference is weak, a cooperation between plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms could occur, which promotes survival of both ants and pollinators, especially in the case that ants (respectively, pollinators) cannot survive in the absence of pollinators (respectively, ants). Even when the level of ant interference remains invariant, varying ants' negative effect on plants can result in survival/extinction of both ants and pollinators. Therefore, our results provide an explanation for the persistence of pollination mutualism when there exist ants.

  13. Brachymeria pandora (Crawford) (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae) as a new parasitoid of Thyrinteina leucocerae (Rindge) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Zache, B; Zaché, R R C; Tavares, M T; Wilcken, C F

    2012-08-01

    This is the first report of Brachymeria pandora (Crawford) (Hymenoptera: Chalcididae)-parasitizing pupae of the eucalyptus defoliator Thyrinteina leucocerae (Rindge) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) in Brazil.

  14. A NEW SPECIES OF INVASIVE GALL WASP (HYMENOPTERA: EULOPHIDAE: TETRASTICHINAE) ON BLUE GUM (EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS) IN CALIFORNIA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The blue gum gall wasp, Selitrichodes globulus La Salle & Gates (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae), is described as an invasive gall inducer on blue gum, Eucalyptus globulus (Myrtaceae), in California....

  15. FDTD-ANT User Manual

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimmerman, Martin L.

    1995-01-01

    This manual explains the theory and operation of the finite-difference time domain code FDTD-ANT developed by Analex Corporation at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. This code can be used for solving electromagnetic problems that are electrically small or medium (on the order of 1 to 50 cubic wavelengths). Calculated parameters include transmission line impedance, relative effective permittivity, antenna input impedance, and far-field patterns in both the time and frequency domains. The maximum problem size may be adjusted according to the computer used. This code has been run on the DEC VAX and 486 PC's and on workstations such as the Sun Sparc and the IBM RS/6000.

  16. Ant-Based Cyber Security

    SciTech Connect

    Haack, Jereme N.; Fink, Glenn A.; Maiden, Wendy M.; McKinnon, Archibald D.; Templeton, Steven J.; Fulp, Errin W.

    2011-07-12

    We describe a swarming-agent-based, mixed-initiative approach to infrastructure defense where teams of humans and software agents defend cooperating organizations in tandem by sharing insights and solutions without violating proprietary boundaries. The system places human administrators at the appropriate level where they provide system guidance while lower-level agents carry out tasks humans are unable to perform quickly enough to mitigate today’s security threats. Cooperative Infrastructure Defense (CID) uses our ant-based approach to enable dialogue between humans and agents to foster a collaborative problem-solving environment, increase human situational awareness and influence using visualization and shared control. We discuss theoretical implementation characteristics along with results from recent proof-of-concept implementations.

  17. Biological and Enzymatic Characterization of Proteases from Crude Venom of the Ant Odontomachus bauri

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Mariana Ferreira; Mota, Caroline Martins; Miranda, Vanessa dos Santos; de Oliveira Cunha, Amanda; Silva, Maraísa Cristina; Naves, Karinne Spirandelli Carvalho; de Oliveira, Fábio; Silva, Deise Aparecida de Oliveira; Mineo, Tiago Wilson Patriarca; Santiago, Fernanda Maria

    2015-01-01

    Hymenoptera venoms constitute an interesting source of natural toxins that may lead to the development of novel therapeutic agents. The present study investigated the enzymatic and biological characteristics of the crude venom of the ant Odontomachus bauri. Its crude venom presents several protein bands, with higher staining for six proteins with gelatinolytic activity (17, 20, 26, 29, 43 and 48 kDa). The crude venom showed high proteolytic activity on azocasein at optimal pH 8.0 and 37 °C. In the presence of protease inhibitors as aprotinin, leupeptin and EDTA, the azocaseinolytic activity was reduced by 45%, 29% and 9%, respectively, suggesting that the enzymes present in the crude venom belong to the three classes of proteases, with the serine proteases in greater intensity. The crude venom degraded the fibrinogen α-chain faster than the β-chain, while the fibrinogen γ-chain remained unchanged. In biological assays, O. bauri venom showed hemolytic and coagulant activity in vitro, and defibrinating activity in vivo. In addition, the venom showed antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli as well as antiparasitic activity on Toxoplasma gondii infection in vitro. In that sense, this study sheds perspectives for pharmacological applications of O. bauri venom enzymes. PMID:26633501

  18. Social dominance and reproductive differentiation mediated by dopaminergic signaling in a queenless ant.

    PubMed

    Okada, Yasukazu; Sasaki, Ken; Miyazaki, Satoshi; Shimoji, Hiroyuki; Tsuji, Kazuki; Miura, Toru

    2015-04-01

    In social Hymenoptera with no morphological caste, a dominant female becomes an egg layer, whereas subordinates become sterile helpers. The physiological mechanism that links dominance rank and fecundity is an essential part of the emergence of sterile females, which reflects the primitive phase of eusociality. Recent studies suggest that brain biogenic amines are correlated with the ranks in dominance hierarchy. However, the actual causality between aminergic systems and phenotype (i.e. fecundity and aggressiveness) is largely unknown due to the pleiotropic functions of amines (e.g. age-dependent polyethism) and the scarcity of manipulation experiments. To clarify the causality among dominance ranks, amine levels and phenotypes, we examined the dynamics of the aminergic system during the ontogeny of dominance hierarchy in the queenless ant Diacamma sp., which undergoes rapid physiological differentiation based on dominance interactions. Brain dopamine levels differed between dominants and subordinates at day 7 after eclosion, although they did not differ at day 1, reflecting fecundity but not aggressiveness. Topical applications of dopamine to the subordinate workers induced oocyte growth but did not induce aggressiveness, suggesting the gonadotropic effect of dopamine. Additionally, dopamine receptor transcripts (dopr1 and dopr2) were elevated in the gaster fat body of dominant females, suggesting that the fat body is a potential target of neurohormonal dopamine. Based on this evidence, we suggest that brain dopamine levels are elevated in dominants as a result of hierarchy formation, and differences in dopamine levels cause the reproductive differentiation, probably via stimulation of the fat body.

  19. Determination of the cost of worker reproduction via diminished life span in the ant Diacamma sp.

    PubMed

    Tsuji, Kazuki; Kikuta, Noritsugu; Kikuchi, Tomonori

    2012-05-01

    Workers of social Hymenoptera can usually produce male offspring, but rarely do so in the presence of a queen despite the potential individual fitness benefit. Various mechanisms have been hypothesized to regulate worker reproduction, including avoiding the colony-level cost of worker reproduction. However, firm quantitative evidence is lacking to support that hypothesis. Here, we accurately quantified this cost by studying an ant species (Diacamma sp.) in which worker reproduction is rare in the presence of the gamergate (the functional queen). A series of experiments to manipulate worker-gamergate contact revealed that short-term brood-production efficiency is not changed by the presence of worker reproduction. However, when workers reproduce, their average life span is reduced to between 74% and 88% of that in the absence of reproduction, indicating a long-term cost to the colony. In theory, this cost can explain the policing of worker reproduction under a queen-single mating system, but the cost does not appear to be high enough to stop worker reproduction. When contact with the gamergate is lost, it is only the nonreproductive workers whose life span was reduced; the reproductive workers lived as long as nonorphaned workers. We suggest that an increased workload can account for the reduction in life span better than a trade-off between reproduction and longevity.

  20. Biological and Enzymatic Characterization of Proteases from Crude Venom of the Ant Odontomachus bauri.

    PubMed

    Silva, Mariana Ferreira; Mota, Caroline Martins; Miranda, Vanessa dos Santos; Cunha, Amanda de Oliveira; Silva, Maraísa Cristina; Naves, Karinne Spirandelli Carvalho; de Oliveira, Fábio; Silva, Deise Aparecida de Oliveira; Mineo, Tiago Wilson Patriarca; Santiago, Fernanda Maria

    2015-11-30

    Hymenoptera venoms constitute an interesting source of natural toxins that may lead to the development of novel therapeutic agents. The present study investigated the enzymatic and biological characteristics of the crude venom of the ant Odontomachus bauri. Its crude venom presents several protein bands, with higher staining for six proteins with gelatinolytic activity (17, 20, 26, 29, 43 and 48 kDa). The crude venom showed high proteolytic activity on azocasein at optimal pH 8.0 and 37 °C. In the presence of protease inhibitors as aprotinin, leupeptin and EDTA, the azocaseinolytic activity was reduced by 45%, 29% and 9%, respectively, suggesting that the enzymes present in the crude venom belong to the three classes of proteases, with the serine proteases in greater intensity. The crude venom degraded the fibrinogen α-chain faster than the β-chain, while the fibrinogen γ-chain remained unchanged. In biological assays, O. bauri venom showed hemolytic and coagulant activity in vitro, and defibrinating activity in vivo. In addition, the venom showed antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli as well as antiparasitic activity on Toxoplasma gondii infection in vitro. In that sense, this study sheds perspectives for pharmacological applications of O. bauri venom enzymes.

  1. Aggressions and size-related fecundity of queenless workers in the ant Cataglyphis cursor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clémencet, Johanna; Rome, Quentin; Fédérici, Pierre; Doums, Claudie

    2008-02-01

    In social hymenoptera, the reproductive division of labor is often linked to differences in individual body size with the reproductive caste (the queen) being larger than the workers. Likewise, the reproductive potential may vary with size within the worker caste and could affect the evolution of worker size in social insects. Here, we tested the relationship between worker size and reproductive potential in the facultative parthenogenetic ant Cataglyphis cursor. Colonies are headed by a multiply mated queen, but workers can produce gynes (virgin queens) and workers by thelytokous parthenogenesis after the queen’s death. We observed the behaviour of workers ( n = 357) until the production of gynes (212 h over 3 months) in an orphaned colony (mated queen not present). The size of workers was measured, and their paternal lineage determined using six microsatellite markers, to control for an effect of patriline. Larger workers were more likely to reproduce and lay more eggs indicating that individual level selection could take place. However, paternal lineage had no effect on the reproductive potential and worker size. From the behavioural and genetic data, we also show for the first time in this species, evidence of aggressive interactions among workers and a potential for nepotism to occur in orphaned colonies, as the five gynes produced belonged to a single paternal lineage.

  2. Invited review the coiled coil silk of bees, ants, and hornets.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, Tara D; Weisman, Sarah; Walker, Andrew A; Mudie, Stephen T

    2012-06-01

    In this article, we review current knowledge about the silk produced by the larvae of bees, ants, and hornets [Apoidea and Vespoidea: Hymenoptera]. Different species use the silk either alone or in composites for a variety of purposes including mechanical reinforcement, thermal regulation, or humidification. The characteristic molecular structure of this silk is α-helical proteins assembled into tetrameric coiled coils. Gene sequences from seven species are available, and each species possesses a copy of each of four related silk genes that encode proteins predicted to form coiled coils. The proteins are ordered at multiple length scales within the labial gland of the final larval instar before spinning. The insects control the morphology of the silk during spinning to produce either fibers or sheets. The silk proteins are small and non repetitive and have been produced artificially at high levels by fermentation in E. coli. The artificial silk proteins can be fabricated into materials with structural and mechanical properties similar to those of native silks.

  3. Context dependent stridulatory responses of Leptogenys kitteli (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) to social, prey, and disturbance stimuli

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    By increasing the speed of stridulatory movements and the rates of stridulation pulses, individuals and groups of Leptogenys kitteli (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) produce graded stridulatory responses to increasingly excitatory stimuli ranging from social interactions within a nest to prey items placed ...

  4. Competition between the filth fly parasitoids Muscidifurax raptor and M. raptorellus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Competition bioassays were conducted with the filth fly pupal parasitoids Muscidurax raptor (Girault & Sanders) and M. raptorellus (Kogan & Legner) (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) with house fly Musca domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae) hosts at different host densities. Assays were conducted by varying e...

  5. Release and establishment of Diachasmimorpha kraussii (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) against Bactrocera latifrons (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Hawaii

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Laboratory tests documented that Diachasmimorpha kraussii Fullaway (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) was a potentially effective biological control agent against Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) and Bactrocera latifrons (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Diachasmimorpha kraussii was approved for release in Hawa...

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

    PubMed

    Pringle, Elizabeth G

    2014-06-22

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

  7. How to be an ant on figs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bain, Anthony; Harrison, Rhett D.; Schatz, Bertrand

    2014-05-01

    Mutualistic interactions are open to exploitation by one or other of the partners and a diversity of other organisms, and hence are best understood as being embedded in a complex network of biotic interactions. Figs participate in an obligate mutualism in that figs are dependent on agaonid fig wasps for pollination and the wasps are dependent on fig ovules for brood sites. Ants are common insect predators and abundant in tropical forests. Ants have been recorded on approximately 11% of fig species, including all six subgenera, and often affect the fig-fig pollinator interaction through their predation of either pollinating and parasitic wasps. On monoecious figs, ants are often associated with hemipterans, whereas in dioecious figs ants predominantly prey on fig wasps. A few fig species are true myrmecophytes, with domatia or food rewards for ants, and in at least one species this is linked to predation of parasitic fig wasps. Ants also play a role in dispersal of fig seeds and may be particularly important for hemi-epiphytic species, which require high quality establishment microsites in the canopy. The intersection between the fig-fig pollinator and ant-plant systems promises to provide fertile ground for understanding mutualistic interactions within the context of complex interaction networks.

  8. Analysis of acoustic communication by ants.

    PubMed

    Hickling, R; Brown, R L

    2000-10-01

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

  9. The agricultural pathology of ant fungus gardens

    PubMed Central

    Currie, Cameron R.; Mueller, Ulrich G.; Malloch, David

    1999-01-01

    Gardens of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae: Attini) traditionally have been thought to be free of microbial parasites, with the fungal mutualist maintained in nearly pure “monocultures.” We conducted extensive isolations of “alien” (nonmutualistic) fungi from ant gardens of a phylogenetically representative collection of attine ants. Contrary to the long-standing assumption that gardens are maintained free of microbial pathogens and parasites, they are in fact host to specialized parasites that are only known from attine gardens and that are found in most attine nests. These specialized garden parasites, belonging to the microfungus genus Escovopsis (Ascomycota: anamorphic Hypocreales), are horizontally transmitted between colonies. Consistent with theory of virulence evolution under this mode of pathogen transmission, Escovopsis is highly virulent and has the potential for rapid devastation of ant gardens, leading to colony mortality. The specialized parasite Escovopsis is more prevalent in gardens of the more derived ant lineages than in gardens of the more “primitive” (basal) ant lineages. Because fungal cultivars of derived attine lineages are asexual clones of apparently ancient origin whereas cultivars of primitive ant lineages were domesticated relatively recently from free-living sexual stocks, the increased virulence of pathogens associated with ancient asexual cultivars suggests an evolutionary cost to cultivar clonality, perhaps resulting from slower evolutionary rates of cultivars in the coevolutionary race with their pathogens. PMID:10393936

  10. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    PubMed Central

    Aranda-Rickert, Adriana; Diez, Patricia; Marazzi, Brigitte

    2014-01-01

    Interactions mediated by extrafloral nectary (EFN)-bearing plants that reward ants with a sweet liquid secretion are well documented in temperate and tropical habitats. However, their distribution and abundance in deserts are poorly known. In this study, we test the predictions that biotic interactions between EFN plants and ants are abundant and common also in arid communities and that EFNs are only functional when new vegetative and reproductive structures are developing. In a seasonal desert of northwestern Argentina, we surveyed the richness and phenology of EFN plants and their associated ants and examined the patterns in ant–plant interaction networks. We found that 25 ant species and 11 EFN-bearing plant species were linked together through 96 pairs of associations. Plants bearing EFNs were abundant, representing ca. 19 % of the species encountered in transects and 24 % of the plant cover. Most ant species sampled (ca. 77 %) fed on EF nectar. Interactions showed a marked seasonal pattern: EFN secretion was directly related to plant phenology and correlated with the time of highest ant ground activity. Our results reveal that EFN-mediated interactions are ecologically relevant components of deserts, and that EFN-bearing plants are crucial for the survival of desert ant communities. PMID:25381258

  11. Differential Recruitment of Camponotus femoratus (Fabricius) Ants in Response to Ant Garden Herbivory.

    PubMed

    Vicente, R E; Dáttilo, W; Izzo, T J

    2014-12-01

    Although several studies have shown that ants can recognize chemical cues from their host plants in ant-plant systems, it is poorly demonstrated in ant gardens (AGs). In this interaction, ant species constantly interact with various epiphyte species. Therefore, it is possible to expect a convergence of chemical signals released by plants that could be acting to ensure that ants are able to recognize and defend epiphyte species frequently associated with AGs. In this study, it was hypothesized that ants recognize and differentiate among chemical stimuli released by AG epiphytes and non-AG epiphytes. We experimentally simulated leaf herbivore damage on three epiphyte species restricted to AGs and a locally abundant understory herb, Piper hispidum, in order to quantify the number of recruited Camponotus femoratus (Fabricius) defenders. When exposed to the AG epiphytes Peperomia macrostachya and Codonanthe uleana leaves, it was observed that the recruitment of C. femoratus workers was, on average, respectively 556% and 246% higher than control. However, the number of ants recruited by the AG epiphyte Markea longiflora or by the non-AG plant did not differ from paper pieces. This indicated that ants could discern between chemicals released by different plants, suggesting that ants can select better plants. These results can be explained by evolutionary process acting on both ants' capability in discerning plants' chemical compounds (innate attraction) or by ants' learning based on the epiphyte frequency in AGs (individual experience). To disentangle an innate behavior, a product of classical coevolutionary process, from an ant's learned behavior, is a complicated but important subject to understand in the evolution of ant-plant mutualisms.

  12. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  13. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  14. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Suckling, D.M.; Peck, R.W.; Manning, L.M.; Stringer, L.D.; Cappadonna, J.; El-Sayed, A. M.

    2008-01-01

    Disruption of Argentine ant trail following and reduced ability to forage (measured by bait location success) was achieved after presentation of an oversupply of trail pheromone, (Z)-9-hexadecenal. Experiments tested single pheromone point sources and dispersion of a formulation in small field plots. Ant walking behavior was recorded and digitized by using video tracking, before and after presentation of trail pheromone. Ants showed changes in three parameters within seconds of treatment: (1) Ants on trails normally showed a unimodal frequency distribution of walking track angles, but this pattern disappeared after presentation of the trail pheromone; (2) ants showed initial high trail integrity on a range of untreated substrates from painted walls to wooden or concrete floors, but this was significantly reduced following presentation of a point source of pheromone; (3) the number of ants in the pheromone-treated area increased over time, as recruitment apparently exceeded departures. To test trail disruption in small outdoor plots, the trail pheromone was formulated with carnuba wax-coated quartz laboratory sand (1 g quartz sand/0.2 g wax/1 mg pheromone). The pheromone formulation, with a half-life of 30 h, was applied by rotary spreader at four rates (0, 2.5, 7.5, and 25 mg pheromone/m2) to 1- and 4-m2 plots in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. Ant counts at bait cards in treated plots were significantly reduced compared to controls on the day of treatment, and there was a significant reduction in ant foraging for 2 days. These results show that trail pheromone disruption of Argentine ants is possible, but a much more durable formulation is needed before nest-level impacts can be expected. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  15. Taxonomic and Functional Responses to Fire and Post-Fire Management of a Mediterranean Hymenoptera Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mateos, Eduardo; Santos, Xavier; Pujade-Villar, Juli

    2011-11-01

    Fire is one of the commonest disturbances worldwide, transforming habitat structure and affecting ecosystem functioning. Understanding how species respond to such environmental disturbances is a major conservation goal that should be monitored using functionally and taxonomically diverse groups such as Hymenoptera. In this respect, we have analyzed the taxonomic and functional response to fire and post-fire management of a Hymenoptera community from a Mediterranean protected area. Thus, Hymenoptera were sampled at fifteen sites located in three burnt areas submitted to different post-fire practices, as well as at five sites located in peripheral unburnt pine forest. A total of 4882 specimens belonging to 33 families, which were classified into six feeding groups according to their dietary preferences, were collected. ANOVA and Redundancy Analyses showed a taxonomic and functional response to fire as all burnt areas had more Hymenoptera families, different community composition and higher numbers of parasitoids than the unburnt area. Taxonomic differences were also found between burnt areas in terms of the response of Hymenoptera to post-fire management. In general the number of parasitoids was positively correlated to the number of potential host arthropods. Parasitoids are recognized to be sensitive to habitat changes, thus highlighting their value for monitoring the functional responses of organisms to habitat disturbance. The taxonomic and functional responses of Hymenoptera suggest that some pine-forest fires can enhance habitat heterogeneity and arthropod diversity, hence increasing interspecific interactions such as those established by parasitoids and their hosts.

  16. Taxonomic and functional responses to fire and post-fire management of a Mediterranean hymenoptera community.

    PubMed

    Mateos, Eduardo; Santos, Xavier; Pujade-Villar, Juli

    2011-11-01

    Fire is one of the commonest disturbances worldwide, transforming habitat structure and affecting ecosystem functioning. Understanding how species respond to such environmental disturbances is a major conservation goal that should be monitored using functionally and taxonomically diverse groups such as Hymenoptera. In this respect, we have analyzed the taxonomic and functional response to fire and post-fire management of a Hymenoptera community from a Mediterranean protected area. Thus, Hymenoptera were sampled at fifteen sites located in three burnt areas submitted to different post-fire practices, as well as at five sites located in peripheral unburnt pine forest. A total of 4882 specimens belonging to 33 families, which were classified into six feeding groups according to their dietary preferences, were collected. ANOVA and Redundancy Analyses showed a taxonomic and functional response to fire as all burnt areas had more Hymenoptera families, different community composition and higher numbers of parasitoids than the unburnt area. Taxonomic differences were also found between burnt areas in terms of the response of Hymenoptera to post-fire management. In general the number of parasitoids was positively correlated to the number of potential host arthropods. Parasitoids are recognized to be sensitive to habitat changes, thus highlighting their value for monitoring the functional responses of organisms to habitat disturbance. The taxonomic and functional responses of Hymenoptera suggest that some pine-forest fires can enhance habitat heterogeneity and arthropod diversity, hence increasing interspecific interactions such as those established by parasitoids and their hosts.

  17. A review of the subfamily Rogadinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) from Iran.

    PubMed

    Farahani, Samira; Talebi, Ali Asghar; Achterberg, Cornelis Van; Rakhshani, Ehsan

    2015-06-17

    Specimens of the subfamily Rogadinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) were collected in northern Iran during 2010-2011 with a series of Malaise traps. Twelve species belonging to three genera (Aleiodes Wesmael, 1838, Heterogamus Wesmael, 1838 and Clinocentrus Haliday, 1833) were identified, with one genus (Heterogamus) and seven species new for the fauna of Iran. An updated checklist of the genera and species of the subfamily Rogadinae is included. A total of 26 species belonging to four genera are listed for Iran after correction for misidentifications. A key to the genera and the species of Rogadinae known from Iran is provided.

  18. Yet More “Weeds” in the Garden: Fungal Novelties from Nests of Leaf-Cutting Ants

    PubMed Central

    Augustin, Juliana O.; Groenewald, Johannes Z.; Nascimento, Robson J.; Mizubuti, Eduardo S. G.; Barreto, Robert W.; Elliot, Simon L.; Evans, Harry C.

    2013-01-01

    Background Symbiotic relationships modulate the evolution of living organisms in all levels of biological organization. A notable example of symbiosis is that of attine ants (Attini; Formicidae: Hymenoptera) and their fungal cultivars (Lepiotaceae and Pterulaceae; Agaricales: Basidiomycota). In recent years, this mutualism has emerged as a model system for studying coevolution, speciation, and multitrophic interactions. Ubiquitous in this ant-fungal symbiosis is the “weedy” fungus Escovopsis (Hypocreales: Ascomycota), known only as a mycoparasite of attine fungal gardens. Despite interest in its biology, ecology and molecular phylogeny—noting, especially, the high genetic diversity encountered—which has led to a steady flow of publications over the past decade, only two species of Escovopsis have formally been described. Methods and Results We sampled from fungal gardens and garden waste (middens) of nests of the leaf-cutting ant genus Acromyrmex in a remnant of subtropical Atlantic rainforest in Minas Gerais, Brazil. In culture, distinct morphotypes of Escovopsis sensu lato were recognized. Using both morphological and molecular analyses, three new species of Escovopsis were identified. These are described and illustrated herein—E. lentecrescens, E. microspora, and E. moelleri—together with a re-description of the genus and the type species, E. weberi. The new genus Escovopsioides is erected for a fourth morphotype. We identify, for the first time, a mechanism for horizontal transmission via middens. Conclusions The present study makes a start at assigning names and formal descriptions to these specific fungal parasites of attine nests. Based on the results of this exploratory and geographically-restricted survey, we expect there to be many more species of the genus Escovopsis and its relatives associated with nests of both the lower and higher Attini throughout their neotropical range, as suggested in previous studies. PMID:24376525

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

    PubMed

    Dejean, Alain; Corbara, Bruno

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Moya-Raygoza, Gustavo; Larsen, Kirk J

    2008-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-08

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

  3. Exploration adjustment by ant colonies

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  5. Entangled active matter: From cells to ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  6. Antarctic Tephra Database (AntT)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Congestion and communication in confined ant traffic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  8. The macroevolutionary dynamics of ant diversification.

    PubMed

    Pie, Marcio R; Tschá, Marcel K

    2009-11-01

    The availability of increasingly comprehensive phylogenies has provided unprecedented opportunities to assess macroevolutionary patterns, yet studies on invertebrate diversification are few. In particular, despite the ecological and evolutionary importance of ants, little is known about their tempo and mode of diversification. Recent advances in ant phylogenetics can now provide a basis for rigorous analyses of the diversification of ant lineages. The goals of the present study are threefold. First, we demonstrate that a hypothesized disproportionate increase in ant diversification during the angiosperm radiation is largely artifactual. Rather, current evidence points to a fairly constant rate of lineage growth during its history. Moreover, an analysis of diversification patterns across the ant phylogeny indicates considerable rate heterogeneity among lineages. Indeed, and contrary to the expectation if lineages had experienced a single rate of lineage increase, we found no correspondence between genus age and diversity. Finally, we demonstrate a statistically significant phylogenetic signal in ant diversification: closely related genera have diversities that are more similar to one another than one would expect by chance. This suggests that the capacity for diversification may be itself a biological trait that evolved during the radiation of the family Formicidae.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

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

  10. Antennal Sensilla in the Parasitoid Sclerodermus sp. (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae)

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Chang-Xiang; Sun, Xiao; Mi, Feng; Chen, Jingyuan; Wang, Man-Qun

    2015-01-01

    Parasitoid wasps of the genus Sclerodermus (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) are an important natural enemy of the Japanese pine sawyer beetle Monochamus alternatus Hope (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). In this study, we used scanning electron microscopy to examine the external morphology of the antennal sensilla of Sclerodermus sp. Antennae of females and males comprised the scape, pedicel, and 11 flagellomere segments. Based on the morphology of the sensilla in each sex, seven types of sensillum were identified: sensilla trichodea (Tr.1, Tr.2 and Tr.3), sensilla basiconica (Ba.1, Ba.2, and Ba.3), sensilla styloconica (St.1 and St.2), sensilla placodea, sensilla coeloconica, sensilla squamiforma, and Bohm’s bristles. Tr.2, Ba.1, and St.1 were only found in females, whereas Ba.2, Ba.3, and St.2 were only observed in males. Sensilla placodea were the most common, given that they occur on the antennae of many parasitoid Hymenoptera, whereas sensilla Tr were the most abundant, being distributed over the entire antennal surface. These sensilla are likely to have roles in the host locating and habitat searching behavior of adult Sclerodermus wasps. Therefore, our findings provide a basis for further studies of the host location behavior of this and other species of parasitic wasp. PMID:25843589

  11. Antennal sensilla in the parasitoid Sclerodermus sp. (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae).

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chang-Xiang; Sun, Xiao; Mi, Feng; Chen, Jingyuan; Wang, Man-Qun

    2015-01-01

    Parasitoid wasps of the genus Sclerodermus (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) are an important natural enemy of the Japanese pine sawyer beetle Monochamus alternatus Hope (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). In this study, we used scanning electron microscopy to examine the external morphology of the antennal sensilla of Sclerodermus sp. Antennae of females and males comprised the scape, pedicel, and 11 flagellomere segments. Based on the morphology of the sensilla in each sex, seven types of sensillum were identified: sensilla trichodea (Tr.1, Tr.2 and Tr.3), sensilla basiconica (Ba.1, Ba.2, and Ba.3), sensilla styloconica (St.1 and St.2), sensilla placodea, sensilla coeloconica, sensilla squamiforma, and Bohm's bristles. Tr.2, Ba.1, and St.1 were only found in females, whereas Ba.2, Ba.3, and St.2 were only observed in males. Sensilla placodea were the most common, given that they occur on the antennae of many parasitoid Hymenoptera, whereas sensilla Tr were the most abundant, being distributed over the entire antennal surface. These sensilla are likely to have roles in the host locating and habitat searching behavior of adult Sclerodermus wasps. Therefore, our findings provide a basis for further studies of the host location behavior of this and other species of parasitic wasp.

  12. A New Species of Vespula, and First Record of Vespa crabro L. (Hymenoptera:Vespidae) from Guatemala, Central America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vespula akrei Landolt sp. nov. (Hymenoptera:Vespidae; Vespinae) is described from Guatemala. The first record of Vespa crabro L. (Hymenoptera:Vespidae:Vespinae) in Guatemala is given, and Vespula Inexspectata Eck (1994) from Mexico is re-described. We place Vespula akrei sp. nov. in the Vespula vulg...

  13. Suppression subtractive hybridization analysis reveals expression of conserved and novel genes in male accessory glands of the ant Leptothorax gredleri

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background During mating, insect males eject accessory gland proteins (Acps) into the female genital tract. These substances are known to affect female post-mating behavior and physiology. In addition, they may harm the female, e.g., in reducing its lifespan. This is interpreted as a consequence of sexual antagonistic co-evolution. Whereas sexual conflict abounds in non-social species, the peculiar life history of social insects (ants, bees, wasps) with lifelong pair-bonding and no re-mating aligns the reproductive interests of the sexes. Harming the female during mating would negatively affect male fitness and sexual antagonism is therefore not expected. Indeed, mating appears to increase female longevity in at least one ant species. Acps are presumed to play a role in this phenomenon, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. In this study, we investigated genes, which are preferentially expressed in male accessory glands of the ant Leptothorax gredleri, to determine which proteins might be transferred in the seminal fluid. Results By a suppression subtractive hybridization protocol we obtained 20 unique sequences (USs). Twelve had mutual best matches with genes predicted for Apis mellifera and Nasonia vitripennis. Functional information (Gene Ontology) was available only for seven of these, including intracellular signaling, energy-dependent transport and metabolic enzyme activities. The remaining eight USs did not match sequences from other species. Six genes were further analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR in three life cycle stages of male ants. A gene with carboxy-lyase activity and one of unpredicted function were significantly overexpressed in accessory glands of sexually mature males. Conclusions Our study is the first one to investigate differential gene expression in ants in a context related to mating. Our findings indicate that male accessory glands of L. gredleri express a series of genes that are unique to this species, possibly representing novel

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-11-01

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

  17. No Evidence for Wolbachia Phenotypic Effects in Newly Mated Queens of the Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wolbachia are intracellular bacteria that commonly infect many arthropods and some nematodes. In arthropods, these bacteria often induce phenotypic effects that enhance their own spread within host populations, despite sometimes also having deleterious effects on host fecundity and viability. Wolbac...

  18. The complete mitochondrial genome of Taeniogonalos taihorina (Bischoff) (Hymenoptera: Trigonalyidae) reveals a novel gene rearrangement pattern in the Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qiu-Ling; Li, Qian; Gu, Yun; Shi, Bao-Cai; van Achterberg, Cees; Wei, Shu-Jun; Chen, Xue-Xin

    2014-06-10

    The family Trigonalyidae is considered to be one of the most basal lineages in the suborder Apocrita of Hymenoptera. Here, we determine the first complete mitochondrial genome of the Trigonalyidae, from the species Taeniogonalos taihorina (Bischoff, 1914). This mitochondrial genome is 15,927bp long, with a high A+T-content of 84.60%. It contains all of the 37 typical animal mitochondrial genes and an A+T-rich region. The orders and directions of all genes are different from those of previously reported hymenopteran mitochondrial genomes. Eight tRNA genes, three protein-coding genes and the A+T-rich region were rearranged, with the dominant gene rearrangement events being translocation and local inversion. The arrangements of three tRNA clusters, trnY-trnM-trnI-trnQ, trnW-trnL2-trnC, and trnH-trnA-trnR-trnN-trnS-trnE-trnF, and the position of the cox1 gene, are novel to the Hymenoptera, even the insects. Six long intergenic spacers are present in the genome. The secondary structures of the RNA genes are normal, except for trnS2, in which the D-stem pairing is absent.

  19. The ant's estimation of distance travelled: experiments with desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis.

    PubMed

    Sommer, S; Wehner, R

    2004-01-01

    Foraging desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis, monitor their position relative to the nest by path integration. They continually update the direction and distance to the nest by employing a celestial compass and an odometer. In the present account we addressed the question of how the precision of the ant's estimate of its homing distance depends on the distance travelled. We trained ants to forage at different distances in linear channels comprising a nest entrance and a feeder. For testing we caught ants at the feeder and released them in a parallel channel. The results show that ants tend to underestimate their distances travelled. This underestimation is the more pronounced, the larger the foraging distance gets. The quantitative relationship between training distance and the ant's estimate of this distance can be described by a logarithmic and an exponential model. The ant's odometric undershooting could be adaptive during natural foraging trips insofar as it leads the homing ant to concentrate the major part of its nest-search behaviour on the base of its individual foraging sector, i.e. on its familiar landmark corridor.

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

    PubMed

    Bristow, C M

    1991-09-01

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