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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  3. Ground dwelling ants as surrogates for establishing conservation priorities in the Australian wet tropics.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Dominance in a ground-dwelling ant community of banana agroecosystem.

    PubMed

    Carval, Dominique; Cotté, Violaine; Resmond, Rémi; Perrin, Benjamin; Tixier, Philippe

    2016-12-01

    In tropical ecosystems, ants represent a substantial portion of the animal biomass and contribute to various ecosystem services, including pest regulation and pollination. Dominant ant species are known to determine the structure of ant communities by interfering in the foraging of other ant species. Using bait and pitfall trapping experiments, we performed a pattern analysis at a fine spatial scale of an ant community in a very simplified and homogeneous agroecosystem, that is, a single-crop banana field in Martinique (French West Indies). We found that the community structure was driven by three dominant species (Solenopsis geminata, Nylanderia guatemalensis, and Monomorium ebeninum) and two subdominant species (Pheidole fallax and Brachymyrmex patagonicus). Our results showed that dominant and subdominant species generally maintained numerical dominance at baits across time, although S. geminata, M. ebeninum, and B. patagonicus displayed better abilities to maintain dominance than P. fallax and N. guatemalensis. Almost all interspecific correlations between species abundances, except those between B. patagonicus and N. guatemalensis, were symmetrically negative, suggesting that interference competition prevails in this ground-dwelling ant community. However, we observed variations in the diurnal and nocturnal foraging activity and in the daily occurrence at baits, which may mitigate the effect of interference competition through the induction of spatial and temporal niche partitioning. This may explain the coexistence of dominant, subdominant, and subordinate species in this very simplified agroecosystem, limited in habitat structure and diversity.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Ants, Wasps, and Bees (Hymenoptera)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  10. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    In the eastern United States, eastern hemlock Tusga canadensis (L.) Carriere forests are threatened by the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae, a pest that is causing widespread hemlock mortality. Eastern hemlock is an essential component of forested communities. Adelgid-induced hemlock mortality is causing a shift in forest composition and structure, altering ecosystem function and thereby influencing the arthropod community. Using pitfall traps at three sites, we monitored ground-dwelling arthropods at 30-d intervals in hemlock-dominated and deciduous-dominated forests in central Appalachia over 2 yr. Here, we focus on the ant community (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) collected in the summer months. Ants form a ubiquitous and integral component of the invertebrate community, functioning at various trophic levels as predators, herbivores, and omnivores, and fulfilling important roles in forest ecosystems. We found no difference in overall ant abundance between hemlock-dominated and deciduous-dominated forests but did detect significant differences in the genera Prenolepis between forest types (P < 0.01) and Aphaenogaster across study locations (P = 0.02). Three genera were unique to deciduous forests; one was unique to hemlock forests. Not surprisingly, total formicids and several genera demonstrated temporal differences in abundance, with greater numbers captured in July than in August. As hemlock woolly adelgid-induced mortality of eastern hemlock becomes more pervasive, changes in forest composition and structure are imminent, accompanied by shifts in hemlock associates. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-07-19

    AND SUBTITLE Precision Targeting: Reduced Pesticide Use Strategy for Pharaoh’s Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae ) Control 6. AUTHOR(S) David F. Williams...TARGETING: REDUCED PESTICIDE USE STRATEGY FOR PHARAOH’S ANT (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE ) CONTROL DAVID F. WILLIAMS, RICHARD J. BRENNER AND DAVID MILNE...space may benefit from this method of control. This Precision targeting - reduced pesticide use strategy for Pharaoh’s ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae

  15. Stinging ants.

    PubMed

    Rhoades, R

    2001-08-01

    Ants belong to the order Hymenoptera, along with bees, wasps, yellow jackets, etc., they are the most successful animal genera in this world. It is their selfless social structure which accounts for their huge impact. Their effect on man ranges from the parasol ant, which makes plant cultivation untenable in certain parts of South America, to Solenopsis Invicta in the southeastern United States of America, which kill ground dwelling birds and small animals, harass livestock, and renders farmland unusable. With the exception of the Bulldog Ant of Australia (which is the size of a medium cockroach) direct toxic effects are not a lethal threat to man. Human fatalities and morbidity are related to secondary infections of excoriated stings or allergic anaphylaxis. This article reviews history and recent developments regarding stinging ants around the world.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Bezděčková, Klára; Bezděčka, Pavel; Machar, Ivo

    2015-09-21

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

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

    PubMed

    Gotzek, Dietrich; Clarke, Jessica; Shoemaker, DeWayne

    2010-10-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Molecular phylogenetics of ponerine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae).

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Chris

    2013-01-01

    Recent molecular phylogenetic studies of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) have revolutionized our understanding of how these ecologically dominant organisms diversified, but detailed phylogenies are lacking for most major ant subfamilies. I report the results of the first detailed phylogenetic study of the ant subfamily Ponerinae, a diverse cosmopolitan lineage whose properties make it an attractive model system for investigating social and ecological evolution in ants. Molecular sequence data were obtained from four nuclear genes (wingless, long-wavelength rhodopsin, rudimentary [CAD], 28S rDNA; total of ~3.3 kb) for 86 ponerine taxa, representing all three ponerine tribes, 22 of the 28 currently recognized genera, and 14 of the 18 informal subgenera of Pachycondyla, a heterogeneous grouping whose monophyly is doubtful on morphological grounds. Phylogenetic reconstructions using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference support the monophyly of Ponerinae and tribe Platythyreini, but fail to support the monophyly of the large tribe Ponerini due to its inclusion of the unusual genus Thaumatomyrmex. Pachycondyla is inferred to be broadly non-monophyletic. Numerous novel generic and suprageneric relationships are inferred within Ponerini, which was found to consist of four major multi-generic clades (the Ponera, Pachycondyla, Plectroctena and Odontomachus genus groups) plus the single genera Hypoponera and Harpegnathos. Uncertainty remains in some regions of the phylogeny, including at the base of Ponerini, possibly reflecting rapid radiation. Divergence dating using a Bayesian relaxed clock method estimates an origin for stem Ponerinae in the upper Cretaceous, a major burst of diversification near the K/T boundary, and a rich and continual history of diversification during the Cenozoic. These results fail to support the predictions of the "dynastic-succession hypothesis" previously developed to explain the high species diversity of Ponerinae. Though model

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  4. Pinyon pine mortality alters communities of ground-dwelling arthropods

    Treesearch

    Robert J. Delph; Michael J. Clifford; Neil S. Cobb; Paulette L. Ford; Sandra L. Brantley

    2014-01-01

    We documented the effect of drought-induced mortality of pinyon pine (Pinus edulis Engelm.) on communities of ground-dwelling arthropods. Tree mortality alters microhabitats utilized by ground-dwelling arthropods by increasing solar radiation, dead woody debris, and understory vegetation. Our major objectives were to determine (1) whether there were changes in...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-08-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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. © Crown copyright 2015.

  16. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) associated with pig carcasses in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Heo, C C; Mohamad, A R; Rosli, H; Nurul Ashikin, A; Chen, C D; John, J; Hiromu, K; Baharudin, O

    2009-04-01

    An observational study was conducted in an oil palm plantation in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor, Malaysia on August until September 2007 to note the decomposition process of pigs and their related faunal succession. We collected six species of ants (Formicidae) from 3 subfamilies: Formicinae (Oecophylla smaragdina and Anoplolepis gracilipes), Myrmicinae (Tetramorium sp. and Pheidologeton sp.) and Ponerinae (Odontoponera sp. and Diacamma sp.) that were associated with pig carcasses placed on the ground. Oecophylla smaragdina, Pheidologeton sp. and Tetramorium sp. were found on a partially burnt pig carcass whereas the other species were recovered from unburned pig carcass. These ants predated on fly eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Ants could be found at all stages of decomposition starting from fresh until dry stage. Predatory ants can reduce fly population and thus may affect the rate of carcass decomposition but this was not seen in our study. Even though O. smaragdina was seen at all stages of decomposition of the burnt pig, this did not alter much the decomposition process by fly larvae.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

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

    PubMed

    Cammaerts, M C

    2014-02-01

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

  1. Subterranean ants: the case of Aphaenogaster cardenai (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Ortuño, Vicente M; Gilgado, José D; Tinaut, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    Recently, a series of systematized studies of the Milieu Souterrain Superficiel (MSS) are being carried in several enclaves of the Iberian Peninsula, which have entailed the finding of the enigmatic ant Aphaenogaster cardenai Espadaler, 1981, hitherto considered as hypogean, in a mountain range far away from its known distribution area. Its ecological role and its possible area of distribution are discussed due to this finding, as well as its known morphology, distribution, habitat use, flight ability of the sexual forms, and moment of activity. This enabled reviewing and discussing the actual knowledge on the possible adaptations and exaptations of the Formicidae to the subterranean environments in wide sense and concretely to the MSS. According to all above, ants might adapt to the deepest hypogean environments by means of changes in their social structure, but without those changes, the MSS would be their last frontier in their process of colonization of hypogean environments. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Brown, Brian V; Hash, John M; Hartop, Emily A; Porras, Wendy; Amorim, Dalton de Souza

    2017-01-01

    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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Effect of particulate contamination on adhesive ability and repellence in two species of ant (Hymenoptera; Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Anyon, Matthew J; Orchard, Michael J; Buzza, David M A; Humphries, Stuart; Kohonen, Mika M

    2012-02-15

    Tarsal adhesive pads are crucial for the ability of insects to traverse their natural environment. Previous studies have demonstrated that for both hairy and smooth adhesive pads, significant reduction in adhesion can occur because of contamination of these pads by wax crystals present on plant surfaces or synthetic microspheres. In this paper, we focus on the smooth adhesive pads of ants and study systematically how particulate contamination and the subsequent loss of adhesion depends on particle size, particle surface energy, humidity and species size. To this end, workers of ant species Polyrhachis dives and Myrmica scabrinodis (Hymenoptera; Formicidae) were presented with loose synthetic powder barriers with a range of powder diameters (1-500 μm) and surface energies (PTFE or glass), which they would have to cross in order to escape the experimental arena. The barrier experiments were conducted for a range of humidities (10-70%). Experimental results and scanning electron microscopy confirm that particulate powders adversely affect the adhesive ability of both species of ant on smooth substrates via contamination of the arolia. Specifically, the loss of adhesion was found to depend strongly on particle diameter, but only weakly on particle type, with the greatest loss occurring for particle diameters smaller than the claw dimensions of each species, and no effect of humidity was found. We also observed that ants were repelled by the powder barriers which led to a decrease of adhesion prior to their eventual crossing, suggesting that insect antennae may play a role in probing the mechanical fragility of substrates before crossing them.

  12. Microbial composition of spiny ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Polyrhachis) across their geographic range.

    PubMed

    Ramalho, Manuela Oliveira; Bueno, Odair Correa; Moreau, Corrie Saux

    2017-04-05

    Symbiotic relationships between insects and bacteria are found across almost all insect orders, including Hymenoptera. However there are still many remaining questions about these associations including what factors drive host-associated bacterial composition. To better understand the evolutionary significance of this association in nature, further studies addressing a diversity of hosts across locations and evolutionary history are necessary. Ants of the genus Polyrhachis (spiny ants) are distributed across the Old World and exhibit generalist diets and habits. Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics tools, this study explores the microbial community of >80 species of Polyrhachis distributed across the Old World and compares the microbiota of samples and related hosts across different biogeographic locations and in the context of their phylogenetic history. The predominant bacteria across samples were Enterobacteriaceae (Blochmannia - with likely many new strains), followed by Wolbachia (with multiple strains), Lactobacillus, Thiotrichaceae, Acinetobacter, Nocardia, Sodalis, and others. We recovered some exclusive strains of Enterobacteriaceae as specific to some subgenera of Polyrhachis, corroborating the idea of coevolution between host and bacteria for this bacterial group. Our correlation results (partial mantel and mantel tests) found that host phylogeny can influence the overall bacterial community, but that geographic location had no effect. Our work is revealing important aspects of the biology of hosts in structuring the diversity and abundance of these host-associated bacterial communities including the role of host phylogeny and shared evolutionary history.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  18. The impact of pinyon mortality on ground-dwelling arthropod communities

    Treesearch

    Robert J. Delph

    2008-01-01

    We documented the indirect impact of drought-induced mortality of pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) on ground-dwelling arthropod communities. Tree mortality alters microhabitats utilized by ground-dwelling arthropods through increased solar radiation, dead woody debris, and understory vegetation. Our major objectives were to determine if there were...

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Urrutia-Escobar, M X; Armbrecht, I

    2013-04-01

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

  1. 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. © 2016 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert A; Moreau, Corrie S

    2016-07-19

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

  4. Allomermis solenopsi n. sp. (Nematoda: Mermithidae) parasitising the fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Poinar, George O; Porter, Sanford D; Tang, Sha; Hyman, Bradley C

    2007-10-01

    Allomermis solenopsi n. sp. (Mermithidae: Nematoda) is described from the fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Argentina. Diagnostic characters of the new species include stiff and erect processes on the surface of the mature egg, small female amphids, extension of the latero-medial rows of male genital papillae beyond the middle rows, an obliquely truncate spicule tip and a ventrally swollen male terminus. This is the first record of Allomermis Steiner, 1924 from South America and the first host record for members of this genus. Previous records of mermithids from Solenopsis spp. are summarised. The placement in Allomermis was confirmed by molecular analyses based on nuclear 18S ribosomal DNA sequences, the first such molecular framework for the Mermithidae. The possible life-cycle of the parasite is discussed, with the aim of using A. solenopsi as a biological control agent for fire ants in the United States.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Incomplete homogenization of chemical recognition labels between Formica sanguinea and Formica rufa ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) living in a mixed colony.

    PubMed

    Włodarczyk, Tomasz; Szczepaniak, Lech

    2014-01-01

    Formica sanguinea Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is a slave-making species, i.e., it raids colonies of host species and pillages pupae, which are taken to develop into adult workers in a parasite colony. However, it has been unclear if the coexistence of F. sanguinea with slave workers requires uniformity of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), among which those other than n-alkanes are believed to be the principal nestmate recognition cues utilized by ants. In this study, a mixed colony (MC) of F. sanguinea and Formica rufa L. as a slave species was used to test the hypothesis that CHCs are exchanged between the species. Chemical analysis of hexane extracts from ants' body surfaces provided evidence for interspecific exchange of alkenes and methyl-branched alkanes. This result was confirmed by behavioral tests during which ants exhibited hostility toward conspecific individuals from the MC but not toward ones from homospecific colonies of their own species. However, it seems that species-specific differences in chemical recognition labels were not eliminated completely because ants from the MC were treated differently depending on whether they were con- or allospecific to the individuals whose behavioral reactions were tested. These findings are discussed in the context of mechanisms of colony's odor formation and effective integration of slaves into parasite colony. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. Effect of Irradiation on Queen Survivorship and Reproduction in the Invasive Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and a Proposed Phytosanitary Irradiation Treatment for Ants.

    PubMed

    Follett, Peter A; Porcel, Sol; Calcaterra, Luis A

    2016-12-01

    We studied radiation tolerance in queens of the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) to identify a dose that prevents reproduction. Virgin or fertile queens were collected from Santa Fe and Formosa provinces in Argentina and reared in the laboratory in microcolonies. Virgin queens were irradiated at 0 (control), 70, 90, 120, or 150 Gy, and fertile queens were irradiated at 0, 60, 125, and 190 Gy, and then followed for 11 wk in the microcolonies to evaluate survival and reproduction. Virgin queens lay trophic eggs that do not hatch, whereas fertile queens lay eggs that hatch and develop into brood. In general, queen oviposition and survival decreased with increasing irradiation dose. For virgin queens, no eggs were laid by irradiated queens after the third week, whereas the control queens continued laying eggs throughout the 11-wk experiment. For fertile queens, only one larva and no pupae was observed in the 60 Gy treatment and no larvae or pupae were observed in the 125 and 190 Gy treatments, whereas a total of 431 larvae and 83 pupae were produced by untreated control queens during 11 wks. Survivorship of virgin and fertile queens was similarly reduced by irradiation treatment. These results with S. invicta are consistent with previous findings for three other invasive ants, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger), Pheidole megacephala (F.), and Linephithema humile (Mayr), that are hitchhiker pests on fresh horticultural commodities. A radiation dose of 150 Gy is proposed as a phytosanitary treatment to prevent reproduction in ants. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

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

    PubMed Central

    General, David M.; Alpert, Gary D.

    2012-01-01

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

  1. A phylogenetic perspective on the association between ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and black yeasts (Ascomycota: Chaetothyriales).

    PubMed

    Vasse, Marie; Voglmayr, Hermann; Mayer, Veronika; Gueidan, Cécile; Nepel, Maximilian; Moreno, Leandro; de Hoog, Sybren; Selosse, Marc-André; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2017-03-15

    The frequency and the geographical extent of symbiotic associations between ants and fungi of the order Chaetothyriales have been highlighted only recently. Using a phylogenetic approach based on seven molecular markers, we showed that ant-associated Chaetothyriales are scattered through the phylogeny of this order. There was no clustering according to geographical origin or to the taxonomy of the ant host. However, strains tended to be clustered according to the type of association with ants: strains from ant-made carton and strains from plant cavities occupied by ants ('domatia') rarely clustered together. Defining molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) with an internal transcribed spacer sequence similarity cut-off of 99% revealed that a single MOTU could be composed of strains collected from various ant species and from several continents. Some ant-associated MOTUs also contained strains isolated from habitats other than ant-associated structures. Altogether, our results suggest that the degree of specialization of the interactions between ants and their fungal partners is highly variable. A better knowledge of the ecology of these interactions and a more comprehensive sampling of the fungal order are needed to elucidate the evolutionary history of mutualistic symbioses between ants and Chaetothyriales. © 2017 The Author(s).

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

    PubMed

    Chung, Yuan-Kai; Lin, Chung-Chi

    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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Peng, Renkang; Christian, Keith

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cammaerts, Marie-Claire

    2014-01-01

    Young workers of the ant Myrmica sabuleti (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Meinert 1861 perceived nestmate alarm pheromone but did not display normal alarm behavior (orientation toward the source of emission, increased running speed). They changed their initial behavior when in the presence of older nestmates exhibiting normal alarm behavior. Four days later, the young ants exhibited an imperfect version of normal alarm behavior. This change of behavior did not occur in young ants, which were not exposed to older ants reacting to alarm pheromone. Queen ants perceived the alarm pheromone and, after a few seconds, moved toward its source. Thus, the ants' ability to sense the alarm pheromone and to identify it as an alarm signal is native, while the adult alarm reaction is acquired over time (= age based polyethism) by young ants. It is possible that the change in behavior observed in young ants could be initiated and/or enhanced (via experience-induced developmental plasticity, learning, and/or other mechanisms) by older ants exhibiting alarm behavior. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Filamentous fungi vectored by ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a public hospital in North-Eastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Aquino, R S S; Silveira, S S; Pessoa, W F B; Rodrigues, A; Andrioli, J L; Delabie, J H C; Fontana, R

    2013-03-01

    The increase in opportunistic fungal infections has led to the search for putative sources of contamination in hospital environments. Ants in a public hospital in Itabuna, north-eastern Brazil were examined for carriage of filamentous fungi. During a year-long survey, ants from different hospital areas were sampled. Preference was given to locations where it was possible to observe ants actively foraging. The fungi found on the ants' integument were cultured and identified. A total of 106 ant workers belonging to 12 species in 11 genera were collected. A total of 47 fungal strains was isolated from 40% of the ants (N = 42). We found 16 fungal species in 13 genera associated with the ant workers. The prevalent fungal genera were Aspergillus, Purpureocillium and Fusarium. The ants Tapinoma melanocephalum, Paratrechina longicornis and Pheidole megacephala were associated with six fungal genera; and four genera of fungi were associated with Solenopsis saevissima workers. Fungal diversity was higher in the following hospital areas: nursery, hospital beds, breastmilk bank and paediatrics. Ants act as carriers of soil and airborne fungal species, and ant control in hospital areas is necessary to prevent the dissemination of such micro-organisms. Copyright © 2012 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Barden, Phillip; Grimaldi, David

    2014-01-01

    A new collection of 24 wingless ant specimens from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (Albian-Cenomanian, 99 Ma) comprises nine new species belonging to the genus Sphecomyrmodes Engel and Grimaldi. Described taxa vary considerably with regard to total size, head and body proportion, cuticular sculpturing, and petiole structure while all species are unified by a distinct shared character. The assemblage represents the largest known diversification of closely related Cretaceous ants with respect to species number. These stem-group ants exhibit some characteristics previously known only from their extant counterparts along with presumed plesiomorphic morphology. Consequently, their morphology may inform hypotheses relating to basal relationships and general patterns of ant evolution. These and other uncovered Cretaceous species indicate that stem-group ants are not simply wasp-like, transitional formicids, but rather a group of considerable adaptive diversity, exhibiting innovations analogous to what crown-group ants would echo 100 million years later. PMID:24699881

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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,...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed

    Belskaya, Elena; Gilev, Alexey; Belskii, Eugen

    2017-04-01

    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.

  17. Trail Pheromone of the Argentine Ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Exoskeletal thinning in Cephalotes atratus ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) parasitized by Myrmeconema neotropicum (Nematoda: Tetradonematidae).

    PubMed

    Verble, Robin M; Meyer, Ashley D; Kleve, Maurice G; Yanoviak, Stephen P

    2012-02-01

    Some parasites modify the color of their arthropod hosts, presumably to facilitate transmission to a new host. Mechanisms for such changes often are unknown, but altered exoskeletal color in adult insects typically occurs via structural modifications or redistribution of pigments. Here, we examine the cuticle structure of workers of the Neotropical canopy ant Cephalotes atratus infected with the nematode Myrmeconema neotropicum. We hypothesized that the conspicuous red color of the gaster (the globular posterior body region) of infected ants results from structural changes, specifically localized exoskeletal thinning. We used scanning electron microscopy to quantify the thickness of gaster cuticle in healthy and infected ants. For comparison, we also measured the cuticle thickness of the head of each ant, which is black in both infected and healthy individuals. The gaster cuticle was 23% thinner in infected ants (average ±SE: 14.8 ± 1.02 µm) versus healthy ants (19.2 ± 0.65 µm) after correcting for body size. In contrast, the thickness of the head exoskeleton was similar among groups. We conclude that parasite-induced thinning of the exoskeleton is associated with the red color of the gaster. Other mechanisms, including translocation or leaching of melanin (by the ant or the parasite, respectively) may operate in concert with thinning to effect the color change, and would be an appropriate extension of this research.

  1. Arthropod prey of imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Mississippi sweetpotato fields.

    PubMed

    Rashid, Tahir; Chen, Jian; Vogt, James T; McLeod, Paul J

    2013-08-01

    The red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta (Buren), are generally considered pests. They have also been viewed as beneficial predators feeding on other insect pests of various agroecosystems. This study documents the foraging habits of fire ants in a sweetpotato field in Mississippi. Fire ant foraging trails connecting outside colonies to a sweetpotato field were exposed and foraging ants moving out of the field toward the direction of the colony were collected along with the solid food particles they were carrying. The food material was classified as arthropod or plant in origin. The arthropod particles were identified to orders. Fire ant foragers carried more arthropods than plant material. Coleoptera and Homoptera were the most abundant groups preyed upon. These insect orders contain various economically important pests of sweetpotato. Other major hexapod groups included the orders Hemiptera, Diptera and Collembola. The quantity of foraged material varied over the season. No damage to sweetpotato roots could be attributed to fire ant feeding. Imported fire ant foraging may reduce the number of insect pests in sweetpotato fields. © 2012 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  2. Does substrate coarseness matter for foraging ants? An experiment with Lasius niger (Hymenoptera; Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Bernadou, Abel; Fourcassié, Vincent

    2008-03-01

    We investigated whether workers of the ant species Lasius niger are able to sense and discriminate the coarseness of the substrate on which they walk. First, we studied the way in which substrate coarseness affects the ants' locomotory behaviour. Second, we investigated the spontaneous preference of ants for substrates of different coarseness. And third, we tested with a differential conditioning procedure the ants' capacity to learn to associate a given coarseness with a food reward. The locomotory behaviour of ants differed according to substrate coarseness: ants moved significantly faster and had more sinuous trajectories on a fine than on a coarse substrate. No spontaneous preference for a substrate of a given coarseness was observed and, even after 20 successive conditioning trials, there was little evidence of the effect of experience on substrate coarseness discrimination. Overall however, ants trained on fine sand made significantly more correct choice than those trained on coarse sand. We discuss these results and argue that in L. niger substrate coarseness may be more important at the collective level, by interacting with the chemical properties of the pheromone trail used in mass recruitment to food source, than at the individual level.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. [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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. © 2012 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. The status of the fungi-grower ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Puerto Rico and adjacent islands

    Treesearch

    J.A. Torres

    1989-01-01

    Ants of the tribe Attini (fungus grower) collect different organic materials that are used to grow a fungus. It was thought that the fungus mycelium was the only source of nutrition for these ants, but Quinlan and Cherrett found that Atta cephalotes (L.) squeezes oils from fresh leaves and uses them as food.  These oils supplement the fungus material eaten by this...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Body Size in Males of the Ant Lasius niger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Along a Metal Pollution Gradient.

    PubMed

    Grześ, Irena M; Okrutniak, Mateusz; Sternalski, Jakub; Banasiak, Marek; Piszczek, Piotr

    2016-12-01

    Environmental stress can lead to a decrease in the body size of insects. As social insects, ants have a complex caste system; each caste has its own morphological traits and functions in the colony, hence the effects of stress may manifest differentially among different ant castes. Here we investigated the body size of males of the common garden ant, Lasius niger L., 1758, living in a postmining area polluted mainly by Zn, Cd, and Pb. We examined if individual body size decreases with the pollution gradient. The ants were sampled from 39 wild colonies originating from 17 sites located along the metal pollution gradient; head width was used as the estimator of body size. We failed to show a significant correlation between pollution and male body size, indicating no direct effect of pollution on the body size of males of the investigated ant. However, we found a significant dependence with the colony of origin, which is in line with a previous study performed on this species in unpolluted sites. These results further strengthen a general conclusion that morphological traits in ants, such as body size or fluctuating asymmetry, are relatively invariable and stable across gradients of metal pollution. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Nest-site limitation and nesting resources of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in urban green spaces.

    PubMed

    Friedrich, Russell; Philpott, Stacy M

    2009-06-01

    Urbanization impacts biodiversity, yet few studies examine general impacts of urbanization on insects. Furthermore, few studies examine availability and limitation of potential cavity nesting sites for ants, an important regulating factor in ant communities that may vary in different urban habitats. We compared three urban habitat types (gardens, vacant lots, and forests) in Toledo, OH, to examine availability and ant preferences for different cavity nesting resources (small and large hollow twigs and cavities). We added 72 artificial large hollow twigs (83 by 6 mm), small hollow twigs (140 by 2 mm), and spherical hollow cavities (6.52-31.1 cm(3) in volume, 1-mm opening) to six sites from May to August 2007 to determine whether nest-site limitation impacts ant communities. We collected natural nests to compare natural abundance and occupancy of cavity nests in different urban habitats. We opened artificial and natural nests to calculate the percentage occupied by cavity-nesting ants. Across all habitats, small twigs represented 81.1% of natural nests, spherical nests represented 10.1%, and large twigs 8.2%. Ants occupied 8.1% of natural large twigs, 14.6% of cavities, and 4.1% of small twigs. For artificial nests, 21.5% of large twigs, 1% of small twigs, and 1% of spheres were occupied. The high percentage of occupied artificial large twigs could imply this is a preferred and limiting resource in urban habitats. The results show that certain types of nesting resources may be an important factor mediating ant communities in urban green spaces.

  3. 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

  4. Development of a Pheromone-Assisted Baiting Technique for Argentine Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Welzel, Kevin F; Choe, Dong-Hwan

    2016-02-24

    Current control measures for Argentine ants, Linepithema humile (Mayr), in urban settings typically include perimeter applications of insecticides around structures, resulting in potential problems with insecticide runoff and environmental contamination. Insecticidal baits can be an effective alternative to perimeter spray applications and are largely considered target-specific with minimal nontarget impact and environmental contamination. We report a "pheromone-assisted baiting technique" as an economically viable approach to maximize the efficacy of conventional baits targeting Argentine ants. Laboratory experiments with a commercially available gel bait indicated that foraging activity and final mortality of Argentine ants were significantly improved by incorporating (Z)-9-hexadecenal in the bait. The field study demonstrated that the pheromone-treated gel bait achieved a 74% reduction in Argentine ant activity by the end of 4 wk when it was compared with its own pretreatment value. This was a significant improvement over the untreated gel bait that provided a 42% reduction over the same period of time. The pheromone-assisted baiting technique has the potential in providing effective ant control with reduced amount of insecticides applied in the environment. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Polynesian ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) species richness and distribution: a regional survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrison, Lloyd W.

    1997-11-01

    Thirteen Polynesian islands, including five true atolls, an uplifted atoll, and seven high volcanic islands of varying ages, were surveyed for ants by hand collecting techniques. Ten of the thirteen islands had been surveyed previously, and more and species were found in the present survey than were known from all earlier surveys combined, with two exception (Ducie Atoll and Easter Island). This represents the first report of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile Mayr, from Easter Island. L. humile is a very successful pest species which has only recently invaded Easter Island, and is now very abundant and widespread, occurring at 16 of the 17 sample sites scattered across the island. The introduction of this species is almost certainly responsible for the apparent decline in species richness on Easter Island. In general, more species were present on high islands than atolls of a similar size, and elevation was significant while log (area) and latitude were not in a multiple linear regression with ant species number as the dependent variable. Not enough time was spent on the islands to survey their ant faunas completely, and extrapolations from species effort curves and jackknife estimators of earlier, thorough surverys for ants in the society Islands suggest that only about 50% of the total species were collected in the present survey, at least on the high islands. My collections were probably more complete on the atolls. The increase in species numbers from the present survey relative to known species richnesses (particularly when a large fraction of the species actually present were probably not included in the present survey) supports the hypothesis that remote Polynesian islands are not as depauperate in terms of ant species numbers as previously thought.

  6. Cardiocondyla pirata sp. n. - a new Philippine ant with enigmatic pigmentation pattern (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Seifert, Bernhard; Frohschammer, Sabine

    2013-01-01

    A new species of the ant genus Cardiocondyla Emery, 1869 - Cardiocondyla pirata sp. n. - is described from the Philippines. The species belongs to an Indo-Malayan group of six species that is characterized by workers having a strongly bilobate postpetiolar sternite and a thickset mesosoma with strongly convex dorsal profile as well as wingless, ergatoid males with sickle-shaped mandibles. The female castes show a pigmentation pattern not known from any ant worldwide. If having any adaptive value, a possible function of this structure is supposed to be visual dissolution of body shape in order to irritate predators.

  7. 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.

  8. Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles differentiate tropical fire ant populations (Solenopsis geminata, Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) from hexane rinses of workers from two Florida populations (dark and red forms) of the tropical fire ant, Solenopsis geminata, were separated by silica gel chromatography and identified by GC-MS analysis. Both the dark form and the red form produce similar CHCs with...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  10. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  12. Degeneration patterns of the worker spermatheca during morphogenesis in ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Gotoh, Ayako; Billen, Johan; Hashim, Rosli; Ito, Fuminori

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive division of labor is one of the crucial features in social insects, however, the developmental mechanisms leading to modifications in the reproductive apparatus of workers are still not very clear. Ants show a remarkable diversity in the morphological specialization of the worker's reproductive apparatus, that allows to distinguish four types, type 1: workers that have ovaries and a functional spermatheca, and that reproduce like queens, type 2: workers have ovaries and a vestigial spermatheca, type 3: workers have ovaries but no spermatheca, and type 4: workers lost both ovaries and spermatheca. We investigated morphogenesis of the worker spermatheca in 28 ant species by histological examination. In workers of type 1, the morphogenesis of the spermatheca is very similar to that in ant queens. In type 2, the spermathecal disc also differentiates, however, the development is interrupted and remains vestigial. In types 3 and 4, the absence of the spermatheca in the adult phase is caused by a degeneration after initial formation of the spermathecal disc or by a complete lack of the spermathecal discs. The timing of these interruption and degeneration events varies among species. The species exhibiting an earlier interrupting point of spermatheca formation in workers have a larger queen-worker dimorphism, that seems to be independent from ant phylogeny. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 (...

  15. Monthly fluctuation of termite caste proportions (Isoptera) within fire ant mounds (hymenoptera: formicidae)

    Treesearch

    Thomas G. Shelton; J.T. Vogt; Marla J. Tanley; Arthur G. Appel

    2003-01-01

    Monthly abundance and caste proportions of subterranean termites (Reticulitennes spp.) inhabiting red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) mounds were recorded during 1999 and 2000 from a relatively undisturbed forest edge in Tuskegee, Alabama. Temperature data were also recorded at these mounds; mean air, soil, and mound temperatures followed a sine model over...

  16. Seasonal and nocturnal periodicities in ant nuptial flights in the tropics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Treesearch

    J.A. Torres; R.R. Snelling; M. Canals

    2001-01-01

    Nocturnal nuptial flights of ants were studied at Guaynabo and Guanica in the tropical island of Puerto Rico. A great proportion of the species had a high frequency of flights during the year with little seasonality in the frequency of flights. Flights were less frequent during the dry season. Nuptlal flights at Guaynabo occurred mostly during the post-sunset (18:30-22...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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). ...

  2. Development of genetic markers distinguishing two invasive fire ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and their hybrids

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Three SNP markers were developed that are completely diagnostic in distinguishing the two fire ant species Solenopsis invicta and S. richteri. Although a fourth marker we developed is not fully diagnostic, it is still useful given one of the variants is confined to S. richteri. Joint use of these ma...

  3. Interactions between extrafloral nectaries, ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and other natural enemies affect biological control of Grapholita molesta (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) on peach (Rosales: Rosaceae).

    PubMed

    Mathews, Clarissa R; Bottrell, Dale G; Brown, Mark W

    2011-02-01

    Extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) are reported to benefit some plants when ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) use their secretions and fend off herbivores, but in some cases resulting competitive interactions may reduce biological control of specific herbivores. This research examined the interactions between ants and other natural enemies associated with the EFNs of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batcsh] and the implications for biological control of a key pest, the oriental fruit moth [Grapholita molesta (Busck)]. Studies using sentinel G. molesta placed on peach trees ('Lovell' cultivar) with EFNs present and absent revealed that several natural enemy groups associated with the EFNs contribute to reductions in G. molesta eggs, larvae, and pupae in peach orchards. Ants on trees with EFNs antagonized the G. molesta egg parasitoid Trichogramma minutum (Riley), but the ants were crucial in reducing G. molesta in both the larval and pupal stages. Overall, individual trees with EFNs experienced higher ant and other (nonant) natural enemy densities and subsequent pest reductions, as compared with trees without EFNs. However, the implications of EFN-natural enemy-pest interactions to orchard-level biological control will likely depend on local G. molesta population dynamics. © 2011 Entomological Society of America

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Vail, K M; Williams, D F

    1995-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Himender; Akbar, Shahid Ali

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

  12. Fumigant Activity of Sweet Orange Essential Oil Fractions Against Red Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Hu, Wei; Zhang, Ning; Chen, Hongli; Zhong, Balian; Yang, Aixue; Kuang, Fan; Ouyang, Zhigang; Chun, Jiong

    2017-08-01

    Sweet orange oil fractions were prepared by molecular distillation of cold-pressed orange oil from sample A (Citrus sinensis (L.) 'Hamlin' from America) and sample B (Citrus sinensis Osbeck 'Newhall' from China) respectively, and their fumigant activities against medium workers of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta Buren) were investigated. The volatile composition of the orange oil fractions was identified and quantified using GC-MS. Fractions from sample A (A1, A2, and A3) contained 23, 37, and 48 chemical constituents, and fractions from sample B (B1, B2, and B3) contained 18, 29, and 26 chemical constituents, respectively. Monoterpenes were the most abundant components, accounting for 73.56% to 94.86% of total orange oil fractions, among which D-limonene (65.28-80.18%), β-pinene (1.71-5.58%), 3-carene (0.41-4.01%), β-phellandrene (0.58-2.10%), and linalool (0.31-2.20%) were major constituents. Fumigant bioassay indicated that all orange oil fractions exerted good fumigant toxicity against workers of fire ants at 3, 5, 10, and 20 mg/centrifuge tubes, and B1 had the strongest insecticidal potential, followed by A1, B2, A2, B3, and A3. The fractions composed of more high volatile molecules (A1 and B1) showed greater fumigant effects than others. Compounds linalool and D-limonene, which were the constituents of the orange oil, exhibited excellent fumigant toxicity against red imported fire ant workers. Linalool killed red imported fire ant workers completely at 5, 10, and 20 mg/tube after 8 h of treatment, and D-limonene induced >86% mortality at 8 h of exposure. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. [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.

  14. Discovering the Giant Nest Architecture of Grass-Cutting Ants, Atta capiguara (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Forti, Luiz Carlos; Protti de Andrade, Ana Paula; Camargo, Roberto da Silva; Caldato, Nadia; Moreira, Aldenise Alves

    2017-01-01

    Atta capiguara is a grass-cutting ant species frequently found in Cerrado biome. However, little is known about the giant nest architecture of this ant. In this study, we investigated the architecture of three A. capiguara nests from a fragment of Cerrado in Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil. Casts were made of the nests by filling them with cement to permit better visualization of internal structures such as chambers and tunnels. After excavation, the depth and dimensions (length, width, and height) of the chambers were measured. The results showed the shape of Atta capiguara nests consisting of mounds of loose soil with unique features resembling a conic section. The fungus chambers were found distant from the mound of loose soil and were spaced apart and distributed laterally at the soil profile. The waste chambers were located beneath the largest mound of loose soil. Both the fungus and waste chambers were separated and distant. Our study contributes to a better understanding of the so far unknown nest architecture of the grass-cutting ant A. capiguara. PMID:28350352

  15. Discovering the Giant Nest Architecture of Grass-Cutting Ants, Atta capiguara (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Forti, Luiz Carlos; Protti de Andrade, Ana Paula; Camargo, Roberto da Silva; Caldato, Nadia; Moreira, Aldenise Alves

    2017-03-28

    Atta capiguara is a grass-cutting ant species frequently found in Cerrado biome. However, little is known about the giant nest architecture of this ant. In this study, we investigated the architecture of three A. capiguara nests from a fragment of Cerrado in Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil. Casts were made of the nests by filling them with cement to permit better visualization of internal structures such as chambers and tunnels. After excavation, the depth and dimensions (length, width, and height) of the chambers were measured. The results showed the shape of Atta capiguara nests consisting of mounds of loose soil with unique features resembling a conic section. The fungus chambers were found distant from the mound of loose soil and were spaced apart and distributed laterally at the soil profile. The waste chambers were located beneath the largest mound of loose soil. Both the fungus and waste chambers were separated and distant. Our study contributes to a better understanding of the so far unknown nest architecture of the grass-cutting ant A. capiguara.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    In the present study, the repellent effects of essential balm, a traditional medicine product in China, was tested against foraging and defending red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, under laboratory and field conditions. The laboratory study showed that both band- (width = 1 cm) and patch-smearing of essential balm at each concentration (0.5, 1, or 2 μl/cm(2)) significantly decreased the number of S. invicta foragers within the 6-h observation period. Moreover, band-smearing of 2 μl/cm(2) essential balm and patch-smearing of 0.5, 1, and 2 μl/cm(2) essential balm inhibited most S. invicta foraging activity at 3, 6, 6, and 24 h into the experiment, respectively. The field study showed that after a disturbance was created on the S. invicta mound, there were significantly less defending ants on the substance treated (patch-smeared) with 0.5, 1, and 2 μl/cm(2) essential balm than the controls, but the number of ants on the substance of these three concentrations was similar. Our study suggested that essential balm is a strong repellent against foraging and defending S. invicta and could be applied when temporary protection from S. invicta is needed. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Lim, S P; Lee, C Y

    2005-12-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    The development of effective baits to control the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), has been problematic because foragers prefer sweet liquids, while many toxicants are insoluble in water and liquid baits are generally difficult to deliver. The incorporation of thiamethoxam and sucrose solutions into a water-absorbing polyacrylamide hydrogel provides a unique and novel carrier and method of application for liquid baits. Formulations of thiamethoxam affected the size of the hydrogels, and sucrose solutions containing 0.0003% technical thiamethoxam provided hydrogels as large as those made with 25% sucrose solution or deionized water. Concentrations of thiamethoxam as low as 0.000075% in the hydrogels provided 50% kill of workers within 3 d in a laboratory setting. In small colony studies, baiting with 0.00015 and 0.000075% thiamethoxam hydrogels provided 100% mortality of workers and queens within 8 d. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay indicated that thiamethoxam was absorbed into the interior of the polyacrylamide matrix. The water loss rates of the hydrogels were dependent upon the relative humidity. Polyacrylamide hydrogels with >50% water loss were less attractive to ants. Field studies in highly infested areas indicated that concentrations of 0.0006 or 0.0018% thiamethoxam were more effective than 0.00015%. Hydrogels may provide a cost-effective alternative to providing aqueous baits to control Argentine ants. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. 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.

  3. Hymenoptera stings.

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, Kevin T; Flood, Aryn A

    2006-11-01

    The medically important groups of Hymenoptera are the Apoidea (bees), Vespoidea (wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets), and Formicidae (ants). These insects deliver their venom by stinging their victims. Bees lose their barbed stinger after stinging and die. Wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets can sting multiple times. Most deaths related to Hymenoptera stings are the result of immediate hypersensitivity reactions, causing anaphylaxis. Massive envenomations can cause death in nonallergic individuals. The estimated lethal dose is approximately 20 stings/kg in most mammals. Anaphylactic reactions to Hymenoptera stings are not dose dependent or related to the number of stings. Bee and wasp venoms are made up primarily of protein. Conversely, fire ant venoms are 95% alkaloids. Four possible reactions are seen after insect stings: local reactions, regional reactions, systemic anaphylactic responses, and less commonly, delayed-type hypersensitivity. Clinical signs of bee and wasp stings include erythema, edema, and pain at the sting site. Occasionally, animals develop regional reactions. Onset of life-threatening, anaphylactic signs typically occur within 10 minutes of the sting. Diagnosis of bee and wasp stings stem from a history of potential contact matched with onset of appropriate clinical signs. Treatment of uncomplicated envenomations (stings) consists of conservative therapy (antihistamines, ice or cool compresses, topical lidocaine, or corticosteroid lotions). Prompt recognition and initiation of treatment is critical in successful management of anaphylactic reactions to hymenopteran stings. Imported fire ants both bite and sting, and envenomation only occurs through the sting. Anaphylaxis after imported fire ant stings is treated similarly to anaphylactic reactions after honeybee and vespid stings. The majority of Hymenopteran stings are self-limiting events, which resolve in a few hours without treatment. Because life-threatening anaphylactic reactions can

  4. Imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) mound shape characteristics along a north-south gradient.

    PubMed

    Vogt, James T; Wallet, Bradley; Freeland, Thomas B

    2008-02-01

    The nests of some mound-building ants are thought to serve an important function as passive solar collectors. To test this hypothesis, imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren, S. richteri Forel, and their hybrid) 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 approximately 30 degrees 25' N (Long Beach, MS) to 35 degrees 3' N (Fayetteville, TN). Insolation (w*h/m2), maximum sun angle (sun elevation in degrees above the horizon at noon, dependent on date and latitude), cumulative rainfall (7 and 30 d before sampling), and mean ambient temperature (7 d before sampling) for each site x date combination were used as predictive variables to explain mound shape characteristics. Steepness of south-facing mound slopes was negatively associated with maximum sun angle at higher temperatures, with predicted values falling from approximately 36 degrees at sun angle=40 degrees to 26 degrees at sun angle=70 degrees; at lower temperatures, slope remained relatively constant at 28 degrees. On average, mound height was negatively correlated with maximum sun angle. Rainfall had a net negative effect on mound height, but mound height increased slightly with maximum sun angle when rainfall was high. Mound elongation generally increased with increased mound building activity. Under favorable temperature conditions and average rainfall, imported fire ant mounds were tallest, most eccentric, and had the steepest south facing slopes during periods of low maximum sun angle. Mound shape characteristics are discussed with regard to season and their potential usefulness for remote sensing efforts.

  5. 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

  6. Weaving through a cryptic species: Comparing the Neotropical ants Camponotus senex and Camponotus textor (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Solis, Daniel Russ; Lazoski, Cristiano; Mackay, William

    2017-08-01

    Camponotus senex (Fr. Smith 1858) and Camponotus textor Forel, 1899 are commonly confused species in the New World tropics. We provide morphological characteristics based on the larvae and adults, behavioural differences, together with evidence from molecular markers (cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, venom differences, nuclear ribosomal ITS-1, and mtDNA COI sequence comparisons) to separate the two species, demonstrating they are not immediately closely related. In conclusion we suggest new reliable morphological characters which can benefit from deeper phenetic analysis, and support the contextual usefulness of non-morphological tools in resolving sibling ant species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Taxonomy of some little-understood North American ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Shattuck, Steve; Cover, Stefan

    2016-10-12

    The North American ant fauna has a long and detailed taxonomic history, and the fauna is relatively well characterized compared with those of many other regions. The vast majority of taxon names are clearly defined, being treated as either valid or invalid (primarily junior synonyms). Because of this, though considerable revisionary work will be necessary in the future, specimens collected from this region may often be placed with reasonable confidence either to species, or in some cases, to species complexes even if the status of the specific taxa involved are uncertain.

  9. Complete mitochondrial genome of the argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Ezi; Bi, Guiqi; Yang, Junqing; Zhang, Zhen; Liu, Guoqiang; Du, Qingwei; Shang, Erlei

    2017-03-01

    In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of the widespread invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) was first determined. The mitochondrial genome is 16 098 bp in length, and encodes one D-loop region, two ribosomal RNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes, and 18 transfer RNA genes. Average GC content of this genome is 19.68%. nad6 and cob genes were overlapped by 4 bp. The phylogenetic tree involving 13 available closely related species further validated the new determined sequences and phylogeny of L. humile.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, J; Rashid, T; Feng, G

    2014-11-19

    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.

  14. First evidence of fine colour discrimination ability in ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Camlitepe, Y; Aksoy, V

    2010-01-01

    In the present study, we report the first evidence that ants discriminate and learn perceptually close colour stimuli. Foragers of the ant species Cataglyphis aenescens and Formica cunicularia were trained in a Y-maze choice apparatus to monochromatic light stimuli of a constant intensity associated with a food reward. Two stimuli, with a mean wavelength of 40 nm perceptual distance, were chosen from the UV (340 nm vs 380 nm) and the green (510 nm vs 550 nm) range because these species are UV-green dichromats. Foragers were trained with two conditioning paradigms [absolute conditioning (AC) and differential conditioning (DC)]. In the UV range, C. aenescens foragers failed to discriminate when presented with a small colour difference in both training procedures. Foragers also failed in the green range when trained with AC but showed significant bias towards the rewarded stimulus when trained with DC. Formica cunicularia foragers achieved the task in the UV range when trained with DC only. In the green range, F. cunicularia foragers showed clear preference for the rewarded stimulus in both training conditioning procedures. Foragers never failed in choosing the rewarded stimulus in DC even when the intensity of the rewarded stimulus was reduced by one log unit. This clearly indicates that DC is of paramount importance to discriminate perceptually close colour stimuli.

  15. Foraging behavior of the queenless ant Dinoponera quadriceps Santschi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Araújo, Arrilton; Rodrigues, Zenilde

    2006-01-01

    The search for and ingestion of food are essential to all animals, which spend most of their lives looking for nutritional sources, more than other activities such as mating, intra-specific disputes or escaping from predators. The present study aims to describe and quantify several aspects of foraging behavior, diet and food transport in the queenless ant Dinoponera quadriceps Santschi in a secondary Atlantic forest, Northeastern Brazil. Three colonies were randomly selected at a distance of at least 50 m from one another. On leaving the colony, worker ants were followed until their return, with no nutritional provision or interference with their activities. Activities were recorded using focal time sampling with instantaneous recording every minute for 10 consecutive minutes. Each colony was observed 1 day/week, for at least 6 h/day resulting in 53.8h of direct observation of the workers. Foraging activities, success in transporting food, type of food, cleaning and interaction among the workers were recorded. Foraging was always individual, with no occurrence of recruitment. Diet was composed mainly of arthropods, mostly insects. The collection of small fruits (Eugenia sp.) was also observed. Foraging time was greater when workers transported food to the colony, the return time being shorter than the foraging period, suggesting the use of chemical and visual cues for orientation during their foraging and food-collecting activities.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Zeng, Ling; Chen, Jian

    2015-12-08

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Borowiec, Marek L.; Longino, John T.

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Morphological organization of the dorsal protuberance of Linepithema humile (Mayr, 1868) ant's larvae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Bueno, Odair Correa; Mathias, Maria Izabel Camargo; Ortiz, Gabriela

    2011-06-01

    The Argentine ant Linepithema humile is an important invasive species because of the levels of infestation that it can reach; however, there is little information about its presence, histological organization, and function of the dorsal protuberance, which is found exclusively in their larvae. The objective of this study was to describe it in L. humile through scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, bringing information about this structure. The epidermis of these larvae have cuticles covering the whole body, and is formed by a sequence of overlapping lamellas where the inner ones were thicker and presented lower electron density, whereas the outer ones were thinner and highly electron dense. Pores or pore-like channels were not observed. A thick and acellular region composed of granular material was found under the cuticular layer. Out of this region, the flattened epidermic cells formed an epithelial layer. For the dorsal protuberance region, these cells become prismatic, and similarly to the cuticle, presents significant thickening. These cells presented extended microvilli, as well as a great amount of lamellar rough endoplasmic reticulum. Under this epithelium was observed a concentration of fat body cells, more numerous in the dorsal protuberance region. This study indicated that the dorsal protuberance present in the first segment of L. humile larvae has apparently no secretory function because no pores were found. This fact allowed to conclude that in L. humile larvae the dorsal protuberance would have the function to make it easier for the worker ants to carry them within the colony. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Ants of the Florida Keys: species accounts, biogeography, and conservation (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Moreau, Corrie S; Deyrup, Mark A; Davis, Lloyd R

    2014-01-01

    As a tropical archipelago, the Florida Keys provide an ideal environment to examine the historic and short-term processes that structure and influence biological diversity. Through a new survey of the ants of the Florida Keys, we increase our knowledge of the number of species to 94 representing 34 genera and 8 subfamilies. Through detailed collection information, we provide an in depth picture of the distribution of each species across the Keys. On the basis of these data and information on the native and known distributions of each species, we confirm the historical trend toward continued immigration of nonnative species into the Florida Keys and present these findings in the context of the proportion of native to nonnative species. We find a similar number of species introduced from the Old World and Neotropical mainland and discuss the probable immigration of mainland Florida species during the exposure of the Florida Shelf during the last glacial episode and the subsequent isolation of some populations as sea level rose following the last glaciation. Lastly, we discuss the possible threats to these populations due to rapid climate change and other human influences. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

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

  4. Influences of pyriproxyfen on fecundity and reproduction of the Pharaoh ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Tay, Jia-Wei; Lee, Chow-Yang

    2014-06-01

    The effects of the juvenile hormone analog pyriproxyfen (at concentrations of 0.1, 0.5, and 1%) on egg production, number of ovarioles, and length of oocytes were examined in queens of the Pharaoh ant Monomorium pharaonis (L.). Pyriproxyfen significantly reduced egg production in queens from week 3 onwards. Queens that were exposed to 1% pyriproxyfen stopped producing eggs at week 8. After 8 wk, ovaries were dissected from all queens, and the number of ovarioles and the length of the largest oocytes were recorded. The ovaries of queens in treated colonies were smaller than those in untreated queens, and the number of ovarioles in the ovaries was significantly lower in all pyriproxyfen-treated queens. Queens treated with the highest concentrations of pyriproxyfen tended to have significantly shorter oocytes than untreated queens. Histological studies of the ovaries revealed that pyriproxyfen caused vacuolation in the ovarioles, thickening of the tunica propria, development of small eggs, and underdevelopment of nurse cells and the follicular epithelium. Exposure to pyriproxyfen reduced egg production and induced severe morphological changes in the ovaries of queens, and the effects increased with increased concentration of pyriproxyfen.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Foraging recruitment by the Giant Tropical Ant Paraponera clavata (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barrett, Bruce A.; Jorgenson, Clive D.; Looman, Sandra J.

    1985-01-01

    Increased foraging of an exceptionally abundant, but ephemeral, food source by ants can result from foraging excitement that does not include pheromone trails, tandem running, or from recruitment of other workers along pheromone trails (Carrol and Janzen, 1973). They also provided rationale for two types of short-lived pheromone trails resulting in mass or group recruitment. These both seem to fall into the Type II foraging strategy described by Oster and Wilson (1978). Neither of these discussions conveniently allow for pheromone recruitment by relatively small colonies of a primitive monomorphic species such as Paraponera clavata. Our observations suggest that recruitment to an abundant ephemeral food source does occur naturally and can be induced artificially in colonies of P. clavata.Paraponera clavata is considered primitive (Wilson, 1958), particularly in foraging habits (Young and Hermann, 1980; Young, 1977). Hermann (1973, 1975) reported the P. clavata, unlike more advanced species, forages independently; following shot periods of apparent group activity outside of the colony (Young and Hermann, 1980). It reportedly does not return to a food source when only part has been harvested. After returning to its colony with booty, a single worker resumes foraging independently, with no observable tendency to return to partially harvested booty or without recruiting additional workers to collect the remaining food (Hermann, 1973; Young and Hermann, 1980). Reports of independent foraging, lack of forager recruitment, and apparent lack of food source fidelity resulted in the assumption that P. clavata probably lacks an effective pheromone trail communication system (Young and Hermann, 1980).

  8. 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.

  9. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of the spider ants, genus Leptomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Lucky, Andrea

    2011-05-01

    This study provides the first phylogenetic reconstruction of the ant genus Leptomyrmex Mayr, a prominent endemic component of rain forest and wet sclerophyll forest in Australia, New Guinea and New Caledonia. Five genes are used to reconstruct phylogeny and estimate of ages of diversification in order to test congruence of the history of nuclear and mitochondrial genes: three protein-coding nuclear genes: arginine kinase (argK, 897 bp), long wavelength rhodopsin (LW Rh, 546 bp) and wingless (Wg, 409 bp), as well as the large subunit ribosomal gene 28S (482 bp) and the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I (COI, 658 bp). Four different partitioning schemes were tested for optimal resolving power; results show that partitioning by gene, translational pattern and codon position were uniformly favoured over less complex partitions. Nuclear markers showed relatively minor sequence divergence and provided strongly supported topology; phylogeny based solely on mtDNA produced somewhat conflicting topology but offered little power to resolve species complexes. Monophyly of the genus Leptomyrmex was recovered, as was the sister-group relationship of 'micro-' and 'macro-'Leptomyrmex species. Divergence dating analyses estimate that Leptomyrmex arose in the Eocene (stem age ∼ 44 million years ago (ma)), and that the 'macro-' species diverged from the 'micro-' species in the early Oligocene (∼ 31 ma). Diversification of the crown group 'macro-' and 'micro-'Leptomyrmex occurred in the Miocene (∼ 15 ma and 7.9 ma, respectively). New Guinean and New Caledonian lineages appear to have diverged from Australian lineages only recently (∼ 4.7 ma and 10.3 ma, respectively), and the latter clade is inferred to have reached New Caledonia from Australia via long distance dispersal. These results challenge previous hypotheses of Leptomyrmex classification and assumptions about their historical dispersal, but are in agreement with the current knowledge of the geological history of

  10. Revision of the fungus-farming ant genus Sericomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae)

    PubMed Central

    Ješovnik, Ana; Schultz, Ted R.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The genus Sericomyrmex Mayr (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Attini) is a Neotropical group of fungus-farming ants known for its problematic taxonomy, caused by low morphological variability across the species, vague and old species descriptions, and an outdated and incomplete key published in 1916. Recent molecular studies revealed that Sericomyrmex is the product of a rapid recent radiation, with a divergence date of 4.3 million years ago. Here we present a comprehensive taxonomic revision of the genus Sericomyrmex based on morphology and a recently published molecular phylogeny. We discuss and illustrate morphological characters for Sericomyrmex workers, males, queens, and larvae. We report 18 standard morphological measurements and 5 indices for 529 workers, 50 queens, and 39 males, which we employ in morphometric analyses. The revised genus Sericomyrmex comprises eleven species, including three new species, here described as S. maravalhas sp. n., S. radioheadi sp. n., and S. saramama sp. n. We also redescribe S. amabilis Wheeler, S. bondari Borgmeier, S. lutzi Wheeler, S. mayri Forel, S. opacus Mayr, S. parvulus Forel, S. saussurei Emery, and S. scrobifer Forel. The number of recognized species (11) is lower than the previously recognized 19 species and 3 subspecies. The following species and subspecies are synonymized: under S. opacus [=S. aztecus Forel syn. n., S. zacapanus Wheeler syn. n., and S. diego Forel syn. n.]; under S. bondari [=S. beniensis Weber syn. n.]; under S. mayri [=S. luederwaldti Santschi syn. n., S. moreirai Santschi syn. n., S. harekulli Weber syn. n., S. harekulli arawakensis Weber syn. n., S. urichi Forel syn. n.]; under S. saussurei [=S. burchelli Forel syn. n., S. impexus Wheeler syn. n., S. urichi maracas Weber syn. n.]; and under S. parvulus [=S. myersi Weber syn. n.]. We provide a key to Sericomyrmex species for the worker caste and information on the geographic distributions of all species. PMID:28769657

  11. Revision of the Malagasy ponerine ants of the genus Leptogenys Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Rakotonirina, Jean Claude; Fisher, Brian L

    2014-07-15

    Leptogenys is the most diverse ponerine ant genus in the world; it is widespread throughout tropical and subtropical regions and there are over 200 extant species described. Most species have ergatoid queens, and many have falcate, bowed mandibles and are specialists on isopod prey. Here, the Malagasy Leptogenys are revised with 60 species recognized, of which 40 are newly described, 18 redescribed, and two subspecies raised to species rank and redescribed. Included in the revision are a key to species based on the worker caste, geographic distributions, descriptions of intraspecific variation, and notes on natural history. The following species are redescribed: L. acutirostris Santschi, L. alluaudi Emery, L. angusta (Forel), L. antongilensis Emery, L. arcirostris Santschi, L. coerulescens Emery, L. falcigera Roger, L. gracilis Emery, L. grandidieri Forel, L. incisa Forel, L. maxillosa (F. Smith), L. oswaldi Forel, L. pavesii Emery, L. ridens Forel, L. saussurei (Forel), L. stuhlmanni Mayr, L. truncatirostris Forel, and L. voeltzkowi Forel. The following are raised to species and redescribed: L. imerinensis Forel stat. rev., stat. n.; and L. suarensis Emery stat. rev., stat. n. The following are described as new: L. alamando sp. n., L. alatapia sp. n., L. ambo sp. n., L. andritantely sp. n., L. anjara sp. n., L. avaratra sp. n., L. avo sp. n., L. barimaso sp. n., L. bezanozano sp. n., L. borivava sp. n., L. chrislaini sp. n., L. comajojo sp. n., L. diana sp. n., L. edsoni sp. n., L. fasika sp. n., L. fiandry sp. n., L. fotsivava sp. n., L. johary sp. n., L. lavavava sp. n., L. lohahela sp. n., L. lucida sp. n., L. malama sp. n., L. mangabe sp. n., L. manja sp. n., L. manongarivo sp. n., L. mayotte sp. n., L. namana sp. n., L. namoroka sp. n., L. pilaka sp. n., L. rabebe sp. n., L. rabesoni sp. n., L. ralipra sp. n., L. sahamalaza sp. n., L. tatsimo sp. n., L. toeraniva sp. n., L. tsingy sp. n., L. variabilis sp. n., L.vatovavy sp. n., L. vitsy sp. n., and L. zohy

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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. Antennal olfactory responsiveness of the Texas leaf cutting ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) to trail pheromone and its two alarm substances

    Treesearch

    N.A. Andryszak; Thomas L. Payne; J.C. Dickens; John C. Moser; R.W. Fisher

    1990-01-01

    Electroantennograms (EAGs) were recorded from major workers, queens, and males of the Texas leaf cutting, Atta texana (Buckley) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in response to serial dilutions of two alarm substances, 2-heptanone and 4-methyl-3-heptanone, and its trial phermone, 4-methylpyrrole-2-carbonxylate. The lower EAG threshold for major workers...

  16. 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. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. Morphophysiological differences between the metapleural glands of fungus-growing and non-fungus-growing ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).

    PubMed

    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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  4. A survey of Imported Fire Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), species and social forms across four counties in east-central Mississippi

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Molecular technology allows researchers to definitively identify red imported fire ants as either monoygyne or polygyne based on the alleles present at the Gp-9 locus. This technique has not previously been applied to hybrid individuals of the red imported fire ant and the black imported fire ant. S...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Phorid flies, Pseudacteon spp. (Diptera: Phoridae), affect forager size ratios of red imported fire ants Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Texas.

    PubMed

    Puckett, R T; Harris, M K

    2010-10-01

    Multiple species of Pseudacteon phorid flies (Diptera: Phoridae) are currently being released throughout the southern United States to aid biological control of red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). It is anticipated that these flies will interfere with S. invicta foraging, allowing native ant assemblages to outcompete S. invicta for available resources. Numerous studies have shown a decrease in S. invicta foraging intensity when exposed to phorids. This study documents a behavioral change in phorid-exposed S. invicta colonies at a phorid release site in central Texas. Significant differences in forager size ratios were detected between phorid-exposed and phorid-absent colonies. A similar phenomenon was recently documented in the native range of these insects in South America as well. Experimental manipulation of ratios of S. invicta worker sizes has been shown to have important effects on colony success. This newly documented phorid-mediated S. invicta colony-level effect represents a significant shift in S. invicta foraging dynamics and may provide an additional mechanism by which phorids can influence S. invicta populations in their United States range.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  11. 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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  12. 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

  13. Declines in a ground-dwelling arthropod community during an invasion by Sahara mustard (Brassica tournefortii) in aeolian sand habitats

    Treesearch

    Heather L. Hulton VanTassel; Anne M. Hansen; Cameron W. Barrows; Quresh Latif; Margaret W. Simon; Kurt E. Anderson

    2014-01-01

    Sahara Mustard (Brassica tournefortii; hereafter mustard), an exotic plant species, has invaded habitats throughout the arid southwestern United States. Mustard has reached high densities across aeolian sand habitats of southwestern deserts, including five distinct sand habitats in the eastern Coachella Valley, California. We examined trends in ground-dwelling...

  14. A Comparison of Relative Abundance and Biomass of Ground-Dwelling Arthropods Under Different Forest Management Practices

    Treesearch

    Cathryn H. Greenberg; Arlene McGrane

    1996-01-01

    Habitat structural characteristics and relative abundance and biomass of ground-dwelling arthropods were compared among four replicated stand treatments: intense burning and salvage logging; clearcutting followed by roller-chopping (100% soil surface disturbance): clearcutting followed by bracke seeding (30% soil surface disturbance); and naturally regenerated mature...

  15. Characterization of 24 microsatellite markers in 11 species of fire ants in the genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Ascunce, Marina S; Bouwma, Andrew M; Shoemaker, Dewayne

    2009-11-01

    The social parasite ant Solenopsis daguerrei infests colonies of several mound-building fire ant species. Twenty-four microsatellite markers were isolated from a repeat-enriched genomic library of S. daguerrei. Eleven loci were polymorphic in this ant with two to six alleles per locus. Expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.0222 to 0.7940 among loci. Most microsatellites amplified successfully across the 11 Solenopsis species tested and will be useful for evolutionary genetic studies in this diverse ant group. Published 2009. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  16. Impact of selenium on mortality, bioaccumulation and feeding deterrence in the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    De La Riva, Deborah G; Vindiola, Beatriz G; Castañeda, Tracy N; Parker, David R; Trumble, John T

    2014-05-15

    Ants are known for the important roles they play in processes contributing to ecosystem functioning in many habitats. However, pollutants can impact the ecosystem services provided by ants. The Argentine ant, an invasive species in North America, was investigated for the potential impact selenium (Se) may have on ants residing within a contaminated habitat. Mortality tests were conducted using worker ants fed an artificial nectar source containing 1-of-4 environmentally common Se compounds (forms): seleno-l-methionine, methylselenocysteine, selenate or selenite. Accumulation of Se in ant bodies at the end of two weeks was quantified with the use of hydride generation atomic absorption spectroscopy. Lastly, we conducted choice tests using dyes to determine whether ants might avoid a carbohydrate diet containing Se by providing them a choice between sucrose with or without Se. Choice tests also tested the responses of ants to selenium when provided in different background sucrose concentrations. The results of this study indicated that form and quantity of Se, as well as time of exposure, impact mortality in Argentine ant workers. Methylselenocysteine and selenate were found to be the most toxic among the 4 chemical forms when presented in sucrose solutions, whereas seleno-l-methionine and selenite caused greater Se body burdens. Furthermore, choice tests showed that ants did not prefer control sucrose solution to sucrose treated with Se regardless of the background sucrose concentration. These findings serve as first look into the possible detrimental impacts these contaminants may pose for ants that frequent sugary nectar sources. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. How do groups of red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) feed on a droplet of sugar water?

    PubMed

    Wang, Cai; Chen, Xuan; Hooper-Bùi, Linda M; Strecker, Rachel; Wen, Yu-Zhen; Qin, Wen-Quan; Ma, Tao; Sun, Zhao-Hui; Chen, Xiao-Yang; Wen, Xiu-Jun

    2016-12-28

    Many previous studies have focused on the foraging behaviors and strategies of the red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren on solid food or granular bait; little attention has been paid to how liquid sugar is fed upon. In the present study, behavioral responses of S. invicta to 25% sucrose water droplets were observed. Five foraging patterns were identified in S. invicta colonies under laboratory conditions: (i) no feeding, no sucrose water feeding was observed; (ii) surround feeding, ants surrounded and fed along the edge of the sucrose droplet; (iii) stacked feeding, ants stacked and fed along the edge of the sucrose droplet; (iv) droplet-break feeding, ants broke the liquid droplet and sucked sucrose water that spread on surface of the substance or soil particles previously transported by ants; and (v) cover feeding, whole surface of the sucrose droplet was covered by layers of feeding ants. This is the first time cover feeding in S. invicta has been reported, which obviously requires more ants compared to the other patterns. In addition, individual ants were tracked in videos under laboratory conditions, and behavioral repertoires that led to stacking, covering and droplet-breaking were identified and described. The field investigation showed that surround feeding was most frequently performed by S. invicta foragers; however, cover feeding was not observed under field conditions during this study. Both laboratory and field studies showed colony-level variations in sugar-water feeding. © 2016 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  1. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Larabee, Fredrick J; Fisher, Brian L; 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  5. 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...

  6. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) as carriers of fungi in hospital environments: an emphasis on the genera Tapinoma and Pheidole.

    PubMed

    Pantoja, L D M; Moreira Filho, R E; Brito, E H S; Aragão, T B; Brilhante, R S N; Cordeiro, R A; Rocha, M F G; Monteiro, A J; Quinet, Y P; Sidrim, J J C

    2009-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of filamentous fungi and yeasts on the external surface of ants at hospitals. From March 2007 to February 2008, 2,899 ants were evaluated in two public hospitals in the city of Fortaleza, Ceará, in northeastern Brazil. The ants were attracted by nontoxic baits, distributed within critical and semicritical hospital areas. The fungi were identified through macro- and micromorphological analysis, biochemical profile, and growth in chromogenic medium. From this study, 5 genera and 13 species of ants were identified, from critical (8% of the collected ants) and semicritical (92%) areas, during the daytime (48%) and nighttime (52%) periods. In the mycological analysis, 75% of the ants were fungi carriers, with the species Tapinoma melanocephalum and species from the genus Pheidole having the most potential as carriers of airborne fungi (75 and 18%, respectively) and yeasts (6 and 1%, respectively). In summary, ants act as carriers of airborne fungi and yeasts, including some pathogenic species.

  7. Foraging activity and dietary spectrum of the Argentine ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in invaded natural areas of the northeast Iberian Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Abril, S; Oliveras, J; Gómez, C

    2007-10-01

    We analyzed the foraging activity and the dietary spectrum of the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile Mayr) and select native ants on cork oaks from Mediterranean open cork oak (Quercus suber) secondary forests. The study areas included invaded and noninvaded zones in close proximity. The Argentine ant's daily foraging activity was correlated to the abiotic factors studied, whereas the seasonal foraging activity was related not only to the variations in the average air temperature, but also to the trophic needs of the colony. Argentine ant workers focused their attention on protein foods during the queens' oviposition periods and during the larvae development phase, and on carbohydrate foods, such as honeydew, when males and workers were hatching. There were no significant differences over the entire year in the quantity of liquid food collected by the Argentine ant workers in comparison with the native ants studied. The solid diet of the Argentine ant on cork oaks is composed of insects, most of which are aphids. Our results have clear applications for control methods based on toxic baits in the invaded natural ecosystems of the Iberian Peninsula.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Indirect interactions between ant-tended hemipterans, a dominant ant Azteca instabilis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and shade trees in a tropical agroecosystem.

    PubMed

    Livingston, George F; White, Adam M; Kratz, Carley J

    2008-06-01

    The occurrence, intensity, and composition of mutualisms are dependent not only on the co-occurrence of mutualists, but also the broader biotic context in which they are embedded. Here, the influence of the specific nest tree identity of the ant Azteca instabilis (F. Smith) on the density of the green coffee scale (Coccus viridis Green) was studied in a coffee agroecosystem in southern Mexico. The hypothesis that an indirect competitive interaction for ant attendance occurs between a scale species (Octolecanium sp. Kondo) in the canopy of the shade tree Inga micheliana Harms and C. viridis, which inhabits coffee bushes (Coffea arabica) beneath the shade trees was tested. Coffee bushes beneath a different shade tree species (Alchornea latifolia Swartz) were used as an indication of C. viridis density in a noncompetitive environment. Results indicate that C. viridis occurs in significantly lower density adjacent to nests in Inga, supporting the hypothesis of indirect competition. Additional experimentation suggests that there is a mutualism between Azteca and Octolecanium and that this interaction may be mediated by a hierarchy in ant attendance of scale insects. Our results show the importance of considering the biotic context of ant-hemipteran mutualisms. In coffee agroecosystems, consideration of shade tree diversity and species composition may be directly applicable to the biological control of insect pests.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  18. 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.

  19. Efficacy of three citrus oil formulations against solenopsis invicta buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), the red imported fire ant1,2

    Treesearch

    James T. Vogt; Thormas G. Shelton; Michael E. Merchant; Scott A. Russell; Marla J. Tanley; Arthur G. Appel

    2002-01-01

    Experiments were conducted in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas to assess efficacy of raw citrus peel extract (orange oil) and a commercial citrus oil formulation for control of Solenopsis invicta Buren, the red imported fire ant. A recipe containing orange oil (equal parts orange oil, cattlemen's molasses, and compost tea at 47 mL L1 water),...

  20. Histiostoma Blomquisti N. SP. (Acari: Histiostomatidae) A phoretic mite of the red imported ant, Solenopsis Invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Treesearch

    Stefan Wirth; John Moser

    2010-01-01

    The new species Histiostoma bJol1lquisti n. sp., associated with the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta, is described by its deutonymph. A putative adult female is depicted. The deutonymphs only attach to female alates, dealates and queens of S. invicta. While queens may be covered by more than 200 deutonymphs over their entire bodies, the numbers of deutonymphs...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Evolution of the nocturnal Nearctic Sphaeropthalminae velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae) driven by Neogene orogeny and Pleistocene glaciation.

    PubMed

    Pitts, James P; Wilson, Joseph S; von Dohlen, Carol D

    2010-07-01

    The influence of historical climatic and geological changes on patterns of species diversification was investigated in a widely distributed group of North American nocturnal mutillids (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae: Sphaeropthalminae), with particular focus on Pleistocene glacial cycles and earlier patterns of Neogene mountain building. We collected molecular data from two nuclear intergenic regions (internal transcribed spacer regions 1 and 2; approximately 2600 bp in total) to produce the first phylogeny of nocturnal Nearctic mutillids. Bayesian inference of the combined data returned a well-resolved tree with posterior probabilities of over 95% for most nodes. This tree suggested the monophyly of the nocturnal, primarily Nearctic, Sphaeropthalminae genera, but the paraphyly of the three largest genera (Odontophotopsis, Photomorphus and Sphaeropthalma). Dates of species divergences were obtained using r8s (PL and NPRS) and BEAST with the date of Dominican amber set at three different dates (15 Ma, 20 Ma, and 45 Ma) to account for uncertainty in the fossil age. The derived dates ranged from the Pleistocene to the Middle Miocene, suggesting that both recent Pleistocene glaciation cycles and older orogenic events, albeit to a somewhat greater extent, were both causes of major diversification in western North America. Examination of other phylogeographical studies using North American desert taxa indicated that diversification patterns are explained by either mountain building or Pleistocene climate change, depending on the taxa in question. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. [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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Using a historic drought and high-heat event to validate thermal exposure predictions for ground-dwelling birds.

    PubMed

    Carroll, James M; Davis, Craig A; Elmore, R Dwayne; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D

    2017-08-01

    Deviations from typical environmental conditions can provide insight into how organisms may respond to future weather extremes predicted by climate modeling. During an episodic and multimonth heat wave event (i.e., ambient temperature up to 43.4°C), we studied the thermal ecology of a ground-dwelling bird species in Western Oklahoma, USA. Specifically, we measured black bulb temperature (Tbb) and vegetation parameters at northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite) adult and brood locations as well as at stratified random points in the study area. On the hottest days (i.e., ≥39°C), adults and broods obtained thermal refuge using tall woody cover that remained on average up to 16.51°C cooler than random sites on the landscape which reached >57°C. We also found that refuge sites used by bobwhites moderated thermal conditions by more than twofold compared to stratified random sites on the landscape but that Tbb commonly exceeded thermal stress thresholds for bobwhites (39°C) for several hours of the day within thermal refuges. The serendipitous high heat conditions captured in our study represent extreme heat for our study region as well as thermal stress for our study species, and subsequently allowed us to assess ground-dwelling bird responses to temperatures that are predicted to become more common in the future. Our findings confirm the critical importance of tall woody cover for moderating temperatures and functioning as important islands of thermal refuge for ground-dwelling birds, especially during extreme heat. However, the potential for extreme heat loads within thermal refuges that we observed (albeit much less extreme than the landscape) indicates that the functionality of tall woody cover to mitigate heat extremes may be increasingly limited in the future, thereby reinforcing predictions that climate change represents a clear and present danger for these species.

  18. Central American ants of the genus Megalomyrmex Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): six new species and keys to workers and males.

    PubMed

    Boudinot, Brendon E; Sumnicht, Theodore P; Adams, Rachelle M M

    2013-11-04

    Megalomyrmex Forel is a distinctive lineage of Neotropical ants, some of which are specialized parasites or predators of the fungus-growing ants Attini. Here we review and key the Central American fauna. Six new species are described from both female castes: M. brandaoi sp. n., M. fungiraptor sp. n., M. longinoi sp. n., M. milenae sp. n., M. megadrifti sp. n. and M. osadrifti sp. n. A worker-based key to all Central American species is presented, and all species are illustrated. Megalomyrmex drifti Kempf is redescribed and the first descriptions of queens for M. miri Brandão and M. foreli Emery are provided. New biological information, several new geographic records, and a discussion of the species-group schema of Brandão (1990) are presented. The male sex of Megalomyrmex is diagnosed at the genus-level and keyed to species for the Central American fauna, where known. The male of each species treated in the key is diagnosed, described, or redescribed. Males are known for fourteen out of twenty total Central American Megalomyrmex species. A distinct but unassociated male is described and keyed (M. male 01). The males of M. miri Brandão and M. wettereri Brandão are described for the first time, and the distinctness of these two species is confirmed. One potential synapomorphy of Megalomyrmex present in males and workers is the presence of a carina which posteriorly delimits the basalmost region of the petiolar dorsum. 

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

    PubMed

    Tay, J W; Lee, C Y

    2015-09-01

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

  20. Seasonal Activity and Foraging Preferences of the Leaf-Cutting Ant Atta sexdens piriventris (Santschi) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Giesel, A; Boff, M I C; Boff, P

    2013-12-01

    Leaf-cutting ants are known for their habit of foraging. These habits can be influenced by several factors, including variations in topography, soil, and climate among others. The objective of this research was to study the seasonal activity and foraging preferences of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens piriventris (Santschi). The study was carried out from January to October of 2007 in grasslands of the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Nests of A. sexdens piriventris were randomly selected and the forager's activities were recorded. Damaged plant species, soil fertility, and climatic conditions were recorded. The maximum foraging activity in the summer was recorded during periods of darkness or low light (between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m.). In autumn and spring, foraging was the highest in the morning, but during winter time the foraging activity was high in the afternoon. Fourteen plant species were frequently visited during our study with the lowest foraging activity being recorded at very low (1 to 4°C) or very high temperatures (above 26°C). The number of exploited plant species was higher in winter (13) than in summer (9). Baccharis trimera (Asteraceae) (43%) and Paspalum spp. (Poaceae) (33%) were the most exploited plants among the identified species.

  1. 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

  2. Effects of two prairie dog rodenticides on ground-dwelling invertebrates in western South Dakota

    Treesearch

    Michele S. Deisch; Daniel W. Uresk; Raymond L. Linder

    1989-01-01

    Immediate and long-term effects of 3 rodenticide treatments on nontarget invertebrates were evaluated on prairie dog colonies. Immediate impacts indicated zinc phosphide reduced ants, strychnine alone reduced wolf spiders, and prebaited strychnine had no impacts. Long-term changes showed increases in wolf spiders and ground beetles and densities were contributed to...

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

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, Masashi; Fisher, Brian L

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Peeters, Christian; Adams, Rachelle M M

    2016-01-01

    Megalomyrmex Forel (Myrmicinae: Solenopsidini) consists of 44 species with diverse life history strategies. Most species are predatory and may also tend honeydew-producing insects. A morphologically derived group of species are social parasites that consume the brood and fungus garden within fungus-growing ant nests. The reproductive strategies of Megalomyrmex queens are somewhat aligned with these life-style patterns. Predatory species in the leoninus species group are large in body size and have ergatoid (i.e., permanently wingless) queens whereas the social parasitic species are smaller and typically have winged queens. We examined two ergatoid phenotypes of Megalomyrmex foreli Emery and Megalomyrmex wallacei Mann and compared them to winged species, one a social lestobiotic or "thief ant" parasite (Megalomyrmex mondabora Brandão) and the other a predator (Megalomyrmex modestus Emery). Megalomyrmex foreli colonies have a single queen with an enlarged gaster that is morphologically distinct from workers. Megalomyrmex wallacei colonies have several queens that are similar in body size to workers. Queens in both species showed a simplification of the thorax, but there was a dramatic difference in the number of ovarioles. Megalomyrmex foreli had 60-80 ovarioles compared to eight in M. wallacei and M. mondabora and M. modestus had 22-28. Along with flight loss in queens, there is an obligate shift to dependent colony founding (also called budding or fission) consequently influencing dispersal patterns. These constraints in life history traits may help explain the variation in nesting biology among Megalomyrmex species. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Strong differences in chemical recognition cues between two closely related species of ants from the genus Lasius (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Morrison, W R; Witte, V

    2011-11-01

    Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are increasingly recognized as important to insects and are used for constructing taxonomies. However, multiple parameters affect the expression of CHCs besides a genetic component. We propose that selection may act differently on the expression of CHCs, depending on the evolutionary context. To explore the influence of selection, the CHCs of two closely related ant species, Lasius niger and Lasius platythorax, were studied in a multidisciplinary approach. We characterized (i) CHCs and (ii) niches (through baiting, activity observations and foraging analysis). The species were distinct in both measures, although to a varying degree. Although they showed moderate niche partitioning along diet and environmental preferences, chemical differences were unexpectedly pronounced. This may be explained by divergent selection on mate recognition cues or by other influences on CHCs. Such striking chemical differences among closely related species may not be the rule and suggest that taxonomies based on CHCs should be interpreted cautiously; though, they remain useful tools for differentiating among cryptic species. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. A revised phylogenetic classification of the ant subfamily Formicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with resurrection of the genera Colobopsis and Dinomyrmex.

    PubMed

    Ward, Philip S; Blaimer, Bonnie B; Fisher, Brian L

    2016-02-02

    The classification of the ant subfamily Formicinae is revised to reflect findings from a recent molecular phylogenetic study and complementary morphological investigations. The existing classification is maintained as far as possible, but some tribes and genera are redefined to ensure monophyly. Eleven tribes are recognized, all of which are strongly supported as monophyletic groups: Camponotini, Formicini, Gesomyrmecini, Gigantiopini, Lasiini (= Prenolepidii syn. n.), Melophorini (= Myrmecorhynchini syn. n.; = Notostigmatini syn. n.), Myrmelachistini stat. rev. (= Brachymyrmicini syn. n.), Myrmoteratini, Oecophyllini, Plagiolepidini, and Santschiellini stat. rev. Most of the tribes remain similar in content, but the generic composition of Lasiini, Melophorini, and Plagiolepidini is changed substantially. Species that have been placed in the genus Camponotus belong to three separate lineages. To ensure monophyly of this large, cosmopolitan genus we institute the following changes: Colobopsis and Dinomyrmex, both former subgenera of Camponotus, are elevated to genus level (stat. rev.), and two former genera, Forelophilus and Phasmomyrmex, are demoted to subgenus status (stat. n. and stat. rev., respectively) under Camponotus; two erstwhile subgenera of Phasmomyrmex, Myrmorhachis and Myrmacantha, become junior synonyms (syn. n.) of Camponotus (Phasmomyrmex); and the Camponotus subgenus Myrmogonia becomes a junior synonym (syn. n.) of Colobopsis. Dinomyrmex, represented by a single species from southeast Asia, D. gigas, is quite distinctive, but Camponotus and Colobopsis exhibit more subtle differences, despite being well separated phylogenetically. We identify morphological features of the worker caste that are broadly useful for distinguishing these two genera. Colobopsis species on the islands of New Caledonia and Fiji-regions with few native Camponotus species-tend to exceed these diagnostic bounds, but in this case regionally applicable character differences can

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Influence of small-scale disturbances by kangaroo rats on Chihuahuan Desert ants

    Treesearch

    R. L. Schooley; B. T. Bestelmeyer; J. F. Kelly

    2000-01-01

    Banner-tailed kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spectabilis) are prominent ecosystem engineers that build large mounds that influence the spatial structuring of fungi, plants, and some ground-dwelling animals. Ants are diverse and functionally important components of arid ecosystems; some species are also ecosystem engineers. We investigated the effects of...

  17. 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.

  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. Ground-dwelling arthropod association with coarse woody debris following long-term dormant season prescribed burning in the longleaf pine flatwoods of North Carolina

    Treesearch

    James L Hanula; Dale Wade; Joseph O' Brien; Susan Loeb

    2009-01-01

    A 5-year study of long-term (40 years) study plots was conducted on the Osceola National Forest in northern Florida to determine how dormant-season fire frequency (annual, biennial, quadrennial, or unburned) affects ground-dwelling macroarthropod use of coarse woody debris in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests. Pitfall traps were used to sample arthropods...

  20. Ground-dwelling arthropod association with coarse woody debris following long-term dormant season prescribed burning in the longleaf pine flatwoods of north Florida.

    Treesearch

    J.L. Hanula; D.D. Wade; J. O' Brien; S.C. Loeb

    2009-01-01

    A 5·year study of long· term (40 years) study plots was conducted on the Osceola National·Forest in northern Florida to determine how dormant-season fire frequency (annual, biennial,quadrennial, or unburned) affects ground-dwelling macroarthropod use of coarsewoody debris in longleaf pine (Pinus...

  1. Short-term response of ground-dwelling arthropods to prescribed fire and mechanical fuel reduction in a Southern Appalachian upland hardwood forest

    Treesearch

    Cathryn H. Greenberg; T.G. Forrest; Thomas. Waldrop

    2010-01-01

    As part of the multidisciplinary National Fire and Fire Surrogate Study, we used drift fences with pitfall traps to determine how three fuel reduction treatments affected ground-dwelling macroarthropods in the southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Four experimental units, each

  2. Initial response of small ground-dwelling mammals to forest alternative buffers along headwater streams in the Washington Coast Range, USA

    Treesearch

    Randall J. Wilk; Martin G. Raphael; Christopher S. Nations; Jeffrey D. Ricklefs

    2010-01-01

    We assessed the short-term effects of alternative designs of forested buffer treatments along headwater streams on small ground-dwelling mammals in managed forests in western Washington, USA. Over three summers (one pretreatment and two posttreatment), we trapped 19 mammalian species along 23 streams in the northern Coast Range. We compared faunal communities in...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-04

    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. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kurten, Erin L; Carson, Walter P

    2015-09-01

    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.

  10. The fine scale physical attributes of coarse woody debris and effects of surrounding stand structure on its utilization by ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in British Columbia, Canada

    Treesearch

    Robert J. Higgins; B. Staffan Lindgren

    2006-01-01

    Coarse woody debris (CWD) is increasingly recognized in Canada for its contribution toward biodiversity. It is a particularly vital resource in subboreal forests as nesting habitat for ants (Formicidae). Wood, which has low specific heat, provides a thermally favorable environment in this cool climate. Ants contribute to the physical breakdown of wood, and colonies are...

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

    PubMed

    Novgorodova, Tatiana A

    2015-03-01

    The ability to recognize aphidophages is one of the key points in the protection ants provide aphids against their natural enemies. Behavior of honeydew collectors from nature ("field," control) and laboratory reared "naive" ants of Formica pratensis Retzius, which had never met either "mature" workers or aphids and aphidophages, was observed during their pairwise interactions with ladybird imagines and hoverfly larvae. The majority of the "naive" ants perceived ladybirds as an enemy at their first encounter attacking them immediately without any prior antennation. Ants seem to have a certain innate "enemy image" that lets them react very quickly to protect aphids. Hoverfly larvae were rarely attacked by both "field" and "naive" ants (>15%). During tests with ladybirds ants from nature attacked them and also demonstrated the most aggressive reactions (series of bites and "death grip") less frequently than the "naive" ants. The percentage of ants avoiding aphidophages after a contact with their chemical defense (reflex bleeding and glue-like saliva) was significantly higher in the control group. Whereas the "naive" ants did not learn to avoid danger, foragers from nature usually tried to avoid negative experience and used tactics of "short bites." Overall, experience has been proved to be unimportant for displaying key behavioral reactions underlying ant-ladybird interaction. However, accumulation of experience has been assumed to play an important role in the formation of behavioral strategy that allows honeydew collectors to drive aphidophages away with lower energy costs and avoid or minimize negative consequences of aphidophages' chemical defense. © 2014 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Removal and Burial of Weed Seeds by Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) From the Soil Surface of a Cropped Area in Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Minkey, D M; Spafford, H

    2016-10-01

    Although granivorous ants are known to collect weed seeds from cropping areas in Australia, the fate of these seeds has not been adequately investigated. Seeds of annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaud.) and wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum L.) were placed around the nests of five native ant species (Iridomyrmex greensladei Shattuck, Rhytidoponera metallica Smith, Melophorus turneri Forel, Monomorium rothsteini Forel, and Pheidole hartmeyeri Forel) and tracked continuously over a 24-h period. Removal rates and seed preference of the ant species were evaluated. Ant nests were then excavated to determine the placement of seeds that were taken into each nest. Seed preference, seed removal efficiencies, activity, and seed storage all varied between the ant species. Annual ryegrass seed was collected by three species of ants and was removed from the soil surface more efficiently than wild radish seed. Most ant species stored seed below ground at a depth that is inhibitory to emergence, thereby potentially removing that portion of seed from the seed bank, but some seed was placed at germinable depths. Pheidole hartmeyeri was identified as a likely biological control agent for annual ryegrass seeds and wild radish, while Me. turneri and Mo. rothsteini have potential as biocontrol agents for annual ryegrass, but further research is needed. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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 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

  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. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Army Ants as Research and Collection Tools

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Adrian A.; Haight, Kevin L.

    2008-01-01

    Ants that fall prey to the raids of army ants commonly respond by evacuating their nests. This documented behavior has been underexploited by researchers as an efficient research tool. This study focuses on the evacuation response of the southwestern desert ant Aphaenogaster cockerelli André (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) to the army ant Newamyrmex nigrescens Cresson. It is shown that army ants can be used to collect mature colonies of ants. The applicability of this tool to ecologically meaningful areas of research is discussed. PMID:20302457

  3. Mites (Acari: Scutacaridae) associated with the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis Invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), from Louisiana and Tennessee, U.S.A.

    Treesearch

    Ernst Ebermann; John C. Moser

    2008-01-01

    Four species of Scutacarus and one of Imparipes (Acari: Scutacaridae) are documented as phoretic from alates and workers of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) in Louisiana and Tennessee, U.S.A. One, Imparipes (Imparipes) louisianae)

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  5. 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.

  6. [Factors influencing the distribution of nests of the Argentine ant Linepithema humile Mayr (hymenoptera: formicidae), in a foothills ecosystem of the central zone of Chile].

    PubMed

    Ipinza-Regla, J; Castro, L; Eissemann, R; Morales, M A

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to demonstrate the dependant relationship between the Argentine ant Linepithema humile Mayr, plant coverage, and human settlements. A method was designed in order to sample the presence of the Argentine ant and other ant species that may had influenced L. humile distribution, under different types of vegetation and percentages of plant coverage, taking in consideration the distance from human settlements. Eight sample stations were established. Four of these stations were found on a dwelling home and the other four were found on similar areas, but far from human settlements. Three transects were established from the center of each sampling station (Tt1, shrublike vegetation, Tt2, herblike vegetation and Tt3, no vegetation). Transects were compound by 10 m side quadrants. A negative correlation was found between nest number of L. humile and human settlement distance, therefore nests were not found at distances higher than 80 m, in all studied areas. There was a positive and significant correlation between nest number of L. humile and plant coverage percentage, regardless the type of vegetation found. The same trend was found for other ant species studied in the area. Finally, it was proved that the distribution of L. humile nests is not influenced by other ant species.

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

    PubMed

    Freeman, B M; Chaves-Campos, J

    2016-06-01

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

  8. Climate changes and Hymenoptera venom allergy: are there some connections?

    PubMed

    Turillazzi, Stefano; Turillazzi, Francesco

    2017-10-01

    This review aims to update the world status of the main allergenic stinging Hymenoptera. In this review, we consider the problems that social Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants) could represent in the nearest future for human health in different parts of the world. Distribution and consistency of allergenic species including venomous insects are interested by accelerated dynamics caused by climate changes and globalization. Owing to the expansion of ranges of native species and colonization of invasive ones, even in the uncertainty of present available models, new challenges presented by stinging Hymenoptera should be expected in the future.

  9. Gaeolaelaps Invictianus, a new and unusual species of Hypoaspidine Mite (Acari: Mesostigmata: Laelapidae) phoretic on the red imported fire ant Solenopsis Invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Louisiana, USA

    Treesearch

    David Walter; John Moser

    2010-01-01

    A new species ofhypoaspidine laelapid mite, Gaeolaelaps invictianus, associated with the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren in the southern United States of America is described. This new species is unusual among the gamasine Mesostigmata in lacking a postanal seta in adults of both sexes and among species of Gaeolaelaps in being phoretic on dispersing male...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  11. 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

  12. 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. © 2013 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  13. 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

  14. 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. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The ants (Hymenoptera:formicidae) of Rawdhat Khorim Nature Preserve, Saudi Arabia, with description of a new species of the genus Tetramorium Mayr.

    PubMed

    Sharaf, Mostafa R; Abdel-Dayem, Mahmoud S; Al Dhafer, Hathal M; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S

    2013-01-01

    Rawdhat Khorim, a densely vegetated alluvial basin supporting a distinctive floral community in the hyper-arid desert of central Saudi Arabia, is one of the most important protected nature sanctuaries of the country. The ant fauna (Formicidae) of Rawdhat Khorim was sampled and 14 species, including one new species were collected using a variety of sampling methods. The new species, Tetramorium saudicum sp. n., a member of the T. caespitum-group, is described based on the worker caste. Cataglyphis viaticoides (André) is recorded for the first time from Saudi Arabia. The information in this paper will allow natural resource managers to establish long-term ecological studies, using sentinel taxa such as ants to evaluate present and future impacts on Rawdhats.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Riparian remnants are linear strips of vegetation immediately adjacent to rivers that may act as refuges for biodiversity, depending on their habitat quality. In this study, we evaluated the role of riparian remnants in contributing to the diversity of leaf-litter ants by determining the relationship between ant diversity and several riparian habitat characteristics within a human-dominated landscape in Veracruz, Mexico. Sampling was carried out in 2012 during both dry and rainy seasons at 12 transects 100 m in length, where 10 leaf-litter samples were collected along each transect and processed with Berlese-Tullgren funnels and Winkler sacks. A total of 8,684 individuals belonging to 53 species, 22 genera, and seven subfamilies were collected. The observed mean alpha diversity accounted for 34.4% of the total species recorded and beta diversity for 65.6%. Species richness and composition were significantly related to litter-layer depth and soil compaction, which could limit the distribution of ant species depending on their nesting, feeding, and foraging habits. Riparian remnants can contribute toward the conservation of ant assemblages and likely other invertebrate communities that are threatened by anthropogenic pressures. In human-dominated landscapes where remnants of riparian vegetation give refuge to a diverse array of myrmecofauna, the protection of the few remaining and well-preserved riparian sites is essential for the long-term maintenance of biodiversity. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Geographical transition zone of Solenopsis fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Pseudacteon fly parasitoids (Diptera: Phoridae) in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pesquero, M A; Dias, A M P M

    2011-01-01

    Solenopsis saevissima (Smith) and Solenopsis invicta Buren are the most abundant and widely distributed fire ants in Brazil. The occurrence of the two fire ant species and of their parasitoids Pseudacteon spp. is described for a climatic and phytophysiognomic transition area in the state of São Paulo. Both fire ant species have a parapatric distribution, apparently determined by the climate: S. saevissima predominates in the north part of São Paulo (Aw climate), while S. invicta in the south (Cfa climate). A sympatric area is observed between the latitudes 21ºS and 23ºS. Two different communities of parasitic decapitating flies were associated with S. saevissima in the north and with S. invicta in the south, with a sympatric area in the municipality of São Carlos (21º58'S 47º53'W). The possible causes of this biogeographic pattern are discussed. Preference tests with Pseudacteon flies challenge the association of P. litoralis Borgmeier, P. curvatus Borgmeier, P. wasmanni Schmitz, P. pradei Borgmeier and P. obtusus Borgmeier with S. saevissima, and P. dentiger Borgmeier, P. disneyi Pesquero and P. lenkoi Borgmeier & Prado with S. invicta.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Sorvari, Jouni; Huhta, Esa; Hakkarainen, Harri

    2014-08-01

    The fitness and survival of ant colonies depend on the resources near their nests. These resources may be limited due to poor habitat quality or by intra- and interspecific competitions, which in extreme cases may cause the ant colony to perish. We tested the effect of intraspecific competition and habitat degradation (forest clear-cutting) on colony survival by transplanting 26 nests of the red wood ant (Formica aquilonia Yarrow, 1955) in 26 different forest areas that contained 0-11 conspecific alien nests per hectare. F. aquilonia is highly dependent on canopy-dwelling aphids, thus the removal of trees should cause food limitation. During the course of the 4-year experiment, 9 of the forests were partially clear-cut. We found that while forest clear-cutting significantly decreased the colonies' survival, intraspecific competition did not. As a highly polygynous and polydomous species, F. aquilonia seems to tolerate the presence of alien conspecific colonies to a certain extent. © 2013 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  4. The combined effects of exogenous and endogenous variability on the spatial distribution of ant communities in a forested ecosystem (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Yitbarek, Senay; Vandermeer, John H; Allen, David

    2011-10-01

    Spatial patterns observed in ecosystems have traditionally been attributed to exogenous processes. Recently, ecologists have found that endogenous processes also have the potential to create spatial patterns. Yet, relatively few studies have attempted to examine the combined effects of exogenous and endogenous processes on the distribution of organisms across spatial and temporal scales. Here we aim to do this, by investigating whether spatial patterns of under-story tree species at a large spatial scale (18 ha) influences the spatial patterns of ground foraging ant species at a much smaller spatial scale (20 m by 20 m). At the regional scale, exogenous processes (under-story tree community) had a strong effect on the spatial patterns in the ground-foraging ant community. We found significantly more Camponotus noveboracensis, Formica subsericae, and Lasius alienus species in black cherry (Prunis serotine Ehrh.) habitats. In witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana L.) habitats, we similarly found significantly more Myrmica americana, Formica fusca, and Formica subsericae. At smaller spatial scales, we observed the emergence of mosaic ant patches changing rapidly in space and time. Our study reveals that spatial patterns are the result of both exogenous and endogenous forces, operating at distinct scales.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  8. Ants of the genus Solenopsis Westwood 1840 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Arabian Peninsula with description of a new species, Solenopsis elhawagryi.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Taxonomic overview of the hyperdiverse ant genus Tetramorium Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in India with descriptions and X-ray microtomography of two new species from the Andaman Islands

    PubMed Central

    Economo, Evan P.

    2017-01-01

    With 600 described species, the ant genus Tetramorium represents one of the most species-rich ant radiations. However, much work remains to fully document the hyperdiversity of this remarkable group. Tetramorium, while globally distributed, is thought to have originated in the Afrotropics and is particularly diverse in the Old World. Here, we focus attention on the Tetramorium fauna of India, a region of high biodiversity value and interest for conservation. We overview Tetramorium diversity in India by providing a species list, accounts of all species groups present, an illustrated identification key to Indian Tetramorium species groups and notes on the Indian Tetramorium fauna. Further, we describe two new species, Tetramorium krishnani sp. n. and Tetramorium jarawa sp. n. from the Andaman Islands archipelago and embed them into currently recognized Tetramorium tonganum and Tetramorium inglebyi species groups. We also provide illustrated species level keys for these groups. Along with detailed species descriptions and high-resolution montage images of types, we provide 3D cybertypes of the new species derived from X-ray micro-computed tomography. PMID:28948101

  14. Pygidial gland chemistry and potential alarm-recruitment function in column foraging, but not solitary, Nearctic Messor harvesting ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae).

    PubMed

    Hölldobler, Bert; Plowes, Nicola J R; Johnson, Robert A; Nishshanka, Upul; Liu, Chongming; Attygalle, Athula B

    2013-09-01

    We investigated the role of the pygidial gland on foraging behavior in two ecologically dominant column foraging Nearctic harvesting ants (Messor pergandei and Messor andrei). Using chemical analyses and behavioral tests, we show that n-tridecane is the major biologically active compound of pygidial gland secretions in both species, and that this chemical functions as a powerful alarm-recruitment pheromone. Another major compound of pygidial gland contents is benzaldehyde; this substance does not release behavioral reactions in M. pergandei workers but might function as a defensive secretion. Six solitary foraging Nearctic Messor and two column foraging Palearctic Messor species, did not have large pygidial gland reservoirs. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Martynov, Alexander V; Radchenko, Alexander G

    2016-03-30

    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.

  16. Efficacy of the African weaver ant Oecophylla longinoda (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the control of Helopeltis spp. (Hemiptera: Miridae) and Pseudotheraptus wayi (Hemiptera: Coreidae) in cashew crop in Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Olotu, Moses I; du Plessis, Hannalene; Seguni, Zuberi S; Maniania, Nguya K

    2013-08-01

    Cashew, Anacardium occidentale, is an economically important cash crop for more than 300 000 rural households in Tanzania. Its production is, however, severely constrained by infestation by sap-sucking insects such as Helopeltis anacardii, H. schoutedeni and Pseudotheraptus wayi. The African weaver ant, Oecophylla longinoda, is an effective biocontrol agent of hemipteran pests in coconuts in Tanzania, but its efficacy in the control of Helopeltis spp. and P. wayi in Tanzanian cashew has not been investigated so far. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the efficacy of O. longinoda in the management of these insect pests in the cashew crop at different sites of the Coast region of Tanzania. Colonisation levels of O. longinoda, expressed as weaver ant trails, varied from 57.1 to 60.6% and from 58.3 to 67.5% in 2010 and 2011 respectively. The mean number of leaf nests per tree varied from five to eight nests in 2010 and from five to nine nests in 2011. There was a negative correlation between numbers of nests and pest damage. Oecophylla longinoda-colonised cashew trees had the lowest shoot damage by Helopeltis spp. of 4.8 and 7.5% in 2010 and 2011, respectively, as opposed to uncolonised cashew trees with 36 and 30% in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Similarly, nut damage by P. wayi was lowest in O. longinoda-colonised trees, with only 2.4 and 6.2% in 2010 and 2011 as opposed to uncolonised trees with 26 and 21%. Oecophylla longinoda is an effective biocontrol agent of the sap-sucking pests of cashew in the Coast region of Tanzania and should be considered as an important component of IPM. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Relationship Among Establishment Durations, Kin Relatedness, Aggressiveness, and Distance Between Populations of Eight Invasive Argentine Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Supercolonies in Japan.

    PubMed

    Sato, K; Sakamoto, H; Hirata, M; Kidokoro-Kobayashi, M; Ozaki, M; Higashi, S; Murakami, T

    2017-08-01

    We investigated kin relatedness and kin-recognition abilities of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), an invader from North America that has pervaded Japan for 20 yr, using genetic analyses and behavioral bioassays. From these data and interactions among factors, we formulated an eradication and management time-scale pattern diagram. Relatedness within a colony using microsatellite markers was effectively zero, whereas relatedness estimated by multilocus DNA fingerprinting markers was relatively high. Specifically, relatedness of recently invaded populations was estimated at nearly 0.3. From the results of behavioral bioassays on the invading populations of the Argentine ant, all colonies except the Kobe supercolonies did not show clearly aggressive behaviors toward workers belonging to other colonies, even when distantly located. Because they are critical factors for eradicating and managing invasive organisms, we assessed the relationships among kin relatedness using multilocus DNA fingerprinting and microsatellite markers, with aggressiveness, in 2011 and 2012, including the establishment durations, and distances among supercolonies. A generalized linear model (GLM) analysis, with establishment durations as an explanatory variable, strongly contributed to explaining estimated relatedness from the two methods. Specifically, models using kin relatedness for both multilocus DNA fingerprinting and microsatellite markers provided the strongest contribution to explaining the establishment durations. Within 3 yr after establishment in a native area, eradication is possible because of their low genetic diversity and small colony size. After 15 yr, eradication will be more difficult, but it is preferable to just monitor the impact for a nonnative ecosystem. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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. 

  4. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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,...

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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)

  14. 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)

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  16. Two new species of mites of the genera Petalomium Cross and Caesarodispus Mahunka (acari: Heterostigmata:Neopygmephoridae, Microdispidae) associated with Solenopsis Invicta Buren (hymenoptera: Formicdae) from the U.S.A.

    Treesearch

    Alexandr A. Khaustov; John C. Moser

    2008-01-01

    Two new species of myrmecophilous pygmephoroid mites, Petalomium hofstetteri n. sp.(Neopygmephoridae) and Caesarodispus klepzigi n. sp. (Microdispidae), associated with the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are described from Louisiana, U.S.A.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Yuen, Elaine Y.L.

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-27

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

  2. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  4. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  7. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Influence of small-scale disturbances by kangaroo rats on Chihuahuan Desert ants.

    PubMed

    Schooley, R L; Bestelmeyer, B T; Kelly, J F

    2000-10-01

    Banner-tailed kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spectabilis) are prominent ecosystem engineers that build large mounds that influence the spatial structuring of fungi, plants, and some ground-dwelling animals. Ants are diverse and functionally important components of arid ecosystems; some species are also ecosystem engineers. We investigated the effects of patch disturbances created by D. spectabilis mounds on ant assemblages in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland in southern New Mexico by using pitfall traps in a paired design (mound vs. matrix). Although the disturbances did not alter species richness or harbor unique ant communities relative to the matrix, they did alter species composition; the abundances of 6 of 26 species were affected. The disturbances might also act to disrupt spatial patterning of ants caused by other environmental gradients. In contrast to previous investigations of larger-scale disturbances, we detected no effects of the disturbances on ants at the functional-group level. Whether ant communities respond to disturbance at a functional-group or within-functional-group level may depend on the size and intensity of the disturbance. Useful functional-group schemes also may be scale-dependent, however, or species may respond idiosyncratically. Interactions between disturbance-generating mammals and ants may produce a nested spatial structure of patches.

  11. [Prevalence of hymenoptera sting allergy in veterinary medicine students from Monterey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico].

    PubMed

    Arias Cruz, Alfredo; Monsiváis Toscano, Gina; Gallardo Martínez, Gabriela; González Díaz, Sandra Nora; Galindo Rodríguez, Gabriela

    2007-01-01

    The reported prevalence of allergic systemic reactions to hymenoptera venom occur in up to 3.3% and large local reactions occur in 17% in the general population. To investigate the prevalence of hymenoptera sting allergy in a group of veterinary medicine students from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. A transverse and observational study was done with 64 students of veterinary medicine. We conducted a questionnaire about the students' history of insect allergy and atopy. Skin test with allergenic extracts of bee and ant were practiced to all subjects. We performed aeroallergen skin prick test to the subjets with suspected atopy. Students age ranged from 17 to 25 years (mean 20.2) and 37 were males. Twenty students (31.3%) had clinical history of atopy and positive skin tests to aeroallergens. On the other hand, 5 students (7.8%), including 2 atopic, had suffered large local reactions, but none of them had suffered systemic reactions. Bee and ant skin tests were positive in 15.6% and 31.3% of the students respectively. There was no difference in the prevalence of hymenoptera allergy between atopic and non atopic subjects (p < 0.05). Further, the frequency of atopy in subjects with positive skin tests for bee and ant was 50%. The prevalence of large local reactions and hymenoptera sensitization found in this group was similar to that found in other epidemiologic studies.

  12. [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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Ant Tower

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mlot, Nathan; Shinotsuka, Sho; Hu, David

    2010-11-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Phylogenomic analysis of ants, bees and stinging wasps: Improved taxon sampling enhances understanding of hymenopteran evolution

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The importance of taxon sampling in phylogenetic accuracy is a topic of active debate. We investigated the role of taxon sampling in causing incongruent results between two recent phylogenomic studies of stinging wasps (Hymenoptera: Aculeata), a diverse lineage that includes ants, bees and the major...

  7. 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."

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Venom toxicity and composition in three Pseudomyrmex ant species having different nesting modes.

    PubMed

    Touchard, Axel; Labrière, Nicolas; Roux, Olivier; Petitclerc, Frédéric; Orivel, Jérôme; Escoubas, Pierre; Koh, Jennifer M S; Nicholson, Graham M; Dejean, Alain

    2014-09-01

    We aimed to determine whether the nesting habits of ants have influenced their venom toxicity and composition. We focused on the genus Pseudomyrmex (Pseudomyrmecinae) comprising terrestrial and arboreal species, and, among the latter, plant-ants that are obligate inhabitants of myrmecophytes (i.e., plants sheltering ants in hollow structures). Contrary to our hypothesis, the venom of the ground-dwelling species, Pseudomyrmex termitarius, was as efficacious in paralyzing prey as the venoms of the arboreal and the plant-ant species, Pseudomyrmex penetrator and Pseudomyrmex gracilis. The lethal potency of P. termitarius venom was equipotent with that of P. gracilis whereas the venom of P. penetrator was less potent. The MALDI-TOF MS analysis of each HPLC fraction of the venoms showed that P. termitarius venom is composed of 87 linear peptides, while both P. gracilis and P. penetrator venoms (23 and 26 peptides, respectively) possess peptides with disulfide bonds. Furthermore, P. penetrator venom contains three hetero- and homodimeric peptides consisting of two short peptidic chains linked together by two interchain disulfide bonds. The large number of peptides in P. termitarius venom is likely related to the large diversity of potential prey plus the antibacterial peptides required for nesting in the ground. Whereas predation involves only the prey and predator, P. penetrator venom has evolved in an environment where trees, defoliating insects, browsing mammals and ants live in equilibrium, likely explaining the diversity of the peptide structures. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  16. Multi-Phase Defense by the Big-Headed Ant, Pheidole obtusospinosa, Against Raiding Army Ants

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Ming H.

    2010-01-01

    Army ants are well known for their destructive raids of other ant colonies. Some known defensive strategies include nest evacuation, modification of nest architecture, blockade of nest entrances using rocks or debris, and direct combat outside the nest. Since army ants highly prefer Pheidole ants as prey in desert habitats, there may be strong selective pressure on Pheidole to evolve defensive strategies to better survive raids. In the case of P. obtusospinosa Pergande (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), the worker caste system includes super majors in addition to smaller majors and minor workers. Interestingly, P. obtusospinosa and the six other New World Pheidole species described to have polymorphic major workers are all found in the desert southwest and adjacent regions of Mexico, all co-occurring with various species of Neivamyrmex army ants. Pheidole obtusospinosa used a multi-phase defensive strategy against army ant raids that involved their largest major workers. During army ant attacks, these super majors were involved in blocking the nest entrance with their enlarged heads. This is the first description of defensive head-blocking by an ant species that lacks highly modified head morphology, such as a truncated or disc-shaped head. P. obtusospinosa super majors switched effectively between passive headblocking at the nest entrance and aggressive combat outside the nest. If this multi-phase strategy is found to be used by other Pheidole species with polymorphic majors in future studies, it is possible that selective pressure by army ant raids may have been partially responsible for the convergent evolution of this extra worker caste. PMID:20569122

  17. 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.

  18. Diversity of peptide toxins from stinging ant venoms.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-15

    Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of arthropods comprising nearly 13,000 extant species. Sixteen ant subfamilies have individuals that possess a stinger and use their venom for purposes such as a defence against predators, competitors and microbial pathogens, for predation, as well as for social communication. They exhibit a range of activities including antimicrobial, haemolytic, cytolytic, paralytic, insecticidal and pain-producing pharmacologies. While ant venoms are known to be rich in alkaloids and hydrocarbons, ant venoms rich in peptides are becoming more common, yet remain understudied. Recent advances in mass spectrometry techniques have begun to reveal the true complexity of ant venom peptide composition. In the few venoms explored thus far, most peptide toxins appear to occur as small polycationic linear toxins, with antibacterial properties and insecticidal activity. Unlike other venomous animals, a number of ant venoms also contain a range of homodimeric and heterodimeric peptides with one or two interchain disulfide bonds possessing pore-forming, allergenic and paralytic actions. However, ant venoms seem to have only a small number of monomeric disulfide-linked peptides. The present review details the structure and pharmacology of known ant venom peptide toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  6. 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

  7. Patterns of Positive Selection in Seven Ant Genomes

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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)

  12. The evolution of heat shock protein sequences, cis-regulatory elements, and expression profiles in the eusocial Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Andrew D; Gotelli, Nicholas J; Cahan, Sara Helms

    2016-01-19

    The eusocial Hymenoptera have radiated across a wide range of thermal environments, exposing them to significant physiological stressors. We reconstructed the evolutionary history of three families of Heat Shock Proteins (Hsp90, Hsp70, Hsp40), the primary molecular chaperones protecting against thermal damage, across 12 Hymenopteran species and four other insect orders. We also predicted and tested for thermal inducibility of eight Hsps from the presence of cis-regulatory heat shock elements (HSEs). We tested whether Hsp induction patterns in ants were associated with different thermal environments. We found evidence for duplications, losses, and cis-regulatory changes in two of the three gene families. One member of the Hsp90 gene family, hsp83, duplicated basally in the Hymenoptera, with shifts in HSE motifs in the novel copy. Both copies were retained in bees, but ants retained only the novel HSE copy. For Hsp70, Hymenoptera lack the primary heat-inducible orthologue from Drosophila melanogaster and instead induce the cognate form, hsc70-4, which also underwent an early duplication. Episodic diversifying selection was detected along the branch predating the duplication of hsc70-4 and continued along one of the paralogue branches after duplication. Four out of eight Hsp genes were heat-inducible and matched the predictions based on presence of conserved HSEs. For the inducible homologues, the more thermally tolerant species, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, had greater Hsp basal expression and induction in response to heat stress than did the less thermally tolerant species, Aphaenogaster picea. Furthermore, there was no trade-off between basal expression and induction. Our results highlight the unique evolutionary history of Hsps in eusocial Hymenoptera, which has been shaped by gains, losses, and changes in cis-regulation. Ants, and most likely other Hymenoptera, utilize lineage-specific heat inducible Hsps, whose expression patterns are associated with adaptive

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Intraoral Hymenoptera sting.

    PubMed

    Mader, C L

    1980-03-01

    Four days before a routine dental examination, the patient had been stung on the left side of the soft palate by a yellow jacket. The lesion was well demarcated, with a prominent area of deep red erythema approximately 1.5 cm in diameter. inside of which was a coral pink ring approximately 0.5 cm in diameter. The patient was not experiencing discomfort at the time of examination. Reactions to Hymenoptera stings usually include pain, erythema, and swelling, but, in more severe instances, extensive swelling and systemic reactions in the form of anaphylaxis or delayed allergic responses may be seen. The patient should be referred immediately to a physician or medical treatment facility for observation and treatment if necessary. If the stinger is located either periorally or intraorally, it should be carefully removed by flicking so that additional venom from the sac is not injected into the patient.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. Colony Fusion in a Parthenogenetic Ant, Pristomyrmex punctatus

    PubMed Central

    Satow, Show; Satoh, Toshiyuki; Hirota, Tadao

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Interaction between ants and fruits of Guapira opposita (Nyctaginaceae) in a Brazilian sandy plain rainforest: ant effects on seeds and seedlings.

    PubMed

    Passos, Luciana; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2004-05-01

    This study examines the dispersal system of Guapira opposita in a tropical sandy rainforest in southeast Brazil. Guapira trees produce small fruits with a high protein content (28.4%) and low lipid content (0.3%), and the plant is primarily dispersed by birds. Mature fruits of G. opposita can fall spontaneously with the pulp intact, or be dropped by birds with bits of pulp attached. In either case, ground-dwelling ants rapidly remove the fruits to their nest (93% after 12 h). The ponerine ants Odontomachus chelifer and Pachycondyla striata are the main seed vectors among the ants, and together account for 56% (20 of 36) of the ant-fruit interactions recorded on the forest floor. Individual workers of O. chelifer and P. striata transport single fruits to their nests. Bits of pulp are fed to larvae and worker nestmates, and intact seeds are discarded outside the nest. Germination success in Guapira is higher for cleaned seeds (pulp removed) than for seeds coated by pulp. Guapira seedlings and juveniles are more frequent close to Odontomachus nests than at sites without such nests. Soil samples from Odontomachus nests had greater penetrability, and higher concentrations of P, K, and Ca than random soil samples. Field experiments suggest that the association between G. opposita seedlings and O. chelifer nests can potentially render the plant some protection against herbivores. Results indicate that fruit displacement by ponerine ants play an important role in the biology of G. opposita seeds and seedlings in the sandy forest, and illustrate the complex nature of the dispersal ecology of tropical tree species.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. The Molecular Clockwork of the Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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).

  11. A World of Ants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flannery, Maura C.

    1992-01-01

    Presents a discussion of interesting aspects of ants that was launched by the author's reading of "The Ants" by Holldobler and Wilson (1990). Describes how the study of the early history of ant taxonomy could be viewed as "entertaining." Their huge numbers and segregation into colonial social systems makes ants good research organisms. (PR)

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

    PubMed

    Khaustov, Alexander A

    2016-07-12

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

  13. 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.

  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. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Are the TTAGG and TTAGGG telomeric repeats phylogenetically conserved in aculeate Hymenoptera?

    PubMed

    Menezes, Rodolpho S T; Bardella, Vanessa B; Cabral-de-Mello, Diogo C; Lucena, Daercio A A; Almeida, Eduardo A B

    2017-09-27

    Despite the (TTAGG)n telomeric repeat supposed being the ancestral DNA motif of telomeres in insects, it was repeatedly lost within some insect orders. Notably, parasitoid hymenopterans and the social wasp Metapolybia decorata (Gribodo) lack the (TTAGG)n sequence, but in other representatives of Hymenoptera, this motif was noticed, such as different ant species and the honeybee. These findings raise the question of whether the insect telomeric repeat is or not phylogenetically predominant in Hymenoptera. Thus, we evaluated the occurrence of both the (TTAGG)n sequence and the vertebrate telomere sequence (TTAGGG)n using dot-blotting hybridization in 25 aculeate species of Hymenoptera. Our results revealed the absence of (TTAGG)n sequence in all tested species, elevating the number of hymenopteran families lacking this telomeric sequence to 13 out of the 15 tested families so far. The (TTAGGG)n was not observed in any tested species. Based on our data and compiled information, we suggest that the (TTAGG)n sequence was putatively lost in the ancestor of Apocrita with at least two subsequent independent regains (in Formicidae and Apidae).

  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. Fire Ant Allergy

    MedlinePlus

    ... Serious Reaction For people with fire ant allergy, stings may cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis ( ... Fire ants bite with their jaws while they sting. This allows them to pull the stinger out, ...

  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. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-08-01

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

  8. 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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Acoustic communication by ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickling, Robert

    2002-05-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Northward expansion of the invasive Linepithema humile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the eastern United States is constrained by winter soil temperatures.

    PubMed

    Brightwell, R J; Labadie, P E; Silverman, J

    2010-10-01

    The invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) has been evident in the North Carolina Piedmont, United States for 90 yr but has failed to spread further north. We investigated the mechanisms preventing this expansion. The Argentine ant ceases foraging at temperatures below 5°C and we hypothesized that winter soil temperatures at higher latitudes restricted foraging long enough to cause colony starvation. We tested if the Argentine ant could successfully feed at temperatures below 5°C and found that colonies would starve. We subjected Argentine ant nests to a range of sub- and above-freezing temperatures and measured worker mortality at various time intervals. We found that Argentine ant colonies will collapse after 8.5 d at 5°C. Argentine ants can escape ambient cold temperatures by moving nests into the soil column. We tested how deeply into the soil Argentine ant queens and workers need to move to survive winter in North Carolina. Soil temperatures in the North Carolina Piedmont do not fall below 5°C for longer than nine consecutive days; therefore, Argentine ant colonies need only to retreat a few centimeters into the soil column to escape unsuitable temperatures. Winter soil temperature data from four climate stations situated from latitudes 35°, the current Eastern United States latitudinal limit for Argentine ant population expansion, to 39° were searched for periods where soil temperatures would have led to colony extirpation. North of their current distributions, extended periods of soil temperatures below 5°C regularly occur, preventing Argentine ant colonies from persisting.

  15. Characterization of Polymorphic Microsatellites in the Giant Bulldog Ant, Myrmecia brevinoda and the Jumper Ant, M. pilosula

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Zeng-Qiang; Sara Ceccarelli, F.; Carew, Melissa E.; Schlüns, Helge; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C.; Steiner, Florian M.

    2011-01-01

    The ant genus Myrmecia Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is endemic to Australia and New Caledonia, and has retained many biological traits that are considered to be basal in the family Formicidae. Here, a set of 16 dinucleotide microsatellite loci were studied that are polymorphic in at least one of the two species of the genus: the giant bulldog ant, M. brevinoda Forel, and the jumper ant, M. pilosula Smith; 13 are novel loci and 3 are loci previously published for the genus Nothomyrmecia Clark (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). In M. brevinoda, the total of 12 polymorphic microsatellites yielded a total of 125 alleles, ranging from 3 to 18 with an average of 10.42 per locus; the observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.4000 to 0.9000 and from 0.5413 to 0.9200, respectively. In M. pilosula, the 9 polymorphic loci yielded a total of 67 alleles, ranging from 3 to 12 with an average of 7.44 per locus; the observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.5625 to 0.9375 and from 0.4863 to 0.8711, respectively. Five loci were polymorphic in both target species. In addition, 15 out of the 16 loci were successfully amplified in M. pyriformis. These informative microsatellite loci provide a powerful tool for investigating the population and colony genetic structure of M. brevinoda and M. pilosula, and may also be applicable to a range of congeners considering the relatively distant phylogenetic relatedness between M. pilosula and the other two species within the genus Myrmecia. PMID:21867438

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Helmkampf, Martin; Cash, Elizabeth; Gadau, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Ants in Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-01-12

    ISS038-E-029065 (12 Jan. 2014) --- In the International Space Station's Destiny laboratory, NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, Expedition 38 flight engineer, uses a video camera to photograph the Ant Forage Habitat Facility which will study ant behavior and colonization in microgravity.

  5. Ants in Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-01-13

    ISS038-E-029133 (12 Jan. 2014) --- The Ant Forage Habitat Facility is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 38 crew member on the International Space Station. The study examines the behavior of ants by comparing groups living on Earth to those in space.

  6. Ants in Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-01-12

    ISS038-E-029059 (12 Jan. 2014) --- In the International Space Station's Destiny laboratory, NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, Expedition 38 flight engineer, uses a video camera to photograph the Ant Forage Habitat Facility which will study ant behavior and colonization in microgravity.

  7. Ants in Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-01-12

    ISS038-E-029077 (12 Jan. 2014) --- In the International Space Station's Harmony node, NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, Expedition 38 flight engineer, uses a video camera to photograph the Ant Forage Habitat Facility which will study ant behavior and colonization in microgravity.

  8. Ants in Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-01-13

    ISS038-E-029106 (12 Jan. 2014) --- The Ant Forage Habitat Facility is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 38 crew member on the International Space Station. The study examines the behavior of ants by comparing groups living on Earth to those in space.

  9. Ants in Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-01-12

    ISS038-E-029062 (12 Jan. 2014) --- In the International Space Station's Destiny laboratory, NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, Expedition 38 flight engineer, uses a video camera to photograph the Ant Forage Habitat Facility which will study ant behavior and colonization in microgravity.

  10. Ants in Space

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-01-14

    ISS038-E-029161 (12 Jan. 2014) --- The Ant Forage Habitat Facility is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 38 crew member on the International Space Station. The study examines the behavior of ants by comparing groups living on Earth to those in space.

  11. Microbiological activity of soils populated by Lasius niger ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ugelvig, Line V; Cremer, Sylvia

    2007-11-20

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

  14. Coexistent anaphylaxis to Diptera and Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Freye, H B; Litwin, C

    1996-03-01

    Anaphylaxis to the bite of Diptera and specifically the bite of the Tabanidae family (horsefly) have been sparsely documented. The coexistent hypersensitivity to both the order Diptera and Hymenoptera has not been documented. We present a patient who experienced anaphylaxis to both insect species. Venom skin testing and RAST revealed sensitivity to several members of the Hymenoptera order. Prick, intradermal and RAST with whole body extracts of Tabanidae species is also documented in this patient. Twenty patients who are sensitive to Hymenoptera and have been bitten by horseflies but have had no reaction to the horsefly bite were used as controls. An anaphylactic reaction to horsefly bite has been documented in a 56-year-old white male. This patient also demonstrated evidence of anaphylactic reaction to Hymenoptera envenomation. In controls consisting of 20 patients with Hymenoptera sensitivity, there was no clinical history of reaction to horsefly bite despite the presence of positive prick and/or positive intradermal tests and/or positive RAST to mixed Tabanidae species extract. Skin testing to horsefly by prick and/or intradermal testing using whole body insect extract is not useful in making a diagnosis of Tabanidae hypersensitivity. RAST using Tabanidae species as antigen is similarly useless in making a diagnosis of Tabanidae hypersensitivity. In vivo and in vitro diagnosis of horsefly hypersensitivity may be achieved when the salivary gland antigen of the horsefly becomes available.

  15. 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).

  16. Deleterious Wolbachia in the ant Formica truncorum.

    PubMed Central

    Wenseleers, T; Sundström, L; Billen, J

    2002-01-01

    Wolbachia is a maternally inherited bacterium that may manipulate the reproduction of its arthropod hosts. In insects, it is known to lead to inviable matings, cause asexual reproduction or kill male offspring, all to its own benefit, but to the detriment of its host. In social Hymenoptera, Wolbachia occurs widely, but little is known about its fitness effects. We report on a Wolbachia infection in the wood ant Formica truncorum, and evaluate whether it influences reproductive patterns. All 33 colonies of the study population were infected, suggesting that Wolbachia infection is at, or close to, fixation. Interestingly, in colonies with fewer infected workers, significantly more sexuals are produced, indicating that Wolbachia has deleterious effects in this species. In addition, adult workers are shown to have significantly lower infection rates (45%) than worker pupae (87%) or virgin queens (94%), suggesting that workers lose their infection over life. Clearance of Wolbachia infection has, to our knowledge, never been shown in any other natural system, but we argue that it may, in this case, represent an adaptive strategy to reduce colony load. The cause of fixation requires further study, but our data strongly suggest that Wolbachia has no influence on the sex ratio in this species. PMID:11916479

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Field techniques for sampling ants

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Occurrence of three haplotypes of Linepithema micans (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Martins, C; Nondillo, A; Martins, V G; Botton, M; Bueno, O C

    2012-02-01

    Linepithema micans (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is reported to occur from eastern Brazil to central Argentina in pasture or grassland, forest and second growth riparian forest, nesting under stones, rotting wood, and sandy soil. However, information on this species is poor and its ecological interactions and role as pests are unknown. Linepithema humile (Mayr), a closely related species to L. micans, known as the Argentine ant, is native to South America, and was accidentally introduced to several regions of the world. Recent studies have shown that other related species, such as L. micans, could become as pestiferous as L. humile because of its phylogenetic proximity. Samples of L. micans from different habitats in Southern Brazil were characterized by sequencing of the mitochondrial DNA. Sequences were compared to previously obtained sequences from samples of L. humile and the genetic distance and differences in the tRNALeu structure were investigated. Our data identified three haplotypes of L. micans, two of which were observed in ant populations closely associated with the Brazilian ground pearl Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Hempel) (Hemiptera: Margarodidae), a soil scale that is a serious pest of vineyards. The third haplotype was identified in ants from populations invading residences in urban habitats.

  11. Intragenomic conflict over queen determination favours genomic imprinting in eusocial Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Dobata, Shigeto; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2012-01-01

    Colonies of eusocial Hymenoptera, such as ants, bees and wasps, have long been recognized as candidates for the study of genomic imprinting on the grounds of evolutionary conflicts that arise from close interactions among colony members and relatedness asymmetry owing to haplodiploidy. Although a general kinship theory of genomic imprinting predicts its occurrence under various circumstances of the colony life cycle, new theoretical approaches are required to account for the specifics of real colonies based on recent advances in molecular-level understanding of ants and honeybees. Using a multivariate quantitative genetic model, we examined the potential impact of genomic imprinting on genes that determine the carrier female's propensity to develop into the queen caste. When queen overproduction owing to the increased propensity comes at a colony-level cost, the conflict between maternally and paternally inherited genes in polyandrous (queen multiple mating) colonies favours genomic imprinting. Moreover, we show that the genomic imprinting can occur even under monandry (queen single mating), once incorporating the costs differentially experienced by new males and new queens. Our model predicts the existence of imprinted ‘genetic royal cheats’ with patriline-specific expression in polyandrous colonies, and seems consistent with the paternal effect on queen determination in monandrous Argentine ants. PMID:22378809

  12. Intragenomic conflict over queen determination favours genomic imprinting in eusocial Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Dobata, Shigeto; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2012-07-07

    Colonies of eusocial Hymenoptera, such as ants, bees and wasps, have long been recognized as candidates for the study of genomic imprinting on the grounds of evolutionary conflicts that arise from close interactions among colony members and relatedness asymmetry owing to haplodiploidy. Although a general kinship theory of genomic imprinting predicts its occurrence under various circumstances of the colony life cycle, new theoretical approaches are required to account for the specifics of real colonies based on recent advances in molecular-level understanding of ants and honeybees. Using a multivariate quantitative genetic model, we examined the potential impact of genomic imprinting on genes that determine the carrier female's propensity to develop into the queen caste. When queen overproduction owing to the increased propensity comes at a colony-level cost, the conflict between maternally and paternally inherited genes in polyandrous (queen multiple mating) colonies favours genomic imprinting. Moreover, we show that the genomic imprinting can occur even under monandry (queen single mating), once incorporating the costs differentially experienced by new males and new queens. Our model predicts the existence of imprinted 'genetic royal cheats' with patriline-specific expression in polyandrous colonies, and seems consistent with the paternal effect on queen determination in monandrous Argentine ants.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  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. Single-stranded RNA viruses infecting the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile.

    PubMed

    Gruber, Monica A M; Cooling, Meghan; Baty, James W; Buckley, Kevin; Friedlander, Anna; Quinn, Oliver; Russell, Jessica F E J; Sébastien, Alexandra; Lester, Philip J

    2017-06-12

    Social insects host a diversity of viruses. We examined New Zealand populations of the globally widely distributed invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) for RNA viruses. We used metatranscriptomic analysis, which identified six potential novel viruses in the Dicistroviridae family. Of these, three contigs were confirmed by Sanger sequencing as Linepithema humile virus-1 (LHUV-1), a novel strain of Kashmir bee virus (KBV) and Black queen cell virus (BQCV), while the others were chimeric or misassembled sequences. We extended the known sequence of LHUV-1 to confirm its placement in the Dicistroviridae and categorised its relationship to closest relatives, which were all viruses infecting Hymenoptera. We examined further for known viruses by mapping our metatranscriptomic sequences to all viral genomes, and confirmed KBV, BQCV, LHUV-1 and Deformed wing virus (DWV) presence using qRT-PCR. Viral replication was confirmed for DWV, KBV and LHUV-1. Viral titers in ants were higher in the presence of honey bee hives. Argentine ants appear to host a range of' honey bee' pathogens in addition to a virus currently described only from this invasive ant. The role of these viruses in the population dynamics of the ant remain to be determined, but offer potential targets for biocontrol approaches.

  20. 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.