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Sample records for problematic ant taxon

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. Systematic relationships and cospeciation of bacterial endosymbionts and their carpenter ant host species: proposal of the new taxon Candidatus Blochmannia gen. nov.

    PubMed

    Sauer, C; Stackebrandt, E; Gadau, J; Hölldobler, B; Gross, R

    2000-09-01

    The systematic relationships of intracellular bacteria of 13 Camponotus species (carpenter ants) from America and Europe were compared to those of their hosts. Phylogenetic trees of the bacteria and the ants were based on 16S rDNA (rrs) gene sequences and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences, respectively. The bacterial endosymbionts of Camponotus spp. form a distinct lineage in the y-subclass of the Proteobacteria. The taxa most closely related to these bacteria are endosymbionts of aphids and the tsetse fly. The bacterial and host phylogenies deduced from the sequence data show a high degree of congruence, providing significant evidence for cospeciation of the bacteria and the ants and a maternal transmission route of the symbionts. The cloned rrs genes of the endosymbionts contain putative intervening sequences (IVSs) with a much lower G+C content than the mean of the respective rrs genes. By in situ hybridization specific 16S rDNA oligonucleotide probes verified the presence of the bacteria within tissues of three of the eukaryotic hosts. It is proposed that the endosymbionts of these three carpenter ants be assigned to a new taxon 'Candidatus Blochmannia gen. nov.' with the symbionts of the individual ants being species named according to their host, 'Candidatus Blochmannia floridanus sp. nov.', 'Candidatus Blochmannia herculeanus sp. nov.' and 'Candidatus Blochmannia rufipes sp. nov.'.

  3. Systematic relationships and cospeciation of bacterial endosymbionts and their carpenter ant host species: proposal of the new taxon Candidatus Blochmannia gen. nov.

    PubMed

    Sauer, C; Stackebrandt, E; Gadau, J; Hölldobler, B; Gross, R

    2000-09-01

    The systematic relationships of intracellular bacteria of 13 Camponotus species (carpenter ants) from America and Europe were compared to those of their hosts. Phylogenetic trees of the bacteria and the ants were based on 16S rDNA (rrs) gene sequences and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences, respectively. The bacterial endosymbionts of Camponotus spp. form a distinct lineage in the y-subclass of the Proteobacteria. The taxa most closely related to these bacteria are endosymbionts of aphids and the tsetse fly. The bacterial and host phylogenies deduced from the sequence data show a high degree of congruence, providing significant evidence for cospeciation of the bacteria and the ants and a maternal transmission route of the symbionts. The cloned rrs genes of the endosymbionts contain putative intervening sequences (IVSs) with a much lower G+C content than the mean of the respective rrs genes. By in situ hybridization specific 16S rDNA oligonucleotide probes verified the presence of the bacteria within tissues of three of the eukaryotic hosts. It is proposed that the endosymbionts of these three carpenter ants be assigned to a new taxon 'Candidatus Blochmannia gen. nov.' with the symbionts of the individual ants being species named according to their host, 'Candidatus Blochmannia floridanus sp. nov.', 'Candidatus Blochmannia herculeanus sp. nov.' and 'Candidatus Blochmannia rufipes sp. nov.'. PMID:11034499

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  5. Policy Problematization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Webb, P. Taylor

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Competition asymmetry with taxon divergence.

    PubMed

    Barnes, David K A

    2003-03-22

    Most organisms experience competition for resources, probably most of the time. As the structure and requirements of closely related species are generally liable to be more similar than in distantly linked species, Darwin suggested that the potential for competition was greater in the former. Since that time, studies have concentrated on interactions of either conspecifics or congeneric species. Shared critical resources, which organisms compete for, are generally mates, food and space (for access to the former). Whilst mates are valued only within species, in that the definition of a species requires it so, both food and space have the potential to be shared by very different organisms. It is now clear that vertebrates may compete with remotely related species: e.g. with squid for krill and with insects for nectar or seeds. Diamond suggested that (i) mutual aggression, (ii) displacement and (iii) evolutionary change in morphology would be increasingly asymmetric with competitor dissimilarity. Thus, with increasing taxonomic distance between two competitors (A and B), increasing aggression is exhibited between them and, increasingly, one consistently displaces the other. Here, Darwin's suggestion and Diamond's first two theories are tested across a taxonomic spectrum for the first time to the best of the author's knowledge. The proportion of spatial competitors in two different marine invertebrate groups demonstrating mutual aggression and displacement increases with taxon divergence (Nei's genetic identity). Congenerics were twice as likely to fight as conspecifics, and confamilial competitors were three times as likely to fight as conspecifics. This relationship seems robust to taxonomic and environmental variability. Competitors do not need to be as distant as birds and bees for complete asymmetry, a different family seems sufficient.

  7. 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)

  8. Cross-taxon congruence and environmental conditions

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Examination of the pathological dissociation taxon in depersonalization disorder.

    PubMed

    Simeon, Daphne; Knutelska, Margaret; Nelson, Dorothy; Guralnik, Orna; Schmeidler, James

    2003-11-01

    In recent years, the pathologic dissociation taxon developed by Waller, Putnam, and Carlson (Psychological Methods 1:300-321, 1996) from a Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) sample has been increasingly used in studies of dissociation in general. However, the taxon's convergence with dissociative diagnoses other than DID, as well as the taxon's central premise that pathologic dissociation is a categorical rather than a dimensional construct, remain areas of exploration. This report examines the applicability of the pathologic dissociation taxon to Depersonalization Disorder (DPD). The Dissociative Experiences Scale was administered to 100 consecutively recruited DPD subjects diagnosed by semistructured clinical interview and by the SCID-D. Taxon membership probability was calculated using the recommended SAS scoring program. Approximately 2/3 of subjects (N = 64) had a very high probability (>.80) of belonging to the taxon, while 1/3 of subjects had a very low probability (<.10) of belonging to the taxon. A taxon cutoff score of 13 yielded an 81% sensitivity in detecting the presence of DPD. The modest convergence between taxonic membership and clinical dissociative disorder diagnosis suggests that the taxon may have important limitations in its use, at least when applied to DPD in its current form. As previously, we continue to recommend a low taxon cutoff score (13) for the sensitive detection of depersonalization disorder. The inference that pathologic dissociation is a unitary and categorical entity is also discussed.

  13. Foundational issues concerning taxa and taxon names.

    PubMed

    Ereshefsky, Marc

    2007-04-01

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

  14. Problematic Internet use: an overview

    PubMed Central

    ABOUJAOUDE, ELIAS

    2010-01-01

    There is wide agreement that the Internet can serve as a tool that enhances well-being. It is more difficult, however, to find consensus around the issue of problematic Internet use. That may be in part because scientific investigation has lagged far behind technological advances and media attention. The diagnostic schemas that have been proposed since 1996, and the screening tools that have been developed, stress similarities with substance use, impulse control disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Prevalence figures vary as a function of the diagnostic definition used, the age group studied, and whether the surveys were conducted online. Studies suggest high comorbidity rates with mood disorders and, among younger individuals, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Treatment should address any comorbid conditions present, as those may be causing, or exacerbating, problematic Internet use. Interventions that may specifically target problematic Internet use include cognitive behavioral therapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, but detailed guidelines must await further studies. For a medium that has so radically changed how we conduct our lives, the Internet’s effects on our psychology remain understudied. More research is needed into the pathophysiology, epidemiology, natural course, and treatment of problematic Internet use. In addition, the more subtle psychological changes, such as disinhibition, that seem to characterize people’s online behavior also deserve attention, even if they cannot be seen as necessarily pathological. PMID:20671890

  15. Problematic Internet use: an overview.

    PubMed

    Aboujaoude, Elias

    2010-06-01

    There is wide agreement that the Internet can serve as a tool that enhances well-being. It is more difficult, however, to find consensus around the issue of problematic Internet use. That may be in part because scientific investigation has lagged far behind technological advances and media attention. The diagnostic schemas that have been proposed since 1996, and the screening tools that have been developed, stress similarities with substance use, impulse control disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Prevalence figures vary as a function of the diagnostic definition used, the age group studied, and whether the surveys were conducted online. Studies suggest high comorbidity rates with mood disorders and, among younger individuals, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Treatment should address any comorbid conditions present, as those may be causing, or exacerbating, problematic Internet use. Interventions that may specifically target problematic Internet use include cognitive behavioral therapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, but detailed guidelines must await further studies. For a medium that has so radically changed how we conduct our lives, the Internet's effects on our psychology remain understudied. More research is needed into the pathophysiology, epidemiology, natural course, and treatment of problematic Internet use. In addition, the more subtle psychological changes, such as disinhibition, that seem to characterize people's online behavior also deserve attention, even if they cannot be seen as necessarily pathological.

  16. Geometry, features, and panoramic views: ants in rectangular arenas.

    PubMed

    Wystrach, Antoine; Cheng, Ken; Sosa, Sebastian; Beugnon, Guy

    2011-10-01

    When tested in rectangular arenas, the navigational behavior of the ant Gigantiops destructor can produce results similar to vertebrates. Such results are usually interpreted as supporting the ability of animals to segregate spatial geometry and features. Here, we combine a detailed analysis of ants' paths with panoramic images taken from the ant's perspective that can serve as a basis for developing view-based matching models. The corner choices observed in ants were better predicted by the use of panoramic views along with a simple matching process [rotational image difference function (rIDF)] than by models assuming segregation of geometry and features (G/F). Our view-based matching model could also explain some aspects of the ants' path (i.e., initial direction, length) resulting from the different visual conditions, suggesting that ants were using such a taxon-like strategy. Analyzed at the individual level, the results show that ants' idiosyncratic paths tend to evolve gradually from trial to trial, revealing that the ants were partially updating their route memory after each trial. This study illustrates the remarkable flexibilities that can arise from the use of taxon-like strategies and stresses the importance of considering them in vertebrates.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redhead, Edward S.; Hamilton, Derek A.

    2007-01-01

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

  18. 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)

  19. Addictive personality and problematic mobile phone use.

    PubMed

    Takao, Motoharu; Takahashi, Susumu; Kitamura, Masayoshi

    2009-10-01

    Mobile phone use is banned or regulated in some circumstances. Despite recognized safety concerns and legal regulations, some people do not refrain from using mobile phones. Such problematic mobile phone use can be considered to be an addiction-like behavior. To find the potential predictors, we examined the correlation between problematic mobile phone use and personality traits reported in addiction literature, which indicated that problematic mobile phone use was a function of gender, self-monitoring, and approval motivation but not of loneliness. These findings suggest that the measurements of these addictive personality traits would be helpful in the screening and intervention of potential problematic users of mobile phones.

  20. Ant nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    A new Hubble Space Telescope image of a celestial object called the Ant Nebula may shed new light on the future demise of our Sun. The image is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/pictures/wfpc .

    The nebula, imaged on July 20, 1997, and June 30, 1998, by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, was observed by Drs. Raghvendra Sahai and John Trauger of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; Bruce Balick of the University of Washington in Seattle; and Vincent Icke of Leiden University in the Netherlands. JPL designed and built the camera.

    The Ant Nebula, whose technical name is Mz3, resembles the head and thorax of an ant when observed with ground-based telescopes. The new Hubble image, with 10 times the resolution revealing 100 times more detail, shows the 'ant's' body as a pair of fiery lobes protruding from a dying, Sun- like star. The Ant Nebula is located between 3,000 and 6,000 light years from Earth in the southern constellation Norma.

    The image challenges old ideas about what happens to dying stars. This observation, along with other pictures of various remnants of dying stars called planetary nebulae, shows that our Sun's fate will probably be much more interesting, complex and dramatic than astronomers previously believed.

    Although the ejection of gas from the dying star in the Ant Nebula is violent, it does not show the chaos one might expect from an ordinary explosion, but instead shows symmetrical patterns. One possibility is that the central star has a closely orbiting companion whose gravitational tidal forces shape the outflowing gas. A second possibility is that as the dying star spins, its strong magnetic fields are wound up into complex shapes like spaghetti in an eggbeater. Electrically charged winds, much like those in our Sun's solar wind but millions of times denser and moving at speeds up to 1,000 kilometers per second (more than 600 miles per second) from the star, follow the twisted field lines on their way

  1. Gamergates in the Australian ant subfamily Myrmeciinae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietemann, Vincent; Peeters, Christian; Hölldobler, Bert

    2004-09-01

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

  2. Prevalence of problematic internet use in Slovenia

    PubMed Central

    Király, Orsolya; Maraz, Aniko; Nagygyörgy, Katalin; Demetrovics, Zsolt

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background Internet use is an integral part of our everyday activities; however, Internet use may become problematic and harmful in a minority of cases. The majority of reported prevalence rates of problematic Internet use refer to adolescent samples, whereas epidemiological studies on representative adult populations are lacking. This study aimed to reveal the prevalence and characteristics of problematic Internet use in Slovenia. Methods Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire (PIUQ) was included in European Health Interview Study (EHIS) on representative Slovenian sample. The frequency of Internet use and problematic Internet use were both assessed. Results 59.9% of Slovenian adult population uses the Internet daily, and 3.1% are at risk of becoming problematic Internet users, 11% in the age group from 20 to 24 years. Those being at risk for becoming problematic Internet users are younger (mean age 31.3 vs. 48.3 for non-problematic users), more likely to be males (3.6% of males, whereas 2.6% of females are affected), students (12.0%), unemployed (6.3%) or unable to work (8.7%), single (6.5%), with high education (4.5%). Regression analysis revealed that the strongest predictor of being at risk for problematic Internet use is age (ß=-0.338, p<0.001); followed by high educational level (ß=0.145; p<0.001) and student status (ß=0.136; p<0.001). Conclusion 3.1% of Slovenian adult population are at risk of becoming problematic Internet users, whereas 3 out of 20 Slovenian adolescents aged from 18 to 19 years are at risk (14.6%). Prevention programs and treatment for those affected are paramount, especially for the young generation. PMID:27703540

  3. The Taxonic Latent Structure and Taxometrics in Forensic Mental Health.

    PubMed

    Maraun, Michael D; Hart, Stephen D

    2016-10-01

    Recently, researchers in the field of forensic mental health have attempted to address the technical, empirical question of whether important clinical problems, such as psychopathy or malingering, constitute taxa (i.e., discrete conditions). In this paper, we provide a detailed elucidation of the foundational logic of the quantitative methods employed to answer this question, focusing on the taxometric procedures developed by Paul Meehl and colleagues. We attempt to demonstrate that research on taxonicity is hampered by (a) researchers' unfamiliarity with or misunderstanding of the logic underlying latent variable technologies and (b) the fundamental incapacity of Meehlian procedures to provide a test of taxonicity. We conclude by discussing the utility of taxometric procedures to research in forensic mental health and, more broadly, in the field of applied psychological measurement.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-30

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

  5. Forensic evaluation of problematic Internet use.

    PubMed

    Recupero, Patricia R

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Problematic Internet Usage and Immune Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Problematic Internet Usage and Immune Function.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. The ant raft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mlot, Nathan; Hu, David; Equabai, Solomon

    2009-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Polygyny and polyandry in small ant societies.

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

  11. Problematic Internet Use: Perceptions of Addiction Counsellors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Acier, Didier; Kern, Laurence

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Malignant pleural mesothelioma: a problematic review.

    PubMed

    Moskal, T L; Urschel, J D; Anderson, T M; Antkowiak, J G; Takita, H

    1998-01-01

    Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare tumor that has been difficult to study. Because of disappointing treatment results, malignant pleural mesothelioma has remained an area of active research and development. A clinicopathologic review is performed in light of several problematic issues involving diagnosis, staging, natural history, and treatment. Multimodality treatment with surgery followed by adjuvant local and systemic therapy remains the most optimal therapy. Many controversial issues still exist in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. In the ensuing years newer staging systems, better preoperative staging, newer experimental therapies, and the localization of patients at expert centers will undoubtedly have an impact on disease management.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  20. Three energy variables predict ant abundance at a geographical scale.

    PubMed

    Kaspari, M; Alonso, L; O'Donnell, S

    2000-03-01

    Energy theory posits three processes that link local abundance of ectotherms to geographical gradients in temperature. A survey of 49 New World habitats found a two order of magnitude span in the abundance (nests m(-2)) of ground nesting ants (Formicidae). Abundance increased with net primary productivity (r2=0.55), a measure of the baseline supply of harvestable energy. Abundance further increased with mean temperature (r2=0.056), a constraint on foraging activity for this thermophilic taxon. Finally for a given mean temperature, ants were more abundant in seasonal sites with longer, colder winters (r2 = 0.082) that help ectotherm taxa sequester harvested energy in non-productive months. All three variables are currently changing on a global scale. All should be useful in predicting biotic responses to climate change.

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 7 CFR 360.500 - Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 7 CFR 360.500 - Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 7 CFR 360.500 - Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 7 CFR 360.501 - Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed lists.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 7 CFR 360.500 - Petitions to add a taxon to the noxious weed list.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

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

  7. The first mesozoic ants.

    PubMed

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

    1967-09-01

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

  8. Field techniques for sampling ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Sick ants become unsociable.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  11. Sick ants become unsociable.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  12. Fire Ant Bites

    MedlinePlus

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

  13. Ant traffic rules.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-15

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Ants on flowers can disrupt pollination by consuming rewards or harassing pollinators, but it is difficult to disentangle the effects of these exploitative and interference forms of competition on pollinator behavior. Using highly rewarding and quickly replenishing artificial flowers that simulate male or female function, we allowed bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) to forage (1) on flowers with or without ants (Myrmica rubra) and (2) on flowers with or without ant scent cues. Bumblebees transferred significantly more pollen analogue both to and from ant-free flowers, demonstrating that interference competition with ants is sufficient to modify pollinator foraging behavior. Bees also removed significantly less pollen analogue from ant-scented flowers than from controls, making this the first study to show that bees can use ant scent to avoid harassment at flowers. Ant effects on pollinator behavior, possibly in addition to their effects on pollen viability, may contribute to the evolution of floral traits minimizing ant visitation. PMID:24334742

  16. Psychometric development of the Problematic Pornography Use Scale.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  17. Psychometric development of the Problematic Pornography Use Scale.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  18. An overview of problematic internet use.

    PubMed

    Spada, Marcantonio M

    2014-01-01

    Problematic Internet use (PIU), which has become a global social issue, can be broadly conceptualized as an inability to control one's use of the Internet which leads to negative consequences in daily life. The aim of this paper is to give a brief overview of the gradually evolving body of literature on PIU. This shows that the definitions and diagnostic criteria that have been proposed, and the assessment tools that have been developed, stress similarities between PIU, addictive behaviours and impulse-control disorders. Disagreements regarding diagnostic criteria and the lack of large epidemiological studies have resulted in difficulties in establishing the prevalence of PIU in the general population. Studies suggest high comorbidity rates between PIU and numerous psychiatric disorders highlighting the importance of focusing on comorbidity in treatment. There is growing evidence that genetic, personality and individual differences in automatic and controlled aspects of self-regulation may promote the development of PIU. Pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments specific to PIU have received limited testing in large, rigorous studies however preliminary evidence suggests that both psychotropic medications (Escitalopram, Naltrexone and Methylphenidate) and cognitive behaviour therapy may have some utility in the treatment of PIU. More research is needed on areas which remain unclear and contribute to the prognosis of PIU, in particular the temporal relationships between psychiatric disorder and PIU, mechanisms of comorbidity and the more subtle psychological changes that occur through Internet use.

  19. Fungus-growing ants.

    PubMed

    Weber, N A

    1966-08-01

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) are in reality unique fungus-culturing insects.There are several hundred species in some dozen genera, of which Acromyrmex and Atta are the conspicuous leaf-cutters. The center of their activities is the fungus garden, which is also the site of the queen and brood. The garden, in most species, is made from fresh green leaves or other vegetal material. The ants forage for this, forming distinct trails to the vegetation that is being harvested. The cut leaves or other substrate are brought into the nest and prepared for the fungus. Fresh leaves and flowers are cut into pieces a millimeter or two in diameter; the ants form them into a pulpy mass by pinching them with the mandibles and adding saliva. Anal droplets are deposited on the pieces, which are then forced into place in the garden. Planting of the fungus is accomplished by an ant's picking up tufts of the adjacent mycelium and dotting the surface of the new substrate with it. The combination of salivary and anal secretions, together with the constant care given by the ants, facilitates the growth of the ant fungus only, despite constant possibilities for contamination. When the ants are removed, alien fungi and other organisms flourish. A mature nest of Atta Sexdens may consist of 2000 chambers, some temporarily empty, some with refuse, and the remainder with fungus gardens. Thousands of kilograms of fresh leaves will have been used. A young laboratory colony of Atta cephalotes will use 1 kilogram of fresh leaves for one garden. The attines are the chief agents for introducing organic matter into the soil in tropical rain forests; this matter becomes the nucleus for a host of other organisms, including nematodes and arthropods, after it is discarded by the ants. One ant species cultures a yeast; all others grow a mycelium. In the higher species the mycelium forms clusters of inflated hyphae. Mycologists accept as valid two names for confirmed fruiting stages: Leucocoprinus ( or

  20. Alate susceptibility in ants

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-01-01

    Pathogens are predicted to pose a particular threat to eusocial insects because infections can spread rapidly in colonies with high densities of closely related individuals. In ants, there are two major castes: workers and reproductives. Sterile workers receive no direct benefit from investing in immunity, but can gain indirect fitness benefits if their immunity aids the survival of their fertile siblings. Virgin reproductives (alates), on the other hand, may be able to increase their investment in reproduction, rather than in immunity, because of the protection they receive from workers. Thus, we expect colonies to have highly immune workers, but relatively more susceptible alates. We examined the survival of workers, gynes, and males of nine ant species collected in Peru and Canada when exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. For the seven species in which treatment with B. bassiana increased ant mortality relative to controls, we found workers were significantly less susceptible compared with both alate sexes. Female and male alates did not differ significantly in their immunocompetence. Our results suggest that, as with other nonreproductive tasks in ant colonies like foraging and nest maintenance, workers have primary responsibility for colony immunity, allowing alates to specialize on reproduction. We highlight the importance of colony-level selection on individual immunity in ants and other eusocial organisms. PMID:25540683

  1. Alate susceptibility in ants.

    PubMed

    Ho, Eddie K H; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-11-01

    Pathogens are predicted to pose a particular threat to eusocial insects because infections can spread rapidly in colonies with high densities of closely related individuals. In ants, there are two major castes: workers and reproductives. Sterile workers receive no direct benefit from investing in immunity, but can gain indirect fitness benefits if their immunity aids the survival of their fertile siblings. Virgin reproductives (alates), on the other hand, may be able to increase their investment in reproduction, rather than in immunity, because of the protection they receive from workers. Thus, we expect colonies to have highly immune workers, but relatively more susceptible alates. We examined the survival of workers, gynes, and males of nine ant species collected in Peru and Canada when exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. For the seven species in which treatment with B. bassiana increased ant mortality relative to controls, we found workers were significantly less susceptible compared with both alate sexes. Female and male alates did not differ significantly in their immunocompetence. Our results suggest that, as with other nonreproductive tasks in ant colonies like foraging and nest maintenance, workers have primary responsibility for colony immunity, allowing alates to specialize on reproduction. We highlight the importance of colony-level selection on individual immunity in ants and other eusocial organisms. PMID:25540683

  2. Utilization of Anting-Anting (Acalypha indica) Leaves as Antibacterial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batubara, Irmanida; Wahyuni, Wulan Tri; Firdaus, Imam

    2016-01-01

    Anting-anting (Acalypha indica) plants is a species of plant having catkin type of inflorescence. This research aims to utilize anting-anting as antibacterial toward Streptococcus mutans and degradation of biofilm on teeth. Anting-anting leaves were extracted by maceration technique using methanol, chloroform, and n-hexane. Antibacterial and biofilm degradation assays were performed using microdilution technique with 96 well. n-Hexane extracts of anting-anting leaves gave the best antibacterial potency with minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration value of 500 μg/mL and exhibited good biofilm degradation activity. Fraction of F3 obtained from fractionation of n-hexane's extract with column chromatography was a potential for degradation of biofilm with IC50 value of 56.82 μg/mL. Alkaloid was suggested as antibacterial and degradation of biofilm in the active fraction.

  3. Ant-based computing.

    PubMed

    Michael, Loizos

    2009-01-01

    A biologically and physically plausible model for ants and pheromones is proposed. It is argued that the mechanisms described in this model are sufficiently powerful to reproduce the necessary components of universal computation. The claim is supported by illustrating the feasibility of designing arbitrary logic circuits, showing that the interactions of ants and pheromones lead to the expected behavior, and presenting computer simulation results to verify the circuits' working. The conclusions of this study can be taken as evidence that coherent deterministic and centralized computation can emerge from the collective behavior of simple distributed Markovian processes such as those followed by biological ants, but also, more generally, by artificial agents with limited computational and communication abilities. PMID:19239348

  4. The Ants Go Marching Millions by Millions: Invasive Ant Research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. Routing Vehicles with Ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Wen Fang; Lee, Lai Soon; Majid, Zanariah Abdul; Seow, Hsin Vonn

    Routing vehicles involve the design of an optimal set of routes for a fleet of vehicles to serve a number of customers with known demands. This research develops an Ant Colony Optimization for the vehicle routing with one central depot and identical vehicles. The procedure simulates the behavior of real ants that always find the shortest path between their nest and a food source through a form of communication, pheromone trail. Finally, preliminary results on the learning of the algorithm testing on benchmark data set will be presented in this paper.

  7. Army ants: an evolutionary bestseller?

    PubMed

    Berghoff, Stefanie M

    2003-09-01

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

  8. An Examination of Predictor Variables for Problematic Internet Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bulut Serin, Nerguz

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Fire Ant Allergy

    MedlinePlus

    ... In extreme cases, a rapid fall in blood pressure may result in shock and loss of consciousness. Symptoms of anaphylaxis require emergency medical treatment. Given the severity of a potential reaction, an accurate diagnosis for fire ant allergy is key to being prepared for ...

  10. Tiny, Powerful, Awesome Ants!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tate, Kathleen

    2007-01-01

    Peering through a thematic science lens--elementary students embarked on a one-week study of ants during a month-long summer school program. This integrated unit addressed reading and writing skills while developing the science-process skills of observation, inferring, and communicating in a motivating and authentic way. Pre- and post-assessments…

  11. Ant allergens and hypersensitivity reactions in response to ant stings.

    PubMed

    Potiwat, Rutcharin; Sitcharungsi, Raweerat

    2015-12-01

    Hypersensitivity reactions caused by ant stings are increasingly recognized as an important cause of death by anaphylaxis. Only some species of ants ( e.g. Solenopsis spp., Myrmecia spp., and Pachycondyla spp.) cause allergic reactions. Ant species are identified by evaluating the morphologic structures of worker ants or by molecular techniques. Ant venom contains substances, including acids and alkaloids, that cause toxic reactions, and those from Solenopsis invicta or the imported fire ant have been widely studied. Piperidine alkaloids and low protein contents can cause local reactions (sterile pustules) and systemic reactions (anaphylaxis). Imported fire ant venoms are cross-reactive; for example, the Sol i 1 allergen from S. invicta has cross-reactivity with yellow jacket phospholipase. The Sol i 3 allergen is a member of the antigen 5 family that has amino acid sequence identity with vespid antigen 5. The clinical presentations of ant hypersensitivity are categorized into immediate and delayed reactions: immediate reactions, such as small local reactions, large local reactions, and systemic reactions, occur within 1-4 hours after the ant stings, whereas delayed reactions, such as serum sickness and vasculitis, usually occur more than 4 hours after the stings. Tools for the diagnosis of ant hypersensitivity are skin testing, serum specific IgE, and sting challenge tests. Management of ant hypersensitivity can be divided into immediate (epinephrine, corticosteroids), symptomatic (antihistamines, bronchodilators), supportive (fluid resuscitation, oxygen therapy), and preventive (re-sting avoidance and immunotherapy) treatments.

  12. Ant allergens and hypersensitivity reactions in response to ant stings.

    PubMed

    Potiwat, Rutcharin; Sitcharungsi, Raweerat

    2015-12-01

    Hypersensitivity reactions caused by ant stings are increasingly recognized as an important cause of death by anaphylaxis. Only some species of ants ( e.g. Solenopsis spp., Myrmecia spp., and Pachycondyla spp.) cause allergic reactions. Ant species are identified by evaluating the morphologic structures of worker ants or by molecular techniques. Ant venom contains substances, including acids and alkaloids, that cause toxic reactions, and those from Solenopsis invicta or the imported fire ant have been widely studied. Piperidine alkaloids and low protein contents can cause local reactions (sterile pustules) and systemic reactions (anaphylaxis). Imported fire ant venoms are cross-reactive; for example, the Sol i 1 allergen from S. invicta has cross-reactivity with yellow jacket phospholipase. The Sol i 3 allergen is a member of the antigen 5 family that has amino acid sequence identity with vespid antigen 5. The clinical presentations of ant hypersensitivity are categorized into immediate and delayed reactions: immediate reactions, such as small local reactions, large local reactions, and systemic reactions, occur within 1-4 hours after the ant stings, whereas delayed reactions, such as serum sickness and vasculitis, usually occur more than 4 hours after the stings. Tools for the diagnosis of ant hypersensitivity are skin testing, serum specific IgE, and sting challenge tests. Management of ant hypersensitivity can be divided into immediate (epinephrine, corticosteroids), symptomatic (antihistamines, bronchodilators), supportive (fluid resuscitation, oxygen therapy), and preventive (re-sting avoidance and immunotherapy) treatments. PMID:26708389

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  14. Ants and the fossil record.

    PubMed

    LaPolla, John S; Dlussky, Gennady M; Perrichot, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    The dominance of ants in the terrestrial biosphere has few equals among animals today, but this was not always the case. The oldest ants appear in the fossil record 100 million years ago, but given the scarcity of their fossils, it is presumed they were relatively minor components of Mesozoic insect life. The ant fossil record consists of two primary types of fossils, each with inherent biases: as imprints in rock and as inclusions in fossilized resins (amber). New imaging technology allows ancient ant fossils to be examined in ways never before possible. This is particularly helpful because it can be difficult to distinguish true ants from non-ants in Mesozoic fossils. Fossil discoveries continue to inform our understanding of ancient ant morphological diversity, as well as provide insights into their paleobiology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Problematic Mobile Phone Use and Big-Five Personality Domains

    PubMed Central

    Takao, Motoharu

    2014-01-01

    Background: Although a mobile phone is useful and attractive as a tool for communication and interpersonal interaction, there exists the risk of its problematic or addictive use. Objectives: This study aims to investigate the correlation between the big-five personality domains and problematic mobile phone use. Materials and Methods: The Mobile Phone Problem Usage Scale and the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) were employed in this study. Survey data were gathered from 504 university students for multiple regression analysis. Results: Problematic mobile phone use is a function of gender, extraversion, neuroticism, openness-to-experience; however, it is not a function of agreeableness or conscientiousness. Conclusions: The measurement of these predictors would enable the screening of and intervening in the potentially problematic behaviors of mobile phone users. PMID:24963228

  18. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants

    PubMed Central

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M.

    2015-01-01

    We propose a distributed model of nestmate recognition, analogous to the one used by the vertebrate immune system, in which colony response results from the diverse reactions of many ants. The model describes how individual behaviour produces colony response to non-nestmates. No single ant knows the odour identity of the colony. Instead, colony identity is defined collectively by all the ants in the colony. Each ant responds to the odour of other ants by reference to its own unique decision boundary, which is a result of its experience of encounters with other ants. Each ant thus recognizes a particular set of chemical profiles as being those of non-nestmates. This model predicts, as experimental results have shown, that the outcome of behavioural assays is likely to be variable, that it depends on the number of ants tested, that response to non-nestmates changes over time and that it changes in response to the experience of individual ants. A distributed system allows a colony to identify non-nestmates without requiring that all individuals have the same complete information and helps to facilitate the tracking of changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, because only a subset of ants must respond to provide an adequate response. PMID:25833853

  19. Distributed nestmate recognition in ants.

    PubMed

    Esponda, Fernando; Gordon, Deborah M

    2015-05-01

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

  20. Split-specific bootstrap measures for quantifying phylogenetic stability and the influence of taxon selection.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huai-Chun; Susko, Edward; Roger, Andrew J

    2016-12-01

    Assessing the robustness of an inferred phylogeny is an important element of phylogenetics. This is typically done with measures of stabilities at the internal branches and the variation of the positions of the leaf nodes. The bootstrap support for branches in maximum parsimony, distance and maximum likelihood estimation, or posterior probabilities in Bayesian inference, measure the uncertainty about a branch due to the sampling of the sites from genes or sampling genes from genomes. However, these measures do not reveal how taxon sampling affects branch support and the effects of taxon sampling on the estimated phylogeny. An internal branch in a phylogenetic tree can be viewed as a split that separates the taxa into two nonempty complementary subsets. We develop several split-specific measures of stability determined from bootstrap support for quartets. These include BPtaxon_split (average bootstrap percentage [BP] for all quartets involving a taxon within a split), BPsplit (BPtaxon_split averaged over taxa), BPtaxon (BPtaxon_split averaged over splits) and RBIC-taxon (average BP over all splits after removing a taxon). We also develop a pruned-tree distance metric. Application of our measures to empirical and simulated data illustrate that existing measures of overall stability can fail to detect taxa that are the primary source of a split-specific instability. Moreover, we show that the use of many reduced sets of quartets is important in being able to detect the influence of joint sets of taxa rather than individual taxa. These new measures are valuable diagnostic tools to guide taxon sampling in phylogenetic experimental design.

  1. Mechanics of fire ant aggregations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Fire ants link their bodies to form aggregations; these can adopt a variety of structures, they can drip and spread, or withstand applied loads. Here, by using oscillatory rheology, we show that fire ant aggregations are viscoelastic. We find that, at the lowest ant densities probed and in the linear regime, the elastic and viscous moduli are essentially identical over the spanned frequency range, which highlights the absence of a dominant mode of structural relaxation. As ant density increases, the elastic modulus rises, which we interpret by alluding to ant crowding and subsequent jamming. When deformed beyond the linear regime, the aggregation flows, exhibiting shear-thinning behaviour with a stress load that is comparable to the maximum load the aggregation can withstand before individual ants are torn apart. Our findings illustrate the rich, collective mechanical behaviour that can arise in aggregations of active, interacting building blocks.

  2. Mechanics of fire ant aggregations.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Fire ants link their bodies to form aggregations; these can adopt a variety of structures, they can drip and spread, or withstand applied loads. Here, by using oscillatory rheology, we show that fire ant aggregations are viscoelastic. We find that, at the lowest ant densities probed and in the linear regime, the elastic and viscous moduli are essentially identical over the spanned frequency range, which highlights the absence of a dominant mode of structural relaxation. As ant density increases, the elastic modulus rises, which we interpret by alluding to ant crowding and subsequent jamming. When deformed beyond the linear regime, the aggregation flows, exhibiting shear-thinning behaviour with a stress load that is comparable to the maximum load the aggregation can withstand before individual ants are torn apart. Our findings illustrate the rich, collective mechanical behaviour that can arise in aggregations of active, interacting building blocks. PMID:26501413

  3. Parasitoid secretions provoke ant warfare.

    PubMed

    Thomas, J A; Knapp, J J; Akino, T; Gerty, S; Wakamura, S; Simcox, D J; Wardlaw, J C; Elmes, G W

    2002-05-30

    Insect social parasites are extreme specialists that typically use mimicry or stealth to enter ant colonies to exploit the rich, but fiercely protected, resources within their nests. Here we show how a parasitic wasp (parasitoid) contrives to reach its host, itself an endangered species of social parasite that lives inside the brood chambers of ant nests, by releasing semiochemicals to induce in-fighting between worker ants, locking the colony in combat and leaving it underprotected. Four of these chemicals are new to biology and have the potential to control pest species by inducing different agonistic behaviours in ants. PMID:12037556

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Grant T.; And Others

    1994-01-01

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

  6. New Nocardia taxon among isolates of Nocardia brasiliensis associated with invasive disease.

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, R J; Brown, B A; Blacklock, Z; Ulrich, R; Jost, K; Brown, J M; McNeil, M M; Onyi, G; Steingrube, V A; Gibson, J

    1995-01-01

    Nocardia brasiliensis, the second most frequently isolated aerobic actinomycete in the clinical laboratory, is usually associated with localized cutaneous infections. However, 22% of 238 N. brasiliensis isolates from the United States and 12% of 66 isolates from Queensland, Australia, which had been collected over a 17-year period, were associated with extracutaneous and/or disseminated diseases. Of the 62 invasive isolates, 37 (60%) were susceptible to ciprofloxacin and/or were susceptible to clarithromycin and resistant to minocycline, compared with only 6 (3%) of 242 localized cutaneous isolates. The 43 isolates with this susceptibility pattern appeared to define a new taxon. They were similar to Nocardia asteroides complex isolates clinically in proportions from persons with pulmonary (70%), central nervous system (23%), and/or disseminated diseases (37%) in the setting of corticosteroids (74%) or AIDS (14%). This putative new taxon differed from N. brasiliensis in the hydrolysis of adenine (92 versus 4%), beta-lactamase patterns on isoelectric focusing, and the presence of two early mycolic acid-ester peaks by high-performance liquid chromatography. Restriction analysis of a 439-bp fragment of the 65-kDa heat shock protein gene revealed that N. brasiliensis and the new taxon had different restriction patterns with 8 of the 11 enzymes tested. Screening of invasive isolates of N. brasiliensis for susceptibility to ciprofloxacin will identify most isolates of the new taxon, which likely represents a new Nocardia species. PMID:7650180

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed lists. 360.501 Section 360.501 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NOXIOUS WEED REGULATIONS §...

  8. 7 CFR 360.501 - Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed lists.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Petitions to remove a taxon from the noxious weed lists. 360.501 Section 360.501 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NOXIOUS WEED REGULATIONS §...

  9. Prevalence of problematic mobile phone use in British adolescents.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Fernandez, Olatz; Honrubia-Serrano, Luisa; Freixa-Blanxart, Montserrat; Gibson, Will

    2014-02-01

    The problematic use of mobile phones among adolescents has not been widely studied. There are very few instruments for assessing potential technological addiction to mobile phones, or for categorizing different types of users or uses. The most widely used scale is the Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale (MPPUS), which is used to study adult populations, and has been applied in various forms in international contexts. The aims of this study were to adapt the Spanish version of this scale (MPPUSA) to British adolescents, and then to estimate the prevalence of possible problematic users. A questionnaire was administered to a sample of 1,529 secondary school pupils aged between 11 and 18 years, with 1,026 completed questionnaires being collected. The analysis showed that the factor and construct validity and reliability were comparable to those obtained in previous studies. The prevalence of problematic users among the students was 10%, and the typical problematic user tended to be an adolescent between 11 and 14 years old, studying in a public school, who considered themselves to be an expert user of this technology, who made extensive use of his/her mobile phone, and who attributed the same problem of use among their peers. These users presented notable scores in all the symptoms covered by the scale used to assess problematic use. In conclusion, the adaptation of the MPPUSA as a screening scale for British adolescents presents good sensitivity and specificity for detecting the main addictive symptoms proposed in this validated version.

  10. Prevalence of problematic mobile phone use in British adolescents.

    PubMed

    Lopez-Fernandez, Olatz; Honrubia-Serrano, Luisa; Freixa-Blanxart, Montserrat; Gibson, Will

    2014-02-01

    The problematic use of mobile phones among adolescents has not been widely studied. There are very few instruments for assessing potential technological addiction to mobile phones, or for categorizing different types of users or uses. The most widely used scale is the Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale (MPPUS), which is used to study adult populations, and has been applied in various forms in international contexts. The aims of this study were to adapt the Spanish version of this scale (MPPUSA) to British adolescents, and then to estimate the prevalence of possible problematic users. A questionnaire was administered to a sample of 1,529 secondary school pupils aged between 11 and 18 years, with 1,026 completed questionnaires being collected. The analysis showed that the factor and construct validity and reliability were comparable to those obtained in previous studies. The prevalence of problematic users among the students was 10%, and the typical problematic user tended to be an adolescent between 11 and 14 years old, studying in a public school, who considered themselves to be an expert user of this technology, who made extensive use of his/her mobile phone, and who attributed the same problem of use among their peers. These users presented notable scores in all the symptoms covered by the scale used to assess problematic use. In conclusion, the adaptation of the MPPUSA as a screening scale for British adolescents presents good sensitivity and specificity for detecting the main addictive symptoms proposed in this validated version. PMID:23981147

  11. Communal nutrition in ants.

    PubMed

    Dussutour, Audrey; Simpson, Stephen J

    2009-05-12

    Studies on nonsocial insects have elucidated the regulatory strategies employed to meet nutritional demands [1-3]. However, how social insects maintain the supply of an appropriate balance of nutrients at both a collective and an individual level remains unknown. Sociality complicates nutritional regulatory strategies [4-6]. First, the food entering a colony is collected by a small number of workers, which need to adjust their harvesting strategy to the demands for nutrients among individuals within the colony [4-7]. Second, because carbohydrates are used by the workers and proteins consumed by the larvae [7-14], nutritional feedbacks emanating from both must exist and be integrated to determine food exploitation by foragers [4-6, 15, 16]. Here, we show that foraging ants can solve nutritional challenges for the colony by making intricate adjustments to their feeding behavior and nutrient processing, acting both as a collective mouth and gut. The amount and balance of nutrients collected and the precision of regulation depend on the presence of larvae in the colony. Ants improved the macronutrient balance of collected foods by extracting carbohydrates and ejecting proteins. Nevertheless, processing excess protein shortened life span--an effect that was greatly ameliorated in the presence of larvae.

  12. Comparison of problematic behavior according to the ryouiku techou standard.

    PubMed

    Uesugi, Masayuki; Inoue, Yuri; Gotou, Makoto; Nanba, Yosihumi; Otani, Yoshitaka; Takemasa, Seiichi

    2013-07-01

    [Purpose] We compared problematic behaviors of children according to the severity of their mental retardation (MR) of intellect as categorized by the Ryouiku Techou in this study, to investigate the influence of MR of intellect on children's problematic behaviors. [Subjects] The subjects were 86 mentally retarded children undergoing physical therapy at hospitals and other facilities. [Methods] The examiners were 13 physical therapists and 8 occupational therapists who worked at the hospital and knew the children well. The examiners individually assessed the subjects using the Japanese version of the Aberrant Behavior Checklist. The subjects were divided into two groups (A and non-A) according to the Ryouiku Techou standard. [Results] No significant differences were observed between the groups except in the items of stereotypy and lethargy. [Conclusion] Problematic behaviors other than stereotypy and lethargy were not influenced by the Ryouiku Techou standard.

  13. Autonomy in ants and humans.

    PubMed

    Carpendale, Jeremy I M; Frayn, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Drawing lessons regarding the consequences of ultrasociality in ants and humans depends crucially on recognizing differences as well as similarities in the way that species are social. We focus on Gowdy & Krall's use of the concept of autonomy to explicate essential differences in the ways in which ants and humans are social. PMID:27562193

  14. Temperature: Human Regulating, Ants Conforming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clopton, Joe R.

    2007-01-01

    Biological processes speed up as temperature rises. Procedures for demonstrating this with ants traveling on trails, and data gathered by students on the Argentine ant ("Linepithema humile") are presented. The concepts of temperature regulation and conformity are detailed with a focus on the processes rather than on terms that label the organisms.

  15. Dominance Hierarchies in Leptothorax Ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, Blaine J.

    1981-04-01

    The social organization of Leptothorax allardycei is unique among ant species thus far studied. The workers form linear dominance hierarchies characterized by routine displays of dominance, avoidance behavior, and even fighting. The high-ranking ants are favored in liquid food exchange, have greater ovarian development, and produce 20 percent of the eggs.

  16. Ant navigation: reading geometrical signposts.

    PubMed

    Collett, Thomas S; Waxman, David

    2005-03-01

    Ants often travel along complex pheromone trail systems between their nest and foraging areas. A new and surprising discovery is that Pharaoh's ants can work out from the geometry of individual branch points on the trail whether they are heading towards or away from the nest. PMID:15753029

  17. Problematic internet usage in US college students: a pilot study

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Internet addiction among US college students remains a concern, but robust estimates of its prevalence are lacking. Methods We conducted a pilot survey of 307 college students at two US universities. Participants completed the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) as well as the Patient Health Questionnaire. Both are validated measures of problematic Internet usage and depression, respectively. We assessed the association between problematic Internet usage and moderate to severe depression using a modified Poisson regression approach. In addition, we examined the associations between individual items in the IAT and depression. Results A total of 224 eligible respondents completed the survey (73% response rate). Overall, 4% of students scored in the occasionally problematic or addicted range on the IAT, and 12% had moderate to severe depression. Endorsement of individual problematic usage items ranged from 1% to 70%. In the regression analysis, depressive symptoms were significantly associated with several individual items. Relative risk could not be estimated for three of the twenty items because of small cell sizes. Of the remaining 17 items, depressive symptoms were significantly associated with 13 of them, and three others had P values less than 0.10. There was also a significant association between problematic Internet usage overall and moderate to severe depression (relative risk 24.07, 95% confidence interval 3.95 to 146.69; P = 0.001). Conclusion The prevalence of problematic Internet usage among US college students is a cause for concern, and potentially requires intervention and treatment amongst the most vulnerable groups. The prevalence reported in this study is lower than that which has been reported in other studies, however the at-risk population is very high and preventative measures are also recommended. PMID:21696582

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. AntR-mediated bidirectional activation of antA and antR, anthranilate degradative genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Kim, Soo-Kyoung; Im, Su-Jin; Yeom, Doo-Hwan; Lee, Joon-Hee

    2012-08-15

    Bidirectional activation of transcription is a peculiar regulation mode of gene expression. In this study, we show that genes involved in the metabolism of anthranilate, a precursor of biosynthesis of tryptophan and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS) are regulated by this bidirectional activation of transcription. Anthranilate is degraded by anthranilate dioxygenase complex encoded by antABC operon, and AntR, a LysR-type regulator encoded by antR activates the transcription of antABC operon in the presence of anthranilate. In P. aeruginosa, antABC and antR are divergently located and AntR binds to the intergenic region between antA and antR to activate the antABC transcription. In this study, we determined the transcriptional start site of the antA promoter (antA(p)) and AntR-responsive elements (AREs) in P. aeruginosa. The upstream deletion analysis of antA(p) and in vitro gel shift assay with purified AntR showed that there are two AREs at -194 to -148 and -88 to -47 regions. We also found that AntR activates antR promoter (antR(p)) in the opposite direction and both AREs are important in the bidirectional activation of antA(p) and antR(p). Two AREs have different binding affinities to AntR and the strength of transcriptional activation was dramatically asymmetric depending on the direction. We suggest that the different affinities of two AREs may explain the asymmetry of the bidirectional activation by AntR. PMID:22609066

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Problematic Internet use and problematic alcohol use from the cognitive-behavioral model: a longitudinal study among adolescents.

    PubMed

    Gámez-Guadix, Manuel; Calvete, Esther; Orue, Izaskun; Las Hayas, Carlota

    2015-01-01

    Problematic Internet use (PIU) and problematic alcohol use are two pervasive problems during adolescence that share similar characteristics and predictors. The first objective of this study was to analyze the temporal and reciprocal relationships among the main components of PIU from the cognitive-behavioral model (preference for online social interaction, mood regulation through the Internet, deficient self-regulation, and negative consequences). The second objective was to examine the temporal and reciprocal relationships between PIU components and problematic alcohol use. We also examined whether these relationships differ between males and females. The sample comprised 801 Spanish adolescents (mean age=14.92, SD=1.01) who completed the measures both at Time 1 (T1) and Time 2 (T2) six months apart. We used structural equation modeling to analyze the relationship among the variables. Results showed that deficient self-regulation at T1 predicted an increase in preference for online interactions, mood regulation, and negative consequences of the Internet at T2. In turn, the emergence of negative consequences of PIU at T1 predicted a rise in problematic alcohol use at T2. Longitudinal relationships between different components of PIU and between the components of PIU and problematic alcohol use were invariant across genders. Deficient self-regulation, consisting of diminished self-control over cognition and behaviors related to the Internet, plays a central role in the maintenance of PIU, increasing the preference for online interactions, mood regulation, and negative consequences from Internet use over time. In turn, adolescents who present negative consequences of PIU are vulnerable targets for problematic alcohol use.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Maranda

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  5. Prevalence of Problematic Video Gaming among Ontario Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. The Development of the Problematic Online Gaming Questionnaire (POGQ)

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Background Online gaming has become increasingly popular. However, this has led to concerns that these games might induce serious problems and/or lead to dependence for a minority of players. Aim: The aim of this study was to uncover and operationalize the components of problematic online gaming. Methods A total of 3415 gamers (90% males; mean age 21 years), were recruited through online gaming websites. A combined method of exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was applied. Latent profile analysis was applied to identify persons at-risk. Results EFA revealed a six-factor structure in the background of problematic online gaming that was also confirmed by a CFA. For the assessment of the identified six dimensions – preoccupation, overuse, immersion, social isolation, interpersonal conflicts, and withdrawal – the 18-item Problematic Online Gaming Questionnaire (POGQ) proved to be exceedingly suitable. Based on the latent profile analysis, 3.4% of the gamer population was considered to be at high risk, while another 15.2% was moderately problematic. Conclusions The POGQ seems to be an adequate measurement tool for the differentiated assessment of gaming related problems on six subscales. PMID:22590541

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, James C.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Professional Development Plans to Remedy Problematic Counseling Student Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kress, Victoria E.; Protivnak, Jake J.

    2009-01-01

    Professional development plans (PDPs) are contracts used to address problematic student behaviors in counselor education. The PDP can be used to systematically document and address (a) faculty expectations of the student, (b) specific behaviors required of the student, (c) tasks in which the student and faculty will engage to facilitate student…

  11. Damage Control: Closing Problematic Sequences in Hearing-Impaired Interaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skelt, Louise

    2007-01-01

    When a problem of understanding arises for a hearing-impaired recipient in the course of a conversation, and is detected, repairing that problem is only one of several possible courses of action for participants. Another possibility is the collaborative closing of the part of the conversation which has proved problematic for understanding, to…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stoll, Sharon Kay

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wacker, David P.; And Others

    1996-01-01

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

  14. Intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria of Camponotus species (carpenter ants): systematics, evolution and ultrastructural characterization.

    PubMed

    Schröder, D; Deppisch, H; Obermayer, M; Krohne, G; Stackebrandt, E; Hôlldobler, B; Goebel, W; Gross, R

    1996-08-01

    Intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria inherent to ants of the genus Camponotus were characterized. The bacteria were localized in bacteriocytes, which are specialized cells of both workers and queen ants; these cells are intercalated between epithelial cells of the midgut. The bacteriocytes show a different morphology from the normal epithelial cells and carry a large number of the rod-shaped Gram-negative bacteria free in the cytoplasm. The bacteria were never observed in the neighbouring epithelial cells, but they were found intracellularly in oocytes, strongly indicating a maternal transmission of the bacteria. The 16S DNA encoding rrs loci of the endosymbionts of four species of the genus Camponotus derived either from Germany (C. herculeanus and C. ligniperdus), North America (C. floridanus) or South America (C. rufipes) were cloned after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification using oligonucleotides complementary to all so far known eubacterial rrs sequences. The DNA sequences of the rrs loci of the four endosymbionts were determined, and, using various genus- and species-specific oligonucleotides derived from variable regions in the rrs sequences, the identity of the bacteria present in the bacteriocytes and the ovarian cells was confirmed by PCR and in situ hybridization techniques. Comparison of the 16S DNA sequences with the available database showed the endosymbiotic bacteria to be members of the gamma-subclass of Proteobacteria. They formed a distinct taxonomic group, a sister taxon of the taxons defined by the tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts. Within the gamma-subclass, the cluster of the ant, tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts are placed adjacent to the family of Enterobacteriaceae. The evolutionary tree of the ant endosymbionts reflects the systematic classification and geographical distribution of their host insects, indicating an early co-evolution of the symbiotic partners and a vertical transmission of the bacteria.

  15. Intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria of Camponotus species (carpenter ants): systematics, evolution and ultrastructural characterization.

    PubMed

    Schröder, D; Deppisch, H; Obermayer, M; Krohne, G; Stackebrandt, E; Hôlldobler, B; Goebel, W; Gross, R

    1996-08-01

    Intracellular endosymbiotic bacteria inherent to ants of the genus Camponotus were characterized. The bacteria were localized in bacteriocytes, which are specialized cells of both workers and queen ants; these cells are intercalated between epithelial cells of the midgut. The bacteriocytes show a different morphology from the normal epithelial cells and carry a large number of the rod-shaped Gram-negative bacteria free in the cytoplasm. The bacteria were never observed in the neighbouring epithelial cells, but they were found intracellularly in oocytes, strongly indicating a maternal transmission of the bacteria. The 16S DNA encoding rrs loci of the endosymbionts of four species of the genus Camponotus derived either from Germany (C. herculeanus and C. ligniperdus), North America (C. floridanus) or South America (C. rufipes) were cloned after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification using oligonucleotides complementary to all so far known eubacterial rrs sequences. The DNA sequences of the rrs loci of the four endosymbionts were determined, and, using various genus- and species-specific oligonucleotides derived from variable regions in the rrs sequences, the identity of the bacteria present in the bacteriocytes and the ovarian cells was confirmed by PCR and in situ hybridization techniques. Comparison of the 16S DNA sequences with the available database showed the endosymbiotic bacteria to be members of the gamma-subclass of Proteobacteria. They formed a distinct taxonomic group, a sister taxon of the taxons defined by the tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts. Within the gamma-subclass, the cluster of the ant, tsetse fly and aphid endosymbionts are placed adjacent to the family of Enterobacteriaceae. The evolutionary tree of the ant endosymbionts reflects the systematic classification and geographical distribution of their host insects, indicating an early co-evolution of the symbiotic partners and a vertical transmission of the bacteria. PMID:8866472

  16. FORMIDABEL: The Belgian Ants Database

    PubMed Central

    Brosens, Dimitri; Vankerkhoven, François; Ignace, David; Wegnez, Philippe; Noé, Nicolas; Heughebaert, André; Bortels, Jeannine; Dekoninck, Wouter

    2013-01-01

    Abstract FORMIDABEL is a database of Belgian Ants containing more than 27.000 occurrence records. These records originate from collections, field sampling and literature. The database gives information on 76 native and 9 introduced ant species found in Belgium. The collection records originated mainly from the ants collection in Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), the ‘Gaspar’ Ants collection in Gembloux and the zoological collection of the University of Liège (ULG). The oldest occurrences date back from May 1866, the most recent refer to August 2012. FORMIDABEL is a work in progress and the database is updated twice a year. The latest version of the dataset is publicly and freely accessible through this url: http://ipt.biodiversity.be/resource.do?r=formidabel. The dataset is also retrievable via the GBIF data portal through this link: http://data.gbif.org/datasets/resource/14697 A dedicated geo-portal, developed by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform is accessible at: http://www.formicidae-atlas.be Purpose: FORMIDABEL is a joint cooperation of the Flemish ants working group “Polyergus” (http://formicidae.be) and the Wallonian ants working group “FourmisWalBru” (http://fourmiswalbru.be). The original database was created in 2002 in the context of the preliminary red data book of Flemish Ants (Dekoninck et al. 2003). Later, in 2005, data from the Southern part of Belgium; Wallonia and Brussels were added. In 2012 this dataset was again updated for the creation of the first Belgian Ants Atlas (Figure 1) (Dekoninck et al. 2012). The main purpose of this atlas was to generate maps for all outdoor-living ant species in Belgium using an overlay of the standard Belgian ecoregions. By using this overlay for most species, we can discern a clear and often restricted distribution pattern in Belgium, mainly based on vegetation and soil types. PMID:23794918

  17. Dynamics of fire ant aggregations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    Fire ant aggregations are an inherently active system. Each ant harvests its own energy and can convert it into motion. The motion of individual ants contributes non-trivially to the bulk material properties of the aggregation. We have measured some of these properties using plate-plate rheology, where the response to an applied external force or deformation is measured. In this talk, we will present data pertaining to the aggregation behavior in the absence of any external force. We quantify the aggregation dynamics by monitoring the rotation of the top plate and by measuring the normal force. We then compare the results with visualizations of 2D aggregations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-23

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

  2. Genetic evidence for intra- and interspecific slavery in honey ants (genus Myrmecocystus).

    PubMed

    Kronauer, D J C; Gadau, J; Hölldobler, B

    2003-04-22

    The New World honey ant species Myrmecocystus mimicus is well known for its highly stereotyped territorial tournaments, and for the raids on conspecific nests that can lead to intraspecific slavery. Our results from mitochondrial and nuclear markers show that the raided brood emerges in the raiding colony and is subsequently incorporated into the colony's worker force. We also found enslaved conspecifics in a second honey ant species, M. depilis, the sister taxon of M. mimicus, which occurs in sympatry with M. mimicus at the study site. Colonies of this species furthermore contained raided M. mimicus workers. Both species have an effective mating frequency that is not significantly different from 1. This study provides genetic evidence for facultative intra- and interspecific slavery in the genus Myrmecocystus. Slavery in ants has evolved repeatedly and supposedly by different means. We propose that, in honey ants, secondary contact between two closely related species that both exhibit intraspecific slavery gave rise to an early form of facultative interspecific slavery.

  3. Do ants make direct comparisons?

    PubMed

    Robinson, Elva J H; Smith, Faith D; Sullivan, Kathryn M E; Franks, Nigel R

    2009-07-22

    Many individual decisions are informed by direct comparison of the alternatives. In collective decisions, however, only certain group members may have the opportunity to compare options. Emigrating ant colonies (Temnothorax albipennis) show sophisticated nest-site choice, selecting superior sites even when they are nine times further away than the alternative. How do they do this? We used radio-frequency identification-tagged ants to monitor individual behaviour. Here we show for the first time that switching between nests during the decision process can influence nest choice without requiring direct comparison of nests. Ants finding the poor nest were likely to switch and find the good nest, whereas ants finding the good nest were more likely to stay committed to that nest. When ants switched quickly between the two nests, colonies chose the good nest. Switching by ants that had the opportunity to compare nests had little effect on nest choice. We suggest a new mechanism of collective nest choice: individuals respond to nest quality by the decision either to commit or to seek alternatives. Previously proposed mechanisms, recruitment latency and nest comparison, can be explained as side effects of this simple rule. Colony-level comparison and choice can emerge, without direct comparison by individuals.

  4. Trap-mulching Argentine ants.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Jules; Sorenson, Clyde E; Waldvogel, Michael G

    2006-10-01

    Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), management is constrained, in large part, by polydomy where nestmates are distributed extensively across urban landscapes, particularly within mulch. Management with trap-mulching is a novel approach derived from trap-cropping where ants are repelled from a broad domain of nest sites to smaller defined areas, which are subsequently treated with insecticide. This concept was field-tested with mulch surrounding ornamental trees replaced with a narrow band of pine (Pinus spp.) needle mulch (trap) within a much larger patch of repellent aromatic cedar (Juniperus spp.) mulch. After ants reestablished around the trees, the pine needle mulch band was treated with 0.06% fipronil (Termidor). Poor results were obtained when the trap extended from the tree trunk to the edge of the mulched area. When the trap was applied as a circular band around the tree trunk reductions in the number of foraging ants were recorded through 14 d compared with an untreated mulch control, but not for longer periods. Reductions in the number of ant nests within mulch were no different between the trap mulch and any of the other treatments. We conclude that trap-mulching offers limited benefits, and that successful management of Argentine ants will require implementation of complementary or perhaps alternative strategies.

  5. Do ants make direct comparisons?

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Elva J.H.; Smith, Faith D.; Sullivan, Kathryn M.E.; Franks, Nigel R.

    2009-01-01

    Many individual decisions are informed by direct comparison of the alternatives. In collective decisions, however, only certain group members may have the opportunity to compare options. Emigrating ant colonies (Temnothorax albipennis) show sophisticated nest-site choice, selecting superior sites even when they are nine times further away than the alternative. How do they do this? We used radio-frequency identification-tagged ants to monitor individual behaviour. Here we show for the first time that switching between nests during the decision process can influence nest choice without requiring direct comparison of nests. Ants finding the poor nest were likely to switch and find the good nest, whereas ants finding the good nest were more likely to stay committed to that nest. When ants switched quickly between the two nests, colonies chose the good nest. Switching by ants that had the opportunity to compare nests had little effect on nest choice. We suggest a new mechanism of collective nest choice: individuals respond to nest quality by the decision either to commit or to seek alternatives. Previously proposed mechanisms, recruitment latency and nest comparison, can be explained as side effects of this simple rule. Colony-level comparison and choice can emerge, without direct comparison by individuals. PMID:19386652

  6. Measuring activity in ant colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, C.; Fernández, J.; Pérez-Penichet, C.; Altshuler, E.

    2006-12-01

    Ants, as paradigm of social insects, have become a recurrent example of efficient problem solvers via self-organization. In spite of the simple behavior of each individual, the colony as a whole displays "swarm intelligence:" the organization of ant trails for foraging is a typical output of it. But conventional techniques of observation can hardly record the amount of data needed to get a detailed understanding of self-organization of ant swarms in the wild. Here we are presenting a measurement system intended to monitor ant activity in the field comprising massive data acquisition and high sensitivity. A central role is played by an infrared sensor devised specifically to monitor relevant parameters to the activity of ants through the exits of the nest, although other sensors detecting temperature and luminosity are added to the system. We study the characteristics of the activity sensor and its performance in the field. Finally, we present massive data measured at one exit of a nest of Atta insularis, an ant endemic to Cuba, to illustrate the potential of our system.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-22

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

  13. Paroxetine Treatment of Problematic Pornography Use: A Case Series.

    PubMed

    Gola, Mateusz; Potenza, Marc N

    2016-09-01

    Background How best to conceptualize problematic pornography use (PPU) and intervene most effectively remain debated, with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and addiction frameworks. We investigated the efficacy of the serotonin-reuptake inhibitor paroxetine in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of problematic pornography use (PPU). Case presentation Three heterosexual males with PPU were treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy and paroxetine. Frequency of pornography use, other sexual behaviors, and anxiety were assessed during treatment. Discussion Paroxetine treatment, although seemingly initially effective in reducing pornography use and anxiety, appeared related to new compulsive sexual behaviors after 3 months. Conclusions Paroxetine may hold promise for short-term reduction of PPU and related anxiety, but new potentially distressing sexual behaviors may emerge. The cases suggest that PPU may arise from multiple domains. We propose an explanation of the effects based on recent neuroscientific research on sexual behaviors and alcohol use.

  14. Written content indicators of problematic approach behavior toward political officials.

    PubMed

    Schoeneman, Katherine A; Scalora, Mario J; Darrow, Charles D; McLawsen, Julia E; Chang, Grace H; Zimmerman, William J

    2011-01-01

    Those charged with assessing and managing threatening communications must utilize risk factors that are behavioral, operational, and reasonably attainable during investigations. This project examined 326 written correspondence cases of an inappropriate, disruptive, or threatening nature that targeted political officials, with the specific goal of identifying written content indicators of problematic approach behavior. Results revealed that subjects who engaged in problematic approach activity toward their targets had more criminal history, past threat assessment activity, familiarity with firearms, past substance use, and indicators of serious mental illness. Approachers were more likely to engage in multiple contact methods, target dispersion, more overall contacts, and prior contact with their target. Numerous content themes were associated with future problematic approach, including longer handwritten correspondence, referencing specific events, making demands, mentioning stressors, focus on personal themes, feeling their rights were violated, and expressing an intention to approach. Harassing, insulting, and threatening language was not related to approach behavior. The implications of these findings are wide-ranging for the practice of threat assessment. PMID:21351136

  15. Monoculture of Leafcutter Ant Gardens

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Ulrich G.; Scott, Jarrod J.; Ishak, Heather D.; Cooper, Michael; Rodrigues, Andre

    2010-01-01

    Background Leafcutter ants depend on the cultivation of symbiotic Attamyces fungi for food, which are thought to be grown by the ants in single-strain, clonal monoculture throughout the hundreds to thousands of gardens within a leafcutter nest. Monoculture eliminates cultivar-cultivar competition that would select for competitive fungal traits that are detrimental to the ants, whereas polyculture of several fungi could increase nutritional diversity and disease resistance of genetically variable gardens. Methodology/Principal Findings Using three experimental approaches, we assessed cultivar diversity within nests of Atta leafcutter ants, which are most likely among all fungus-growing ants to cultivate distinct cultivar genotypes per nest because of the nests' enormous sizes (up to 5000 gardens) and extended lifespans (10–20 years). In Atta texana and in A. cephalotes, we resampled nests over a 5-year period to test for persistence of resident cultivar genotypes within each nest, and we tested for genetic differences between fungi from different nest sectors accessed through excavation. In A. texana, we also determined the number of Attamyces cells carried as a starter inoculum by a dispersing queens (minimally several thousand Attamyces cells), and we tested for genetic differences between Attamyces carried by sister queens dispersing from the same nest. Except for mutational variation arising during clonal Attamyces propagation, DNA fingerprinting revealed no evidence for fungal polyculture and no genotype turnover during the 5-year surveys. Conclusions/Significance Atta leafcutter ants can achieve stable, fungal monoculture over many years. Mutational variation emerging within an Attamyces monoculture could provide genetic diversity for symbiont choice (gardening biases of the ants favoring specific mutational variants), an analog of artificial selection. PMID:20844760

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-22

    Symbioses include some of the clearest cases of coevolution, but their origin, loss or reassembly with different partners can rarely be inferred. Here we use ant/plant symbioses involving three plant clades to investigate the evolution of symbioses. We generated phylogenies for the big-eyed arboreal ants (Pseudomyrmecinae), including 72% of their 286 species, as well as for five of their plant host groups, in each case sampling more than 61% of the species. We show that the ant-housing Vachellia (Mimosoideae) clade and its ants co-diversified for the past 5 Ma, with some species additionally colonized by younger plant-nesting ant species, some parasitic. An apparent co-radiation of ants and Tachigali (Caesalpinioideae) was followed by waves of colonization by the same ant clade, and subsequent occupation by a younger ant group. Wide crown and stem age differences between the ant-housing genus Triplaris (Polygonaceae) and its obligate ant inhabitants, and stochastic trait mapping, indicate that its domatium evolved earlier than the ants now occupying it, suggesting previous symbioses that dissolved. Parasitic ant species evolved from generalists, not from mutualists, and are younger than the mutualistic systems they parasitize. Our study illuminates the macroevolutionary assembly of ant/plant symbioses, which has been highly dynamic, even in very specialized systems. PMID:26582029

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-22

    Symbioses include some of the clearest cases of coevolution, but their origin, loss or reassembly with different partners can rarely be inferred. Here we use ant/plant symbioses involving three plant clades to investigate the evolution of symbioses. We generated phylogenies for the big-eyed arboreal ants (Pseudomyrmecinae), including 72% of their 286 species, as well as for five of their plant host groups, in each case sampling more than 61% of the species. We show that the ant-housing Vachellia (Mimosoideae) clade and its ants co-diversified for the past 5 Ma, with some species additionally colonized by younger plant-nesting ant species, some parasitic. An apparent co-radiation of ants and Tachigali (Caesalpinioideae) was followed by waves of colonization by the same ant clade, and subsequent occupation by a younger ant group. Wide crown and stem age differences between the ant-housing genus Triplaris (Polygonaceae) and its obligate ant inhabitants, and stochastic trait mapping, indicate that its domatium evolved earlier than the ants now occupying it, suggesting previous symbioses that dissolved. Parasitic ant species evolved from generalists, not from mutualists, and are younger than the mutualistic systems they parasitize. Our study illuminates the macroevolutionary assembly of ant/plant symbioses, which has been highly dynamic, even in very specialized systems.

  18. A problematic early tetrapod from the Mississippian of Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hartwig-Scherer, S

    1993-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gioria, Margherita; Bacaro, Giovanni; Feehan, John

    2011-05-01

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

  1. How ants drop out: ant abundance on tropical mountains.

    PubMed

    Longino, John T; Branstetter, Michael G; Colwell, Robert K

    2014-01-01

    In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature) and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops. PMID:25098722

  2. How Ants Drop Out: Ant Abundance on Tropical Mountains

    PubMed Central

    Longino, John T.; Branstetter, Michael G.; Colwell, Robert K.

    2014-01-01

    In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature) and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops. PMID:25098722

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Do aphids actively search for ant partners?

    PubMed

    Fischer, Christophe Y; Vanderplanck, Maryse; Lognay, Georges C; Detrain, Claire; Verheggen, François J

    2015-04-01

    The aphid-ant mutualistic relationships are not necessarily obligate for neither partners but evidence is that such interactions provide them strong advantages in terms of global fitness. While it is largely assumed that ants actively search for their mutualistic partners namely using volatile cues; whether winged aphids (i.e., aphids' most mobile form) are able to select ant-frequented areas had not been investigated so far. Ant-frequented sites would indeed offer several advantages for these aphids including a lower predation pressure through ant presence and enhanced chances of establishing mutuaslistic interactions with neighbor ant colonies. In the field, aphid colonies are often observed in higher densities around ant nests, which is probably linked to a better survival ensured by ants' services. Nevertheless, this could also result from a preferential establishment of winged aphids in ant-frequented areas. We tested this last hypothesis through different ethological assays and show that the facultative myrmecophilous black bean aphid, Aphis fabae L., does not orientate its search for a host plant preferentially toward ant-frequented plants. However, our results suggest that ants reduce the number of winged aphids leaving the newly colonized plant. Thus, ants involved in facultative myrmecophilous interactions with aphids appear to contribute to structure aphid populations in the field by ensuring a better establishment and survival of newly established colonies rather than by inducing a deliberate plant selection by aphid partners based on the proximity of ant colonies.

  5. Ants medicate to fight disease.

    PubMed

    Bos, Nick; Sundström, Liselotte; Fuchs, Siiri; Freitak, Dalial

    2015-11-01

    Parasites are ubiquitous, and the ability to defend against these is of paramount importance. One way to fight diseases is self-medication, which occurs when an organism consumes biologically active compounds to clear, inhibit, or alleviate disease symptoms. Here, we show for the first time that ants selectively consume harmful substances (reactive oxygen species, ROS) upon exposure to a fungal pathogen, yet avoid these in the absence of infection. This increased intake of ROS, while harmful to healthy ants, leads to higher survival of exposed ants. The fact that ingestion of this substance carries a fitness cost in the absence of pathogens rules out compensatory diet choice as the mechanism, and provides evidence that social insects medicate themselves against fungal infection, using a substance that carries a fitness cost to uninfected individuals.

  6. Myrmecotrophy: Plants fed by ants.

    PubMed

    Beattie, A

    1989-06-01

    Two plant genera with tubers specialized for occupation by ants absorb nutrients from waste materials accumulated by the resident colonies. The mineral resources of these host plants are augmented by colony foraging which functions as a second root system. This mutualistic interaction has become known as myrmecotrophy. Many other kinds of plant structure are apparent adaptations to accommodate ant colonies; these include pouches on leaves or petioles and hollow twigs, stems or thorns. Sometimes the ant species residing in these structures are aggressive towards enemies of the host plant and are important for plant defence. Recent research provides some evidence that myrmecotrophy may have a wider role in plant nutrition, at least when subsidizing the costs of plant defence. PMID:21227344

  7. Possible problematic situations for the Europa cryorobotic mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kereszturi, A.

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

  8. Individuals with developmental delay and problematic sexual behaviors.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, William R; Michie, Amanda M

    2013-04-01

    The field of sex offenders with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) has attracted a significant amount of research in the last 5 to 10 years. This research has included theoretical work on the reasons why men with IDD might engage in problematic sexual behaviours, work on the assessment of risk for future incidents, research investigating the pathways into and through services for sex offenders with IDD and a considerable amount of work developing and evaluating effective treatments. This paper will review the recent research on each of these areas in turn. PMID:23471782

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

    PubMed

    Post, S G

    1993-09-01

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

  10. The impact of fossils and taxon sampling on ancient molecular dating analyses.

    PubMed

    Hug, Laura A; Roger, Andrew J

    2007-08-01

    The number and complexity of molecular dating studies has increased over the past decade. Along with a broadening acceptance of their utility has come significant controversy over the methods and models that are appropriate, as well as the accuracy of the estimates yielded by molecular clock analyses. Radically different age estimates have been published for the same divergences from analyses of different datasets with different fossil constraints obtained with different methods, and the underlying explanation for these differences is often unclear. Here we utilize two previously published datasets to examine the effect of fossil calibrations and taxon sampling on the age estimates for two deep eukaryote divergences in an attempt to discern the relative impact of these factors. Penalized likelihood, non-parametric rate smoothing, and Bayesian methods were utilized to generate age estimates for the origin of the Metazoa from a 7-gene dataset and for the divergence of Eukaryotes from a 129-gene dataset. From these analyses, it is clear that the fossil calibrations chosen and the method for applying constraints to these nodes have a large impact on age estimates, while the degree of taxon sampling within a dataset is less important in terms of the resulting age estimates. Concerns and recommendations for addressing these two factors when initiating a dating analysis are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  13. Delineating species with DNA barcodes: a case of taxon dependent method performance in moths.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Taxon-specific responses of Southern Ocean diatoms to Fe enrichment revealed by synchrotron radiation FTIR microspectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sackett, O.; Armand, L.; Beardall, J.; Hill, R.; Doblin, M.; Connelly, C.; Howes, J.; Stuart, B.; Ralph, P.; Heraud, P.

    2014-10-01

    Photosynthesis by marine diatoms contributes substantially to global biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem productivity. It is widely accepted that diatoms are extremely sensitive to changes in Fe availability, with numerous in situ experiments demonstrating rapid growth and increased export of elements (e.g. C, Si and Fe) from surface waters as a result of Fe addition. Less is known about the effects of Fe enrichment on the phenotypes of diatoms, such as associated changes in nutritional value - furthermore, data on taxon-specific responses are almost non-existent. Enhanced supply of nutrient-rich waters along the coast of the subantarctic Kerguelen Island provide a valuable opportunity to examine the responses of phytoplankton to natural Fe enrichment. Here we demonstrate the use of synchrotron radiation Fourier Transform Infrared (SR-FTIR) microspectroscopy to analyse changes in the macromolecular composition of diatoms collected along the coast and plateau of Kerguelen Island, Southern Ocean. SR-FTIR microspectroscopy enabled the analysis of individual diatom cells from mixed communities of field-collected samples, thereby providing insight into in situ taxon-specific responses in relation to changes in Fe availability. Phenotypic responses were taxon-specific in terms of intraspecific variability and changes in proteins, amino acids, phosphorylated molecules, silicate/silicic acid and carbohydrates. In contrast to some previous studies, silicate/silicic acid levels increased under Fe enrichment, in conjunction with increases in carbohydrate stores. The highly abundant taxon Fragilariopsis kerguelensis displayed a higher level of phenotypic plasticity than Pseudo-nitzschia spp., while analysis of the data pooled across all measured taxa showed different patterns in macromolecular composition compared to those for individual taxon. This study demonstrates that taxon-specific responses to Fe enrichment may not always be accurately reflected by bulk community

  15. Taxon-specific responses of Southern Ocean diatoms to Fe enrichment revealed by synchrotron radiation FTIR microspectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sackett, O.; Armand, L.; Beardall, J.; Hill, R.; Doblin, M.; Connelly, C.; Howes, J.; Stuart, B.; Ralph, P.; Heraud, P.

    2014-05-01

    Photosynthesis by marine diatoms contributes substantially to global biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem productivity. It is widely accepted that diatoms are extremely sensitive to changes in Fe availability, with numerous in situ experiments demonstrating rapid growth and increased export of elements (e.g. C, Si and Fe) from surface waters as a result of Fe addition. Less is known about the effects of Fe enrichment on the phenotypes of diatoms, such as associated changes in nutritional value, furthermore data on taxon-specific responses is almost non-existent. Enhanced supply of nutrient-rich waters along the coast of the subantarctic Kerguelen Island provide a valuable opportunity to examine the responses of phytoplankton to natural Fe enrichment. Here we demonstrate the use of synchrotron radiation Fourier Transform Infrared (SR-FTIR) microspectroscopy to analyse changes in the macromolecular composition of diatoms collected along the coast and plateau of Kerguelen Island, Southern Ocean. SR-FTIR microspectroscopy enabled the analysis of individual diatom cells from mixed communities of field-collected samples, thereby providing insight into in situ taxon-specific responses in relation to changes in Fe availability. Phenotypic responses were taxon-specific in terms of intraspecific variability and changes in proteins, amino acids, phosphorylated molecules, silicate and carbohydrates. In contrast to some previous studies, silicate levels increased under Fe enrichment, in conjunction with increases in carbohydrate stores. The highly abundant taxon Fragilariopsis kerguelensis displayed a higher level of phenotypic plasticity than Pseudo-nitzschia spp., while analysis of the data pooled across all measured taxa showed different patterns in macromolecular composition compared to those for individual taxon. This study demonstrates that taxon-specific responses to Fe enrichment may not always be accurately reflected by bulk community measurements, highlighting the

  16. Ant opsins: sequences from the Saharan silver ant and the carpenter ant.

    PubMed

    Popp, M P; Grisshammer, R; Hargrave, P A; Smith, W C

    1996-03-01

    cDNA clones encoding opsins from compound eyes of carpenter ant, Camponotus abdominalis, and Saharan silver ant, Cataglyphis bombycina, were isolated from cDNA libraries. The opsin cDNAs from each species code for deduced proteins with 378 amino acids which are 92% identical. Of the 30 amino acid differences between the two proteins, 13 are non-conservative. Eight of these non-conservative substitutions are within the membrane spanning domain. The presence of a potential Schiff-base counterion in helix III in both species suggests that these opsins are the protein moiety of the visible range pigments. When compared to all known opsins, these opsins are most similar to the opsin from preying mantis (76% identity at the amino acid level). Phyletic comparisons group the two ant opsins with the other arthropod long wavelength opsins.

  17. Ant opsins: sequences from the Saharan silver ant and the carpenter ant.

    PubMed

    Popp, M P; Grisshammer, R; Hargrave, P A; Smith, W C

    1996-03-01

    cDNA clones encoding opsins from compound eyes of carpenter ant, Camponotus abdominalis, and Saharan silver ant, Cataglyphis bombycina, were isolated from cDNA libraries. The opsin cDNAs from each species code for deduced proteins with 378 amino acids which are 92% identical. Of the 30 amino acid differences between the two proteins, 13 are non-conservative. Eight of these non-conservative substitutions are within the membrane spanning domain. The presence of a potential Schiff-base counterion in helix III in both species suggests that these opsins are the protein moiety of the visible range pigments. When compared to all known opsins, these opsins are most similar to the opsin from preying mantis (76% identity at the amino acid level). Phyletic comparisons group the two ant opsins with the other arthropod long wavelength opsins. PMID:9372150

  18. Biological control of red imported fire ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two species of Imported Fire Ants (IFA), the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and the Black Imported Fire Ant, S. richteri Forel, were introduced into the United States in the early 1900s and currently inhabit over 320 million acres in the southern United States and Puerto Rico. Red ...

  19. Using Ants To Investigate the Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hagevik, Rita A.

    2003-01-01

    Describes three inquiry-based activities designed for students to begin to understand complex environmental relationships in their own backyard. Includes investigations of ants, which allow students to establish a baseline survey of ant fauna, test the importance of ants in nutrient cycling and soil structure maintenances, and increase student…

  20. Using Ants to Investigate the Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hagevik, Rita A.

    2005-01-01

    The best place for students to begin to understand complex environmental relationships is in their own back yards. Doing investigations of ants allows students to establish a baseline survey of ant fauna, test the importance of ants in nutrient cycling and soil structure maintenance, and increase their understanding of the environment and their…

  1. Raves & rants about invasive crazy ants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crazy ants” is a name that refers to various species of ants that are characterized by erratic, scurrying, or running, behavior when disturbed. Two of these species, the yellow crazy ant and the Caribbean or Rasberry [sic] crazy ant, are invasive with extremely large populations that inundate lands...

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

    PubMed

    Sirianni, Joseph M; Vishwanath, Arun

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rose, Nikolas; Miller, Peter

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Problematizing health coaching for chronic illness self-management.

    PubMed

    Howard, Lisa M; Ceci, Christine

    2013-09-01

    To address the growing costs associated with chronic illness care, many countries, both developed and developing, identify increased patient self-management or self-care as a focus of healthcare reform. Health coaching, an implementation strategy to support the shift to self-management, encourages patients to make lifestyle changes to improve the management of chronic illness. This practice differs from traditional models of health education because of the interactional dynamics between nurse and patient, and an orientation to care that ostensibly centres and empowers patients. The theoretical underpinnings of coaching reflect these differences, however in its application, the practices arranged around health coaching for chronic illness self-management reveal the social regulation and professional management of everyday life. This becomes especially problematic in contexts defined by economic constraint and government withdrawal from activities related to the 'care' of citizens. In this paper, we trace the development of health coaching as part of nursing practice and consider the implications of this practice as an emerging element of chronic illness self-management. Our purpose is to highlight health coaching as an approach intended to support patients with chronic illness and at the same time, problematize the tensions contained in (and by) this practice.

  5. Hype or hypervirulence: a reflection on problematic C. difficile strains.

    PubMed

    Smits, Wiep Klaas

    2013-10-01

    Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) have emerged as a major cause of healthcare associated disease, and recent epidemiological evidence also suggests an important role in community-acquired diarrhea. This increase is associated with specific types, especially PCR ribotypes 027 and 078, which are sometimes referred to as "hypervirulent". Over the past years major advances have been made in our understanding of C. difficile pathogenicity, with the identification and characterization of the major clostridial toxins TcdA and TcdB. However, the relation between the toxins, their regulation, and "hypervirulence" remain unclear. Here I review our current understanding of C. difficile pathogenicity and argue that "hypervirulent" is an inadequate term to describe PCR ribotypes 027 and 078, that the ability of C. difficile to cause problematic infections is a consequence of a multifactorial process that extends beyond toxins, sporulation, and antimicrobial resistance, and that vigilance is in order toward types that are closely related to ribotypes 027 and 078, but are currently not considered problematic.

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

    PubMed

    Sirianni, Joseph M; Vishwanath, Arun

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavallucci, Denis; Rousselot, François; Zanni, Cecilia

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

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

    PubMed

    Smith, Kristen

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Smith, Kristen

    2012-04-01

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

  10. Ants, Wasps, and Bees (Hymenoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. Ant Ecdysteroid Extraction and Radioimmunoassay

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecdysteroids are a group of steroid compounds present in many plant and invertebrate species. In arthropods, they function primarily as hormones involved in the regulation of molting. This protocol describes how to extract ecdysteroid hormones from ant specimens and subsequently quantify circulating...

  12. Optimal cue integration in ants.

    PubMed

    Wystrach, Antoine; Mangan, Michael; Webb, Barbara

    2015-10-01

    In situations with redundant or competing sensory information, humans have been shown to perform cue integration, weighting different cues according to their certainty in a quantifiably optimal manner. Ants have been shown to merge the directional information available from their path integration (PI) and visual memory, but as yet it is not clear that they do so in a way that reflects the relative certainty of the cues. In this study, we manipulate the variance of the PI home vector by allowing ants (Cataglyphis velox) to run different distances and testing their directional choice when the PI vector direction is put in competition with visual memory. Ants show progressively stronger weighting of their PI direction as PI length increases. The weighting is quantitatively predicted by modelling the expected directional variance of home vectors of different lengths and assuming optimal cue integration. However, a subsequent experiment suggests ants may not actually compute an internal estimate of the PI certainty, but are using the PI home vector length as a proxy.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Evolutional Ant Colony Method Using PSO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morii, Nobuto; Aiyoshi, Eitarou

    The ant colony method is one of heuristic methods capable of solving the traveling salesman problem (TSP), in which a good tour is generated by the artificial ant's probabilistic behavior. However, the generated tour length depends on the parameter describing the ant's behavior, and the best parameters corresponding to the problem to be solved is unknown. In this technical note, the evolutional strategy is presented to find the best parameter of the ant colony by using Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) in the parameter space. Numerical simulations for benchmarks demonstrate effectiveness of the evolutional ant colony method.

  15. Tournaments and slavery in a desert ant.

    PubMed

    Hölldobler, B

    1976-05-28

    Many species of ants engage in physical fighting when territorial borders are challenged. In contrast, colonies of the honeypot ant species Myrmecocystus mimicus conduct ritualized tournaments, in which hundreds of ants perform highly stereotyped display fights. Opposing colonies summon their worker forces to the tournament area by means of an alarm-recruitment system. When one colony is considerably stronger than the other, the tournament quickly ends, and the weaker colony is raided and its ants "enslaved." This is the first example of intraspecific slavery recorded in ants.

  16. Methods for Casting Subterranean Ant Nests

    PubMed Central

    Tschinkel, Walter R.

    2010-01-01

    The study of subterranean ant nests has been impeded by the difficulty of rendering their structures in visible form. Here, several different casting materials are shown to make perfect casts of the underground nests of ants. Each material (dental plaster, paraffin wax, aluminum, zinc) has advantages and limitations, which are discussed. Some of the materials allow the recovery of the ants entombed in the casts, allowing a census of the ants to be connected with features of their nest architecture. The necessary equipment and procedures are described in the hope that more researchers will study this very important aspect of ant natural history. PMID:20673073

  17. Problematizing Disciplinarity, Transdisciplinary Problematics

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Quantifying ant activity using vibration measurements.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Sesquiterpenes and flavonoid aglycones from a Hungarian taxon of the Achillea millefolium group.

    PubMed

    Glasl, Sabine; Mucaji, Pavel; Werner, Ingrid; Presser, Armin; Jurenitsch, Johann

    2002-01-01

    The investigation of a dichloromethane extract of flower heads of a Hungarian taxon of the Achillea millefolium group led to the isolation of three flavonoid aglycones, one triterpene, one germacranolide and five guaianolides. Their structures were elucidated by UV-VIS, EI- and CI-MS, 1H NMR and 13C NMR spectroscopic methods as well as by 2D-NMR studies and by selective 1D-NOE experiments. Besides apigenin, luteolin and centaureidin, beta-sitosterol, 3beta-hydroxy-11alpha,13-dihydro-costunolide, desacetylmatricarin, leucodin, achillin, 8alpha-angeloxy-leucodin and 8alpha-angeloxy-achillin were isolated. Both latter substances are reported here for the first time. Their NMR data were compared with those of the other guaianolides. The stereochemistry of 3beta-hydroxy-11alpha,13-dihydro-costunolide was discussed and compared with data of the literature.

  20. Problematic healthcare insurance: a comparison with successful models.

    PubMed

    Matusitz, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    This article analyzes the experiences of problematic health insurance models in Canada, France, Germany, and Spain, based on news reports, facts, and data. Those nations were selected because they represent typical socialist economies with nationalized health insurance systems. Major findings are that (a) these health insurance systems are not cheap, (b) they sometimes contribute to governments' own financial deficits, (c) there are significant restrictions for access to private health care, (d) many services are not covered, and (e) the insurance plans create conflict as to what treatment options are offered. The author also provides a description of the current U.S. health care insurance model and compares it with the European socialist model. What comes subsequently is an examination of two ideal models of efficient health care insurance: the ones of Switzerland and the Netherlands. This analysis ends with a discussion section that provides implications for U.S. health care and offers suggestions for future research.

  1. Temperament Dispositions, Problematic Eating Behaviours and Overweight in Adolescents.

    PubMed

    Walther, Mireille; Hilbert, Anja

    2016-01-01

    Obesity, a common health condition in adolescence leading to severe medical complications, is assumed to be influenced by temperament factors. This paper investigates associations between reactive and regulative temperament, problematic eating behaviours and excess weight. Several self-report instruments were completed by 130 adolescents (mean age 14.13 ± 0.61 years), including 27 overweight and obese individuals (20.8%). Bootstrap analysis revealed a mediating effect of restrained eating on the relation between reactive temperament and body mass index percentile, which differed according to gender: Restrained eating, which predicted weight gain, was more present in girls having a higher sensitivity to reward and in boys showing a higher sensitivity to punishment. No effect of regulative temperament was found. These results have important implications for weight management programmes, as they suggest that reducing restrained eating by working on temperament may help to control weight.

  2. Externalizing problems and problematic sexual behaviors: same etiology?

    PubMed

    Lévesque, Mireille; Bigras, Marc; Pauzé, Robert

    2010-01-01

    The study sought to determine whether maltreatment subtypes, family sexuality, and personal characteristics predicted and distinguished child problematic sexual behaviors (PSB) and externalizing problems (EP). Participants were families of 188 children, 6-11 years old, referred by child welfare services in four Quebec districts. Caregivers completed interviews and questionnaires. Results suggested that family environment and maltreatment subtypes had partially different impacts on PSB and EP. When EP and gender were controlled, younger children in a sexualized family environment and those verbally victimized were more likely to exhibit PSB. When PSB and gender were controlled, verbal abuse and neglect emerged as predictors of EP. Potential implications for child PSB research and interventions are discussed. PMID:20718000

  3. The current dialogue between phenomenology and psychiatry: a problematic misunderstanding.

    PubMed

    Abettan, Camille

    2015-11-01

    A revival of the dialogue between phenomenology and psychiatry currently takes place in the best international journals of psychiatry. In this article, we analyse this revival and the role given to phenomenology in this context. Although this dialogue seems at first sight interesting, we show that it is problematic. It leads indeed to use phenomenology in a special way, transforming it into a discipline dealing with empirical facts, so that what is called "phenomenology" has finally nothing to do with phenomenology. This so-called phenomenology tallies however with what we have always called semiology. We try to explain the reasons why phenomenology is misused in that way. In our view, this transformation of phenomenology into an empirical and objectifying discipline is explained by the role attributed to phenomenology by contemporary authors, which is to solve the problems raised by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-08-10

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  9. Circumvention of prey defense by a predator: ant lion vs. ant.

    PubMed Central

    Eisner, T; Baldwin, I T; Conner, J

    1993-01-01

    The pit-dwelling ant lion Myrmeleon carolinus, although topically sensitive to formic acid, is able to prey on formic acid-spraying ants (Camponotus floridanus). It kills the ants without inducing them to spray, and it sucks out the ant's body contents without puncturing the acid sac. Ordinarily, when Camponotus is attacked it retaliates by simultaneously biting and spraying, but it usually refrains from spraying until it has secured a grip with the mandibles. When Myrmeleon pulls Camponotus into the sand at the bottom of the pit, the ant is seemingly unable to grasp the ant lion and it is killed without being induced to spray. When feeding on the ant, the ant lion sucks up the contents of the nutrient-laden crop. How the ant lion differentiates between crop and acid sac, managing to spare the latter while rupturing the former, remains unknown. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 4 PMID:11607414

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cronin, Matthew A.; Mech, L. David

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  13. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  14. Team swimming in ant spermatozoa

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Revolutionizing Remote Exploration with ANTS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S.; Truszkowski, W.

    2002-05-01

    We are developing the Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) architecture based on an insect colony analogue for the cost-effective, efficient, systematic survey of remote or inaccessible areas with multiple object targets, including planetary surface, marine, airborne, and space environments. The mission context is the exploration in the 2020s of the most compelling remaining targets in the solar system: main belt asteroids. Main belt asteroids harbor important clues to Solar System origins and evolution which are central to NASA's goals in Space Science. Asteroids are smaller than planets, but their number is far greater, and their combined surface area likely dwarfs the Earth's. An asteroid survey will dramatically increase our understanding of the local resources available for the Human Exploration and Development of Space. During the mission composition, shape, gravity, and orbit parameters could be returned to Earth for perhaps several thousand asteroids. A survey of this area will rival the great explorations that encircled this globe, opened up the New World, and laid the groundwork for the progress and challenges of the last centuries. The ANTS architecture for a main belt survey consists of a swarm of as many as a thousand or more highly specialized pico-spacecraft that form teams to survey as many as one hundred asteroids a month. Multi-level autonomy is critical for ANTS and the objective of the proposed study is to work through the implications and constraints this entails. ANTS couples biologically inspired autonomic control for basic functions to higher level artificial intelligence that together enable individual spacecraft to operate as specialized, cooperative, social agents. This revolutionary approach postulates highly advanced, but familiar, components integrated and operated in a way that uniquely transcends any evolutionary extrapolation of existing trends and enables thousand-spacecraft missions.

  17. Fire ant-detecting canines: a complementary method in detecting red imported fire ants.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hui-Min; Chi, Wei-Lien; Lin, Chung-Chi; Tseng, Yu-Ching; Chen, Wang-Ting; Kung, Yu-Ling; Lien, Yi-Yang; Chen, Yang-Yuan

    2011-02-01

    In this investigation, detection dogs are trained and used in identifying red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and their nests. The methodology could assist in reducing the frequency and scope of chemical treatments for red imported fire ant management and thus reduce labor costs and chemical use as well as improve control and quarantine efficiency. Three dogs previously trained for customs quarantine were retrained to detect the scents of red imported fire ants. After passing tests involving different numbers of live red imported fire ants and three other ant species--Crematogaster rogenhoferi Mayr, Paratrechina longicornis Latreille, and Pheidole megacephala F.--placed in containers, ajoint field survey for red imported fire ant nests by detection dogs and bait traps was conducted to demonstrate their use as a supplement to conventional detection methods. The most significant findings in this report are (1) with 10 or more red imported fire ants in scent containers, the dogs had >98% chance in tracing the red imported fire ant. Upon the introduction of other ant species, the dogs still achieved on average, a 93% correct red imported fire ant indication rate. Moreover, the dogs demonstrated great competence in pinpointing emerging and smaller red imported fire ant nests in red imported fire ant-infested areas that had been previously confirmed by bait trap stations. (2) Along with the bait trap method, we also discovered that approximately 90% of red imported fire ants foraged within a distance of 14 m away from their nests. The results prove detection dogs to be most effective for red imported fire ant control in areas that have been previously treated with pesticides and therefore containing a low density of remaining red imported fire ant nests. Furthermore, as a complement to other red imported fire ant monitoring methods, this strategy will significantly increase the efficacy of red imported fire ant control in cases of individual mount treatment.

  18. Ant Larval Demand Reduces Aphid Colony Growth Rates in an Ant-Aphid Interactio

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Tom H.; Leather, Simon R.; Cook, James M.

    2012-01-01

    Ants often form mutualistic interactions with aphids, soliciting honeydew in return for protective services. Under certain circumstances, however, ants will prey upon aphids. In addition, in the presence of ants aphids may increase the quantity or quality of honeydew produced, which is costly. Through these mechanisms, ant attendance can reduce aphid colony growth rates. However, it is unknown whether demand from within the ant colony can affect the ant-aphid interaction. In a factorial experiment, we tested whether the presence of larvae in Lasius niger ant colonies affected the growth rate of Aphis fabae colonies. Other explanatory variables tested were the origin of ant colonies (two separate colonies were used) and previous diet (sugar only or sugar and protein). We found that the presence of larvae in the ant colony significantly reduced the growth rate of aphid colonies. Previous diet and colony origin did not affect aphid colony growth rates. Our results suggest that ant colonies balance the flow of two separate resources from aphid colonies- renewable sugars or a protein-rich meal, depending on demand from ant larvae within the nest. Aphid payoffs from the ant-aphid interaction may change on a seasonal basis, as the demand from larvae within the ant colony waxes and wanes. PMID:26467951

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Blind and myopic ants in heterogeneous networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, S.; Lee, D.-S.; Kahng, B.

    2014-11-01

    The diffusion processes on complex networks may be described by different Laplacian matrices due to heterogeneous connectivity. Here we investigate the random walks of blind ants and myopic ants on heterogeneous networks: While a myopic ant hops to a neighbor node every step, a blind ant may stay or hop with probabilities that depend on node connectivity. By analyzing the trajectories of blind ants, we show that the asymptotic behaviors of both random walks are related by rescaling time and probability with node connectivity. Using this result, we show how the small eigenvalues of the Laplacian matrices generating the two random walks are related. As an application, we show how the return-to-origin probability of a myopic ant can be used to compute the scaling behaviors of the Edwards-Wilkinson model, a representative model of load balancing on networks.

  2. Usefulness of fire ant genetics in insecticide efficacy trials

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Symbiont recruitment versus ant-symbiont co-evolution in the attine ant-microbe symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Ulrich G

    2012-06-01

    The symbiosis between fungus-farming ants (Attini, Formicidae), their cultivated fungi, garden-infecting Escovopsis pathogens, and Pseudonocardia bacteria on the ant integument has been popularized as an example of ant-Escovopsis-Pseudonocardia co-evolution. Recent research could not verify earlier conclusions regarding antibiotic-secreting, integumental Pseudonocardia that co-evolve to specifically suppress Escovopsis disease in an ancient co-evolutionary arms-race. Rather than long-term association with a single, co-evolving Pseudonocardia strain, attine ants accumulate complex, dynamic biofilms on their integument and in their gardens. Emerging views are that the integumental biofilms protect the ants primarily against ant diseases, whereas garden biofilms protect primarily against garden diseases; attine ants selectively recruit ('screen in') microbes into their biofilms; and the biofilms of ants and gardens serve diverse functions beyond disease-suppression.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Prediction of problematic wine fermentations using artificial neural networks.

    PubMed

    Román, R César; Hernández, O Gonzalo; Urtubia, U Alejandra

    2011-11-01

    Artificial neural networks (ANNs) have been used for the recognition of non-linear patterns, a characteristic of bioprocesses like wine production. In this work, ANNs were tested to predict problems of wine fermentation. A database of about 20,000 data from industrial fermentations of Cabernet Sauvignon and 33 variables was used. Two different ways of inputting data into the model were studied, by points and by fermentation. Additionally, different sub-cases were studied by varying the predictor variables (total sugar, alcohol, glycerol, density, organic acids and nitrogen compounds) and the time of fermentation (72, 96 and 256 h). The input of data by fermentations gave better results than the input of data by points. In fact, it was possible to predict 100% of normal and problematic fermentations using three predictor variables: sugars, density and alcohol at 72 h (3 days). Overall, ANNs were capable of obtaining 80% of prediction using only one predictor variable at 72 h; however, it is recommended to add more fermentations to confirm this promising result.

  6. Testing NLCLiP: validation of estimates of rates of non-problematic and problematic gambling in a sample of British schoolchildren.

    PubMed

    Lepper, John; Haden, Ben

    2013-03-01

    This paper reports on the results of applying a short screen for problem gambling, called NLCLiP, to a national sample of 8,958 British schoolchildren under the age of 16. It shows that, in its current form, NLCLiP can, with reasonable accuracy, be employed to estimate the rate of prevalence of problematic and non-problematic (i.e. gambling which does not lead to significant endorsement of DSM-IV-MR-J criteria) in a general population of children. However, NLCLiP does not reliably discriminate between problem and at risk gamblers. Moreover, it does not provide a reliable basis to identify cases of problem gambling. The main conclusion reached is that NLCLiP is a potentially useful tool for regulators to assess changes in the prevalence of problematic and non-problematic gambling among children over time.

  7. An Efficient Ant-Based Edge Detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aydın, Doğan

    An efficient ant-based edge detector is presented. It is based on the distribution of ants on an image, ants try to find possible edges by using a state transition function based on 5x5 edge structures. Visual comparisons show that the proposed method gives finer details and thinner edges at lesser computational times when compared to earlier ant-based approaches. When compared to standard edge detectors, it shows robustness to Gaussian and Salt & Pepper noise and provides finer details than others with same parameter set in both clear and noisy images.

  8. Path integration in desert ants, Cataglyphis fortis.

    PubMed

    Müller, M; Wehner, R

    1988-07-01

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

  9. Major evolutionary transitions in ant agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Schultz, Ted R.; Brady, Seán G.

    2008-01-01

    Agriculture is a specialized form of symbiosis that is known to have evolved in only four animal groups: humans, bark beetles, termites, and ants. Here, we reconstruct the major evolutionary transitions that produced the five distinct agricultural systems of the fungus-growing ants, the most well studied of the nonhuman agriculturalists. We do so with reference to the first fossil-calibrated, multiple-gene, molecular phylogeny that incorporates the full range of taxonomic diversity within the fungus-growing ant tribe Attini. Our analyses indicate that the original form of ant agriculture, the cultivation of a diverse subset of fungal species in the tribe Leucocoprineae, evolved ≈50 million years ago in the Neotropics, coincident with the early Eocene climatic optimum. During the past 30 million years, three known ant agricultural systems, each involving a phylogenetically distinct set of derived fungal cultivars, have separately arisen from the original agricultural system. One of these derived systems subsequently gave rise to the fifth known system of agriculture, in which a single fungal species is cultivated by leaf-cutter ants. Leaf-cutter ants evolved remarkably recently (≈8–12 million years ago) to become the dominant herbivores of the New World tropics. Our analyses identify relict, extant attine ant species that occupy phylogenetic positions that are transitional between the agricultural systems. Intensive study of those species holds particular promise for clarifying the sequential accretion of ecological and behavioral characters that produced each of the major ant agricultural systems. PMID:18362345

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma castaneae', a novel phytoplasma taxon associated with chestnut witches' broom disease.

    PubMed

    Jung, Hee-Young; Sawayanagi, Toshimi; Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Nishigawa, Hisashi; Miyata, Shin-ichi; Oshima, Kenro; Ugaki, Masashi; Lee, Joon-Tak; Hibi, Tadaaki; Namba, Shigetou

    2002-09-01

    In Korea, Japanese chestnut trees (Castanea crenata Sieb. and Zucc.) showing symptoms indicative of witches' broom disease, including abnormally small leaves and yellowing of young leaves, were examined. Since the symptoms were suggestive of a phytoplasma infection, tissues were assayed for phytoplasmas by PCR analysis using a pair of universal primers that amplify a 1.4-kbp phytoplasma 16S rDNA fragment. The phytoplasma-specific fragment was amplified from diseased plants, but not from healthy plants, indicating that a phytoplasma was the causal agent of the chestnut witches' broom (CnWB) disease. The phylogenetic relationship of the CnWB phytoplasma to other phytoplasmas was examined by sequence analysis of the 16S rDNA. A phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences of the phytoplasmas placed the CnWB phytoplasma within a distinct subgroup in the phytoplasma clade of the class Mollicutes. The phylogenetic tree indicated that the CnWB phytoplasma is related most closely to coconut phytoplasmas and suggested that they share a common ancestor. The unique properties of the CnWB phytoplasma sequences clearly establish that it represents a novel taxon, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma castaneae'.

  13. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma brasiliense', a new phytoplasma taxon associated with hibiscus witches' broom disease.

    PubMed

    Montano, H G; Davis, R E; Dally, E L; Hogenhout, S; Pimentel, J P; Brioso, P S

    2001-05-01

    Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is a valuable ornamental species widely planted in Brazil. Many plants are affected by witches' broom disease, which is characterized by excessive axillary branching, abnormally small leaves, and deformed flowers, symptoms that are characteristic of diseases attributed to phytoplasmas. A phytoplasma was detected in diseased Hibiscus by amplification of rRNA operon sequences by PCRs, and was characterized by RFLP and nucleotide sequence analyses of 16S rDNA. The collective RFLP patterns of amplified 16S rDNA differed from the patterns described previously for other phytoplasmas. On the basis of the RFLP patterns, the hibiscus witches' broom phytoplasma was classified in a new 16S rRNA RFLP group, designated group 16SrXV. A phylogenetic analysis of 16S rDNA sequences from this and other phytoplasmas identified the hibiscus witches' broom phytoplasma as a member of a distinct subclade (designated subclade xiv) of the class Mollicutes. A phylogenetic tree constructed on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequences was consistent with the hypothesis that there was divergent evolution of hibiscus witches' broom phytoplasma and its closest relatives (members of 16S rRNA RFLP group 16SrII) from a common ancestor. On the basis of unique properties of the DNA from hibiscus witches' broom phytoplasma, it is proposed that it represents a new taxon, namely 'Candidatus Phytoplasma brasiliense'.

  14. Mycobacterial contamination of metalworking fluids: involvement of a possible new taxon of rapidly growing mycobacteria.

    PubMed

    Moore, J S; Christensen, M; Wilson, R W; Wallace, R J; Zhang, Y; Nash, D R; Shelton, B

    2000-01-01

    Contamination of air and metalworking fluid (MWF) systems with a rapidly growing mycobacterium (RGM) was detected in 1995 in a single manufacturing plant with recent cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP). Extensive environmental sampling was performed to determine the extent of the contamination and its variability over time. RGM were present in multiple indoor air samples, 100% of the central MWF storage tanks, and 75% of the freestanding cutting, drilling, and grinding machines. With one exception, contamination was limited to a recently introduced formulation (brand) of semisynthetic MWF used in 95% of the facility's machining operations. In general, the mycobacterial counts were stable over time, with the degree of contamination ranging from 10(2)-10(7) colony forming units (CFU)/mL. A few systems were culture positive for the mycobacterium (> 10(1) CFU/mL), changed to culture negative (< 10(1) CFU/mL), then changed back to culture positive without explanation. Samples obtained from diluted (5%) but unused MWF, a replenishment line with 2% unused MWF, an MWF pasteurizer, city water, and deionized water were culture negative for this species of mycobacterium. Inoculation and growth studies demonstrated that this mycobacterium does not grow in liquid samples of 5% unused MWF. By molecular techniques, the mycobacterial isolates consisted of a single strain and represented a previously undescribed taxon closely related to Mycobacterium chelonae/abscessus. The relationship of this mycobacterium to the cases of HP is unknown.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Cytological and molecular characterization of Vicia esdraelonensis Warb. & Eig: a rare taxon.

    PubMed

    Ruffini Castiglione, M; Frediani, M; Gelati, M T; Ravalli, C; Venora, G; Caputo, P; Cremonini, R

    2007-01-01

    Vicia esdraelonensis, a rare taxon belonging to section Hypechusa of subgenus Vicia, was recovered and analyzed by cytological, karyological, and molecular methods, with the aim of both characterizing this species and furthering our knowledge of the phylogeny of subgenus Vicia. Automated karyotype analysis, nuclear DNA content, and chromatin organization were determined by the Feulgen reaction, as well as chromosome banding after double staining with 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) and chromomycin A3. The chromosome number and the nuclear DNA content were in agreement with the values of the species of section Hypechusa. The GC- and AT-rich preferential sites were determined by chromomycin A3 and DAPI staining. Karyomorphological parameters indicated that V. esdraelonensis is in an intermediate position in the spatial representation of the species of section Hypechusa on the basis of symmetry indices, as well as in the dendrogram of linkage distance constructed on 37 chromosome parameters. Molecular data based on internal transcribed spacer sequences show that V. esdraelonensis can doubtlessly be included in section Hypechusa and document its closeness to V. noeana. A cladistic analysis combining the molecular data set with karyological characters is also reported. Karyological, cytological, and molecular data allow characterization of the V. esdraelonensis genome and provide information about the phylogenetic position of this species within the Hyrcanicae series of section Hypechusa.

  17. The genus Nonomuraea: A review of a rare actinomycete taxon for novel metabolites.

    PubMed

    Sungthong, Rungroch; Nakaew, Nareeluk

    2015-05-01

    The genus Nonomuraea is a rare actinomycete taxon with a long taxonomic history, while its generic description was recently emended. The genus is less known among the rare actinomycete genera as its taxonomic position was revised several times. It can be found in diverse ecological niches, while most of its member species were isolated from soil samples. However, new trends to discover the genus in other habitats are increasing. Generic abundance of the genus was found to be dependent on geographical changes. Novel sources together with selective and invented isolation techniques might increase a chance to explore the genus and its novel candidates. Interestingly, some of its members have been revealed as a valuable source of novel metabolites for medical and industrial purposes. Broad-range of potent bioactive compounds including antimicrobial, anticancer, and antipsychotic substances, broad-spectrum antibiotics and biocatalysts can be synthesized by the genus. In order to investigate biosynthetic pathways of the bioactive compounds and self-resistant mechanisms to these compounds, the links from genes to metabolites have yet been needed for further discovery and biotechnological development of the genus Nonomuraea.

  18. The cephalic morphology of the Gondwanan key taxon Hackeriella (Coleorrhyncha, Hemiptera).

    PubMed

    Spangenberg, Rico; Wipfler, Benjamin; Friedemann, Katrin; Pohl, Hans; Weirauch, Christiane; Hartung, Viktor; Beutel, Rolf G

    2013-07-01

    External and internal head structures of Coleorrhyncha, a key-taxon within the Hemiptera, are described in detail and documented using modern techniques. The main focus is on Hackeriella veitchi, but two additional representatives of the Gondwanan relict group were also examined, and also head structures of Enicocephalidae, a member of a potentially basal heteropteran lineage. Features were compared to those documented in literature for the Sternorrhyncha, Auchenorrhyncha, and Heteroptera. Coleorrhyncha are characterized by highly modified head structures and correspondingly an entire series of autapomorphies, such as for instance a strongly flattened head capsule with fenestrations. However, they also display features that are likely plesiomorphic compared to members of other hemipteran groups. These include the almost complete tentorium and the lack of the gula. The sistergroup relationship between Coleorrhyncha and Heteroptera is well supported by cephalic features. Potential synapomorphies are the presence of a distinct mandibular sulcus, the reduced number of antennomeres, the absence of clasping organs in the labial groove, coiled accessory salivary ducts, the presence of a small cervical muscle M1a (M. pronotopostoccipitalis medialis), the presence of a second mandibular promotor M14 (M. zygomaticus mandibulae), the presence of M28 (M. verticopharyngalis), and M30 (M. frontobuccalis posterior). PMID:23583344

  19. The genus Nonomuraea: A review of a rare actinomycete taxon for novel metabolites.

    PubMed

    Sungthong, Rungroch; Nakaew, Nareeluk

    2015-05-01

    The genus Nonomuraea is a rare actinomycete taxon with a long taxonomic history, while its generic description was recently emended. The genus is less known among the rare actinomycete genera as its taxonomic position was revised several times. It can be found in diverse ecological niches, while most of its member species were isolated from soil samples. However, new trends to discover the genus in other habitats are increasing. Generic abundance of the genus was found to be dependent on geographical changes. Novel sources together with selective and invented isolation techniques might increase a chance to explore the genus and its novel candidates. Interestingly, some of its members have been revealed as a valuable source of novel metabolites for medical and industrial purposes. Broad-range of potent bioactive compounds including antimicrobial, anticancer, and antipsychotic substances, broad-spectrum antibiotics and biocatalysts can be synthesized by the genus. In order to investigate biosynthetic pathways of the bioactive compounds and self-resistant mechanisms to these compounds, the links from genes to metabolites have yet been needed for further discovery and biotechnological development of the genus Nonomuraea. PMID:24633812

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Maintenance of trophic structure in fossil mammal communities: site occupancy and taxon resilience.

    PubMed

    Jernvall, Jukka; Fortelius, Mikael

    2004-11-01

    Commonness of organisms typically fluctuates through time, and understanding such fluctuations has long been an important part of ecological research. Studies at paleontological timescales provide a perspective on how changes in population size might affect community structure over millions of years. To overcome the obstacle that population size parameters such as abundance are difficult to detect in the fossil record, we here used fossil locality coverage to approximate changes in site occupancy in the Neogene of Europe over the course of 20 million years. Our aim was to examine whether the trophic structure of mammalian communities is maintained through time despite continuing environmental change. Ecomorphological grouping of fossils indicates that herbivore genera have low taxon resilience in that each genus has predominantly only one locality coverage peak before disappearance. Despite this continuous replacement of the most prevalent herbivore genera, the herbivore trophic group as a whole remains the largest and maintains a roughly constant share of locality coverage throughout the Neogene. The successive herbivore genera, however, show increasing adaptations to harshening environments, indicating shifting properties of niches while the overall trophic structure is conserved. Carnivores, dependent on primary productivity for food indirectly through their prey, show moderate lack of resilience. In contrast, in omnivores changes in locality coverage are close to random fluctuations.

  2. Integration of approaches in David Wake's model-taxon research platform for evolutionary morphology.

    PubMed

    Griesemer, James

    2013-12-01

    What gets integrated in integrative scientific practices has been a topic of much discussion. Traditional views focus on theories and explanations, with ideas of reduction and unification dominating the conversation. More recent ideas focus on disciplines, fields, or specialties; models, mechanisms, or methods; phenomena, problems. How integration works looks different on each of these views since the objects of integration are ontologically and epistemically various: statements, boundary conditions, practices, protocols, methods, variables, parameters, domains, laboratories, and questions all have their own structures, functions and logics. I focus on one particular kind of scientific practice, integration of "approaches" in the context of a research system operating on a special kind of "platform." Rather than trace a network of interactions among people, practices, and theoretical entities to be integrated, in this essay I focus on the work of a single investigator, David Wake. I describe Wake's practice of integrative evolutionary biology and how his integration of approaches among biological specialties worked in tandem with his development of the salamanders as a model taxon, which he used as a platform to solve, re-work and update problems that would not have been solved so well by non-integrative approaches. The larger goal of the project to which this paper contributes is a counter-narrative to the story of 20th century life sciences as the rise and march of the model organisms and decline of natural history.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Child maltreatment, alexithymia, and problematic internet use in young adulthood.

    PubMed

    Yates, Tuppett M; Gregor, Margo A; Haviland, Mark G

    2012-04-01

    The goals of this study were to (a) examine the phenomenology and developmental correlates of problematic Internet use (PIU) in a large and diverse college student sample; (b) evaluate a developmental process model of PIU in which the expected association between child maltreatment and PIU would be explained by alexithymia; and (c) explore these relations as a function of gender and race. PIU was assessed in a sample of 1,470 college students (62.9 percent female, 37.1 percent male; M(age)=19.13 years [SD=1.49]; 46.1 percent Asian, 28.2 percent Hispanic, 16.3 percent White, 5.9 percent Black, and 3.5 percent Multiracial/Other) who participated in a larger study of young adult adaptation, which included measures of child maltreatment, alexithymia, self-concept, social support, and psychopathology. Males and Asian students endorsed higher levels of PIU than females and other ethnoracial groups, respectively. PIU was related to contemporaneous maladaptation in the form of decreased self-concept, lower social support, and increased psychopathology across groups. Experiences of child maltreatment were related to increased PIU, and mediation analyses showed that this relation was partially explained by alexithymia. These relations were comparable across males and females and between Asian and non-Asian respondents. The analyses provide evidence for the significant role of child maltreatment and the cognitive-affective deficits it precipitates in understanding pathways toward PIU in young adulthood. Our findings suggest that maltreated youth are at disproportionate risk for PIU, and their capacities to regulate and process emotion are important targets for prevention and therapeutic intervention. PMID:22313343

  9. ANT2-defective fibroblasts exhibit normal mitochondrial bioenergetics

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozgur, Hasan; Demiralay, Tülay; Demiralay, Ilkay

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Communication and Problematic Integration: Milan Kundera's "Lost Letters" in "The Book of Laughter and Forgetting."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Babrow, Austin S.

    1995-01-01

    Reviews problematic integration theory (concerned with the role of communication when communicators face ambiguity, ambivalence, or impossibility). Presents a case study of Milan Kundera's writing illuminating both the theory and this significant novel. Discusses the relevance of problematic integration theory to other approaches to the study of…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuhadar, Cem

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodrich, Kristopher M.; Luke, Melissa

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kneer, Julia; Rieger, Diana

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Hsuan-Ting; Kim, Yonghwan

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Smetaniuk, Peter

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Spectacular Batesian mimicry in ants.

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

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

  19. Spectacular Batesian mimicry in ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-10-01

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

  20. Ant aggression and evolutionary stability in plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualistic interactions.

    PubMed

    Oña, L; Lachmann, M

    2011-03-01

    Mutualistic partners derive a benefit from their interaction, but this benefit can come at a cost. This is the case for plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualistic associations. In exchange for protection from herbivores provided by the resident ants, plants supply various kinds of resources or nests to the ants. Most ant-myrmecophyte mutualisms are horizontally transmitted, and therefore, partners share an interest in growth but not in reproduction. This lack of alignment in fitness interests between plants and ants drives a conflict between them: ants can attack pollinators that cross-fertilize the host plants. Using a mathematical model, we define a threshold in ant aggressiveness determining pollinator survival or elimination on the host plant. In our model we observed that, all else being equal, facultative interactions result in pollinator extinction for lower levels of ant aggressiveness than obligatory interactions. We propose that the capacity to discriminate pollinators from herbivores should not often evolve in ants, and when it does it will be when the plants exhibit limited dispersal in an environment that is not seed saturated so that each seed produced can effectively generate a new offspring or if ants acquire an extra benefit from pollination (e.g. if ants eat fruit). We suggest specific mutualism examples where these hypotheses can be tested empirically.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

  2. Urban Pest Management of Ants in California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Neuropeptidomics of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  4. Ants cushion applied stress by active rearrangements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhongyang; Hyatt, John; Mlot, Nathan; Gerov, Michael; Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto; Hu, David

    2013-11-01

    Fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, link their bodies together to form waterproof rafts, which in turn drip, spread, and coagulate, demonstrating properties of an active material that can change state from a liquid to a solid. This soft-matter phase transition is important when the raft interacts with environmental forces such as raindrops and crashing waves. We study this active behavior through plate-on-plate rheology on the ants, extracting the active components by comparison with the rheological behavior of a collection of dead ants. In controlled shear tests, both and live and dead ants show properties of a non-Newtonian fluid, specifically, shear-thinning behavior. In oscillatory tests, live ants exhibit a rare behavior in which their storage modulus (G') and loss modulus (G'') have approximately the same value over three orders magnitudes of frequency and two orders of magnitude of strain, indicating the ants are neither fluid nor solid. In comparison, dead ants are more solid-like, with a storage modulus twice as large as their loss modulus. This striking active behavior arises from rearrangement of their bodies and storage and dissipation of energy with the ants' muscles.

  5. Neuropeptidomics of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    Ants show a rich behavioral repertoire and a highly complex organization, which have been attracting behavioral and sociobiological researchers for a long time. The neuronal underpinnings of ant behavior and social organization are, however, much less understood. Neuropeptides are key signals that orchestrate animal behavior and physiology, and it is thus feasible to assume that they play an important role also for the social constitution of ants. Despite the availability of different ant genomes and in silico prediction of ant neuropeptides, a comprehensive biochemical survey of the neuropeptidergic communication possibilities of ants is missing. We therefore combined different mass spectrometric methods to characterize the neuropeptidome of the adult carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. We also characterized the local neuropeptide complement in different parts of the nervous and neuroendocrine system, including the antennal and optic lobes. Our analysis identifies 39 neuropeptides encoded by different prepropeptide genes, and in silico predicts new prepropeptide genes encoding CAPA peptides, CNMamide as well as homologues of the honey bee IDLSRFYGHFNT- and ITGQGNRIF-containing peptides. Our data provides basic information about the identity and localization of neuropeptides that is required to anatomically and functionally address the role and significance of neuropeptides in ant behavior and physiology. PMID:25641051

  6. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. The association between Internet addiction and problematic alcohol use in adolescents: the problem behavior model.

    PubMed

    Ko, Chih-Hung; Yen, Ju-Yu; Yen, Cheng-Fang; Chen, Cheng-Sheng; Weng, Chih-Chi; Chen, Cheng-Chung

    2008-10-01

    This study aimed to a) evaluate the association between Internet addiction and problematic alcohol use; b) based on problem behavior theory, explore whether Internet addiction, as well as problematic alcohol use, correlated with the psychosocial proneness of problem behaviors among adolescents. A total of 2,114 high school students (1,204 male and 910 female) were recruited to complete the questionnaire assessing Internet addiction, problematic alcohol use, and associated psychosocial variables. The result revealed that Internet addiction was associated with problematic alcohol use. Besides, the psychosocial proneness of problem behaviors is associated with Internet addiction as well as problematic alcohol use in adolescents. These results suggest Internet addiction might be included in the organization of problem behavior theory, and it is suggested that prevention and intervention can best be carried out when grouped with other problem behaviors.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Ants defend aphids against lethal disease.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-23

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

  11. Cryptococcus neoformans carried by Odontomachus bauri ants.

    PubMed

    Jesus, Mariana Santos de; Rodrigues, William Costa; Barbosa, Glaucia; Trilles, Luciana; Wanke, Bodo; Lazéra, Márcia dos Santos; Silva, Manuela da

    2012-06-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is the most common causative agent of cryptococcosis worldwide. Although this fungus has been isolated from a variety of organic substrates, several studies suggest that hollow trees constitute an important natural niche for C. neoformans. A previously surveyed hollow of a living pink shower tree (Cassia grandis) positive for C. neoformans in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was chosen for further investigation. Odontomachus bauri ants (trap-jaw ants) found inside the hollow were collected for evaluation as possible carriers of Cryptococcus spp. Two out of 10 ants were found to carry phenoloxidase-positive colonies identified as C. neoformans molecular types VNI and VNII. The ants may have acted as a mechanical vector of C. neoformans and possibly contributed to the dispersal of the fungi from one substrate to another. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the association of C. neoformans with ants of the genus Odontomachus. PMID:22666855

  12. Microtubules viewed as molecular ant colonies.

    PubMed

    Tabony, James

    2006-10-01

    Populations of ants and other social insects self-organize and develop 'emergent' properties through stigmergy in which individual ants communicate with one another via chemical trails of pheromones that attract or repulse other ants. In this way, sophisticated properties and functions develop. Under appropriate conditions, in vitro microtubule preparations, initially comprised of only tubulin and GTP, behave in a similar manner. They self-organize and develop other higher-level emergent phenomena by a process where individual microtubules are coupled together by the chemical trails they produce by their own reactive growing and shrinking. This behaviour is described and compared with the behaviour of ant colonies. Viewing microtubules as populations of molecular ants may provide new insights as to how the cytoskeleton may spontaneously develop high-level functions. It is plausible that such processes occur during the early stages of embryogenesis and in cells. PMID:16968217

  13. Uncovering the complexity of ant foraging trails.

    PubMed

    Czaczkes, Tomer J; Grüter, Christoph; Jones, Sam M; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2012-01-01

    The common garden ant Lasius niger use both trail pheromones and memory of past visits to navigate to and from food sources. In a recent paper we demonstrated a synergistic effect between route memory and trail pheromones: the presence of trail pheromones results in experienced ants walking straighter and faster. We also found that experienced ants leaving a pheromone trail deposit less pheromone. Here we focus on another finding of the experiment: the presence of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), which are used as home range markers by ants, also affects pheromone deposition behavior. When walking on a trail on which CHCs are present but trail pheromones are not, experienced foragers deposit less pheromone on the outward journey than on the return journey. The regulatory mechanisms ants use during foraging and recruitment behavior is subtle and complex, affected by multiple interacting factors such as route memory, travel direction and the presence trail pheromone and home-range markings. PMID:22482017

  14. Cryptococcus neoformans carried by Odontomachus bauri ants.

    PubMed

    Jesus, Mariana Santos de; Rodrigues, William Costa; Barbosa, Glaucia; Trilles, Luciana; Wanke, Bodo; Lazéra, Márcia dos Santos; Silva, Manuela da

    2012-06-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is the most common causative agent of cryptococcosis worldwide. Although this fungus has been isolated from a variety of organic substrates, several studies suggest that hollow trees constitute an important natural niche for C. neoformans. A previously surveyed hollow of a living pink shower tree (Cassia grandis) positive for C. neoformans in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was chosen for further investigation. Odontomachus bauri ants (trap-jaw ants) found inside the hollow were collected for evaluation as possible carriers of Cryptococcus spp. Two out of 10 ants were found to carry phenoloxidase-positive colonies identified as C. neoformans molecular types VNI and VNII. The ants may have acted as a mechanical vector of C. neoformans and possibly contributed to the dispersal of the fungi from one substrate to another. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the association of C. neoformans with ants of the genus Odontomachus.

  15. Spatiotemporal chemotactic model for ant foraging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramakrishnan, Subramanian; Laurent, Thomas; Kumar, Manish; Bertozzi, Andrea L.

    2014-12-01

    In this paper, we present a generic theoretical chemotactic model that accounts for certain emergent behaviors observed in ant foraging. The model does not have many of the constraints and limitations of existing models for ants colony dynamics and takes into account the distinctly different behaviors exhibited in nature by ant foragers in search of food and food ferrying ants. Numerical simulations based on the model show trail formation in foraging ant colonies to be an emergent phenomenon and, in particular, replicate behavior observed in experiments involving the species P. megacephala. The results have broader implications for the study of randomness in chemotactic models. Potential applications include the developments of novel algorithms for stochastic search in engineered complex systems such as robotic swarms.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Taxon-specific growth and selective microzooplankton grazing of phytoplankton in the Northeast Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaul, Wilhelm; Antia, Avan N.

    2001-10-01

    Taxon-specific microzooplankton dynamics were studied along a transect through the North Atlantic Drift from 70°N 04°E to 40°N 20°W during July 1997 using serial dilution and nutrient-enrichment experiments. Nutrient concentrations and microzooplankton composition indicated postbloom conditions at 40°N, 47°N, and 50°N, a transitional system at 54°N, and bloom conditions at 62°N and 70°N. The ratio of microzooplankton to phytoplankton biomass was inversely related to nitrate and phosphate concentrations. Potential grazing thresholds were observed in four of nine experiments at 40-66% of the initial phytoplankton concentration. Grazing losses were determined for six pigment-specific classes of phytoplankton. Selective grazing losses of phytoplankton taxa ranged from 73% to 248% of the nonselective grazing losses predicted according to their biomass contributions. The grazing selectivity varied considerably between communities, with the microherbivores showing positive selection for cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates and predominantly avoidance of chlorophyta and bacillariophyceae. Microzooplankton did not show a preference for the dominant phytoplankton taxa, but grazed preferentially on fast-growing phytoplankton with minor contributions (<15%) to the phytoplankton biomass. However, bacillariophyceae were the major contributors to phytoplankton biomass and accounted for major fractions of the total losses through microzooplankton grazing. Microzooplankton consumed the equivalent of 0.12-5.5 times their own biomass daily on a carbon basis, amounting to 65-197% of gross phytoplankton production. With the conservative assumption that 20% of the consumed phytoplankton was converted to microzooplankton biomass, the latter was estimated to contribute 27-381% to the net production of the entire microzooplankton community. We therefore conclude that the taxonomic structure and the net production of the microzooplankton communities were significantly affected by the

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. A Cross-Taxon Analysis of Insect-Associated Bacterial Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Ryan Thomas; Sanchez, Leticia Gonzales; Fierer, Noah

    2013-01-01

    Although it is well known that plants and animals harbor microbial symbionts that can influence host traits, the factors regulating the structure of these microbial communities often remain largely undetermined. This is particularly true for insect-associated microbial communities, as few cross-taxon comparisons have been conducted to date. To address this knowledge gap and determine how host phylogeny and ecology affect insect-associated microbial communities, we collected 137 insect specimens representing 39 species, 28 families, and 8 orders, and characterized the bacterial communities associated with each specimen via 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Bacterial taxa within the phylum Proteobacteria were dominant in nearly all insects sampled. On average, the insect-associated bacterial communities were not very diverse, with individuals typically harboring fewer than 8 bacterial phylotypes. Bacterial communities also tended to be dominated by a single phylotype; on average, the most abundant phylotype represented 54.7% of community membership. Bacterial communities were significantly more similar among closely related insects than among less-related insects, a pattern driven by within-species community similarity but detected at every level of insect taxonomy tested. Diet was a poor predictor of bacterial community composition. Individual insect species harbored remarkably unique communities: the distribution of 69.0% of bacterial phylotypes was limited to unique insect species, whereas only 5.7% of phylotypes were detected in more than five insect species. Together these results suggest that host characteristics strongly regulate the colonization and assembly of bacterial communities across insect lineages, patterns that are driven either by co-evolution between insects and their symbionts or by closely related insects sharing conserved traits that directly select for similar bacterial communities. PMID:23613815

  1. Assessing phylogenetic relationships among galliformes: a multigene phylogeny with expanded taxon sampling in Phasianidae.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. A cross-taxon analysis of insect-associated bacterial diversity.

    PubMed

    Jones, Ryan Thomas; Sanchez, Leticia Gonzales; Fierer, Noah

    2013-01-01

    Although it is well known that plants and animals harbor microbial symbionts that can influence host traits, the factors regulating the structure of these microbial communities often remain largely undetermined. This is particularly true for insect-associated microbial communities, as few cross-taxon comparisons have been conducted to date. To address this knowledge gap and determine how host phylogeny and ecology affect insect-associated microbial communities, we collected 137 insect specimens representing 39 species, 28 families, and 8 orders, and characterized the bacterial communities associated with each specimen via 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Bacterial taxa within the phylum Proteobacteria were dominant in nearly all insects sampled. On average, the insect-associated bacterial communities were not very diverse, with individuals typically harboring fewer than 8 bacterial phylotypes. Bacterial communities also tended to be dominated by a single phylotype; on average, the most abundant phylotype represented 54.7% of community membership. Bacterial communities were significantly more similar among closely related insects than among less-related insects, a pattern driven by within-species community similarity but detected at every level of insect taxonomy tested. Diet was a poor predictor of bacterial community composition. Individual insect species harbored remarkably unique communities: the distribution of 69.0% of bacterial phylotypes was limited to unique insect species, whereas only 5.7% of phylotypes were detected in more than five insect species. Together these results suggest that host characteristics strongly regulate the colonization and assembly of bacterial communities across insect lineages, patterns that are driven either by co-evolution between insects and their symbionts or by closely related insects sharing conserved traits that directly select for similar bacterial communities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-14

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Diaspore trait preferences of dispersing ants.

    PubMed

    Reifenrath, Kerstin; Becker, Christine; Poethke, Hans Joachim

    2012-09-01

    Elaiosomes of myrmecochorous plant seeds are known to enhance the attraction of diaspore-dispersing ants by serving as a nutritional reward. However, it remained unclear which (nutritional) compounds affect diaspore preferences of ants. We hypothesized that apart from elaiosome/seed-size ratio, volume, and physical surface of diaspores, the quantity and the composition of fatty acids, amino acids, and sugars strongly influence the diaspore preferences of different species. Chemical (nutritional) profiles as well as structural properties of seeds with and without elaiosomes were analyzed and correlated with observed seed choice behavior of ants. Cafeteria experiments in the field confirmed the enhanced attractiveness of elaiosome-bearing seeds for all three ant species tested (Lasius fuliginosus, Myrmica ruginodis, and Temnothorax nylanderi), although seeds lacking elaiosomes also were transported. In multiple-choice cafeteria experiments with simultaneously offered diaspores of 16 plant species with and without elaiosome and with highly varying structural and chemical properties, all three ant species showed distinct preferences for certain diaspore species. Correlation analyses confirmed that the presence of an elaiosome represents the crucial factor that favors ant diaspore dispersal. In addition, the composition and the content of free amino acids, and to varying degrees fatty acids, were found to significantly affect preferences of each ant species, whereas the effect of single fatty acids acting as chemical triggers for diaspore transport by ants, as supposed by several studies, was not confirmed. In conclusion, although at least some diaspore species lacking elaiosomes attract ants for diaspore removal services by presenting nutritional seed coats, the production of elaiosomes seems to provide a worthwhile investment. Elaiosomes ensure rapid diaspore detection and removal due to chemical cue compounds and by offering a highly nutritional food supply, probably

  7. Beta-blockers for the treatment of problematic hemangiomas

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Vishal K; Fraulin, Frankie OG; Dumestre, Danielle O; Walker, Lori; Harrop, A Robertson

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To examine treatment indications, efficacy and side effects of oral beta-blockers for the treatment of problematic hemangiomas. METHODS: A retrospective review of patients with hemangiomas presenting to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Vascular Birthmark Clinic (Calgary, Alberta) between 2009 and 2011 was conducted. The subset of patients treated with oral beta-blockers was further characterized, investigating indication for treatment, response to treatment, time to resolution of indication, duration of treatment, occurrence of rebound growth and side effects of therapy. RESULTS: Between 2009 and 2011, 311 new patients with hemangiomas were seen, of whom 105 were treated with oral beta-blockers. Forty-five patients completed beta-blocker treatment while the remainder continue to receive therapy. Indications for treatment were either functional concerns (68.6%) or disfigurement (31.4%). Functional concerns included ulceration (29.5%), periocular location with potential for visual interference (28.6%), airway interference (4.8%), PHACES syndrome (3.8%), auditory interference (0.95%) and visceral location with congestive heart failure (0.95%). The median age at beta-blocker initiation was 3.3 months; median duration of therapy was 10.6 months; and median maximal treatment dose was 1.5 mg/kg/day for propranolol and 1.6 mg/kg/day for atenolol. Ninety-nine patients (94.3%) responded to therapy with size reduction, colour changes, softened texture and/or healing of ulceration. Rebound growth requiring an additional course of therapy was observed in 23 patients. Side effects from beta-blockers included cool extremities (26.7%), irritability (17.1%), lower gastrointestinal upset (14.3%), emesis (11.4%), hypotension (10.5%), poor feeding (7.6%), lethargy (4.8%), bronchospasm (0.95%) and rash (0.95%). Side effects did not result in complete discontinuation of beta-blocker treatment in any case; however, they prompted a switch to a different beta

  8. Problematizing a general physics class: Understanding student engagement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spaid, Mark Randall

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Tradeoffs in the Evolution of Caste and Body Size in the Hyperdiverse Ant Genus Pheidole

    PubMed Central

    McGlynn, Terrence P.; Diamond, Sarah E.; Dunn, Robert R.

    2012-01-01

    The efficient investment of resources is often the route to ecological success, and the adaptability of resource investment may play a critical role in promoting biodiversity. The ants of the “hyperdiverse” genus Pheidole produce two discrete sterile castes, soldiers and minor workers. Within Pheidole, there is tremendous interspecific variation in proportion of soldiers. The causes and correlates of caste ratio variation among species of Pheidole remain enigmatic. Here we test whether a body size threshold model accounts for interspecific variation in caste ratio in Pheidole, such that species with larger body sizes produce relatively fewer soldiers within their colonies. We evaluated the caste ratio of 26 species of Pheidole and found that the body size of workers accounts for interspecific variation in the production of soldiers as we predicted. Twelve species sampled from one forest in Costa Rica yielded the same relationship as found in previously published data from many localities. We conclude that production of soldiers in the most species-rich group of ants is regulated by a body size threshold mechanism, and that the great variation in body size and caste ratio in Pheidole plays a role in niche divergence in this rapidly evolving taxon. PMID:23133570

  12. FDTD-ANT User Manual

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimmerman, Martin L.

    1995-01-01

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

  13. Ant-Based Cyber Security

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-07-12

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

  14. Spatial patterns in ant colonies.

    PubMed

    Theraulaz, Guy; Bonabeau, Eric; Nicolis, Stamatios C; Solé, Ricard V; Fourcassié, Vincent; Blanco, Stéphane; Fournier, Richard; Joly, Jean-Louis; Fernández, Pau; Grimal, Anne; Dalle, Patrice; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis

    2002-07-23

    The origins of large-scale spatial patterns in biology have been an important source of theoretical speculation since the pioneering work by Turing (1952) on the chemical basis of morphogenesis. Knowing how these patterns emerge and their functional role is important to our understanding of the evolution of biocomplexity and the role played by self organization. However, so far, conclusive evidence for local activation-long-range inhibition mechanisms in real biological systems has been elusive. Here a well-defined experimental and theoretical analysis of the pattern formation dynamics exhibited by clustering behavior in ant colonies is presented. These experiments and a simple mathematical model show that these colonies do indeed use this type of mechanism. All microscopic variables have been measured and provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, for this type of self-organized behavior in complex biological systems, supporting early conjectures about its role in the organization of insect societies. PMID:12114538

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Extrafloral nectar fuels ant life in deserts

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. How to be an ant on figs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  20. Regulation of ants' foraging to resource productivity.

    PubMed Central

    Mailleux, Anne-Catherine; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis; Detrain, Claire

    2003-01-01

    We investigate the behavioural rule used by ant societies to adjust their foraging response to the honeydew productivity of aphids. When a scout finds a single food source, the decision to lay a recruitment trail is an all-or-none response based on the opportunity for this scout to ingest a desired volume acting as a threshold. Here, we demonstrate, through experimental and theoretical approaches, the generic value of this recruitment rule that remains valid when ants have to forage on multiple small sugar feeders to reach their desired volume. Moreover, our experiments show that when ants decide to recruit nest-mates they lay trail marks of equal intensity, whatever the number of food sources visited. A model based on the 'desired volume' rule of recruitment as well as on experimentally validated parameter values was built to investigate how ant societies adjust their foraging response to the honeydew productivity profile of aphids. Simulations predict that, with such recruiting rules, the percentage of recruiting ants is directly related to the total production of honeydew. Moreover, an optimal number of foragers exists that maximizes the strength of recruitment, this number being linearly related to the total production of honeydew by the aphid colony. The 'desired volume' recruitment rule that should be generic for all ant species is enough to explain how ants optimize trail recruitment and select aphid colonies or other liquid food resources according to their productivity profile. PMID:12908982

  1. Modeling the dynamics of ant colony optimization.

    PubMed

    Merkle, Daniel; Middendorf, Martin

    2002-01-01

    The dynamics of Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithms is studied using a deterministic model that assumes an average expected behavior of the algorithms. The ACO optimization metaheuristic is an iterative approach, where in every iteration, artificial ants construct solutions randomly but guided by pheromone information stemming from former ants that found good solutions. The behavior of ACO algorithms and the ACO model are analyzed for certain types of permutation problems. It is shown analytically that the decisions of an ant are influenced in an intriguing way by the use of the pheromone information and the properties of the pheromone matrix. This explains why ACO algorithms can show a complex dynamic behavior even when there is only one ant per iteration and no competition occurs. The ACO model is used to describe the algorithm behavior as a combination of situations with different degrees of competition between the ants. This helps to better understand the dynamics of the algorithm when there are several ants per iteration as is always the case when using ACO algorithms for optimization. Simulations are done to compare the behavior of the ACO model with the ACO algorithm. Results show that the deterministic model describes essential features of the dynamics of ACO algorithms quite accurately, while other aspects of the algorithms behavior cannot be found in the model. PMID:12227995

  2. Ant navigation: resetting the path integrator.

    PubMed

    Knaden, Markus; Wehner, Rüdiger

    2006-01-01

    Desert ants use path integration as their predominant system of long-distance navigation, but they also make use of route-defining and nest-defining visual landmarks. Such landmark-gained information might override the information provided by the path integrator, but nevertheless the path integrator keeps running. Here we show that only cues that are associated with the ant being inside the nest are able to reset the path integrator to zero state. Ants were captured at a feeder, i.e. without having run off their home vector, and were forced to enter the nest. On their next outbound run their walking direction differed by 180 degrees from that of ants that had also been captured at the feeder but instead of having been forced to enter the interior of the nest were released at its entrance. Whereas these latter ants still ran off their home vector pointing in the feeder-nest direction (and by this departed from the nest in a direction opposite to the feeder direction) the former ants had reset their home vector to zero state, and had therefore been able to reload their learned feeder vector, and consequently departed from the nest in the feeder direction. Owing to its egocentric nature the path-integrator is error prone. Hence, it is a suitable strategy to reset the path integrator if the ant has appeared at its final goal, the nest. Otherwise during consecutive foraging runs navigational errors would steadily increase.

  3. Extensional Rheology of Fire Ant Aggregates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franklin, Scott; Kern, Matthew; Phonekeo, Sulisay; Hu, David

    We explore the extensional rheology and self-healing of fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) aggregations, mechanically entangled ensembles used to form rafts, bivouacs or bridges. Macroscopic experiments create quasi-two dimensional piles and measure the force required to impose a constant end-velocity. This force fluctuates, reminiscent of similar experiments on geometrically cohesive granular materials. Heterogeneous chains develop, with isolated ants often the sole link between top and bottom. Finally, the maximum pile strength scales sub-linearly with the number of ants, with the maximum force per ant decreasing as the pile grows. We reproduce these behaviors with a simple model that represents ants feet as discs connected by a spring (the ''leg''). Discs move randomly, and stick to one another when in contact. Discs in contact un-stick at random with a probability that decreases as the spring (leg) is stretched, modeling an ant's tendency to hold on longer when stretched. Simulations qualitatively reproduces the fluctuating force, chain formation and sublinear scaling of maximum force with particle number and give insight into underlying mechanisms that govern the ants' behaviors. Funded in part by NSF DMR #1133722.

  4. Regulation of ants' foraging to resource productivity.

    PubMed

    Mailleux, Anne-Catherine; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis; Detrain, Claire

    2003-08-01

    We investigate the behavioural rule used by ant societies to adjust their foraging response to the honeydew productivity of aphids. When a scout finds a single food source, the decision to lay a recruitment trail is an all-or-none response based on the opportunity for this scout to ingest a desired volume acting as a threshold. Here, we demonstrate, through experimental and theoretical approaches, the generic value of this recruitment rule that remains valid when ants have to forage on multiple small sugar feeders to reach their desired volume. Moreover, our experiments show that when ants decide to recruit nest-mates they lay trail marks of equal intensity, whatever the number of food sources visited. A model based on the 'desired volume' rule of recruitment as well as on experimentally validated parameter values was built to investigate how ant societies adjust their foraging response to the honeydew productivity profile of aphids. Simulations predict that, with such recruiting rules, the percentage of recruiting ants is directly related to the total production of honeydew. Moreover, an optimal number of foragers exists that maximizes the strength of recruitment, this number being linearly related to the total production of honeydew by the aphid colony. The 'desired volume' recruitment rule that should be generic for all ant species is enough to explain how ants optimize trail recruitment and select aphid colonies or other liquid food resources according to their productivity profile.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity.

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

    Disruption of Argentine ant trail following and reduced ability to forage (measured by bait location success) was achieved after presentation of an oversupply of trail pheromone, (Z)-9-hexadecenal. Experiments tested single pheromone point sources and dispersion of a formulation in small field plots. Ant walking behavior was recorded and digitized by using video tracking, before and after presentation of trail pheromone. Ants showed changes in three parameters within seconds of treatment: (1) Ants on trails normally showed a unimodal frequency distribution of walking track angles, but this pattern disappeared after presentation of the trail pheromone; (2) ants showed initial high trail integrity on a range of untreated substrates from painted walls to wooden or concrete floors, but this was significantly reduced following presentation of a point source of pheromone; (3) the number of ants in the pheromone-treated area increased over time, as recruitment apparently exceeded departures. To test trail disruption in small outdoor plots, the trail pheromone was formulated with carnuba wax-coated quartz laboratory sand (1 g quartz sand/0.2 g wax/1 mg pheromone). The pheromone formulation, with a half-life of 30 h, was applied by rotary spreader at four rates (0, 2.5, 7.5, and 25 mg pheromone/m(2)) to 1- and 4-m(2) plots in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. Ant counts at bait cards in treated plots were significantly reduced compared to controls on the day of treatment, and there was a significant reduction in ant foraging for 2 days. These results show that trail pheromone disruption of Argentine ants is possible, but a much more durable formulation is needed before nest-level impacts can be expected. PMID:19034574

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Loneliness, depression, and computer self-efficacy as predictors of problematic internet use.

    PubMed

    Ceyhan, A Aykut; Ceyhan, Esra

    2008-12-01

    This study investigated whether university students' levels of loneliness, depression, and computer self-efficacy were significant predictors of their problematic Internet use levels. The study was carried out with 559 Turkish university students. The research data were analyzed by multiple regression analysis. The findings indicated that loneliness, depression, and computer self-efficacy were significant predictors of problematic Internet use. Loneliness was found as the most important predictive variable. Depression predicted problematic Internet use on the second rank, and computer self-efficacy on the third rank.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wike, L

    2005-06-01

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

  12. 9 CFR 381.71 - Condemnation on ante mortem inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Condemnation on ante mortem inspection... INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION POULTRY PRODUCTS INSPECTION REGULATIONS Ante Mortem Inspection § 381.71 Condemnation on ante mortem inspection. (a) Birds plainly showing on ante mortem inspection any disease...

  13. 9 CFR 354.121 - Ante-mortem inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Ante-mortem inspection. 354.121 Section 354.121 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE... Procedures; Ante-Mortem Inspections § 354.121 Ante-mortem inspection. An ante-mortem inspection of...

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

    PubMed

    Dejean, Alain; Corbara, Bruno

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-12-01

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

  19. Dominance and species co-occurrence in highly diverse ant communities: a test of the interstitial hypothesis and discovery of a three-tiered competition cascade.

    PubMed

    Arnan, Xavier; Gaucherel, Cédric; Andersen, Alan N

    2011-07-01

    The role of competitive exclusion is problematic in highly diverse ant communities where exceptional species richness occurs in the face of exceptionally high levels of behavioural dominance. A possible non-niche-based explanation is that the abundance of behaviourally dominant ants is highly patchy at fine spatial scales, and subordinate species act as insinuators by preferentially occupying these gaps--we refer to this as the interstitial hypothesis. To test this hypothesis, we examined fine-scale patterns of ant abundance and richness according to a three-tiered competition hierarchy (dominants, subdominants and subordinates) in an Australian tropical savanna using pitfall traps spaced at 2 m intervals. Despite the presence of gaps in the fine-scale abundance of individual species, the combined abundance of dominant ants (species of Iridomyrmex, Papyirus and Oecophylla) was relatively uniform. There was therefore little or no opportunity for subordinate species to preferentially occupy gaps in the foraging ranges of dominant species, and we found no relationship between the abundance of dominant ants and nondominant species richness at fine spatial scales. However, we found a negative relationship between subdominant and subordinate ants, a negative relationship between dominant and subdominant ants, and a positive relationship between dominant and subordinate ants. These results suggest that dominant species actually promote species richness by neutralizing the effects of subdominant species on subordinate species. Such indirect interactions have very close parallels with three-tiered trophic cascades in food webs, and we propose a "competition cascade" where the interactions are through a competition rather than trophic hierarchy.

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

    PubMed

    Faust, Kyle; Faust, David

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Faust, Kyle; Faust, David

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Dynamics and elasticity of fire ant aggregations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  3. Structure and formation of ant transportation networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Assessment of problematic internet use by the Compulsive Internet Use Scale and the Internet Addiction Test: a sample of problematic and pathological gamblers.

    PubMed

    Guertler, Diana; Rumpf, Hans-Juergen; Bischof, Anja; Kastirke, Nadin; Petersen, Kay Uwe; John, Ulrich; Meyer, Christian

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to analyze psychometric properties and validity of the Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS) and the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and, second, to determine a threshold for the CIUS which matches the IAT cut-off for detecting problematic Internet use. A total of 292 subjects with problematic or pathological gambling (237 men, 55 women) aged 14-63 years and with private Internet use for at least 1 h per working or weekend day were recruited via different recruitment channels. Results include that both scales were internally consistent (Cronbach's α=0.9) and had satisfactory convergent validity (r=0.75; 95% CI 0.70-0.80). The correlation with duration of private Internet use per week was significantly higher for the CIUS (r=0.54) compared to the IAT (r=0.40). Among all participants, 25.3% were classified as problematic Internet users based on the IAT with a cut-off≥40. The highest proportion of congruent classified cases results from a CIUS cut-off ≥18 (sensitivity 79.7%, specificity 79.4%). However, a higher cut-off (≥21) seems to be more appropriate for prevalence estimation of problematic Internet use.

  5. [Examination of cause of failure to taxon-specific DNA was not detected from bifun (rice vermicelli) using processing model experiment].

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Kunihiko; Ishii, Rie; Matsumoto, Ryuji; Horie, Masakazu

    2010-01-01

    In the inspection of genetically modified rice, rice taxon-specific DNA could not be detected in processed rice food (bifun: rice vermicelli). The effects of using PCR the ratio of rice powder content and temperature of processing on the detection of taxon-specific DNA were examined by means of processing model experiments using cornstarch with 0, 2, 5, 10% rice powder by weight. Cornstarch and rice powder were blended with water and subjected to heating, steam-treatment, and autoclaving. The rice taxon-specific DNA was detectable in 2% rice powder following heat and steam treatments. After autoclaving, rice taxon-specific DNA was detected only in the 10% rice powder product. In the processing model experiment using rice powder, it was found that autoclaving caused severe DNA degradation.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  9. [The model of the big five personality factors and problematic Internet use in Colombian youth].

    PubMed

    Puerta-Cortés, Diana Ximena; Carbonell, Xavier

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the study was to relate the basic dimensions of personality formulated by the model of the big five factors with problematic Internet use in a sample of 411 Colombian youngsters, 18-28 years of age, attending three private universities. Online survey questionnaires were administered for: socio-demographics and Internet usage habits, the Big Five Inventory (John, Donahue and Kentle, 1991), to assess personality, and the Internet Addiction Test (Young, 1998), to determine the degree of use of the Internet (controlled, problematic or addictive). The results revealed that 9.7% of the sample has a problematic Internet use. Among them, the majority were male (x2= 12.93, p= 0.01) and performing communication and leisure activities. The problematic use correlates positively with neuroticism and negatively with friendliness and responsibility. On the other hand, is not related to extraversion and openness to experience. Being female and the responsibility dimension are protective factors from problematic use, while neuroticism predicts it. In conclusion, the study data provides empirical evidence of the relationship between personality and problematic Internet use.

  10. Detection and dispersal of explosives by ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  11. Entangled active matter: From cells to ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  12. Congestion and communication in confined ant traffic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  13. Visual scene perception in navigating wood ants.

    PubMed

    Lent, David D; Graham, Paul; Collett, Thomas S

    2013-04-22

    Ants, like honeybees, can set their travel direction along foraging routes using just the surrounding visual panorama. This ability gives us a way to explore how visual scenes are perceived. By training wood ants to follow a path in an artificial scene and then examining their path within transformed scenes, we identify several perceptual operations that contribute to the ants' choice of direction. The first is a novel extension to the known ability of insects to compute the "center of mass" of large shapes: ants learn a desired heading toward a point on a distant shape as the proportion of the shape that lies to the left and right of the aiming point--the 'fractional position of mass' (FPM). The second operation, the extraction of local visual features like oriented edges, is familiar from studies of shape perception. Ants may use such features for guidance by keeping them in desired retinal locations. Third, ants exhibit segmentation. They compute the learned FPM over the whole of a simple scene, but over a segmented region of a complex scene. We suggest how the three operations may combine to provide efficient directional guidance.

  14. Antarctic Tephra Database (AntT)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Ant semiochemicals limit apterous aphid dispersal.

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

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

  18. Exploration adjustment by ant colonies

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Bacterial associates of arboreal ants and their putative functions in an obligate ant-plant mutualism.

    PubMed

    Eilmus, Sascha; Heil, Martin

    2009-07-01

    Bacterial communities are highly diverse and have great ecological importance. In the present study, we used an in silico analysis of terminal restriction fragments (tRF) to characterize the bacterial community of the plant ant Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus. This species is an obligate inhabitant of Acacia myrmecophytes and feeds exclusively on plant-derived food sources. Ants are the dominant insect group in tropical rain forests. Associations of ants with microbes, which contribute particularly to the ants' nitrogen nutrition, could allow these insects to live on mostly or entirely plant-based diets and could thus contribute to the explanation of the high abundances that are reached by tropical ants. We found tRF patterns representing at least 30 prokaryotic taxa, of which the Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Planctomycetes, Proteobacteria, and Spirochaetes comprised 93%. Because most bacterial taxa were found in all ant-derived samples studied and because the bacteria detected on the ants' host plant revealed little overlap with this community, we regard our results as reliably representing the bacterial community that is associated with P. ferrugineus. Genera with a likely function as ant symbionts were Burkholderia, Pantoea, Weissella, and several members of the Enterobacteriaceae. The presence of these and various other groups was confirmed via independent PCR and cultivation approaches. Many of the bacteria that we detected belong to purportedly N-fixing taxa. Bacteria may represent important further partners in ant-plant mutualisms, and their influences on ant nutrition can contribute to the extraordinary abundance and evolutionary success of tropical arboreal ants. PMID:19447959

  3. Molecular phylogeny and divergence times of Malagasy tenrecs: Influence of data partitioning and taxon sampling on dating analyses

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Malagasy tenrecs belong to the Afrotherian clade of placental mammals and comprise three subfamilies divided in eight genera (Tenrecinae: Tenrec, Echinops, Setifer and Hemicentetes; Oryzorictinae: Oryzorictes, Limnogale and Microgale; Geogalinae:Geogale). The diversity of their morphology and incomplete taxon sampling made it difficult until now to resolve phylogenies based on either morphology or molecular data for this group. Therefore, in order to delineate the evolutionary history of this family, phylogenetic and dating analyses were performed on a four nuclear genes dataset (ADRA2B, AR, GHR and vWF) including all Malagasy tenrec genera. Moreover, the influence of both taxon sampling and data partitioning on the accuracy of the estimated ages were assessed. Results Within Afrotheria the vast majority of the nodes received a high support, including the grouping of hyrax with sea cow and the monophyly of both Afroinsectivora (Macroscelidea + Afrosoricida) and Afroinsectiphillia (Tubulidentata + Afroinsectivora). Strongly supported relationships were also recovered among all tenrec genera, allowing us to firmly establish the grouping of Geogale with Oryzorictinae, and to confirm the previously hypothesized nesting of Limnogale within the genus Microgale. The timeline of Malagasy tenrec diversification does not reflect a fast adaptive radiation after the arrival on Madagascar, indicating that morphological specializations have appeared over the whole evolutionary history of the family, and not just in a short period after colonization. In our analysis, age estimates at the root of a clade became older with increased taxon sampling of that clade. Moreover an augmentation of data partitions resulted in older age estimates as well, whereas standard deviations increased when more extreme partition schemes were used. Conclusion Our results provide as yet the best resolved gene tree comprising all Malagasy tenrec genera, and may lead to a revision of tenrec

  4. Ant interactions with soil organisms and associated semiochemicals.

    PubMed

    Vander Meer, Robert

    2012-06-01

    This review focuses on the semiochemical interactions between ants and their soil environment. Ants occupy virtually every ecological niche and have evolved mechanisms to not just cope with, but also manipulate soil organisms. The metapleural gland, specific to ants was thought to be the major source of semiochemical antimicrobial compounds targeting general or specific deleterious microbes. The extremely diverse variety of semiochemicals and their sources with antimicrobial activity or potential activity is highlighted. The leaf-cutting ants and fire ant provide the most researched species, in part because they cause significant economic damage. The leaf-cutting ant is particularly interesting because researchers have uncovered unexpected interactions between leaf-cutting ant fungal farm, parasitic fungi, bacteria, yeasts, and ant defensive semiochemicals. These complex relationships highlight the multidimensional aspects of ants and the soil environment in which they live. PMID:22653568

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-04-01

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

  7. Ecology of a fig ant-plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, Rhett D.

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Liu, Liqiang; Dai, Yuntao; Gao, Jinyu

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Path integration in desert ants, Cataglyphis: how to make a homing ant run away from home.

    PubMed

    Andel, David; Wehner, Rüdiger

    2004-07-22

    Path integration is an ant's lifeline on any of its foraging journeys. It results in a homebound global vector that continually informs the animal about its position relative to its starting point. Here, we use a particular (repeated training and displacement) paradigm, in which homebound ants are made to follow a familiar landmark route repeatedly from the feeder to the nest, even after they have arrived at the nest. The results show that during the repeated landmark-guided home runs the ant's path integrator runs continually, so that the current state of the homebound vector increasingly exceeds the reference state. The dramatic result is that the homing ants run away from home. This finding implies that the ants do not rely on cartographic information about the locations of nest and feeder (e.g. that the nest is always south of the feeder), but just behave according to what the state of their egocentric path integrator tells them.

  14. Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm for Continuous Domains Based on Position Distribution Model of Ant Colony Foraging

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Liqiang; Dai, Yuntao

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma tamaricis', a novel taxon discovered in witches'-broom-diseased salt cedar (Tamarix chinensis Lour.).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yan; Sun, Qingrong; Wei, Wei; Davis, Robert E; Wu, Wei; Liu, Qingzhong

    2009-10-01

    Salt cedar trees with pronounced witches'-broom symptoms were observed in their natural habitat in China. 16S rRNA gene sequences unique to phytoplasmas were detected in every DNA sample extracted from stem and leaf tissues of the symptomatic trees, revealing a direct association between phytoplasma infection and the salt cedar witches'-broom (SCWB) disease. Phylogenetic analysis of the SCWB phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated that the SCWB phytoplasma belonged to a subclade consisting of several mutually distinct 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' taxa including 'Ca. Phytoplasma prunorum', 'Ca. Phytoplasma mali', 'Ca. Phytoplasma pyri' and 'Ca. Phytoplasma spartii'. Pairwise sequence similarity scores calculated from an alignment of near full-length 16S rRNA genes revealed that SCWB phytoplasma shared 96.6 % or less sequence similarity with each previously described or proposed 'Ca. Phytoplasma' taxon, justifying the recognition of SCWB phytoplasma as a novel taxon, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma tamaricis'. The distinct virtual RFLP pattern derived from the SCWB phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene sequence, together with its lower-than-threshold similarity coefficient values with RFLP patterns of any of the 29 previously established groups, supported the recognition of a new 16Sr group, designated 16SrXXX, salt cedar witches'-broom phytoplasma group.

  16. The evolutionary diversification of parrots supports a taxon pulse model with multiple trans-oceanic dispersal events and local radiations.

    PubMed

    Schweizer, Manuel; Seehausen, Ole; Güntert, Marcel; Hertwig, Stefan T

    2010-03-01

    Vicariance is thought to have played a major role in the evolution of modern parrots. However, as the relationships especially of the African taxa remained mostly unresolved, it has been difficult to draw firm conclusions about the roles of dispersal and vicariance. Our analyses using the broadest taxon sampling of old world parrots ever based on 3219bp of three nuclear genes revealed well-resolved and congruent phylogenetic hypotheses. Agapornis of Africa and Madagascar was found to be the sister group to Loriculus of Australasia and Indo-Malayasia and together they clustered with the Australasian Loriinae, Cyclopsittacini and Melopsittacus. Poicephalus and Psittacus from mainland Africa formed the sister group of the Neotropical Arini and Coracopsis from Madagascar and adjacent islands may be the closest relative of Psittrichas from New Guinea. These biogeographic relationships are best explained by independent colonization of the African continent via trans-oceanic dispersal from Australasia and Antarctica in the Paleogene following what may have been vicariance events in the late Cretaceous and/or early Paleogene. Our data support a taxon pulse model for the diversification of parrots whereby trans-oceanic dispersal played a more important role than previously thought and was the prerequisite for range expansion into new continents.

  17. 'Candidatus Phytoplasma tamaricis', a novel taxon discovered in witches'-broom-diseased salt cedar (Tamarix chinensis Lour.).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yan; Sun, Qingrong; Wei, Wei; Davis, Robert E; Wu, Wei; Liu, Qingzhong

    2009-10-01

    Salt cedar trees with pronounced witches'-broom symptoms were observed in their natural habitat in China. 16S rRNA gene sequences unique to phytoplasmas were detected in every DNA sample extracted from stem and leaf tissues of the symptomatic trees, revealing a direct association between phytoplasma infection and the salt cedar witches'-broom (SCWB) disease. Phylogenetic analysis of the SCWB phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated that the SCWB phytoplasma belonged to a subclade consisting of several mutually distinct 'Candidatus Phytoplasma' taxa including 'Ca. Phytoplasma prunorum', 'Ca. Phytoplasma mali', 'Ca. Phytoplasma pyri' and 'Ca. Phytoplasma spartii'. Pairwise sequence similarity scores calculated from an alignment of near full-length 16S rRNA genes revealed that SCWB phytoplasma shared 96.6 % or less sequence similarity with each previously described or proposed 'Ca. Phytoplasma' taxon, justifying the recognition of SCWB phytoplasma as a novel taxon, 'Candidatus Phytoplasma tamaricis'. The distinct virtual RFLP pattern derived from the SCWB phytoplasma 16S rRNA gene sequence, together with its lower-than-threshold similarity coefficient values with RFLP patterns of any of the 29 previously established groups, supported the recognition of a new 16Sr group, designated 16SrXXX, salt cedar witches'-broom phytoplasma group. PMID:19622657

  18. Statistical Mechanics of Collective Transport by Ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  19. Early ant trajectories: spatial behaviour before behaviourism.

    PubMed

    Wehner, Rüdiger

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Ant odometry in the third dimension.

    PubMed

    Wohlgemuth, S; Ronacher, B; Wehner, R

    2001-06-14

    Desert ants (Cataglyphis) are renowned for their ability to perform large-scale foraging excursions and then return to the nest by path integration. They do so by integrating courses steered and the distances travelled into a continually updated home vector. Whereas the angular orientation is based on skylight cues, how the ants gauge the distances travelled has remained largely unclear. Furthermore, almost all studies on path integration in Cataglyphis, as well as in spiders, rodents, and humans, have aimed at understanding how the animals compute homebound courses in the horizontal plane. Here, we investigate for the first time how an animal's odometer operates when a path integration task has to be accomplished that includes a vertical component. We trained Cataglyphis ants within arrays of uphill and downhill channels, and later tested them on flat terrain, or vice versa. In all these cases, the ants indicated homing distances that corresponded not to the distances actually travelled but to the ground distances; that is, to the sum of the horizontal projections of the uphill and downhill segments of the ants' paths.

  1. Fossil evidence for the early ant evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  3. Detection of mitochondrial COII DNA sequences in ant guts as a method for assessing termite predation by ants.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Detection of mitochondrial COII DNA sequences in ant guts as a method for assessing termite predation by ants.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help

    PubMed Central

    Miler, Krzysztof

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Establishing food site vectors in desert ants.

    PubMed

    Bolek, Siegfried; Wittlinger, Matthias; Wolf, Harald

    2012-02-15

    When returning to the site of a successful previous forage, where does one search for the goodies? Should one rely on experience from the previous homebound journey, or should one consider the outbound journey as well, or even exclusively? Desert ants are particularly well suited for pursuing this question because of their primary reliance on path integration in open and featureless desert habitats. Path integration has been studied particularly with regard to homing after lengthy foraging trips. The ants also use path integration to return to plentiful feeding sites, but what is memorised for revisiting the feeder remains controversial. Here, we demonstrate that desert ants consider, and indeed linearly average, both outbound and inbound travel for their return to a familiar feeder. This may be interpreted as a strategy to reduce navigation errors.

  8. Desert ants learn vibration and magnetic landmarks.

    PubMed

    Buehlmann, Cornelia; Hansson, Bill S; Knaden, Markus

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Moribund Ants Do Not Call for Help.

    PubMed

    Miler, Krzysztof

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Desert Ants Learn Vibration and Magnetic Landmarks

    PubMed Central

    Buehlmann, Cornelia

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Collecting live ant specimens (colony sampling).

    PubMed

    Smith, Chris R; Tschinkel, Walter R

    2009-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Culling a clinical terminology: a systematic approach to identifying problematic content.

    PubMed

    Sable, J H; Nash, S K; Wang, A Y

    2001-01-01

    The College of American Pathologists and the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom are merging their respective clinical terminologies, SNOMED RT and Clinical Terms Version 3, into a new terminology, SNOMED CT. This requires mapping concept descriptions between the two existing terminologies. During the mapping process, many descriptions were identified as being potentially problematic. They require further review by the SNOMED editorial process before either (1) being incorporated into SNOMED CT, or (2) retired from active use. This article presents data on the concept descriptions that were identified as needing further review during the early phases of SNOMED CT development. Based on this work, we describe fourteen types of problematic terminology content. Identifying problematic terminology content can be approached in a systematic manner.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. The Ants of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandau, E.

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Ant-gardens of tropical Asian rainforests.

    PubMed

    Kaufmann, Eva; Maschwitz, Ulrich

    2006-05-01

    Ant-garden (AG) associations are systems of epiphytic plants and arboricolous (i.e., tree-living) ants, in which the ants build fragile carton nests containing organic material. They collect and incorporate seeds or fruits of epiphytes that then germinate and grow on the nest [sensu Corbara et al. (1999) 38:73-89]. The plant roots stabilize the nest carton. AGs have been well-known in the neotropics for more than 100 years. In contrast, reports on similar associations in the paleotropics are scarce so far. After discovering a first common AG system on giant bamboo [Kaufmann et al. (2001) 48:125-133], we started a large-scale survey for AGs in Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Java, and southern Thailand. A great variety of AG systems (altogether including 18 ant species and 51 plant species) was discovered and is described in the present paper. The high number of species participating in AG associations was reflected by a great variability in the specific appearances of the nest gardens. Frequently, further groups of organisms (e.g., hemipteran trophobionts, fungi) were also involved. Preference patterns of particular ant and epiphyte species for each other and for particular phorophytes (carrier trees) were detected. We integrate domatia-producing, so-called ant-house epiphytes in our study and compare their phases of establishment, as well as other characteristics, to "classical" AGs, coming to the conclusion that they should be regarded only as a special type of AG epiphyte and not as a separate ecological category.

  17. Recruitment strategies and colony size in ants.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Huang, Ming H

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Video game playing in high school students: health correlates, gender differences and problematic gaming

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    There is concern about the potential for negative impact of video games on youth. However the existing literature on gaming is inconsistent and has often focused on aggression. Health correlates of gaming and the prevalence and correlates of problematic gaming have not been systematically studied. We anonymously surveyed 4,028 adolescents about gaming, reported problems with gaming, and other health behaviors. 51.2% of the sample reported gaming (76.3% of boys and 29.2% of girls). There were no negative health correlates of gaming in boys, and lower odds of smoking regularly; however, girls who reported gaming were less likely to report depression, and more likely to report getting into serious fights and carrying a weapon to school. Among gamers, 4.9% reported problematic gaming, defined as reporting trying to cut back, experiencing an irresistible urge to play, and experiencing a growing tension that could only be relieved by playing. Boys were more likely to report these problems (5.8%) than girls (3.0%). Correlates of problematic gaming included regular cigarette smoking, drug use, depression, and serious fights. Results suggest that gaming is largely normative in boys and not associated with many health factors. In girls, however, gaming appears associated with more externalizing behaviors and fewer internalizing symptoms. The prevalence of problematic gaming is low but not insignificant, and problematic gaming may be contained within a larger spectrum of externalizing behaviors. More research is needed to define safe levels of gaming, refine the definition of problematic gaming, and evaluate effective prevention and intervention strategies. PMID:21078729

  20. Ant navigation: priming of visual route memories.

    PubMed

    Harris, Robert A; Hempel de Ibarra, Natalie; Graham, Paul; Collett, Thomas S

    2005-11-17

    Ants travelling to and fro between their nest and a foraging area may follow stereotyped foodward and homeward routes that are guided by different visual and directional memory sequences. Honeybees are known to fly a feeder-to-hive or hive-to-feeder vector according to whether or not they have recently fed--their feeding state controls which compass direction they select. We show here that the feeding state of the wood ant Formica rufa also determines the choice between an outward or inward journey, but by priming the selective retrieval of visual landmark memories.

  1. Ecological sampling of ants: competition and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Smith, Chris R

    2009-07-01

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

  2. Non-substance-addictive behaviors in youth: pathological gambling and problematic Internet use.

    PubMed

    Brezing, Christina; Derevensky, Jeffrey L; Potenza, Marc N

    2010-07-01

    Adolescence is characterized by participation in multiple novel and potentially risky behaviors. Amongst these behaviors are gambling and use of the Internet, and excessive engagement in these activities (as seen in pathological gambling and problematic Internet use) may be accompanied by serious impairments in school, mental health, and social functioning. This article reviews the potential impact of pathological gambling and problematic Internet use in youth, the relevance of subsyndromal levels of participation, and how prevention and treatment strategies may be considered and tested within a developmental framework.

  3. Low empathy is associated with problematic use of the Internet: Empirical evidence from China and Germany.

    PubMed

    Melchers, Martin; Li, Mei; Chen, Yafei; Zhang, Wanqi; Montag, Christian

    2015-10-01

    As empathy has not been investigated in the context of problematic use of the Internet, we conducted a study to test for a potential link. In samples from China (N=438) and Germany (N=202), two self-report measures for empathic behavior and one self-report measure for problematic Internet use (PIU) were administered in adolescents/students. Across both cultures lower empathy was associated with more PIU. The present study underlines the importance to take into account empathy related questionnaires for a better understanding of Internet overuse in the future.

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

    PubMed

    Anitha, Sundari; Gill, Aisha K

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  6. Fire ant control with Entomopathogens in the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. Dynamics of an ant-plant-pollinator model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  8. Model Specification Searches Using Ant Colony Optimization Algorithms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marcoulides, George A.; Drezner, Zvi

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Katz, Laura A; Grant, Jessica R

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Déri, Eszter; Magura, Tibor

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Déri, Eszter; Magura, Tibor

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Déri, Eszter; Magura, Tibor

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Serotonin depresses feeding behaviour in ants.

    PubMed

    Falibene, Agustina; Rössler, Wolfgang; Josens, Roxana

    2012-01-01

    Feeding behaviour is a complex functional system that relies on external signals and the physiological state of the animal. This is also the case in ants as they vary their feeding behaviour according to food characteristics, environmental conditions and - as they are social insects - to the colony's requirements. The biogenic amine serotonin (5-HT) was shown to be involved in the control and modulation of many actions and processes related to feeding in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In this study, we investigated whether 5-HT affects nectar feeding in ants by analysing its effect on the sucking-pump activity. Furthermore, we studied 5-HT association with tissues and neuronal ganglia involved in feeding regulation. Our results show that 5-HT promotes a dose-dependent depression of sucrose feeding in Camponotus mus ants. Orally administered 5-HT diminished the intake rate by mainly decreasing the volume of solution taken per pump contraction, without modifying the sucrose acceptance threshold. Immunohistochemical studies all along the alimentary canal revealed 5-HT-like immunoreactive processes on the foregut (oesophagus, crop and proventriculus), while the midgut and hindgut lacked 5-HT innervation. Although the frontal and suboesophageal ganglia contained 5-HT immunoreactive cell bodies, serotonergic innervation in the sucking-pump muscles was absent. The results are discussed in the frame of a role of 5-HT in feeding control in ants.

  16. Operant conditioning in the ant Myrmica sabuleti.

    PubMed

    Cammaerts, M C

    2004-11-30

    Operant conditioning could be obtained in the ant Myrmica sabuleti by presenting to the workers, during a six-day period, an apparatus containing either sugared water or meat as a reward. The conditioning obtained using sugared water as a reward was short lasting. A reconditioning was more persistent and lasted four hours. The ants' response was very precise, since they exhibited it only in front of an apparatus identical to that used during the training phase. Operant conditioning obtained using meat as a reward was more pronounced than that obtained by using sugared water, probably because meat is more valuable as a reward than sugar for the species studied, which is essentially a carnivorous one. Such a conditioning was rather persistent. Indeed, a first operant conditioning obtained by using meat as a reward could still be detected after seven hours, and a reconditioning was still significant after eight hours. One day after this eight-hour period without rewarding the ants, the response was higher again and a further day later, it was still significant. Since the operant conditioning is easy to perform and quantify and since the ants' response is very precise, such a conditioning can be used for further studying M. sabuleti workers' visual perception.

  17. How do ants stick out their tongues?

    PubMed

    Paul, Jürgen; Roces, Flavio; Hölldobler, Bert

    2002-10-01

    The mouthparts are very important tools for almost any task performed by ants. In particular, the labiomaxillary complex is essential for food intake. In the present study we investigated the anatomical design of the labiomaxillary complex in various ant species, focusing on movement mechanisms. Six labial and six maxillary muscles with different functions control the several joints and ensure the proper performance of the labiomaxillary complex. According to our measurements of sarcomere lengths, muscle fiber lengths and diameters, and the relative muscle volumes, the labial and maxillary muscles feature rather slow than fast muscle characteristics and do not seem to be specialized for specific tasks. Since glossa protractor muscles are absent, the protraction of the glossa, the distal end of the labium, is a nonmuscular movement. By histological measurements of hemolymph volumes we could exclude a pressure-driven mechanism. Additional experiments showed that, upon relaxation of the glossa retractor muscles, the glossa protracts elastically. This elastic mechanism possibly sets an upper limit to licking frequency, thus influencing food intake rates and ultimately foraging behavior. In contrast to many other elastic mechanisms among arthropods, glossa protraction in ants is based on a mechanism where elasticity works as an actual antagonist to muscles. We compared the design of the labiomaxillary complex of ants with that of the honeybee and suggest an elastic mechanism for glossa protraction in honeybees as well.

  18. Ants recognize foes and not friends.

    PubMed

    Guerrieri, Fernando J; Nehring, Volker; Jørgensen, Charlotte G; Nielsen, John; Galizia, C Giovanni; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-07-01

    Discriminating among individuals and rejecting non-group members is essential for the evolution and stability of animal societies. Ants are good models for studying recognition mechanisms, because they are typically very efficient in discriminating 'friends' (nest-mates) from 'foes' (non-nest-mates). Recognition in ants involves multicomponent cues encoded in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Here, we tested whether workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus herculeanus use the presence and/or absence of cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate between nest-mates and non-nest-mates. We supplemented the cuticular profile with synthetic hydrocarbons mixed to liquid food and then assessed behavioural responses using two different bioassays. Our results show that (i) the presence, but not the absence, of an additional hydrocarbon elicited aggression and that (ii) among the three classes of hydrocarbons tested (unbranched, mono-methylated and dimethylated alkanes; for mono-methylated alkanes, we present a new synthetic pathway), only the dimethylated alkane was effective in eliciting aggression. Our results suggest that carpenter ants use a fundamentally different mechanism for nest-mate recognition than previously thought. They do not specifically recognize nest-mates, but rather recognize and reject non-nest-mates bearing odour cues that are novel to their own colony cuticular hydrocarbon profile. This begs for a reappraisal of the mechanisms underlying recognition systems in social insects.

  19. The Kanizsa triangle illusion in foraging ants.

    PubMed

    Sakiyama, Tomoko; Gunji, Yukio-Pegio

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Ants recognize foes and not friends.

    PubMed

    Guerrieri, Fernando J; Nehring, Volker; Jørgensen, Charlotte G; Nielsen, John; Galizia, C Giovanni; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2009-07-01

    Discriminating among individuals and rejecting non-group members is essential for the evolution and stability of animal societies. Ants are good models for studying recognition mechanisms, because they are typically very efficient in discriminating 'friends' (nest-mates) from 'foes' (non-nest-mates). Recognition in ants involves multicomponent cues encoded in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles. Here, we tested whether workers of the carpenter ant Camponotus herculeanus use the presence and/or absence of cuticular hydrocarbons to discriminate between nest-mates and non-nest-mates. We supplemented the cuticular profile with synthetic hydrocarbons mixed to liquid food and then assessed behavioural responses using two different bioassays. Our results show that (i) the presence, but not the absence, of an additional hydrocarbon elicited aggression and that (ii) among the three classes of hydrocarbons tested (unbranched, mono-methylated and dimethylated alkanes; for mono-methylated alkanes, we present a new synthetic pathway), only the dimethylated alkane was effective in eliciting aggression. Our results suggest that carpenter ants use a fundamentally different mechanism for nest-mate recognition than previously thought. They do not specifically recognize nest-mates, but rather recognize and reject non-nest-mates bearing odour cues that are novel to their own colony cuticular hydrocarbon profile. This begs for a reappraisal of the mechanisms underlying recognition systems in social insects. PMID:19364750

  1. Calibration of vector navigation in desert ants.

    PubMed

    Collett, M; Collett, T S; Wehner, R

    1999-09-23

    Desert ants (Cataglyphis sp.) monitor their position relative to the nest using a form of dead reckoning [1] [2] [3] known as path integration (PI) [4]. They do this with a sun compass and an odometer to update an accumulator that records their current position [1]. Ants can use PI to return to the nest [2] [3]. Here, we report that desert ants, like honeybees [5] and hamsters [6], can also use PI to approach a previously visited food source. To navigate to a goal using only PI information, a forager must recall a previous state of the accumulator specifying the goal, and compare it with the accumulator's current state [4]. The comparison - essentially vector subtraction - gives the direction to the goal. This whole process, which we call vector navigation, was found to be calibrated at recognised sites, such as the nest and a familiar feeder, throughout the life of a forager. If a forager was trained around a one-way circuit in which the result of PI on the return route did not match the result on the outward route, calibration caused the ant's trajectories to be misdirected. We propose a model of vector navigation to suggest how calibration could produce such trajectories.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, Crisanto; Oliveras, Jordi

    2003-04-01

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

  4. Problematizing the Processes of Participation in Networks: Working through the Rhetoric

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferreira, Jo-Anne; Davis, Julie

    2012-01-01

    Participation in networks, both as a concept and process, is widely supported in environmental education as a democratic and equitable pathway to individual and social change for sustainability. However, the processes of participation in networks are rarely problematized. Rather, it is assumed that we inherently know how to participate in…

  5. Predictors and patterns of problematic Internet game use using a decision tree model.

    PubMed

    Rho, Mi Jung; Jeong, Jo-Eun; Chun, Ji-Won; Cho, Hyun; Jung, Dong Jin; Choi, In Young; Kim, Dai-Jin

    2016-09-01

    Background and aims Problematic Internet game use is an important social issue that increases social expenditures for both individuals and nations. This study identified predictors and patterns of problematic Internet game use. Methods Data were collected from online surveys between November 26 and December 26, 2014. We identified 3,881 Internet game users from a total of 5,003 respondents. A total of 511 participants were assigned to the problematic Internet game user group according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Internet gaming disorder criteria. From the remaining 3,370 participants, we used propensity score matching to develop a normal comparison group of 511 participants. In all, 1,022 participants were analyzed using the chi-square automatic interaction detector (CHAID) algorithm. Results According to the CHAID algorithm, six important predictors were found: gaming costs (50%), average weekday gaming time (23%), offline Internet gaming community meeting attendance (13%), average weekend and holiday gaming time (7%), marital status (4%), and self-perceptions of addiction to Internet game use (3%). In addition, three patterns out of six classification rules were explored: cost-consuming, socializing, and solitary gamers. Conclusion This study provides direction for future work on the screening of problematic Internet game use in adults. PMID:27499227

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Little, Linda F.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  8. A Placebo Double-Blind Pilot Study of Dextromethorphan for Problematic Behaviors in Children with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woodard, Cooper; Groden, June; Goodwin, Matthew; Bodfish, James

    2007-01-01

    We used a mixed group/single-case, double-blind, placebo-controlled, ABAB design to examine the safety and efficacy of the glutamate antagonist dextromethorphan for the treatment of problematic behaviors and core symptoms in eight children diagnosed with autism. All participants had increased levels of irritability at baseline as measured by the…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-30

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Odaci, Hatice; Kalkan, Melek

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Phil; Reay, Emma

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Odaci, Hatice

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-30

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

  18. Electrophysiological correlates of problematic Internet use: Critical review and perspectives for future research.

    PubMed

    D'Hondt, Fabien; Billieux, Joël; Maurage, Pierre

    2015-12-01

    Problematic behaviors have emerged with the exponential development of the Internet access, with some individuals failing to constrain their Internet use despite its negative impact on their daily lives. Recent neuropsychological and neuroscience studies have suggested that problematic Internet use is notably associated with increased cue-reactivity and reduced inhibitory control. This review of the electroencephalography (EEG) literature shows that most studies have found that impaired self-control abilities (i.e., inhibition and error monitoring) are associated with underactivated frontal regions in problematic Internet users (PIUs). However, some EEG studies in the domain have also demonstrated alterations in the processing of Internet-related cues and emotional stimuli. As a whole, these data therefore suggest that both reflective (top-down) and automatic/affective (bottom-up) systems, postulated by dual-process models as being determinants in decision making, are impaired among PIUs. On this basis, new research avenues are proposed to better understand the development and maintenance of problematic Internet use, according to six main directions respectively related to (1) the identification of vulnerability biomarkers, (2) the investigation of possible lower level cognitive impairments, (3) the exploration of core reflective and automatic/affective symptoms, (4) the evaluation of Internet use heterogeneity and comorbidities, (5) the development of new neuroscience strategies and (6) the elaboration of behavioral and cognitive interventions.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cui, Xia

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lam, Lawrence T

    2014-04-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ceyhan, Aydogan Aykut

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

  3. A national study of problematic care experiences among Latinos with diabetes.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Hector P; Chen, Jie; Rodriguez, Michael A

    2010-11-01

    Despite the large disease burden of diabetes, little is known about the care experiences of Latinos with diabetes across diverse primary care settings. This study compares problematic care experiences among Latinos with diabetes across usual care sites (community health centers [CHCs], private physician practices, or without a usual source of care), using a national sample of Latino diabetic patients (N=583). Nearly half of the respondents reported at least one problematic care experience during their last clinician visit. Compared with respondents treated primarily by private physicians, respondents receiving care in CHCs or without a usual source of care reported more problematic care experiences. However, patient health insurance coverage and acculturation accounted for the highest proportion of explainable differences in problematic care experiences between CHCs and private physician offices. Initiatives should clarify the extent to which the care experiences of Latino diabetics, particularly uninsured and less acculturated patients who tend to be cared for by CHCs, can be improved through clinician communication and patient self-management interventions.

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

    PubMed

    Twohig, Michael P; Crosby, Jesse M

    2010-09-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kay, James Edward

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Predictors and patterns of problematic Internet game use using a decision tree model.

    PubMed

    Rho, Mi Jung; Jeong, Jo-Eun; Chun, Ji-Won; Cho, Hyun; Jung, Dong Jin; Choi, In Young; Kim, Dai-Jin

    2016-09-01

    Background and aims Problematic Internet game use is an important social issue that increases social expenditures for both individuals and nations. This study identified predictors and patterns of problematic Internet game use. Methods Data were collected from online surveys between November 26 and December 26, 2014. We identified 3,881 Internet game users from a total of 5,003 respondents. A total of 511 participants were assigned to the problematic Internet game user group according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Internet gaming disorder criteria. From the remaining 3,370 participants, we used propensity score matching to develop a normal comparison group of 511 participants. In all, 1,022 participants were analyzed using the chi-square automatic interaction detector (CHAID) algorithm. Results According to the CHAID algorithm, six important predictors were found: gaming costs (50%), average weekday gaming time (23%), offline Internet gaming community meeting attendance (13%), average weekend and holiday gaming time (7%), marital status (4%), and self-perceptions of addiction to Internet game use (3%). In addition, three patterns out of six classification rules were explored: cost-consuming, socializing, and solitary gamers. Conclusion This study provides direction for future work on the screening of problematic Internet game use in adults.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tekinarslan, Erkan; Gurer, Melih Derya

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoekstra, Marike

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Middlemiss, Wendy

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blackmore, Jill

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard, John W., III

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garske, Steven Ray

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

  20. Physiological markers of biased decision-making in problematic Internet users.

    PubMed

    Nikolaidou, Maria; Fraser, Danaë Stanton; Hinvest, Neal

    2016-09-01

    Background and aims Addiction has been reliably associated with biased emotional reactions to risky choices. Problematic Internet use (PIU) is a relatively new concept and its classification as an addiction is debated. Implicit emotional responses were measured in individuals expressing nonproblematic and problematic Internet behaviors while they made risky/ambiguous decisions to explore whether they showed similar responses to those found in agreed-upon addictions. Methods The design of the study was cross sectional. Participants were adult Internet users (N = 72). All testing took place in the Psychophysics Laboratory at the University of Bath, UK. Participants were given the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) which provides an index of an individual's ability to process and learn probabilities of reward and loss. Integration of emotions into current decision-making frameworks is vital for optimal performance on the IGT and thus, skin conductance responses (SCRs) to reward, punishment, and in anticipation of both were measured to assess emotional function. Results Performance on the IGT did not differ between the groups of Internet users. However, problematic Internet users expressed increased sensitivity to punishment as revealed by stronger SCRs to trials with higher punishment magnitude. Discussion and conclusions PIU seems to differ on behavioral and physiological levels with other addictions. However, our data imply that problematic Internet users were more risk-sensitive, which is a suggestion that needs to be incorporated into in any measure and, potentially, any intervention for PIU. PMID:27554505

  1. The Marxist Problematic as a Model Interdisciplinary Approach to Ethnic Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muga, David A.

    1990-01-01

    Discusses key aspects of a Marxist approach to ethnicity to demonstrate that the Marxist problematic, as a model interdisciplinary approach to ethnic studies, is the most effective framework for analyzing developments within and between ethnic communities in capitalist society. Shows why this model works. (JS)

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehmann, Ilana S.; Konstam, Varda

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindsley, Sheryl L.

    1999-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Panggabean, Himpun

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tabatabaie, Alireza

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-08-17

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

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

    PubMed

    Mathis, Kaitlyn A; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2016-08-17

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Ant benefits in a seed dispersal mutualism.

    PubMed

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

    2005-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Landmark guidance and vector navigation in outbound desert ants.

    PubMed

    Merkle, Tobias; Wehner, Rüdiger

    2008-11-01

    This study deals with the influence landmark information has on the foraging behaviour of the desert ant, Cataglyphis fortis, especially with the interaction of such landmark information with the ants' path integration system. We show in the first experiment that desert ants that are captured immediately after leaving their nest and then transferred to a remote test area search for the nest rather than activate their previous path integration vector. In a second experiment, the ants had been trained to a landmark corridor on their way to the feeder. In the critical test situation, they were again captured immediately after they had left the nest and transferred to a test field where they faced one of the following three situations: (1) the same landmark corridor as used during the training phase, (2) no landmarks at all and (3) a landmark corridor rotated by 90 deg. as compared with the training situation. Nearly all ants in test situation (1) eventually followed the landmark corridor but most of them never reached the fictive feeder. In situation (2), the ants searched around the nest entrance. In situation (3), approximately one half of the ants searched for the nest, whereas most of the other ants followed the landmark corridor, i.e. headed in a completely wrong direction. Hence, familiar landmarks do not only influence the foraging behaviour of desert ants, e.g. in making the ants start their foraging runs but can even out-compete the ants' path integration system.

  15. DNA Methylation and Chromatin Organization in Insects: Insights from the Ant Camponotus floridanus

    PubMed Central

    Glastad, Karl M.; Hunt, Brendan G.; Goodisman, Michael A. D.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic information regulates gene function and has important effects on development in eukaryotic organisms. DNA methylation, one such form of epigenetic information, has been implicated in the regulation of gene function in diverse metazoan taxa. In insects, DNA methylation has been shown to play a role in the regulation of gene expression and splicing. However, the functional basis for this role remains relatively poorly understood, and other epigenetic systems likely interact with DNA methylation to affect gene expression. We investigated associations between DNA methylation and histone modifications in the genome of the ant Camponotus floridanus in order to provide insight into how different epigenetic systems interact to affect gene function. We found that many histone modifications are strongly predictive of DNA methylation levels in genes, and that these epigenetic signals are more predictive of gene expression when considered together than when considered independently. We also found that peaks of DNA methylation are associated with the spatial organization of chromatin within active genes. Finally, we compared patterns of differential histone modification enrichment to patterns of differential DNA methylation to reveal that several histone modifications significantly covary with DNA methylation between C. floridanus phenotypes. As the first genomic comparison of DNA methylation to histone modifications within a single insect taxon, our investigation provides new insight into the regulatory significance of DNA methylation. PMID:25724207

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  17. Harvester ant bioassay for assessing hazardous chemical waste sites

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-12-01

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

  18. Insect navigation: do ants live in the now?

    PubMed

    Graham, Paul; Mangan, Michael

    2015-03-01

    Visual navigation is a critical behaviour for many animals, and it has been particularly well studied in ants. Decades of ant navigation research have uncovered many ways in which efficient navigation can be implemented in small brains. For example, ants show us how visual information can drive navigation via procedural rather than map-like instructions. Two recent behavioural observations highlight interesting adaptive ways in which ants implement visual guidance. Firstly, it has been shown that the systematic nest searches of ants can be biased by recent experience of familiar scenes. Secondly, ants have been observed to show temporary periods of confusion when asked to repeat a route segment, even if that route segment is very familiar. Taken together, these results indicate that the navigational decisions of ants take into account their recent experiences as well as the currently perceived environment.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Red legs and golden gasters: Batesian mimicry in Australian ants.

    PubMed

    Merrill, D N; Elgar, M A

    2000-05-01

    There are numerous reports of invertebrates that are visual mimics of ants, but no formal reports of mimicry of an ant, by an ant. Two endemic Australian ants, Myrmecia fulvipes and Camponotus bendigensis are remarkably similar in colour and size; both are generally black but have red legs and golden gasters. The density and hue of the pubescence of each ant's gaster are relatively uncommon in ants, but are very rare when combined with the black forebody and red legs. The ants are similarly sized but are smaller than other species closely related to M. fulvipes. The range of C. bendigensis lies entirely within that of M. fulvipes, and both species excavate ground nests in open woodland. Finally, workers of both species are crepuscular and forage solitarily. These data suggest that the relatively benign formicine C. bendigensis is a Batesian mimic of the formidable myrmeciine M. fulvipes.

  1. Extrafloral nectar content alters foraging preferences of a predatory ant.

    PubMed

    Wilder, Shawn M; Eubanks, Micky D

    2010-04-23

    We tested whether the carbohydrate and amino acid content of extrafloral nectar affected prey choice by a predatory ant. Fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, were provided with artificial nectar that varied in the presence of carbohydrates and amino acids and were then provided with two prey items that differed in nutritional content, female and male crickets. Colonies of fire ants provided with carbohydrate supplements consumed less of the female crickets and frequently did not consume the high-lipid ovaries of female crickets. Colonies of fire ants provided with amino acid supplements consumed less of the male crickets. While a number of studies have shown that the presence of extrafloral nectar or honeydew can affect ant foraging activity, these results suggest that the nutritional composition of extrafloral nectar is also important and can affect subsequent prey choice by predatory ants. Our results suggest that, by altering the composition of extrafloral nectar, plants could manipulate the prey preferences of ants foraging on them.

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

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Soto, Estelí; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez-Soto, Estelí; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameron, G.; Williams, L.

    2001-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese

    2011-05-01

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

  6. Forest edges and fire ants alter the seed shadow of an ant-dispersed plant.

    PubMed

    Ness, J H

    2004-02-01

    Exotic species invade fragmented, edge-rich habitats readily, yet the distinct impacts of habitat edges and invaders on native biota are rarely distinguished. Both appear detrimental to ant-dispersed plants such as bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis. Working in northeastern Georgia (USA), an area characterized by a rich ant-dispersed flora, fragmented forests, and invasions by the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, I monitored the interactions between ants and S. canadensis seeds in uninvaded forest interiors, uninvaded forest edges, invaded forest interiors, and invaded forest edges. I observed 95% of the seed dispersal events that occurred within the 60-min observation intervals. Seed collection rates were similar among all four (habitat x invasion) groups. The presence of invasive ants had a strong effect on seed dispersal distance: S. invicta collected most seeds in invaded sites, but was a poorer disperser than four of five native ant taxa. Habitat type (interior versus edge) had no effect on seed dispersal distance, but it had a strong effect on seed dispersal direction. Dispersal towards the edge was disproportionately rare in uninvaded forest edges, and ants in those habitats moved the average dispersed seed approximately 70 cm away from that edge. Dispersal direction was also skewed away from the edge in uninvaded forest interiors and invaded forest edges, albeit non-significantly. This biased dispersal may help explain the rarity of myrmecochorous plants in younger forests and edges, and their poor ability to disperse between fragments. This is the first demonstration that forest edges and S. invicta invasion influence seed dispersal destination and distance, respectively. These forces act independently.

  7. Classification of avian haemolytic Actinobacillus-like organisms (Bisgaard taxon 26) associated with anseriforme birds as Actinobacillus anseriformium sp. nov.

    PubMed

    Bisgaard, M; Christensen, H

    2012-02-01

    Avian haemolytic Actinobacillus-like organisms have tentatively been named Bisgaard taxon 26. Phenotypic information has been published on 65 strains of this taxon. In the current study, 31 isolates were selected for genotypic characterization. Thirty strains had the same rpoB sequence and only one strain diverged in 1 nt. The highest rpoB similarity to members of other taxa was 89.7 % to the type strain of Actinobacillus equuli subsp. haemolyticus and the similarity to the type strain of the type species, Actinobacillus lignieresii, was 88.2 %. The lowest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity between strains of the group was determined in previous investigations to be 99.6 % and the highest similarities of 96.4 and 96.2 % outside the group were obtained to the reference strain of Actinobacillus genomospecies 2 and to the type strain of A. equuli subsp. equuli, respectively; 95.8-95.3 % similarity was obtained with the type strain of A. lignieresii. recN gene sequence similarities within the group were from 99.5 % (strains F66(T) and F64) to 99.8 % (strains F66(T) and F67) corresponding to genome similarities of 93.9-94.6 %, which are near the upper limit for species compared with other members of the Pasteurellaceae. The highest recN similarity outside the group (83.4 %) was observed to the type strain of Actinobacillus capsulatus, whereas the similarity to the type strain of A. lignieresii was 80.9 %, corresponding to genome similarities of 57.7 and 52.0 %, respectively. All isolates meet the phenotypic characters outlined for Actinobacillus (urease-, phosphatase- and porphyrin-positive, indole-negative, acid production from fructose, sucrose, maltose and dextrin). β-Haemolysis of bovine blood is observed and isolates may demonstrate in vitro satellitic growth, referred to as V-factor or NAD requirement. Isolates have been obtained from the upper respiratory tract of web-footed birds in which they may cause sinusitis, conjunctivitis and

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozturk, Ebru; Kaymak Ozmen, Suna

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Resolving and dating the phylogeny of Cornales--Effects of taxon sampling, data partitions, and fossil calibrations.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Qiu-Yun Jenny; Thomas, David T; Xiang, Qiao Ping

    2011-04-01

    The order Cornales descends from the earliest split in the Asterid clade of flowering plants. Despite a few phylogenetic studies, relationships among families within Cornales remain unclear. In the present study, we increased taxon and character sampling to further resolve the relationships and to date the early diversification events of the order. We conducted phylogenetic analyses of sequence data from 26S rDNA and six chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) regions using parsimony (MP), maximum likelihood (ML), and Bayesian inference (BI) methods with different partition models and different data sets. We employed relaxed, uncorrelated molecular clocks on BEAST to date the phylogeny and examined the effects of different taxon sampling, fossil calibration, and data partitions. Our results from ML and BI analyses of the combined cpDNA sequences and combined cpDNA and 26S rDNA data suggested the monophyly of each family and the following familial relationships ((Cornaceae-Alangiaceae)-(Curtisiaceae-Grubbiaceae))-(((Nyssaceae-Davidiaceae)-Mastixiaceae)-((Hydrostachyaceae-(Hydrangeaceae-Loasaceae))). These relationships were strongly supported by posterior probability and bootstrap values, except for the sister relationship between the N-D-M and H-H-L clades. The 26S rDNA data and some MP trees from cpDNA and total evidence suggested some alternative alignments for Hydrostachyaceae within Cornales, but results of SH tests indicated that these trees were significantly worse explanations of the total data. Phylogenetic dating with simultaneous calibration of multiple nodes suggested that the crown group of Cornales originated around the middle Cretaceous and rapidly radiated into several major clades. The origins of most families dated back to the late Cretaceous except for Curtisiaceae and Grubbiaceae which may have diverged in the very early Tertiary. We found that reducing sampling density within families and analyzing partitioned data sets from coding and noncoding cpDNA, 26S r

  13. Optic disc detection using ant colony optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dias, Marcy A.; Monteiro, Fernando C.

    2012-09-01

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

  14. Lithiase géante sur enterocystoplastie

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Ant-Man and the quantum realm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michalakis, Spiros

    2015-11-01

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

  16. Ant colony optimization and stochastic gradient descent.

    PubMed

    Meuleau, Nicolas; Dorigo, Marco

    2002-01-01

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

  17. Ant fat extraction with a Soxhlet extractor.

    PubMed

    Smith, Chris R; Tschinkel, Walter R

    2009-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Biodiversity below ground: probing the subterranean ant fauna of Amazonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-09-01

    Ants are abundant, diverse, and ecologically dominant in tropical forests. Subterranean ants in particular are thought to have a significant environmental impact, although difficulties associated with collecting ants underground and examining their ecology and behavior have limited research. In this paper, we present the results of a study of subterranean ant diversity in Amazonian Ecuador that employs a novel probe to facilitate the discovery of species inhabiting the soil horizon. Forty-seven species of ants in 19 genera, including new and apparently rare species, were collected in probes. Approximately 19% of the species collected at different depths in the soil were unique to probe samples. Analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) results showed that the species composition of ants collected with the probe was significantly different from samples collected using other techniques. Additionally, ANOSIM computations indicated the species assemblage of ants collected 12.5 cm below the surface was significantly different from those found at 25, 37.5, and 50 cm. Ant diversity and species accumulation rates decreased with increasing depth. There were no species unique to the lowest depths, suggesting that subterranean ants may not be distributed deep in the soil in Amazonia due to the high water table. The technique we describe could be used to gain new insights into the distribution and biology of subterranean ant species and other members of the species-rich soil invertebrate macrofauna.

  20. Biodiversity below ground: probing the subterranean ant fauna of Amazonia.

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

    Ants are abundant, diverse, and ecologically dominant in tropical forests. Subterranean ants in particular are thought to have a significant environmental impact, although difficulties associated with collecting ants underground and examining their ecology and behavior have limited research. In this paper, we present the results of a study of subterranean ant diversity in Amazonian Ecuador that employs a novel probe to facilitate the discovery of species inhabiting the soil horizon. Forty-seven species of ants in 19 genera, including new and apparently rare species, were collected in probes. Approximately 19% of the species collected at different depths in the soil were unique to probe samples. Analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) results showed that the species composition of ants collected with the probe was significantly different from samples collected using other techniques. Additionally, ANOSIM computations indicated the species assemblage of ants collected 12.5 cm below the surface was significantly different from those found at 25, 37.5, and 50 cm. Ant diversity and species accumulation rates decreased with increasing depth. There were no species unique to the lowest depths, suggesting that subterranean ants may not be distributed deep in the soil in Amazonia due to the high water table. The technique we describe could be used to gain new insights into the distribution and biology of subterranean ant species and other members of the species-rich soil invertebrate macrofauna. PMID:17457552

  1. Homing abilities of the Australian intertidal ant Polyrhachis sokolova.

    PubMed

    Narendra, Ajay; Raderschall, Chloé A; Robson, Simon K A

    2013-10-01

    The pressure of returning to and locating the nest after a successful foraging trip is immense in ants. To find their way back home, ants use a number of different strategies (e.g. path integration, trail following) and rely on a range of cues (e.g. pattern of polarised skylight, landmark panorama) available in their environment. How ants weigh different cues has been a question of great interest and has primarily been addressed in the desert ants from Africa and Australia. We here identify the navigational abilities of an intertidal ant, Polyrhachis sokolova, that lives on mudflats where nests and foraging areas are frequently inundated with tidal water. We find that these solitary foraging ants rely heavily on visual landmark information for navigation, but they are also capable of path integration. By displacing ants with and without vector information at different locations within the local familiar territory, we created conflicts between information from the landmarks and information from the path integrator. The homing success of full-vector ants, compared with the zero-vector ants, when displaced 5 m behind the feeder, indicate that vector information had to be coupled with landmark information for successful homing. To explain the differences in the homing abilities of ants from different locations we determined the navigational information content at each release station and compared it with that available at the feeder location. We report here the interaction of multiple navigation strategies in the context of the information content in the environment.

  2. Carbohydrate regulation in relation to colony growth in ants.

    PubMed

    Dussutour, A; Simpson, S J

    2008-07-01

    Ants and all social insects are faced with a nutritional challenge: the food entering the colony is brought by only a small number of its workers but is shared among all members of the colony. In this study, we investigated how ants maintain carbohydrates supply at both a collective and an individual level in response to changes in the concentration of available sucrose solution, colony demography and larval growth. We manipulated the concentration of sugar solutions available to ant colonies (dilute, medium and concentrated solutions) over extended periods and measured the capacity of colonies to maintain sugar supply through compensatory feeding. First, we demonstrated that ants regulated carbohydrate intake at a collective and individual level. Initially, ants consumed most and recruited fastest in response to more concentrated than to dilute sugar solutions, but over time this pattern reversed, such that the number of ants that fed and the volume ingested by each ant was a negative function of sugar concentration in the diet. Second, we found that ants became better at regulating their carbohydrate intake with the production of larvae in the nest. When the number of larvae was experimentally doubled, the ants regulated their consumption of carbohydrates more accurately than when the number of adult workers was doubled, suggesting that larvae play an important role in providing nutritional feedback to workers. Finally, we showed that ants defended a carbohydrate ;intake target' by allowing them to select among sugar solutions of different concentration.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Determination of problematic ICD-9-CM subcategories for further study of coding performance: Delphi method.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xiaoming; Bell, Paul D

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we report on a qualitative method known as the Delphi method, used in the first part of a research study for improving the accuracy and reliability of ICD-9-CM coding. A panel of independent coding experts interacted methodically to determine that the three criteria to identify a problematic ICD-9-CM subcategory for further study were cost, volume, and level of coding confusion caused. The Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) 2007 fiscal year data set as well as suggestions from the experts were used to identify coding subcategories based on cost and volume data. Next, the panelists performed two rounds of independent ranking before identifying Excisional Debridement as the subcategory that causes the most confusion among coders. As a result, they recommended it for further study aimed at improving coding accuracy and variation. This framework can be adopted at different levels for similar studies in need of a schema for determining problematic subcategories of code sets.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-24

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

  6. Predaceous ants, beach replenishment, and nest placement by sea turtles.

    PubMed

    Wetterer, James K; Wood, Lawrence D; Johnson, Chris; Krahe, Holly; Fitchett, Stephanie

    2007-10-01

    Ants known for attacking and killing hatchling birds and reptiles include the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren), tropical fire ant [Solenopsis geminata (Fabr.)], and little fire ant [Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger)]. We tested whether sea turtle nest placement influenced exposure to predaceous ants. In 2000 and 2001, we surveyed ants along a Florida beach where green turtles (Chelonia mydas L.), leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli), and loggerheads (Caretta caretta L.) nest. Part of the beach was artificially replenished between our two surveys. As a result, mean beach width experienced by nesting turtles differed greatly between the two nesting seasons. We surveyed 1,548 sea turtle nests (2000: 909 nests; 2001: 639 nests) and found 22 ant species. S. invicta was by far the most common species (on 431 nests); S. geminata and W. auropunctata were uncommon (on 3 and 16 nests, respectively). In 2000, 62.5% of nests had ants present (35.9% with S. invicta), but in 2001, only 30.5% of the nests had ants present (16.4% with S. invicta). Turtle nests closer to dune vegetation had significantly greater exposure to ants. Differences in ant presence on turtle nests between years and among turtle species were closely related to differences in nest placement relative to dune vegetation. Beach replenishment significantly lowered exposure of nests to ants because on the wider beaches turtles nested farther from the dune vegetation. Selective pressures on nesting sea turtles are altered both by the presence of predaceous ants and the practice of beach replenishment.

  7. The effect of disturbance on an ant-plant mutualism.

    PubMed

    Piovia-Scott, Jonah

    2011-06-01

    Protective ant-plant mutualisms-where plants provide food or shelter to ants and ants protect the plants from herbivores-are a common feature in many ecological communities, but few studies have examined the effect of disturbance on these interactions. Disturbance may affect the relationship between plants and their associated ant mutualists by increasing the plants' susceptibility to herbivores, changing the amount of reward provided for the ants, and altering the abundance of ants and other predators. Pruning was used to simulate the damage to buttonwood mangrove (Conocarpus erectus) caused by hurricanes. Pruned plants grew faster than unpruned plants, produced lower levels of physical anti-herbivore defenses (trichomes, toughness), and higher levels of chemical defenses (tannins) and extrafloral nectaries. Thus, simulated hurricane damage increased plant growth and the amount of reward provided to ant mutualists, but did not have consistent effects on other anti-herbivore defenses. Both herbivores and ants increased in abundance on pruned plants, indicating that the effects of simulated hurricane damage on plant traits were propagated to higher trophic levels. Ant-exclusion led to higher leaf damage on both pruned and upruned plants. The effect of ant-exclusion did not differ between pruned and unpruned plants, despite the fact that pruned plants had higher ant and herbivore densities, produced more extrafloral nectaries, and had fewer physical defenses. Another common predator, clubionid spiders, increased in abundance on pruned plants from which ants had been excluded. I suggest that compensatory predation by these spiders diminished the effect of ant-exclusion on pruned plants.

  8. Polydomy in the ant Ectatomma opaciventre.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. ANT tuner retrofit for LEB cavity

    SciTech Connect

    Walling, L.; Goren, Y.; Kwiatkowski, S.

    1994-03-01

    This report describes a ferrite tuner design for the LEB cavity that utilizes techniques for bonding ferrite to metallic cooling plates that is utilized in the high-power rf and microwave industry. A test tuner was designed to fit into the existing LEB-built magnet and onto the Grimm LEB Cavity. It will require a new vacuum window in order to attain maximal tuning range and high voltage capability and a new center conductor of longer length and a different vacuum window connection than the Grimm center conductor. However, the new center conductor will be essentially identical to the Grimm center conductor in its basic construction and in the way it connects to the stand for support. The tuner is mechanically very similar to high-power stacked circulators built by ANT of Germany and was designed according to ANT`s established engineering and design criteria and SSC LEB tuning and power requirements. The tuner design incorporates thin tiles of ferrite glued using a high-radiation-resistance epoxy to copper-plated stainless steel cooling plates of thickness 6.5 mm with water cooling channels inside the plates. The cooling plates constitute 16 pie-shaped segments arranged in a disk. They are electrically isolated from each other to suppress eddy currents. Five of these disks are arranged in parallel with high-pressure rf contacts between the plates at the outer radius. The end walls are slotted copper-plated stainless steel of thickness 3 mm.

  10. Polydomy in the ant Ectatomma opaciventre

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Dispersal Polymorphisms in Invasive Fire Ants.

    PubMed

    Helms, Jackson A; Godfrey, Aaron

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Kin-informative recognition cues in ants.

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

  13. Dispersal Polymorphisms in Invasive Fire Ants.

    PubMed

    Helms, Jackson A; Godfrey, Aaron

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Recognition of Social Identity in Ants

    PubMed Central

    Bos, Nick; d’Ettorre, Patrizia

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Exploration versus exploitation in polydomous ant colonies.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-21

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

  16. Dispersal Polymorphisms in Invasive Fire Ants

    PubMed Central

    Helms, Jackson A.; Godfrey, Aaron

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Problematic usage among highly-engaged players of massively multiplayer online role playing games.

    PubMed

    Peters, Christopher S; Malesky, L Alvin

    2008-08-01

    One popular facet of Internet gaming is the massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). Some individuals spend so much time playing these games that it creates problems in their lives. This study focused on players of World of Warcraft. Factor analysis revealed one factor related to problematic usage, which was correlated with amount of time played, and personality characteristics of agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and extraversion.

  18. Breastfeeding and problematic integration: results of a focus-group study.

    PubMed

    Koerber, Amy; Brice, Linda; Tombs, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    This article reports on a subset of data from nine focus groups. Participants included new and expectant mothers and their partners, friends, and relatives. The larger goal of the focus groups was to understand local infant-feeding practices of mothers in our region. The subset of data reported in this article pertains to breastfeeding failure. The experience of breastfeeding failure, as described by participants in this study, is analyzed through the lens of Babrow's (1992) concept of problematic integration. PMID:21834716

  19. Development, polymorphism, and cross-taxon utility of EST-SSR markers from safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.).

    PubMed

    Chapman, Mark A; Hvala, John; Strever, Jason; Matvienko, Marta; Kozik, Alexander; Michelmore, Richard W; Tang, Shunxue; Knapp, Steven J; Burke, John M

    2009-12-01

    Due to their highly polymorphic and codominant nature, simple-sequence repeat (SSR) markers are a common choice for assaying genetic diversity and genetic mapping. In this paper, we describe the generation of an expressed-sequence tag (EST) collection for the oilseed crop safflower and the subsequent development of EST-SSR markers for the genetic analysis of safflower and related species. We assembled 40,874 reads into 19,395 unigenes, of which 4,416 (22.8%) contained at least one SSR. Primer pairs were developed and tested for 384 of these loci, resulting in a collection of 104 polymorphic markers that amplify reliably across 27 accessions (3 species) of the genus Carthamus. These markers exhibited a high level of polymorphism, with an average of 6.0 +/- 0.4 alleles per locus and an average gene diversity of 0.54 +/- 0.03 across Carthamus species. In terms of cross-taxon transferability, 50% of these primer pairs produced an amplicon in at least one other species in the Asteraceae, and 28% produced an amplicon in at least one species outside the safflower subfamily (i.e., lettuce, sunflower, and/or Gerbera). These markers represent a valuable resource for the genetic analysis of safflower and related species, and also have the potential to facilitate comparative map-based analyses across a broader array of taxa within the Asteraceae.

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

    PubMed Central

    Friedl, Martina A.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. In Situ Detection of Freshwater Fungi in an Alpine Stream by New Taxon-Specific Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization Probes▿

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Variability of Sequence Surrounding the Xist Gene in Rodents Suggests Taxon-Specific Regulation of X Chromosome Inactivation

    PubMed Central

    Shevchenko, Alexander I.; Malakhova, Anastasia A.; Elisaphenko, Eugeny A.; Mazurok, Nina A.; Nesterova, Tatyana B.; Brockdorff, Neil; Zakian, Suren M.

    2011-01-01

    One of the two X chromosomes in female mammalian cells is subject to inactivation (XCI) initiated by the Xist gene. In this study, we examined in rodents (voles and rat) the conservation of the microsatellite region DXPas34, the Tsix gene (antisense counterpart of Xist), and enhancer Xite that have been shown to flank Xist and regulate XCI in mouse. We have found that mouse regions of the Tsix gene major promoter and minisatellite repeat DXPas34 are conserved among rodents. We have also shown that in voles and rat the region homologous to the mouse Tsix major promoter, initiates antisense to Xist transcription and terminates around the Xist gene start site as is observed with mouse Tsix. A conservation of Tsix expression pattern in voles, rat and mice suggests a crucial role of the antisense transcription in regulation of Xist and XIC in rodents. Most surprisingly, we have found that voles lack the regions homologous to the regulatory element Xite, which is instead replaced with the Slc7a3 gene that is unassociated with the X-inactivation centre in any other eutherians studied. Furthermore, we have not identified any transcription that could have the same functions as murine Xite in voles. Overall, our data show that not all the functional elements surrounding Xist in mice are well conserved even within rodents, thereby suggesting that the regulation of XCI may be at least partially taxon-specific. PMID:21826206

  6. No site unseen: predicting the failure to control problematic Internet use among young adults.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Tetsuhiro; Moshier, Samantha J; Otto, Michael W

    2016-11-01

    Problematic Internet use has been associated with the neglect of valued activities such as work, exercise, social activities, and relationships. In the present study, we expanded the understanding of problematic Internet use by identifying an important predictor of the inability to curb Internet use despite the desire to do so. Specifically, in a college student sample reporting a mean of 27.8 h of recreational Internet use in the past week, we investigated the role of distress intolerance (DI)-an individual difference variable that refers to the inability of an individual to tolerate emotional discomfort and to engage in goal-directed behavior when distressed-to predict the failure to meet personal restrictions on Internet use. Consistent with hypotheses, DI emerged as a significant predictor of the failure to meet self-control goals in both bivariate and multivariate models, indicating that DI offers unique prediction of self-control failure with problematic Internet use. Given that DI is a modifiable trait, these results encourage consideration of DI-focused early intervention strategies. PMID:27426432

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

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

  15. The Prevalence of Problematic Internet Use and the Related Factors in Medical Students, Kerman, Iran

    PubMed Central

    Mazhari, Shahrzad

    2012-01-01

    Background Although problematic Internet use (PIU) is a growing problem among adolescents, few studies have examined its prevalence among university students in Iran. This study was designed to investigate the prevalence of PIU and its potential risk factors among students at Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran. Methods In a cross-sectional study, data was collected from 976 university students. PIU was assessed by the 18-item Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire. In addition, information on demographics and Internet usage pattern was also collected. Findings A total of 920 students completed the survey (response rate = 94.8%). Of them, 98% were Internet users. Overall, 21% of the students were identified as problematic Internet users. Logistic regression analysis showed that spending more time online, having a history of psychiatric disorders, and using the Internet for chatting and playing games were risk factors for PIU. Conclusion PIU is a common problem among university students. These results suggest the need for preventive and interventional strategies for this vulnerable group. PMID:24494141

  16. No site unseen: predicting the failure to control problematic Internet use among young adults.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Tetsuhiro; Moshier, Samantha J; Otto, Michael W

    2016-11-01

    Problematic Internet use has been associated with the neglect of valued activities such as work, exercise, social activities, and relationships. In the present study, we expanded the understanding of problematic Internet use by identifying an important predictor of the inability to curb Internet use despite the desire to do so. Specifically, in a college student sample reporting a mean of 27.8 h of recreational Internet use in the past week, we investigated the role of distress intolerance (DI)-an individual difference variable that refers to the inability of an individual to tolerate emotional discomfort and to engage in goal-directed behavior when distressed-to predict the failure to meet personal restrictions on Internet use. Consistent with hypotheses, DI emerged as a significant predictor of the failure to meet self-control goals in both bivariate and multivariate models, indicating that DI offers unique prediction of self-control failure with problematic Internet use. Given that DI is a modifiable trait, these results encourage consideration of DI-focused early intervention strategies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  19. Ant tending influences soldier production in a social aphid.

    PubMed Central

    Shingleton, A W; Foster, W A

    2000-01-01

    The aphid Pseudoregma sundanica (Van der Goot) (Homoptera: Aphididae) has two defence strategies. It is obligatorily tended by various species of ant and also produces sterile soldiers. We investigated how they allocate their investment in these two strategies. We measured the size, number of soldiers, number and species of tending ant, and number and species of predators in P. sundanica populations. We found that the level of ant tending correlated negatively with soldier investment in P. sundanica. The species of tending ant also influenced soldier investment. We excluded ants from aphid populations and recorded changes in population size and structure over four weeks. Ant exclusion led to population decline and extinction. At the same time, surviving populations showed a significant increase in soldier investment. The data demonstrate that social aphids can adjust their investment in soldiers in direct response to environmental change. PMID:11052537

  20. Image feature extraction based multiple ant colonies cooperation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhilong; Yang, Weiping; Li, Jicheng

    2015-05-01

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