Questions related to Myrmecology
I was wondering if anyone ever studied the group-survival of ants as a function of group composition;
For instance, suppose you have a group of N ants, composed of 3/4 of minor workers and 1/4 of major workers. How long could this group survive? And how longer than a group composed of 1/2?
I would be really glad to know if there is any paper published that dealt with this problem.
I am currently doing quite some research on Solenopsis invicta, mainly because ant keeping is an interesting hobby of mine (even though normally not my field of research) and I think that you cannot know enough and I have recognized several things that in my opinion don’t really fit into the invasive success of RIFA.
1.) most S. invicta colonies are monogynous and have a very high heterozygoty (I believe to have read 95%)
2.) polygynous S. invicta with the GP-9 allele can only exist in the Genotype Bb because bb and seemings BB wouldbe lethal, that means a highly polygynous mutated alate would have to mate with a “normal“ male to be able to reproduc.
Also 90-100% of the produced males in the highly polygynous mutation are sterile.
3.) fire ants were introduces to the US in the 1930s and their success started with very few colonies. Despite from this fact they still maintain a high heterozygosity.
Also many colonies found in their natural Habitat don’t have any queens at all.
So this suggests me that those ants have a unusual mode of reproduction, either worker reproduction, thelytokous parthenogenesis or similar. I really cannot imagine that this species could have been so invasive just because of their aggressiveness. Actually all invasive ant species I am aware of either have adaptive inbreeding, parthenogenesis or worker reproduction.
Maybe some of you have an explanation for this. Their success looks to me like very paradoxically
During last months I've been searching for Leptanilla specimens at Madrid, Spain. Leptanillinae are minute, blind subterranean ants rare to find and placed in a basal position in the phylogenetic tree of the Formicidae. I excavated a small area of 40 square meters and used Berlese methods to extract the specimens from the soil. I collected 3 queens, 1 larvae and 535 workers, probably corresponding to 3 species (one of them Leptanilla charonea, and the others pending of identification, without precluding new sp). In a pool placed 50 meters away from the excavation area I collected 370 undescribed males corresponding to 4 (maybe 5) species.
I am seeking the collaboration of experts in order to:
1) Identify and describe the specimens
2) Make DNA analysis to associate males with workers (a special problem not solved in Leptanillinae, currently with two parallel taxonomies, one of males and another of workers and queens).
A brief account of the excavation at Madrid, and some observations on the fligth of Leptanilla males, can be found in these entries of my blog:
There is a need to identify a group of arthropods from which effort should be put while scouting for candidate biocontrol agents of a given forest insect pest.
I am curious at the geographical variation of smell perception towards some ants when they are crushed. Please, if you have these tiny pest insects at home and would be willing to sacrifice few workers, could you provide me your location and how would you describe the smell they give off when crushed? Thanks in advance!
In future space travel space ships will be isolated for months, this could make it easy for various kinds of pests to spread over the ships.
Ants are carnivore and could help to contain such pests, especially in regions that cannot be accessed easily (behind cover panels, ...). I think about Leptothorax spp., with small colony sizes.
Are there any studies about the behaviour of ants in space?
Two years of observations on oil palm trees plantations in Malaysia had shown novel nesting behavior of the Asian weaver ants Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius) that was never reported.
These contained an average of 3.98 ±1.74 (mean ± SD, range 1-13) nests per tree with the only odd number of nests in each surveyed trees.
The phenomena exist during both dry and rainy seasons of the year. In the biological system, only one case is clearly reported in North America for the cicadas insect eaten by birds when with a life cycle of 13 or 17 years, which still remain a mystery. The ants exhibited polydomous nesting behaviour, as reported by other authors (Debout et al. 2007), with multiple nests in a single palm tree, and multiple queens were sometimes observed in the main nest, suggesting polygyny (Exélis Pierre and Azarae, 2012- in press).
Four experimental design testing had shown all positive results demonstrating that there are factors regulating the mechanism, from the queens. How and why? it is yet to be found out...
I would like to know if the modeling equation system could help to explain the underlying biological mechanism regulating this. Beside the swarm intelligence of these ants. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome.
To start beauveria insects bioassay which insects I may select to get clear data? And also advice me the artificial culture techniques of that insects.
I think the majority of bats have morphological differences because they use not only differ type of flight but walking, hanging and so on.
I wish you success, Irine K.
I have to make a choice between Y-tube and 4-arm olfactometer but I cannot really understand the differences and advantages/disadvantages between the two. I need to study ant preference towards seeds of a particular species which have a lipid rich appendage and compare with removal of lipid appendage (negative ctrl) . I also wish to compare varieties of different size appendages.
Which olfactometer setup would be ideal and why?
I am having trouble finding sources explicitly talking about this, but get the sense that highly polymorphic species don't much occur at high latitudes. Does anyone have anecdotes or papers refuting or supporting this observation?
In Ant Colony System If we have 5 cities and 5 ants. Does all ants have to start from the same city? What is the difference if they start from different cities. I am placing the ants at different cities as starting points randomly. I tried using both cases but my results are same. I want to know if it's correct or there is a problem with my code.
This is probably a very naive question but to date I haven't obtained a satisfactory answer. I often must study old papers. I recurrently find these old papers very reticent and short in some of the most respected journals of today, e.g. Science and Nature. Some of those are highly cited papers taken as paradigms in specific fields.
I herein include an example from my field, ant venoms. Anyone working on fire ant venom has bumped into the paper below:
"Chemical, Insecticidal, and Antibiotic Properties of Fire Ant Venom"
Unfortunately the main author has recently passed away so I cannot ask him this specific detail now: where is the data and methods description?
All results as reported are central to my field of study, but the narrative is too short to allow understanding any details. I though maybe details are presented elsewhere in the edition, but it does not look like from seeing their website.
Perhaps someone more experienced could give me a clue there, please?
Thanks in advance
I collect this ant in many cities in Côte d'Ivoire during the survey for my Doctoral research. it is very close to Monomorium pharaonis but i am not sure it is one.
Last weekend, I saw a L. cf. umbratus running around with a yellow ant between her mandibles. According to the literature, yellow Lasius species do not belong to the regular hosts of L. umbratus. Since the gyne was running around with the ant, I presume she actively selected this worker instead of being attacked by her; I cannot prove against this hypothesis though, as I didn't follow the act from the beginning.
Now I wonder, how specific is the selction of hosts by L. umbratus gynes? Is the selection of the "wrong" species by the gynes something to be considered as a possibility?
The surfaces made of acrylic sheeting. I need to periodically remove any traces of trail and/or alarm substances. The species is Formica exsectoides.
Do queen-right colonies show different foraging patterns than colonies without queens? I am looking for any evidence of the influence of queens on foraging and activity patterns in the genus Formica or any other ant species. Any literature you may know of would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
I am working on a paper dealing with the efficacy of several methods to sample ants in forest leaf litter of temperate broad leaved forest. I need some papers reporting on the structure of ant communities in this environment in Europe. Surprisingly they seem to be very rare. I appreciate any suggestions!
I have seen this video from BBC "Fire Ants and Techno-Chaos" which states that fire ants (mainly Solenopsis invicta) will attack electric equipments in the US, causing considerable damage and havoc. I have been working with fire ants for almost 10 years, but never in the US. I have made many observations in the field in South America (French Guyana, Uruguay, Brazil), and I have never seen them attacking electric installations there in their native range. On the other hand, I have observed some species of Camponotus, such as C. rufipes, making satellite nests in power boxes in gardens however I am not sure if they were really attracted by the electricity (dead power boxes also got colonised). My aunt lives in a heavily saevissima-infested region in Rio de Janeiro, and never had one equipment colonised by fire ants.
Thus I would like to ask US residents if, from their personal experience, they feel fire ants will enter equipments any more often than other local ants?
I would need to do some experiments on ant pupae, but I should genotype them before procedures. As such I would be needing some body part for DNA extraction. I know adults do well after one leg amputation, but I am not sure about pupae. Would anyone perhaps know if an ant pupa would survive a leg or wing amputation? Also, how could I be sure that the pupa is alive after 48h from amputation, since they do not move?
I`m searching for some information about horizontal transfer of gut symbionts between ant larvae and mature ants. I`m very thankful for any suggestions. Also information about a symbiont transfer between mature ants would be helpful.
I have recently been looking up data on the extinct giant (hummingbird-sized) Eocene ant Titanomyrma, as well as the closely related and possibly synonymous form genus Formicium. However, the only information I have been able to find on the paleobiology of these species is from Wikipedia, and none of the information they give cites a particular paper.
According to Wikipedia, Titanomyrma lacks a closing mechanism on the crop (whatever that means), sprayed formic acid as a primary means of defense, and has adaptations that suggest it was either a fungivore like modern leaf-cutter ants or was predatory in a manner similar to driver ants. Does anyone know what research articles (if any) proposed these ideas, and why? It could be that they were proposed in a paper regarding Formicium (which species assigned to Titanomyrma were formerly placed in).
Finally, as an additional question, does anyone know what living group of ants the Formiciinae (note the extra "i") are related to? The group may be extinct, but close living relatives are known it might be easier to determine how likely the presence/absence of these adaptations are.
I am currently working as a postdoc in Switzerland with fire ants. For obtaining more colonies of fire ants, we must travel far, to the field in subtropical regions. We currently have several colonies established in climatized chambers.
One procedure which would prove very useful to manipulating varieties of fire ants and also help us have more colonies without travelling would be inducing artificial mating flights. I have read only one paper on such attempt, however it was incomplete and only superficially described.
Has anyone here ever tried doing that?
I am running an experiment where I must remove a brood from an ant colony and store them separately. I currently have no idea how long the brood will survive while outside the colony environment and it is vital that the brood do not die. The species I am studying are Lasius niger and Lasius flavus. Any help is greatly appreciated.
I´d the like to know about any information available about the nesting behavior of Pachycondyla and Odontomachus species living on the ground.
As far as I know, there are no herbivorous ants that directly eat plant leaves (not using the plant leaf as medium for fungi cultivation or other purpose). Does anyone know exceptions?
If not, are there explanations, physiological, ecological etc., as to why ants don't eat plant leaves directly?
There is lot of uncertainty to whether to consider smaller insects like ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) conscious. Considering that consciousness is born out of neural complexity, yet ants do show much social behavior which may point to them being termed as conscious sentient creatures, what are your views?
I want to determine the composition of the hemolymph of some ant species which are pretty small (around 1 cm.). So I have to extract the hemolymph from them. I don't know what is the best way to do so, whether I should take from adults or pupae and what kind of technique should I use. If anybody has experiences in this field, I really would like to have some suggestions.