67 Works

Communication disruption of red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and reduced foraging success

D.M. Suckling, L.D. Stringer, A. Jiménez-Pérez, B. Bunn & R.K. Vander Meer

Coexisting in harsh environments: temperature-based foraging patterns of two desert leafcutter ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Attini)

B.E. Nobua-Behrmann, J. Lopez De Casenave, F.A. Milesi & A. Farji-Brener
Dominant herbivores, like leafcutter ants, have a strong impact on the ecosystems they inhabit. Understanding which factors regulate their foraging rates is crucial for understanding ecosystem dynamics. In desert habitats, environmental factors, such as temperature, play a major role in regulating ants' behavior. We studied the role of ground temperature in regulating daily and seasonal activity patterns of two coexisting leafcutters ant species, Acromyrmex lobicornis (Emery, 1888) and A. striatus (Roger, 1863), in the Monte...

Natural history and nest architecture of the fungus-farming ant genus Sericomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Ana Ješovnik, Júlio Chaul & Ted Schultz
The fungus-farming ant genus Sericomyrmex (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Attini) contains 11 species distributed from northern Mexico to southern Brazil. Within their nests, all Sericomyrmex species grow highly specialized, obligately symbiotic fungi, which they use for food. Sericomyrmex is the youngest fungus-farming ant genus, the product of a recent, rapid radiation, with a crown-group age estimate of 4.3 million years. We review the literature and report newly acquired data on the natural history of Sericomyrmex, with a...

How common is trophobiosis with hoppers (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha) inside ant nests (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)? Novel interactions from New Guinea and a worldwide overview

Petr Klimes, Michaela Borovanska, Nichola S. Plowman & Leponce Maurice
Trophobiotic interactions between ants and honeydew-providing hemi pterans are widespread and are one of the key mechanisms that maintain ant super-abundance in ecosystems. Many of them occur inside ant nests. However, these cryptic associations are poorly understood, particularly those with hoppers (suborder Auchenorrhyncha). Here, we study tree-dwelling ant and Hemi ptera communities in nests along the Mt. Wilhelm elevational gradient in Papua New Guinea and report a new case of this symbiosis between Pseudolasius emery,...

The foraging strategy of Formica sanguinea (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), a facultative slave-maker

Piotr Ślipiński, Bálint Markó, Tomasz Włodarczyk & Czechowski Wojciech
There are almost no hard data on the competitive status of Formica sanguinea, and previous studies focus mainly on its spectacular lifestyle as a slave-maker. It is usually described as an aggressive and territorial species, the latter due to its raiding behaviour and morphological resemblance to species of the subgenus Formica s. str. (typical territorial species and top dominants). A series of field observations using baits was carried out across the longitudinal extent of F....

Three Turano-European species of the Temnothorax interruptus group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) demonstrated by quantitative morphology

Sándor Csősz, Sebastian Salata & Lech Borowiec
The ant genus Temnothorax is very diverse in the Palaearctic region. It consists of many cryptic species which are hard to discover with conventional toolkits of alpha taxonomy. However, the modern, quantitative morphological ap proaches have been improved, and their increased accuracy and taxonomic specificity allow taxonomists to discover cryptic biological diversity on a much finer scale. In this paper, we provide quantitative morphology-based evidence in support of our contention that the Turano-European Temnothorax interruptus...

Testing the effect of a nest architectural feature in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Walter R. Tschinkel
When natural fire ant colonies (Solenopsis invicta) are sampled over five orders of magnitude of colony size, their production efficiency (new biomass per current biomass) remains constant, whereas in laboratory colonies, it declines. A striking difference between laboratory and natural nests is the subdivision of natural nests into hundreds of small chambers that limit the size of work groups. I tested the effect of nest subdivision on brood-rearing efficiency in lab oratory nests with a...

Population structure of Myrmica rubra (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in part of its invasive range revealed by nuclear DNA markers and aggression analysis

Barry J. Hicks & H. Dawn Marshall
Myrmica rubra (Linnaeus, 1758) is considered an invasive ant in North America. The genetic relatedness and its dispersive abilities were investigated using microsatellite analysis of colonies on the island of Newfoundland, Canada. The genetic diversity of Newfoundland M. rubra was low, likely as the result of founder effect. Colonies located near each other (< 1 km) generally had low pairwise FST values, which we interpret as considerable mixing of colonies, while populations that are spatially separated...

Subterranean ants: summary and perspectives on field sampling methods, with notes on diversity and ecology (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

M.K.L. Wong & B. Guénard
Soil organisms represent a key component of most ecosystems, and their study must rely on efficient and standardized methods. In ants, subterranean assemblages are perceived as distinct from those of other strata (e.g., ground surface or canopy ants) and as such deserve particular attention – the value of which has recently been acknowledged in research on ant evolution, systematics, and ecology. In this review, we first compile information on the variety of available field methods...

Social dimensions of physiological responses to global climate change: what we can learn from ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

L.D. Chick, A. Perez & S.E. Diamond
Organisms possess a wide range of physiological mechanisms to cope with climate change, yet most of what we know about these mechanisms comes from solitary organisms. Because there is a tight linkage between climate change and organismal physiologies, understanding the physiological mechanisms driving the responses of species to climate change has emerged as a research priority in ecology and evolutionary biology. However, responses become more complex when considering social organisms, as their responses to a...

Invasive Northern Red Oaks benefit Temnothorax crassispinus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) ant colonies

Łukasz Myczko, Łukasz Dylewski, Sławomir Mitrus & Tim H. Sparks
Non-native plant species can modify their environment, and their influence on food chains is well recognized. How ever, the phenomenon of non-nutrient dependent interaction between non-native plants and native animals has received little attention to date. The Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) is a non-native, invasive tree species in Europe, which strongly negatively influences co-occurring plants. However, a part of the native fauna is able to utilize the resources offered by this species in its...

Cryptic species of the Myrmica tibetana complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) revealed by integrative taxonomy

Bernhard Seifert, Roland Schultz, Markus S. Ritz & Christiane M. Ritz
Three closely related species, Myrmica tibetana Mayr, 1889, M. bactriana Ruzsky, 1915 and M. gebaueri sp.n., are identified. They are restricted to the Tibetan Plateau and proposed to form the M. tibetana species complex. Myrmica tibetana and M. gebaueri sp.n. are truly cryptic: They showed considerable interspecific overlap in all of the tested 18 shape, pilosity, and sculpture characters and were not safely separable by simple visual inspection by a trained expert. However, all three...

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