62 Works

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...

A new extinct ant genus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae) from the Late Eocene Rovno amber – a putative ancestor of the Leptothorax genus group

Alexander Radchenko, Gennady M. Dlussky & Ksenia Perfilieva
A new genus and a new species of ant, Proleptothorax primitivus, are described based on two males from the Late Eocene Rovno amber of Ukraine. This genus is characterized by the antennae 13-segmented, with the funiculus filiform without an apical club, by the very short antennal scape, by the short and narrow, bidentate mandibles, and by the forewing with cell 3r closed. We consider these features as obvious plesiomorphies compared with Leptothorax mayR, 1855, Formicoxenus...

Crematogaster abstinens and Crematogaster pygmaea (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae): from monogyny and monodomy to polygyny and polydomy

G.B. Martins Segundo, J.-C. De Biseau, R.M. Feitosa, J.E.V. Carlos, L.R. Sá, M.T.M.B. Fontenelle & Y. Quinet
Polygyny and polydomy are key features in the nesting biology of many ants, raising important questions in social insect biology, in particular about the ecological determinants of such derived traits. One relevant way to investigate those questions is the comparative study of closely related species with contrasting colony structure. In our study, we investigated and compared morphological (morphology of queens, workers and males), chemical (cuticular hydrocarbon profiles), behavioral (attractiveness of queens and substrates chemically marked...

Two new species of the "ultimate" parasitic ant genus Teleutomyrmex Kutter, 1950 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the Western Palaearctic

K. Kiran, C. Karaman, A. Lapeva-Gjonova & V. Aksoy
Two new "ultimate" parasitic ant species, Teleutomyrmex seiferti Kiran & Karaman sp.n. and Teleutomyrmex buschingeri LAPEVA-GJONOVA sp.n., are described from one site each in Turkey and Bulgaria. The hosts belong to Tetramorium cf. chefketi Forel, 1911. The findings increase the number of described Teleutomyrmex species to four.

Light at the end of the tunnel: Integrative taxonomy delimits cryptic species in the Tetramorium caespitum complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

H.C. Wagner, W. Arthofer, B. Seifert, C. Muster, F.M. Steiner & B.C Schlick-Steiner
Species delimitation is fundamental for many biological studies; its importance extends from regional faunistics over behavioral research to the reconstruction of evolutionary history. However, species delimitation in the Palearctic Tetramorium caespitum species complex (formerly Tetramorium caespitum / impurum complex) has stayed ambiguous over a century. A 2006 study argued for the presence of eight Western Palearctic cryptic species but did not draw formal taxonomic conclusions due to multiple unresolved issues. Using 1428 nest samples in...

Competition as possible driver of dietary specialisation in the mushroom harvesting ant Euprenolepis procera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Lizon à l’Allemand Sofia, Adrian Brückner, Rosli Hashim, Volker Witte & Christoph von Beeren
Competition between co-existing species for limited resources is considered a main driving force of niche differentiation, including dietary specialization. Responses to interference competition vary, ranging from combat in dominant species to avoidance in submissive ones. Submissive species often show alternative strategies to avoid competition such as quick and efficient resource exploitation or shifts to less competitive resources. In the present study, we have evaluated the potential role of interference competition as driver of dietary specialisation...

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,...

Revision and redefinition of the crematogastrine genus Tetheamyrma BOLTON, 1991, with the description of a new species and the first description of the dealate queen (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

David Emmanuel M. General & Perry Archival C. Buenavente
The crematogastrine ant genus Tetheamyrma BOLTON, 1991 is revised, based on morphological analysis of a new species and an independent molecular study. Because of morphological disparity between the genotype species and the new species, the genus is redefined. The worker and queen of Tetheamyrma bidentata sp.n. are described. The female reproductive caste of Tetheamyrma is described for the first time. A key to the species and a distribution map are provided. Open access, licensed under...

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...

Diversity and distribution of Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) thief ants belowground

Leo Ohyama, Joshua R. King, David G. Jenkins & Abstract
Subterranean ant communities are vastly understudied relative to aboveground ant communities. The thief ants of the genus Solenopsis are a globally abundant and widespread group that is a conspicuous and important part of the below ground ant community. Thief ant ecology, including their distribution and diversity at local scales, has also rarely been documented. In this study, we sampled the subterranean ant community of central Florida, a region with conspicuously high subterranean thief ant abundance....

Wilhelm Goetsch (1887 - 1960): pioneering studies on the development and evolution of the soldier caste in social insects

Christian Metzl, Diana E. Wheeler & Ehab Abouheif
The eco-evo-devo of social insects addresses long-unanswered questions in Myrmecology, especially how novel castes originate and evolve. While this is an emerging field of broad interest to myrmecologists, German scientists prior to 1960 were quite active in studying such questions, but their attempts have largely been forgotten. The collective amnesia is partly because these papers are written in German and therefore inaccessible to the non-German speaking myrmecologists and partly because individual-level mechanistic approaches to studying...

Ant-mediated (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) biological control of the coffee berry borer: diversity, ecological complexity, and conservation biocontrol

Jonathan R. Morris, Estelí Jiménez-Soto, Stacy M. Philpott & Ivette Perfecto
Ants are important biological control agents of the coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei (ferrari, 1867), the most damaging insect pest of coffee around the world. Ants also occur naturally in coffee landscapes, opening the door to conservation biocontrol approaches, which can promote both biodiversity conservation and crop production. Here, we review evidence that shows that ants antagonize and predate Cbb, reduce Cbb infestation, and contribute to the suppression of Cbb populations. We discuss the...

Natural history observations and kinematics of strobing in Australian strobe ants, Opisthopsis haddoni (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

James S. Waters & Terry P. McGlynn
The strobe ants of Australia (Opisthopsis spp.) move with a rapid staccato gait, appearing as if they are under a strobe light. This extraordinary behavior has long caught the attention of natural historians, but the mechanics of strobing locomotion are as enigmatic as its function. We used high-speed video to track the movements of strobing Opisthopsis haddoni eMery, 1893 and O. haddoni rufonigra Forel, 1910 ants to develop plausible explanations for the phenomenon. We found...

The flight ecology of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Jackson A. Helms IV
Most of the world’s ant species rely on flight for reproduction and dispersal, during a solitary phase in which colony fitness depends only on the survival of individual queens. Flight-related selection shapes ant physiology, such that queens and males fly for short durations but carry heavy loads due to the nutrient demands of mating and colony founding. Ants vary by four orders of magnitude in flight distance, with larger ants or those with lighter abdomens...

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...

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....

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