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Pheidole megacephala
2014-10-07 03:00:30

Provided by Diana Yates, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign The big-headed ant (Pheidole megacephala) is considered one of the world’s worst invasive ant species. As the name implies, its colonies include soldier ants with disproportionately large heads. Their giant, muscle-bound noggins power their biting parts, the mandibles, which they use to attack other ants and cut up prey. In a new study, researchers report that big-headed ant colonies produce larger soldiers when they...

52-million-year-old Fossil Of Ant-loving Beetle Preserved In Amber Discovered By Scientists
2014-10-06 03:11:31

American Museum of Natural History Scientists have uncovered the fossil of a 52-million-year old beetle that likely was able to live alongside ants—preying on their eggs and usurping resources—within the comfort of their nest. The fossil, encased in a piece of amber from India, is the oldest-known example of this kind of social parasitism, known as "myrmecophily." Published today in the journal Current Biology, the research also shows that the diversification of these stealth beetles,...

Parasitic Fungus Manipulate Hosts To Die On The 'Doorstep' Of The Colony
2014-08-21 03:58:06

By Chuck Gill, Penn State A parasitic fungus that must kill its ant hosts outside their nest to reproduce and transmit their infection, manipulates its victims to die in the vicinity of the colony, ensuring a constant supply of potential new hosts, according to researchers at Penn State and colleagues at Brazil's Federal University of Vicosa. Previous research shows that Ophiocordyceps camponoti-rufipedis, known as the "zombie ant fungus," controls the behavior of carpenter ant workers...

Fire Ants Being Displaced By Venom-Neutralizing Crazy Ants
2014-02-14 07:08:22

[ Watch the Video: Crazy Ants Attack Fire Ants ] April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In areas across the southeastern United States, invasive "crazy ants" are rapidly displacing fire ants by secreting a compound that neutralizes the fire ant's venom, according to a new study from The University of Texas at Austin. The crazy ant is the first known example of an insect with the ability to detoxify another insect's venom. The latest in a wave of ant invasions from the...

Crazy Ants Eating Electronics Across US Gulf States
2013-06-11 07:53:02

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A growing epidemic is eating its way across the Gulf Coast of the US and it seems there is little that can be done about it. The invasive ant species, Nylanderia fulva, commonly known as the tawny crazy ant, hairy crazy ant or Raspberry crazy ant, which was first discovered in Houston, Texas in 2002, is causing huge problems for people in at least four states around the Gulf of Mexico. The tawny crazy ant is an exotic species...

Ant Colony Evolution And Natural Selection
2013-05-16 08:44:57

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online City-states in ancient Greece that waited until their own harvest was in before attacking and destroying a rival community´s crops often experienced better long-term success. Ant colonies that show similar selectivity when gathering food have similar results, according to a new study from Stanford University. Deborah M. Gordon, Stanford biology professor, conducted a long-term study of harvester ants. Her findings, published in...

Ant Slave Rebellion
2012-09-26 19:13:14

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online There´s new evidence today ants that have been captured and made slaves by other ants aren´t simply taking their plights lying down. According to a new study, these slave ants are prone to try and take down their oppressors by sabotaging their families. The first signs of this kind of ant rebellion were noted by Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) research professor Dr. Susanne Foitzik in 2009. However, in the...

shutterstock_95099485
2012-08-26 09:44:10

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online One thousand rare and protected ants have been fitted with tiny little backpacks to try and understand the social network of how a colony works. A research team from the University of York is fitting tiny radio receivers to a colony of hairy wood ants in the world's first experiment to find out how they communicate and travel between nests. The nests are located on the National Trust's Longshaw Estate in Derbyshire, UK, which is a...

2012-08-04 02:26:14

Predatory beetles can detect the unique alarm signal released by ants that are under attack by parasitic flies, and the beetles use those overheard conversations to guide their search for safe egg-laying sites on coffee bushes. Azteca instabilis ants patrol coffee bushes and emit chemical alarm signals when they're under attack by phorid flies. In an article published online July 27 in the journal Ecology and Evolution, University of Michigan researchers and their colleagues show that...

World's Smallest Flies Decapitate Tiny Ants
2012-07-02 08:25:50

The smallest fly ever discovered is just 0.40 millimeters in length, and is a member of a fly family that is known for 'decapitating' ants A new species of phorid fly from Thailand is the smallest fly ever discovered. At just 0.40 millimeters in length, it is 15 times smaller than a house fly and five times smaller than a fruit fly. The tiny fly, Euryplatea nanaknihali, is also the first of its genus to be discovered in Asia, and it belongs to a fly family (Phoridae) that is known for...


Latest Atta Reference Libraries

40_18e251273c83716513e79a1480e62c47
2005-09-12 10:19:57

The ants, one of the most successful groups of insects, are of particular interest because they form advanced colonies, and can constitute up to 15 percent of the total animal biomass of a tropical rainforest. They belong to the order Hymenoptera and are close relatives of the vespoid wasps. Ants appear in amber, found in central New Jersey, believed to be from the Cretaceous period. It is thought that they evolved from the wasps that had appeared during the Jurassic period. They are...

0_0bd3abc6102cfbf910539daa5d26705d
2005-09-07 18:11:11

Leafcutter ants are found in warmer regions of Central and South America. These remarkable social insects have evolved an advanced agricultural system. They feed on a specialized fungus that grows only in the underground chambers of the ants' nest. The ants actively cultivate their fungus, feeding it with freshly-cut vegetation and maintaining it free from pests and weeds. This is done by a symbiotic relationship with a colony of bacteria that grows on the ants that protect the fungus. The...

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Word of the Day
bellycheer
  • Good cheer; viands.
  • To revel; to feast.
The word 'bellycheer' may come from 'belle cheer', "good cheer".
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