Quantcast

Latest Leafcutter ant Stories

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...

Researchers Use Insect Antibiotics In Battle Against Bacteria
2013-09-02 10:04:58

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists are locked in an epic struggle with bacteria – with some of the tiny microbes displaying an increased resistance to antibiotics year after year. Researchers at the John Innes Centre (JIC) in Norwich, England are making major strides in the battle against bacteria through their study of stick insects and leafcutter ants, according to a new report to air on the BBC current affairs series Inside Out. “This research is at...

Leaf-Cutter Ants Lend A Hand In Biofuel Research
2013-06-14 18:24:19

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online As gardeners around the United States tend to their flowers or herbs, leaf-cutter ants are actively cultivating gardens of fungus and bacteria as a source of food and shelter. According to a new study in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a team of American researchers has found that the active enzymes in these ants´ gardens could be refined for biofuel applications. "All the enzymes that we found are...

Tracking Study Discovers Ants Change Careers As They Age
2013-04-22 09:29:39

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A single ant colony can have thousands of ants, all scurrying around performing various tasks, maintaining their territory for the queen. And because they all look alike, studying them individually by eye can prove extremely difficult, if not impossible. To bypass this obstacle, Danielle Mersch and colleagues from the University of Lausanne tagged every single worker in entire ant colonies and tracked them by computer. The...

c5ecd29148e5ea2146b9f0a0aa16f8e8
2011-07-01 08:35:24

The development of agriculture was a significant event in human cultural evolution, but we are not the only organisms to have adopted an agricultural way of life. In a study published online June 29 in Genome Research, researchers have sequenced the genome of a fungus farming leaf-cutting ant, revealing new insights into the genetics and molecular biology behind this unusual lifestyle. Found in Central and South America as well as the southern United States, leaf-cutting ants have evolved a...

681e4cd790f2fa249b8a1fb42d44160f1
2011-02-22 12:40:00

A new study by biologists at Rice University and the University of Texas at Austin finds that the Texas leaf-cutter ant, Atta texana, adapted to the harsh Texas winters through their food. Although adapting to Texas winters may seem mild to those from northern climates, the ants' ancestors emigrated from the tropics. A texana, like all leaf-cutter ants, cuts leaves but does not eat them. "Leaf-cutters can't digest the nutrients of leaves directly, so they use a fungus called Attamyces as a...

2011-02-11 19:39:16

Leafcutter ants, signature denizens of New World tropical forests, are unique in their ability to harvest fresh leaves to cultivate a nutrient-rich fungus as food. Now, this mutualism -- a complicated interplay of ants, fungi and a suite of bacteria -- is coming into sharper focus as a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has published the complete genome of the leafcutter ant, Atta cephalotes. The study, published today (Feb. 10, 2011) in the journal Public Library of Science...

7ee9b97308a40fa16f94dd778dabfa841
2010-12-09 14:07:51

When their razor-sharp mandibles wear out, leaf-cutter ants change jobs, remaining productive while letting their more efficient sisters take over cutting, say researchers from two Oregon universities. Their study -- appearing online ahead of regular publication in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology -- provides a glimpse of nature's way of providing for its displaced workers. "This study demonstrates an advantage of social living that we are familiar with -- humans that can no...

f73b5ab3aad6108bbcecfd3f081454231
2010-08-26 23:02:28

Scientists at the University of East Anglia, have shown that fungus-farming ants are using multiple antibiotics as weed killers to maintain their fungus gardens.Research led by Dr Matt Hutchings and published today in the journal BMC Biology  shows that ants use the antibiotics to inhibit the growth of unwanted fungi and bacteria in their fungus cultures which they use to feed their larvae and queen.These antibiotics are produced by actinomycete bacteria that live on the ants in a mutual...

368642b46583397984ca02b4980dfd821
2010-03-19 08:18:22

Leafcutter ant queens can live for twenty years, fertilizing millions of eggs with sperm stored after a single day of sexual activity. Danish researchers who have studied ants at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama since 1992 discovered that in both ant and bee species in which queens have multiple mates, a male's seminal fluid favors the survival of its own sperm over the other males' sperm. However, once sperm has been stored, leafcutter ant queens neutralize male-male...


Latest Leafcutter ant 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...

More Articles (2 articles) »
Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
Related