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Latest Myrmecology Stories

Unwelcome Guest Ants Protect Colony From Future Invaders
2013-09-10 06:14:54

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Because their loyalty can be bought, mercenary soldiers are notoriously unreliable and may turn against their employers before moving on to the next dirty job. A new report from the Centre for Social Evolution at the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, shows that fungus-farming ants are different, however. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), reports that permanent parasites that...

Crazy Ants Are Now Displacing Fire Ants
2013-05-19 07:17:20

[ Watch the Video: Rise of the Crazy Ants ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Residents of the Gulf Coast are in the midst of an invasion - an ant invasion. An invasive and ecologically dominant species of ant is reportedly displacing the native fire ant in areas throughout the southeastern US. The invasive species originates from South America and is known as Nylanderia fulva, or tawny crazy ants, according to Geoffrey Mohan of the Los Angeles Times. Normally...

Asian Needle Ants Displacing Other Aggressive Invaders
2013-02-11 10:07:43

North Carolina State University Researchers from North Carolina State University have found that one of the most aggressive invasive ant species in the United States — the Argentine ant — appears to have met its match in the Asian needle ant. Specifically, the researchers have found that the Asian needle ant is successfully displacing Argentine ants in an urban environment, indicating that the Asian needle ant — with its venomous sting — may be the next invasive...

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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...

The Zombie-Ant Fungus Is Under Attack, Research Reveals
2012-05-03 06:23:50

A parasite that fights the zombie-ant fungus has yielded some of its secrets to an international research team led by David Hughes of Penn State University. The research reveals, for the first time, how an entire ant colony is able to survive infestations by the zombie-ant fungus, which invades an ant's brain and causes it to march to its death at a mass grave near the ant colony, where the fungus spores erupt out of the ant's head. "In a case where biology is stranger than fiction, the...

Smelly Ants Invade Hawaii
2011-11-02 04:30:28

A common pest in the mainland United States known for its tropical smell now has a tropical habitat to go along with it. Odorous house ants - so called because they tend to invade houses and smell like coconut when smashed - have found their way to Hawaii. And, according to Purdue University entomologist Grzegorz Buczkowski, it doesn't seem as though they have plans to end their vacations. "Odorous house ants in Hawaii are not like they are here in natural areas where they live in small...

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2011-07-12 08:51:38

Ant colonies with more behavioral variety are more successful / New findings in ant behavioral research They attack other colonies, plunder and rob, kill other colonies' inhabitants or keep them as slaves: Ants are usually regarded as prototypes of social beings that are prepared to sacrifice their lives for their community, but they can also display extremely aggressive behavior towards other nests. The evolution and behavior of ants, in particular the relationship between socially...

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2010-02-25 10:38:24

Social insects - ants in particular - are usually thought of as selfless entities willing to sacrifice everything for their comrades. However, new research suggests that ant queens are also prepared to compromise the welfare of the entire colony in order to retain the throne. A team from the University of Copenhagen, led by postdoc Luke Holman of the Center for Social Evolution, describes in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, published on February 24, 2010, that ant queens are much more...

2009-10-28 14:45:14

A group of 'friend or foe' scent molecules have been isolated from colonies of Argentine ants. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology identified and synthesized the scents, describing how applying them to worker ants resulted in attacks from their former colony-mates. Neil Tsutsui and colleagues, from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, worked with a team of researchers from the University of California, Irvine to carry out the ant experiments. He said, "Chemical...

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2009-02-06 08:12:57

Butterflies are the image of beauty, grace and harmlessness. However, one type has learned parasitic behavior: they fool ants giving them the royal treatment. The pupa of the Maculina rebeli butterfly emits an aroma that impersonates the ant's smell, and thus habituates inside the ant nest. Once a caterpillar, they even plead for food similar to the ant larvae, researchers announced in Friday's publication of the journal Science. Even more than that, not simply satisfied with food, the...


Latest Myrmecology Reference Libraries

Myrmecology
2013-09-30 16:20:45

Myrmecology, a branch of entomology, is the study of ants that has focused on many factors about ants, including evolution and social systems. William Morton Wheeler first used the term myrmecology, but the study of ants predates the usage of the term, going back to ancient references of ants. Auguste Forel, a Swiss psychologist, conducted the first scientific studies of ants, focusing on the roles of instinct and learning in a society. He published Les fourmis de la Suisse in 1874 after...

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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...

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