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Latest Myrmicinae Stories

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,...

zombie ant fungus
2014-08-27 03:30:44

Chuck Gill, Penn State A parasitic fungus that reproduces by manipulating the behavior of ants emits a cocktail of behavior-controlling chemicals when encountering the brain of its natural target host, but not when infecting other ant species, a new study shows. The findings, which suggest that the fungus "knows" its preferred host, provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, according to researchers. "Fungi are well known for their ability to...

ants sympatric speciation
2014-08-25 03:00:57

Peter Iglinski, University of Rochester A newly-discovered species of ant supports a controversial theory of species formation. The ant, only found in a single patch of eucalyptus trees on the São Paulo State University campus in Brazil, branched off from its original species while living in the same colony, something thought rare in current models of evolutionary development. “Most new species come about in geographic isolation,” said Christian Rabeling, assistant professor of...

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...

Are Fire Ants Using Natural Corridors To Advance The Front?
2014-08-04 03:10:54

By Cheryl Dybas, National Science Foundation Heading for a summer picnic or hike, or just out to mow your lawn? In the US Southeast and beyond, you might want to watch where you walk. Fire ants. Crossing the border from South America, they're on the march northward. How does habitat--in particular, corridors that connect one place with another--help the ants spread? To find out, the National Science Foundation (NSF) talked with ecologist and program director Doug Levey of its...

A Lesson From “Ant-stronauts” On The International Space Station
2014-06-24 03:24:15

Jessica Nimon, NASA A recent study on the International Space Station brings to mind Aesop’s fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper, and it is pretty amazing what we can learn from these industrious insects. The activities of a crew of ants that lived aboard the orbiting laboratory as part of the Ants in Space CSI-06 investigation are inspiring students and scientists alike. But the investigation has the potential to do far more than motivate; the data collected can teach us about...

frozen red fire ant raft
2014-06-13 05:22:15

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Solenopsis invicta - the destroyer of picnics and bane of exposed limbs everywhere - is better known by its common name, the red fire ant. Aside from S. invicta's propensity to swarm and attack, it turns out this insect is also one of the more talented engineers in the animal kingdom. Never is this more true than when the colony, threatened by flooding from rain, a sprinkler or a borderline psychopathic child armed only with a cup of...

ants beat google
2014-05-28 05:02:29

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Classic literature has touted the work ethic of ants and scientists have determined that they have the largest brains of any insect. Now, researchers have also discovered that the creatures' group processing skills when it comes to foraging for food would put the most complex online search engines to shame. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of German and Chinese scientists explain that the...

2014-05-27 11:44:07

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) Ants are capable of complex problem-solving strategies that could be widely applied as optimization techniques. An individual ant searching for food walks in random ways, biologists found. Yet the collective foraging behavior of ants goes well beyond that, as a mathematical study to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals: The animal movements at a certain point change from chaos to order. This happens...


Latest Myrmicinae 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...

0_afec59d21c83b05ab5280a1857f3d0a6
2005-08-25 08:18:19

Fire ants are stinging ants of the genus Solenopsis, of which there are 266 species. They include Solenopsis invicta, commonly known as Red imported fire ant (RIFA). Each colony produces large mounds in open areas, and feeds on young plants and seeds. Solenopsis often attacks young animals and can kill them. For humans it has a painful sting - hence the name fire ant - and the aftereffects of the sting are deadly to some individuals. The worker ants are blackish to reddish and vary from...

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Word of the Day
abrosia
  • Wasting away as a result of abstinence from food.
The word 'abrosia' comes from a Greek roots meaning 'not' and 'eating'.