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Latest Myrmicinae Stories

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...

fc7a8d72296401393af7f5c6b6804255
2011-02-01 08:30:00

Researchers from a pair of California universities have successfully sequenced the genome of the Argentine ant, shedding light on exactly why the species has thrived and leading to hopes that the knowledge might lead to the development of more effective pest control solutions. The draft genome of this specific creature, known scientifically as Linepithema humile, is one of three published by experts at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and San Francisco State University in the...

90ab4adc8109404449bf5eb64d05c9401
2011-01-31 09:38:31

Research by the University of Exeter has revealed that ants have a big impact on their local environment as a result of their activity as 'ecosystem engineers' and predators. The study, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, found that ants have two distinct effects on their local environment. Firstly, through moving of soil by nest building activity and by collecting food they affect the level of nutrients in the soil. This can indirectly impact the local populations of many animal...

3781ba793f18d7e1d6c386e04ee462951
2011-01-26 11:43:21

Studying ants to find out how colony size affects patterns of behavior and energy use How does size affect the organization and physiology of superorganisms such as bacterial communities, insect colonies or human cities? James Waters and Tate Holbrook, graduate students in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, work on answering this question by studying how colony size affects the patterns of behavior and energy use in ant colonies. Social insect colonies are excellent...

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...

be06f9185f8b479be5fb5a097e1a1f791
2010-11-03 12:04:46

But in Britain workers are docile and "Ëœapathetic' compared with 'revolutionary' workers in Spain A new study analyzing how complex, highly-evolved societies are organized in nature has found that it is workers that play a pivotal role in creating well-ordered societies where conflict is minimized. For when it comes to determining who reproduces in ants, University of Leicester biologists have found the humble worker is queenmaker "“ it is they who choose their queen. This...

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...

2f4dccdc48d364b4029a58f0ca79f3111
2009-11-20 08:25:07

Symbiosis between ants and bacteria explains how leaf-cutter ants dominate tropical environments Leaf-cutter ants, which cultivate fungus for food, have many remarkable qualities. Now there's a new one to add to the list: these ant farmers, like their human counterparts, depend on nitrogen-fixing bacteria to make their gardens grow. The findings, reported this week in the journal Science, document a previously unknown symbiosis between ants and bacteria, and provide insights into how...

2009-09-16 06:11:33

San Antonio is trying to deal with a tiny invader that can cause big problems, the crazy ant. A few colonies of crazy ants have been found in one section of the city, the San Antonio Express News reports. They probably arrived from Houston, where they have been established for about 10 years, possibly brought in on plants. Unlike fire ants, crazy ants do not bite or sting, experts say. What they do is multiply to the point where their colonies have millions or billions of ants. They...


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
bibliopole
  • A bookseller; now, especially, a dealer in rare and curious books.
This word comes from a Greek phrase meaning 'book seller.'
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