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Latest Pogonomyrmex Stories

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2011-04-26 10:18:02

A plant's sugary offering betrays caterpillars to predatory ants Trichomes, hair-like projections on leaves, are part of a plant's defense against herbivores: they can be obstacles, traps, or reservoirs for toxic substances. The hairs of wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata contain primarily acyl sugars, which are composed of the common sugar, sucrose, bound to branched chain aliphatic acids, compounds that give baby vomit its distinctive odor. Tiny, freshly hatched caterpillars consume these...

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...

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...

2008-08-20 03:00:25

By Nicolai, Nancy Smeins, Fred E; Cook, Jerry L ABSTRACT. - Vegetation composition is often dictated by grazing intensity in semiarid savannas; recovery following drought may depend on pre drought species composition. Nests of the red harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, affect the dynamics, composition and recovery of post drought communities due to their larger size, greater seed production and higher perennial grass richness. We hypothesized that vegetation at ant nests would survive...

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2008-08-18 16:43:44

Researchers trying to determine whether nature or nurture determines an ant's status in the colony have found a surprising answer. Both. Nature (that is, the ant's genetic makeup) and nurture (what it eats, for example) play a role in determining the fate of the Florida harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex badius, a resilient creature found in many parts of the southeastern United States. The research team included scientists from the University of Illinois, the University of Arizona, Linfield College...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'