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Latest Queen ant Stories

Parasitic Butterfly Larvae May Use Acoustic Signals To Infiltrate Ant Colonies
2014-04-10 15:57:05

PLOS Parasitic butterfly larvae may mimic ants' acoustic signals to aid in the infiltration of their host colonies, according to results published April 9, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Marco Sala from University of Turin, Italy, and colleagues. Ants aggressively defend their colonies and nests, so successfully that these locations make a perfect shelter for another similar species to live in. However, ants have evolved a complex set of signals that allow colony members...

Worker Ants Link Bodies And Buoyant Broods To Protect Queen During Flood
2014-02-20 09:34:12

PLOS When facing a flood, ants build rafts and use both the buoyancy of the brood and the recovery ability of workers to minimize injury or death, according to a study published in PLOS ONE on February 19, 2014 by Jessica Purcell from University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and colleagues. Furthermore, the queen ant is placed in the middle and protected on all sides by the rafting ants. When put in harm's way, social animals are often able to work together to enhance the survival and...

How Gene Expression Differs Between Castes In Ants
2014-01-30 11:53:06

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz Novel or highly modified genes play a major role in the development of the different castes within ant colonies. Evolutionary biologists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) came to this conclusion in a recent gene expression study. Dr. Barbara Feldmeyer and her colleagues at the JGU Institute of Zoology studied the question how the different female castes arise. An ant colony generally consists of a queen and the workers. Moreover, workers can...

Ants Grow Their Thoracic Segments To Match The Tasks They Perform
2014-01-07 07:22:27

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia It has now been discovered that the specialization of queen and worker ants goes beyond the presence or absence of wings. In a study published in the open access scientific journal eLife, Roberto A. Keller and Patrícia Beldade from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC, Portugal), in collaboration with Christian Peeters from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (France), showed that ants grow the size of their thoracic segments differently according to the...

Reproductive Workings Of A Harvester Ant Dynasty Uncovered By Stanford Scientist
2013-02-12 21:08:18

Stanford University For the first time, scientists have measured how successfully a queen ant establishes new colonies. The work by Stanford researchers revealed that the queen was still reproducing several decades after mating. Ants are just about everywhere you look, and yet it's largely unknown how they manage to be so ubiquitous. Scientists have understood the carnal mechanism of ant reproduction, but until now have known little of how successful the daughters of a colony are when...

Social Chromosomes Determine How Many Queen Ants Are In Fire Ant Colony
2013-01-17 13:19:53

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Researchers wrote in the journal Nature that they discovered a social chromosome in fire ants that explain why some colonies allow for more than one queen ant. Red fire ants live in two different types of colonies, including some that strictly have a single queen, and others that contain hundreds of queens. Scientists discovered that this difference in social organization is determined by a chromosome that carries one of two...

2012-09-24 22:13:25

Collective decision-making proves more efficient than individual selection Scientists at Arizona State University have discovered that ants utilize a strategy to handle "information overload." Temnothorax rugatulus ants, commonly found living in rock crevices in the Southwest, place the burden of making complicated decisions on the backs of the entire colony, rather than on an individual ant. In a study published in the early, online version of scientific journal Current Biology,...

2012-04-12 09:26:18

Ant queens get better at laying eggs as they get older, researchers report in the Apr. 11 issue of the open access journal PLoS ONE. Furthermore, this high egg-laying rate did not shorten the queens' life spans, as would have been expected based on many other organisms. The researchers, led by Juergen Heinze at the University of Regensburg in Germany, found that the egg laying rates of ant queens from the species Cardiocondyla obscurior steadily increased as the queens aged, unlike the...

Scientists Discover Key to Creating 'Supersoldier' Ants
2012-01-06 13:55:10

According to a new report published in the journal Science, an international team of researchers has found a way to program ants to become so-called “supersoldiers”. And what´s even more exciting, say researchers, the hidden switch for unlocking the trait in ants might also be present in a number of other species. All ant colonies, like those of their fellow Hymenoptera wasps and bees, are organized into various classes known as ℠castes´, which include,...

Mob Tactics Help Vicious Queen Ants To Reach The Top
2011-09-30 04:21:30

Leptothorax acervorum ants live all over the Northern hemisphere, but their reproductive strategy depends on habitat. Colonies are polygynous (more than one queen) in the forest of Siberia and central Europe, but functionally monogynous (only one queen reproduces) on sun-exposed slopes in Alaska, Hokkaido and the mountains of central Spain. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Ecology demonstrates that when a colony is functionally monogynous not only do queen...


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