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Little fire ants

Inam Yekwayo, James S Pryke, René Gaigher, Michael J Samways
Fire is a major driver in many ecosystems. Yet, little is known about how different ground-living arthropods survive fire. Using three sampling methods, and time-since-fire (last fire event: 3 months, 1 year, and 7 years), we investigate how ground-living arthropod diversity responds to fire, and how species richness, diversity, abundance, and composition of the four dominant taxa: ants, beetles, cockroaches and mites, respond. We did this in the naturally fire-prone Mediterranean-type scrubland vegetation (fynbos) of the Cape Floristic Region...
2018: PloS One
Amilcar Perez-Riverol, Luís Gustavo Romani Fernandes, Alexis Musacchio Lasa, José Roberto Aparecido Dos Santos-Pinto, Débora Moitinho Abram, Gabriel Hideki Izuka Moraes, Frederic Jabs, Michaela Miehe, Henning Seismman, Mario Sergio Palma, Ricardo de Lima Zollner, Edzard Spillner, Márcia Regina Brochetto-Braga
Molecular cross-reactivity caused by allergen homology or cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCDs) is a major challenge for diagnosis and immunotherapy of insect venom allergy. Venom phospholipases A1 (PLA1s) are classical, mostly non-glycosylated wasp and ant allergens that provide diagnostic benefit for differentiation of genuine sensitizations from cross-reactivity. As CCD-free molecules, venom PLA1s are not causative for CCD-based cross-reactivity. Little is known however about the protein-based cross-reactivity of PLA1 within vespid species...
January 2018: Molecular Immunology
Jian Chen
Headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is commonly used in analyzing insect volatiles. To improve the detection of volatiles in insects, a freeze-thaw method was applied to insect samples before the HS-SPME-GC-MS analysis. Insect samples were first frozen at -80 °C for 10 min and then thawed at 25 °C for 5 min before SPME extraction was performed. The freeze-thaw method clearly improved the detection of volatile compounds for all six tested insect species, including red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, black imported fire ants, Solenopsis richteri Forel, little black ants, Monomorium minimum (Buckley), pharaoh ants, Monomorium pharaonis (Linnaeus), eastern subterranean termites, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), and spotted lady beetles, Coleomegilla maculate De Geer...
August 1, 2017: Analytical Chemistry
Diego Anjos, Ricardo Campos, Renata Campos, Sérvio Ribeiro
Fire is one of the most relevant ecological disturbances in nature. Little is known about the effects of fire on biodiversity in ecosystems like rupestrian grasslands, which share characteristics with savanna and forest biomes. Brazilian rupestrian grasslands are part of an endangered ecosystem that has been modified by anthropogenic fire events that have become more intense in recent decades. In this study, we evaluated the effects of fire on ground and arboreal ant assemblages through a two-year monitoring program (24 monthly samplings)...
June 23, 2017: Insects
Hua-Long Qiu, Dai-Feng Cheng
Necrophoric behavior is essential to colony health in social insects. Little is known about the genes that are responsible for necrophoric behavior. Here, we show that a chemosensory protein gene Si-CSP1 was expressed significantly higher in the antennae than in other tissues such as the legs and heads of Solenopsis invicta Buren workers. Furthermore, Si-CSP1-silenced workers moved significantly fewer corpses of their nestmates than normal workers. Finally, Si-CSP1-silenced workers exhibited weaker antennal responses to oleic acid and linoleic acid than controls...
June 1, 2017: Journal of Economic Entomology
R K Vander Meer, D E Milne
The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Buren), left most of its natural enemies behind in South America when it arrived in Mobile, AL, in the 1930s and spread rapidly throughout the southeastern United States, reaching population levels up to 10 times those found in South America. The large population densities and propensity for disturbed habitats led to direct conflict with human activities. Bait control methods were first developed for fire ants in the early 1960s and little has changed in the subsequent decades, despite the drawback that the bait carrier rapidly breaks down when wet...
April 1, 2017: Journal of Economic Entomology
Rodrigo Pracana, Anurag Priyam, Ilya Levantis, Richard A Nichols, Yannick Wurm
Variation in social behaviour is common, yet little is known about the genetic architectures underpinning its evolution. A rare exception is in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta: Alternative variants of a supergene region determine whether a colony will have exactly one or up to dozens of queens. The two variants of this region are carried by a pair of 'social chromosomes', SB and Sb, which resemble a pair of sex chromosomes. Recombination is suppressed between the two chromosomes in the supergene region. While the X-like SB can recombine with itself in SB/SB queens, recombination is effectively absent in the Y-like Sb because Sb/Sb queens die before reproducing...
June 2017: Molecular Ecology
Cai Wang, Xuan Chen, Linda M Hooper-Bùi, Rachel Strecker, Yu-Zhen Wen, Wen-Quan Qin, Tao Ma, Zhao-Hui Sun, Xiao-Yang Chen, Xiu-Jun Wen
Many previous studies have focused on the foraging behaviors and strategies of the red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren on solid food or granular bait, little attention has been paid to how liquid sugar is fed upon. In the present study, behavioral responses of S. invicta to 25% sucrose water droplets were observed. Five foraging patterns were identified in S. invicta colonies under laboratory conditions: (1) No feeding, no sucrose water feeding was observed; (2) surround feeding, ants surrounded and fed along the edge of the sucrose droplet; (3) stacked feeding, ants stacked and fed along the edge of the sucrose droplet; (4) droplet-break feeding, ants broke the liquid droplet and sucked sucrose water that spread on surface of the substance or soil particles previously transported by ants, and (5) cover feeding, whole surface of the sucrose droplet was covered by layers of feeding ants...
December 28, 2016: Insect Science
L Chifflet, M S Rodriguero, L A Calcaterra, O Rey, P A Dinghi, F B Baccaro, J L P Souza, P Follett, V A Confalonieri
The evolutionary history of invasive species within their native range may involve key processes that allow them to colonize new habitats. Therefore, phylogeographic studies of invasive species within their native ranges are useful to understand invasion biology in an evolutionary context. Here we integrated classical and Bayesian phylogeographic methods using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers with a palaeodistribution modelling approach, to infer the phylogeographic history of the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata across its native distribution in South America...
April 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Lei Wang, Jian Chen
Red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, are significant invasive pests. Certain native ant species can compete with S. invicta, such as the little black ant, Monomorium minimum. Defensive secretions may contribute to the competition capacity of native ants. The chemistry of ant defensive secretions in the genus Monomorium has been subjected to extensive research. The insecticidal alkaloids, 2,5-dialkyl-pyrrolidines and 2,5-dialkyl-pyrrolines have been reported to dominate the venom of M. minimum. In this study, analysis of defensive secretions of workers and queens of M...
August 2015: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Misato O Miyakawa, Alexander S Mikheyev
Evolution of reproduction strategies is affected by both phylogenetic and physiological constraints. Although clonality may benefit females, it may not be selected if a male contribution is necessary to start egg laying and embryo development. In little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, sexual populations employ a typical Hymenopteran system of reproduction. In clonal populations, however, queens and males are produced with only maternal and paternal genomes, respectively, whereas sterile workers are produced sexually...
April 2015: Die Naturwissenschaften
Sallie M Sells, David W Held, Stephen F Enloe, Nancy J Loewenstein, Lori G Eckhardt
BACKGROUND: Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica Beav.) is an aggressive, invasive weed with a global distribution. In North America, it threatens the integrity of southeastern pine agroecosystems, including longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.). While studies have examined the impacts of cogongrass and various vegetation management strategies on longleaf pine understory plant communities, little is known about how they impact associated insect communities. To understand the effect of cogongrass management strategies on arthropod natural enemies and bark beetles, a split-plot design was used to test fire (whole-plot) and four subplot treatments (control, herbicide, seeding and herbicide plus seeding)...
March 2015: Pest Management Science
Yang Yu, Eric B Jang, Matthew S Siderhurst
The little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), is an invasive ant with negative impacts on both biodiversity and agriculture throughout the tropics and subtropics. Field experiments were conducted in order to elucidate the relative attractiveness of the enantiomers of the alarm pheromones, 2,5-dimethyl-3-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine and 3-methyl-2-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine. The enantiomers tested were synthesized from commercially available (S)-2-methylbutan-1-ol or kinetically resolved (R)-2-methylbutan-1-ol, prepared using Pseudomonas cepacia lipase (PCL)...
December 2014: Journal of Chemical Ecology
Séverine D Buechel, Yanick Wurm, Laurent Keller
Intraspecific variation in social organization is common, yet the underlying causes are rarely known. An exception is the fire ant Solenopsis invicta in which the existence of two distinct forms of social colony organization is under the control of the two variants of a pair of social chromosomes, SB and Sb. Colonies containing exclusively SB/SB workers accept only one single queen and she must be SB/SB. By contrast, when colonies contain more than 10% of SB/Sb workers, they accept several queens but only SB/Sb queens...
October 2014: Molecular Ecology
Stephane Caut, Michael J Jowers, Xavier Arnan, Jessica Pearce-Duvet, Anselm Rodrigo, Xim Cerda, Raphaël R Boulay
Fire plays a key role in ecosystem dynamics worldwide, altering energy flows and species community structure and composition. However, the functional mechanisms underlying these effects are not well understood. Many ground-dwelling animal species can shelter themselves from exposure to heat and therefore rarely suffer direct mortality. However, fire-induced alterations to the environment may change a species' relative trophic level within a food web and its mode of foraging. We assessed how fire could affect ant resource utilization at different scales in a Mediterranean forest...
January 2014: Ecology and Evolution
Fabio Manfredini, Christophe Lucas, Michael Nicolas, Laurent Keller, Dewayne Shoemaker, Christina M Grozinger
Reproductive and worker division of labour (DOL) is a hallmark of social insect societies. Despite a long-standing interest in worker DOL, the molecular mechanisms regulating this process have only been investigated in detail in honey bees, and little is known about the regulatory mechanisms operating in other social insects. In the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, one of the most studied ant species, workers are permanently sterile and the tasks performed are modulated by the worker's internal state (age and size) and the outside environment (social environment), which potentially includes the effect of the queen presence through chemical communication via pheromones...
February 2014: Molecular Ecology
Nick Gravish, Daria Monaenkova, Michael A D Goodisman, Daniel I Goldman
Locomotion emerges from effective interactions of an individual with its environment. Principles of biological terrestrial locomotion have been discovered on unconfined vertical and horizontal substrates. However, a diversity of organisms construct, inhabit, and move within confined spaces. Such animals are faced with locomotor challenges including limited limb range of motion, crowding, and visual sensory deprivation. Little is known about how these organisms accomplish their locomotor tasks, and such environments challenge human-made devices...
June 11, 2013: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Jan Oettler, Volker S Schmid, Niko Zankl, Olivier Rey, Andreas Dress, Jürgen Heinze
Fermat's principle of least time states that light rays passing through different media follow the fastest (and not the most direct) path between two points, leading to refraction at medium borders. Humans intuitively employ this rule, e.g., when a lifeguard has to infer the fastest way to traverse both beach and water to reach a swimmer in need. Here, we tested whether foraging ants also follow Fermat's principle when forced to travel on two surfaces that differentially affected the ants' walking speed. Workers of the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata, established "refracted" pheromone trails to a food source...
2013: PloS One
Olivier Rey, Arnaud Estoup, Benoit Facon, Anne Loiseau, Alexandre Aebi, Olivier Duron, Fabrice Vavre, Julien Foucaud
Endosymbiotic reproductive manipulators may have drastic effects on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of their hosts. The prevalence of these endosymbionts reflects both their ability to manipulate their hosts and the history of the host populations. The little fire ant Wasmannia auropunctata displays a polymorphism in both its reproductive system (sexual versus clonal populations) and the invasive status of its populations (associated to a habitat shift). We first screened for the presence of a diverse array of reproductive parasites in sexual and clonal populations of W...
2013: PloS One
Nathan T Derstine, Elisa J Troyer, Caitlyn N Suttles, Leigh A Siderhurst, Eric B Jang, Matthew S Siderhurst
Two detection methods for the little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), both employing the pheromone attractant 2,5-dimethyl-3-(2-methylbutyl)pyrazine (2-MeBu-diMePy), were compared with peanut butter based detection, in order to evaluate differences in species specificity and detection reliability. Trapping was conducted using a transect through a macadamia orchard on the island of Hawaii. The transect consisted of a series of three-tree plots, each plot contained a peanut butter coated stick (the most common detection method used for W...
2012: Journal of Insect Science
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