Insectes Sociaux

http://link.springer.com/journal/40

List of Papers (Total 71)

Intraspecific variation in colony founding behavior and social organization in the honey ant Myrmecocystus mendax

Persistent cooperation between unrelated reproductives occurs rarely in mature eusocial insect societies, and when present, is frequently geographically constrained. Here we present genetic and behavioral evidence showing that primary polygyny occurs in some, but not all populations of the honey ant Myrmecocystus mendax. Specifically, we found that all mature colonies sampled in...

Developmental changes in gene expression and enzyme activities of anabolic and catabolic enzymes for storage carbohydrates in the honeybee, Apis mellifera

Glycogen and trehalose are important sources of energy in insects. The expression of genes encoding the key metabolic enzymes—glycogen synthase (GS), glycogen phosphorylase (GP), trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (TPS-1), soluble trehalase (Tre-1) and membrane-bound trehalase (Tre-2)—was analyzed in 12 developmental stages of Apis mellifera worker brood. The content of GS and GP...

Environmental barriers to sociality in an obligate eusocial sweat bee

Understanding the ecological and environmental contexts in which eusociality can evolve is fundamental to elucidating its evolutionary origins. A sufficiently long active season is postulated to have been a key factor facilitating the transition to eusociality. Many primitively eusocial species exhibit an annual life cycle, which is thought to preclude the expression of...

The evolution of caste-biasing symbionts in the social hymenoptera

The separation of individuals into reproductive and worker castes is the defining feature of insect societies. However, caste determination is itself a complex phenomenon, dependent on interacting genetic and environmental factors. It has been suggested by some authors that widespread maternally transmitted symbionts such as Wolbachia may be selected to interfere with caste...

The gut microbiome is associated with behavioural task in honey bees

The gut microbiome is recognised as playing an integral role in the health and ecology of a wide variety of animal taxa. However, the relationship between social behavioural traits and the microbial community has received little attention. Honey bees are highly social and the workers perform different behavioural tasks in the colony that cause them to be exposed to different...

White-gutted soldiers: simplification of the digestive tube for a non-particulate diet in higher Old World termites (Isoptera: Termitidae)

Previous observations have noted that in some species of higher termites the soldier caste lacks pigmented particles in its gut and, instead, is fed worker saliva that imparts a whitish coloration to the abdomen. In order to investigate the occurrence of this trait more thoroughly, we surveyed a broad diversity of termite specimens and taxonomic descriptions from the Old World...

Convergent structure and function of mycelial galleries in two unrelated Neotropical plant-ants

The construction process and use of galleries by Azteca brevis (Myrmicinae: Dolichoderinae) inhabiting Tetrathylacium macrophyllum (Salicaceae) were compared with Allomerus decemarticulatus (Myrmicinae: Solenopsidini) galleries on Hirtella physophora (Chrysobalanaceae). Though the two ant species are phylogenetically distant, the gallery structure seems to be surprisingly similar...

Secretions of mandibular glands are not involved in the elicitation of rescue behaviour in Formica cinerea ants

Certain ants perform rescue behaviour for other ants that require help, and the expression of rescue behaviour is hypothesized to depend on signals (“calls for help”) sent by the imperilled individuals. We studied whether the mandibular glands were involved in the elicitation of rescue behaviour in Formica cinerea Mayr ants. In the first experiment, we determined the occurrence...

Neotropical ant-plant Triplaris americana attracts Pseudomyrmex mordax ant queens during seedling stages

The association between the myrmecophyte Triplaris and ants of the genus Pseudomyrmex is an often-reported example of mutualism in the Neotropics. The ants colonize the hollow stems of their hosts, and in exchange, the plants benefit from a reduced degree of herbivory. The previous studies have shown that workers can discriminate their host from other plants, including a closely...

Inferring polydomy: a review of functional, spatial and genetic methods for identifying colony boundaries

Identifying the boundaries of a social insect colony is vital for properly understanding its ecological function and evolution. Many species of ants are polydomous: colonies inhabit multiple, spatially separated, nests. Ascertaining which nests are parts of the same colony is an important consideration when studying polydomous populations. In this paper, we review the methods...

The effects of disturbance threat on leaf-cutting ant colonies: a laboratory study

The flexibility of organisms to respond plastically to their environment is fundamental to their fitness and evolutionary success. Social insects provide some of the most impressive examples of plasticity, with individuals exhibiting behavioral and sometimes morphological adaptations for their specific roles in the colony, such as large soldiers for nest defense. However, with...

Discriminatory abilities of facultative slave-making ants and their slaves

Intra-colony odor variability can disturb ants’ ability to discriminate against intruders. The evolutionary relevance of this phenomenon can be revealed by studies on colonies of slave-making ants in which the parasite, and not the host, is subject to selection pressures associated with living in a mixed colony. We examined how the European facultative slave-making species...

Social polymorphism in the sweat bee Lasioglossum (Evylaeus) calceatum

Temperate-zone socially polymorphic sweat bees (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) are ideal model systems for elucidating the origins of eusociality, a major evolutionary transition. Bees express either social or solitary behaviour in different parts of their range, and social phenotype typically correlates with season length. Despite their obvious utility, however, socially polymorphic...

Causes of mortality of Polistes nimpha colonies

We studied populations of the eusocial paper wasps Polistes nimpha from 2012 to 2014, near Poznań, Poland, to identify the causes of mortality and to analyze changes in the number of active nests during the breeding season (from May to September). Results of the 3-year study showed that the major cause of P. nimpha mortality (51.9 %) in the study areas was the activity of mammals...