Volume 58 Number 2


Sociobiology: Volume 58, Number 2, 2011

Feature Articles:



Revision of the Genus Ecitopora with Descriptions of New Species (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae)

By David H. Kistner & Ryan R. MooneyABSTRACT

The genus Ecitopora is revised and expanded. Previously described species are re-described and new locality and host records provided for many of them. New species described are: Ecitopora braziliensis from Pará�, Brazil; E. degallieri also from Pará�, Brazil; E. minuta from Panama; E. planodisca from Costa Rica; and E. rettenmeyeri from Panama and Costa Rica. The capture data include two new hosts, Eciton lucanoides conquistador and E. rapax. Numerous data indicate that this genus is not primarily adapted to the army ant social life but is adapted to the debris piles adjacent to or beneath the bivouacs. A key to species is provided.

KEY WORDS: Staphylinidae, Myrmechusina, Ecitopora, Eciton, new species.

Return to top


Feeding Behavior of the Black-Tufted-ear Marmoset (Callithrix penicillata) (Primata, Callitrichidae) in a Tropical Cerrado Savanna

By Andréa Andrade Vilela1 & Kleber Del-ClaroABSTRACT

We characterized the diet of a population of the marmoset Callithrix penicillata in a cerrado fragment in SE Brazil. A transect was used to follow the group weekly during one year, registering life area and feeding behavior. A total of 67 hours of life area and 51 hours of feeding behavior observations were completed. The marmosets used an area of 6.85 ha with population density of 2.04 individuals/ha and the group composition varied between 10 to 14 individuals. The animals fed on 23 distinct tree species, eating fruit, buds, flowers, leaves, young stems, resin, ants, termites and bird eggs, with differences in feeding habits between the dry and wet seasons. Our results showed that even in severely disturbed areas, marmosets may not only survive but also maintain a good reproductive capacity. This ability is due to their behavioral plasticity and indicates this species as an interesting social mammal to assist future projects of conservation in fragmented areas of tropical savanna.

KEY WORDS:marmoset; diet; fragmentation; tropical savanna

Return to top


Influence of Strategy Adaptation Speed on Network Reciprocity for Evolutionary Prisoner””s Dilemma Games

By Jun TanimotoABSTRACT

Following our previous study (Tanimoto, submitted to Physica A) on how network reciprocity is affected when strategy adaptation speed is slower than gaming speed, we conducted a series of simulations to obtain a deeper insight. In the case of a spatial prisoner””s dilemma on a scale-free network with a spatial distribution of the strategy updating time scale, we found that a negative correlation between degree and strategy updating speed brings an extremely large cooperation-enhancing effect. This might be because a cooperative hub agent who is insensitive to strategy adaptation can protect against defection invasion at the initial stage of a simulation episode to initiate a cooperative situation.

KEY WORDS: Prisoner””s Dilemma, Network reciprocity, Evolutionary game

Return to top


Post Fire Resprouting of Banisteriopsis malifolia (Malpighiaceae) and the Role of Extrafloral Nectaries on the Associated Ant Fauna in a Brazilian Savanna

By E. Alves-SilvaABSTRACT

According to the plant vigor hypothesis, herbivores are favored by the growing of rapid resprouting plants, however in plants with extrafloral nectaries not the herbivores, but rather patrolling ants would be favored. This ant-plant interaction may have a negative impact on herbivore populations, thus benefiting the plant. In this study I showed that the ant community associated with the extrafloral nectary-bearing shrub Banisteriopsis malifolia in Brazilian savanna is composed of six species in four subfamilies and these ants were more abundant in resprouting B. malifolia indicating a relation of ants with functional extrafloral nectaries. As a consequence the number of herbivores sampled was low, because of the ants”” aggressive behavior. This work provides evidence that the effects of plant vigor are buffered in extrafloral nectary-bearing plants because of the patrolling ants which feed on sugar-rich nectar and protect the plant against invaders.

KEY WORDS: Camponotus crassus; Ectatomma tuberculatum; plant vigor hypothesis; Brazilian savanna; Brazil

Return to top


Preference of Atta capiguara (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) for Different Grasses

By Alberto C. Vitório, Luiz C. Forti, Roberto A. Rodella, Ciniro Costa, Nádia Caldato; Ricardo T. Fujihara & Marcílio S. SilvaABSTRACT

The preference of Atta capiguara for young leaves was evaluated and developed for nine grass species. Hyparrhenia rufa, Paspalum notatum cv Comum and Andopogon gayanus were the most preferred. Paspalum notatum cv Pensacola, Brachiaria decumbens and Cynodon dactylon cv Coast Cross presented intermediate preference. Brachiaria brizantha, Brachiaria humidicola and Melinis minutiflora stood out as the least preferred. In general, H. rufa was the most consumed species independent of leaf age. The proportions of crude protein, ethereal extract, calcium, phosphorus, cellulose, lignin and silica extract of grass species did not present any relation with preference by Atta capiguara Gonçalve. Grass species less accepted by A. capiguara can guide pasture management and on the other hand, preferred species can aid in the formulation of toxic baits more attractive to this species of leaf-cutting ant.

KEY WORDS: leaf-cutting ants, plant selection, pasture.

Return to top


Isoenzymes and Cytochemical Analysis in Tetragonisca angustula and Tetragonisca fiebrigi After Herbicide Contamination

By Fabio Fermino, José Ricardo Penteado Falco, Vagner De Alencar Arnaut De Toledo & Maria Claudia Colla Ruvolo-TakasusukiABSTRACT

Changes in the expression of isoenzymes, peptides and nerve cells of T. angustula and T. fiebrigi stingless bees were evaluated after in vitro contamination with Sanson� 40SC (nicosulfuron) and 200 Gramoxone� (paraquat) herbicides, and also the use of such bees as bioindicators of the presence of pesticides. After contamination, analyses of changes in expression of isoenzymes esterases (EST), malate dehydrogenase (MDH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and nerve cells employing CEC (critical electrolyte concentration) were conducted. The herbicide nicosulfuron causes partial inhibition of esterases from T. angustula and T. fiebrigi. The herbicide paraquat promotes total inhibition of esterase activity in T. fiebrigi from the concentration of 1%, and in concentrations of 10% and 100% in T. angustula. The superoxide dismutase isoenzymes showed an increase in their relative activity after contamination with paraquat at 10% and 100% in both species. No changes were observed for MDH and peptides. In the nerve cells there were observed few changes in gene expression after contact with the herbicides. The esterase and superoxide dismutase enzymes present in extracts of T. angustula and T. fiebrigi are sensitive to the presence of nicosulfuron and paraquat, therefore these isoenzymes are potential bioindicators of the presence of these herbicides.

KEY WORDS: bioindicator, paraquat, nicosulfuron, ecotoxicology.

Return to top


Effects of Aromatic Monomers in Cellulose on Hydrogen Emission by the Termite Coptotermes formosanus

By Reiji Kaneko, Akiko Nakagawa-Izumi, Mikio Kajiyama & Shuichi DoiABSTRACT

The effects of 4 aromatic monomers on the rate of hydrogen emission from the termite Coptotermes formosanus were studied. The hydrogen emission rate, based on the mass of intake, from the termites that were fed cellulose immersed with vanillin, was higher than that of the termites that were fed only cellulose. The PCR-DGGE band patterns, indicating the diversity of the bacterial flora obtained from the guts of the termites fed cellulose with aromatic monomers were different from that of the control termites, indicating that the intestinal bacterial flora was affected by the monomers.

To investigate the direct effects of the monomers on the bacterial flora, the hydrogen emission rate was determined by analyzing the headspace gas in a glass vial in which the excised termite guts, with the intestinal contents after feeding with cellulose, were incubated in the mineral solution containing vanillin as a monomer sample. The results showed that the addition of vanillin at the lower concentration (10 ppm) enhanced hydrogen emission; however, no effect was observed at the higher concentration (100 ppm). The same effect was observed following the addition of 3,4-dimethoxybenzaldehyde. It was concluded that a low concentration of some aromatic monomers derived from lignin affects the bacterial flora in the gut of the termite in a way that changes the hydrogen emission rate from the termite.

KEY WORDS: Coptotermes formosanus, bacterial flora, aromatic monomer, vanillin, hydrogen, lignin

Return to top


Trap-nesting Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Orchards of Acerola (Malpighia emarginata) in a Semiarid Region of Brazil

By Welber da C. Pina & Cândida M. L. AguiarABSTRACT

The present work examines the richness, abundance of nests, and annual activity of bee species nesting in trap-nests at acerola orchards in a semiarid region near Feira de Santana, Bahia State, Brazil. Collections using trap-nests were made in three orchards, between October 2008 and September 2009. Centris analis Fabricius, Centris tarsata Smith and Tetrapedia diversipes Klug used the trap-nests. Two-hundred and fifty four nests were obtained, mostly made by C. analis (n=213). All three species used the 5 and the 10 cm long trap-nest tubes and nesting was more frequent in the largest (n=189) than in the smaller (n=65) tubes. Most nesting activities occurred from December 2008 through April 2009. C. analis is considered to have significant potential for the management of pollination in acerola orchards of the semiarid region in Bahia State, due to the high abundance of its nests.

KEY WORDS: nesting activity, Centris bees, trap-nests, crop pollinators

Return to top


Phenology of Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) in a Fragment of Seasonal Semidecidual Forest in Bahia, Brazil

By Antonio Queiroz Barreto, Carlos Alfredo Lopes de Carvalho, Carlos Alberto da Silva Lêdo & Geni da Silva SodréABSTRACT

The phenology of bees in a fragment of seasonal Semidecidual Forest in Bahia, Brazil was studied monthly from May of 2006 to April of 2007. The 58 species collected were distributed along the year, with 41.38 % occurring in both the rainy period and dry period, 37.93 % just in the rainy period and 20.69 % exclusively in the dry period. The captured number of individuals was 40.09 % in the dry period and 59.91 % in the rainy period. The foraging activities of the bees along the day were more frequent the morning (58.14 %) than in the afternoon (41.86 %). The periods of significant activity were from 07:01 AM to 12:00 PM and from 12:01 PM to 04:00 PM.

KEY WORDS: Diversity, seasonal activity, flight activity, social bees, solitary bees.

Return to top


Spiders, Ants and an Amazonian Myrmecophyte: a Tale of Trophic Cascades

By Cassiano S. Rosa & Og DeSouzaABSTRACT

Plants providing structures in which ants can shelter are often used in studies of trophic cascades. In such systems, predation on ants by specialist top predators may reduce the impact of ants on herbivores, to the plants”” detriment. These cascading top predator effects on herbivores and plants may be as follows: (1) numerical, through a reduction in the number of ants upon which the top predator can feed; or (2) functional, through a top predator””s effect on the behavioral, morphological, or physiological traits of its ant prey. Detecting the existence of cascading effects in such systems and disentangling these two potential components can be difficult. In this paper, we aim to quantify these components in an Amazonian myrmecophytic system, emphasizing the experimental and analytical procedures that can be used to separate the two components. We describe a trophic cascade from spiders through ants to herbivores using a full factorial experimental design combined with an analysis of the statistical interactions in a two-way analysis of deviance. In addition, we disentangle the density- and trait-mediated interactions using a one-way analysis of deviance on the presence of spiders in relation to (1) the number of ants in domatia and (2) the efficiency of ants in detecting intruders. The experimental and analytical procedures described support the conclusion that the trophic cascades in this system are primarily due to trait- rather than density-mediated indirect interactions.

KEY WORDS: Mutualism, antipredator prey behavior, statistical interactions, food web, cascading effect

Return to top


Topical Toxicity of Nine Essential Oils to Camponotus pennsylvanicus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

By Mercedes D. Guerra, Daniel R. Suiter, & Christopher M. ScoccoABSTRACT

A laboratory study was conducted to evaluate the topical toxicity of nine essential oils to field-collected black carpenter ant workers, Camponotus pennsylvanicus (De Geer). Mortality was recorded daily for 7 d following topical treatment with a 2 �l droplet of a 10% oil solution in acetone. A 0.03% bifenthrin treatment, untreated, and acetone-treated controls were included. After 7 d, ant mortality in all the essential oil treatments and control groups was significantly lower than ant mortality from bifenthrin treatment, which killed 96% of treated ants. No essential oil caused more than 33% ant mortality after 7 d, and only citronella and tea tree oils provided mortality that was significantly higher than untreated or acetone-treated controls. The technique of freezing black carpenter ants was an effective method of immobilizing them prior to topical treatment.

KEY WORDS: essential oil, Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, topical toxicity

Return to top


Myrmica radchenkoi, a New Species of Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Indian Himalaya

By Himender Bharti & Yash Paul SharmaABSTRACT

Myrmica radchenkoi sp. nov. is reported from Indian Himalaya with discovery of workers and queen. This new species reinforces the placement of its close ally, earlier reported Myrmica rigatoi Radchenko and Elmes, 1998 in the inezae species group, where it has been provisionally placed so far. The queen in Myrmica radchenkoi sp. nov. which is described herewith also shows some close proximity with already described queen of Myrmica inezae.

KEY WORDS: Myrmica radchenkoi, new species, Myrmica rigatoi, inezae, Himalaya.

Return to top


Effect of Colony Strength on the Performance of Honeybees (Apis mellifera) in Nepal (Hymenoptera:Apidae)

By Siddhi Jeewan Bhusal, Lekhnath Kafle, Resham Bahadur Thapa & Cheng-Jen ShihABSTRACT

An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of initial colony strength of Apis mellifera L. on honey production in Chitwan, Nepal. The mean number of brood cells constructed, number of combs developed, syrup honey collection and storage and pollen/ beebread collection were significantly affected by the honeybee population and the age of the honeybee colonies. In addition, the mean numbers of in-coming and out-going foragers were positively correlated with the population size of the colonies. The study revealed an increase in honey production of 182%, 59% and 18% for the 10, 8 and 6 frame honeybee colonies, respectively, compared to the honey production of 2.82 kg/colony from 4-frame honeybee colonies. Therefore, the development of healthy colonies with a sufficient bee population will help to produce more honey.

KEY WORDS: Apis mellifera; honeybee population; foragers; honey production; frame

Return to top


Two New Synonyms of Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in China

By Zhi-Qiang Li, Bing-Rong Liu, Qiu-Jian Li, Wei-Liang Xiao, & Jun-Hong ZhongABSTRACT

The genus Coptotermes is in serious need of revision in China. The Asian subterranean termite, C. gestroi, is an economically important structural pest. It was proposed that C. yaxianensis Li and C. obliquus Xia et He were two new junior synonyms of C. gestroi. C. gestroi was distributed in Yunnan province and Taiwan, and now C. gestroi has been brought into new geographical regions including Sanya city and Changjiang county in the Hainan province of China.

KEY WORDS: termites, Coptotermes gestroi, Coptotermes yaxianensis, Coptotermes obliquus, taxonomy, synonymy, China.

Return to top


Dominance Hierarchy and Nutrient Acquisition in the Slave-Making Ant Protomognathus americanus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

By Jason R. Carbaugh and Timothy M. JuddABSTRACT

A reproductive dominance hierarchy exists among workers of the slave-making ant Protomognathus americanus (Emery). Previous studies have shown that dominant workers receive more food from the slaves than the subordinates and interrupt food transfer between subordinates and slaves. However, the levels of macronutrients within the individuals of P. americanus have not been measured. This study determined if the more dominant workers have higher levels of protein, amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids than their subordinates as predicted by previous studies. The results show that there is no correlation between rank in the hierarchy and levels of macronutrients of the workers. Thus, the more dominant workers do not always have higher levels of nutrients than their subordinates. Possible explanations for these results may include the queen taking nutrients from the most dominant worker, subordinates waiting at entrances to receive food from returning foragers, or subordinates receiving nutrients from larvae or trophic eggs.

KEY WORDS: Protomognathus americanus, slave-making ant, dominance hierarchy, nutritional ecology

Return to top


Particle Size and Bait Preference of the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

By Ryan Neff, Robert T. Puckett & Roger E. GoldABSTRACT

One of the most effective methods for achieving control of red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren is through the application of broadcast baits. Multiple factors contribute to bait efficacy, one of which is particle size. Bait mass removed, the number of particles removed, and the number of ants present at dishes containing bait of a specific particle size were recorded and used to determine bait and particle size preference of foraging S. invicta. Additionally, head capsule widths of foraging ants were measured and compared to particle size removed. The mean mass of bait removed by foraging ants was significantly greater (P < 0.05) for 1400-2000 �m particles of Select Granular Ant Bait (SGA), but more total particles of bait <710 �m were removed. The mean mass of Advance Carpenter Ant Scatter Bait (CAS) removed was significantly less for particles <710 �m, while foragers removed more 710-1000 �m particles. Significantly more ants were present at SGA particles 1400-2000 �m, while ant counts on CAS were significantly lower for 710-1000 �m particles. Mean head capsule width of foraging ants returning with SGA 1400-2000 �m particles were significantly wider than those returning with <710 �m particles. For CAS, mean head capsule width of ants returning with 1400-2000 �m particles were significantly wider than those returning with <710 �m or 710-1000 �m particles. Implications for control of S. invicta populations are discussed.

KEY WORDS: particle size preference, bait preference, Solenopsis invicta.

Return to top


Microbiological Content and Water Activity of Meliponine (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Honey Samples from Piracicaba, SP, Brazil

By Daniela de Almeida-Anacleto; Luís Carlos Marchini; Bruno de Almeida Souza & Augusta Carolina de Camargo Carmello MoretiABSTRACT

Honey sanitary conditions are evaluated by means of total coliforms, thermotolerant coliforms, mold and yeast counts. This study was undertaken to evaluate the microbiological quality of honey produced by five meliponine species in Piracicaba, State of São Paulo, Brazil. The potential presence of contaminating microbial agents in this product was studied as well as the water activity as an indicator of the amount of water available for the enzymatic and microbiological activities that occur in honey. To accomplish this, the presence of coliforms was determined at 35�C, and at 45�C when needed. Counts were also obtained for mold and yeast. The values found ranged from 10×102 to 1.58×104 CFU.g-1. The highest value was found in honey produced by Scaptotrigona bipunctata (Tubuna). Among all 31 honey samples analyzed, 20 were contaminated. With regard to the number of coliforms at 35�C, two Tetragonisca angustula (Jataí) samples produced positive results (>3 More probable number.g-1). In these samples coliform counts were also performed at 45�C leading to negative results (<3 MPN.g-1). Water activity values varied from 0.58 (Nannotrigona testaceicornis (Iraí) honey ) to 0.82 (T. angustula honey). No correlation was found between the results obtained either for fungal or yeast counts and water activity in the meliponine honey samples.

KEY WORDS: stingless bees, microorganisms, honey , sanitary conditions, water activity

Return to top


Imaginal Organ Development and Vitellogenin Gene Expression Changes During the Differentiation of Nymphoids of the Termite Reticulitermes speratus

By Ryota Saiki & Kiyoto MaekawaABSTRACT

Nymphoids (second-form reproductives) are engaged in reproduction and usually differentiate from several stages of nymphs in the imaginal line. They have highly developed reproductive organs, but the formation of some other imaginal organs is strongly arrested during the molts into nymphoids. To provide additional data for interpreting the mechanisms of nymphoid-specific morphogenesis, we performed analyses on the morphological and physiological changes during a molt into nymphoids of the rhinotermitid termite Reticulitermes speratus. We induced differentiation of female secondary reproductives from each nymphal instar by isolation from the natal nests and found that female 5th stage (N5) nymphs were most likely to differentiate into nymphoids compared with all other female nymphal instars. Morphological observations of wing-bud and compound-eye development of the newly emerged nymphoids showed that these organs were suppressed compared with those of N6 nymphs. Moreover, remarkable ovarian development did not occur immediately after the molts into nymphoids. However, real-time quantitative PCR experiments showed that vitellogenin (VG) gene expression levels in newly emerged nymphoids were about 9000-fold higher than those in N5 and N6 nymphs. These results indicated that VG expression increased markedly in fat body soon after the molts into nymphoids and active vitellogenesis occurred shortly thereafter.

KEY WORDS:

Return to top


Histology and Histochemistry of the Stomach Epithelium of Pachycondyla (= Neoponera) villosa (Formicidae: Ponerinae)

By Noemi Carla Baron, Murillo Lino Bution, Bruno Fiorelini Pereira& Flávio Henrique CaetanoABSTRACT

In this work we carried out histological and histochemical analyses of the midgut of Pachycondyla (= Neoponera) villosa in order to study the generative cells (associated with epithelial regeneration) and “goblet cells” (associated with transport of ions through the epithelium). The regenerative cells are responsible for the replacement of the digestive cells and are grouped on the basis of these cells. The “goblet cells” are formed by a depression rich in microvilli through which secretion activity typically occurs.

KEY WORDS: generative cells, “goblet cells”, ventriculus, Pachycondyla.

Return to top



Red Imported Fire Ant Workers (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Protect Their Queens from Steinernema carpocapsae All (Nematoda: Steinernernatidae)

By Li-Kun Zhang & Ri-Chou HanABSTRACT

The susceptibility of red imported fire ant workers and queens accompanied by workers to the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema carpocapsae All was evaluated in the laboratory. The infective juveniles (IJs) of S. carpocapsae All at the dose of 3.49×104 were able to infect the queen accompanied both by 6 workers and by about 100 workers, the mortalities of infected queens (MOIQs) accompanied by 6 workers were 83.33% after 3 days, 90.00% after 6 and 9 days, respectively, but the MOIQs accompanied by 100 workers were 33.33% after 3 days, 36.67% after 6 days, and 40.00% after 9 days, respectively. The MOIQs accompanied by 6 workers were significantly higher than those accompanied by 100 workers after the same days. However, the MOIQs were increased, but are not significantly different with increased treatment time (3, 6 and 9 days). It was observed that the nematodes in the dishes which the queens survived after 9 days also survived and showed infectivity to waxmoth larvae Galleria mellonella. These results show that the workers are not susceptible to the nematodes and can protect their queens from the nematodes.

KEY WORDS: Solenopsis invicta, queen, workers, Steinernema carpocapsae All.

Return to top

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.