Navigation Links
Native ants use chemical weapons to turn back invading Argentine ants
Date:6/7/2011

"The next day we came back and the ground was littered with Argentine ants. There were dead ants all around and there was a lot of fighting around the nest entrances."

In earlier observations, the students had noticed the winter ants occasionally secreting a whitish fluid from their abdomens and, by prodding a few with a paperclip, had figured out that the ants tended to secrete when hassled.

"They would curl their abdomens around and deposit the white secretion on the paper clip used to prod them," said Trevor Sorrells, then a junior who was a teaching assistant for the class.

Watching the combat, the students saw the winter ants use their lethal secretions against the invaders. Intrigued, the group decided to continue the research after the class ended.

Kuritzky did a chemical analysis of the secretion, using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. She determined that part of the secretion consisted of a type of hydrocarbon, which many social insects use to carry a colony-specific odor that helps them identify friend from foe. But what substance gives the secretion is lethal punch still has to be determined.

"Whatever it is, it is clearly very toxic," Gordon said.

To assess the lethality of the secretion and how freely the winter ants wielded it Sorrells and the other students ran a series of "trials by combat" in palm-sized shallow glass petri dishes in the lab.

He organized some group rumbles with 20 ants per dish, varying the ratio of winter ants to Argentine ants to see if that had an effect. He also ran some one-on-one gladiatorial combat in a one-centimeter square "ring."

"It turns out the winter ants use the secretion only when they are really overwhelmed, so it is probably energetically very expensive for the winter ant to manufacture and use this stuff," Gordon said.

In the great outdoors, without petri dish arenas in which to settle their disputes, the winter ants
'/>"/>

Contact: Louis Bergeron
louisb3@stanford.edu
650-725-1944
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Lawn of native grasses beats traditional lawn for lushness, weed resistance
2. Dietary yeast extracts tested as alternative to antibiotics in poultry
3. Are invasive plants a threat to native biodiversity? It depends on the spatial scale
4. Tahoe native fish population declines sharply, invasives on the rise
5. Ecologists use 70-year-old pressed plants to chart citys vanishing native flora
6. UCLA researchers engineer E. coli to produce record-setting amounts of alternative fuel
7. Alternatives eyed for methyl bromide
8. Chicken litter provides organic alternative to synthetic fertilizers
9. Research proves new soybean meal sources are good fish meal alternatives
10. Native American ancestry linked to greater risk of relapse in young leukemia patients
11. Neiker-Tecnalia creates air-conditioned greenhouse with alternative energies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Native ants use chemical weapons to turn back invading Argentine ants 
(Date:9/30/2014)... What do seedless watermelon, salmon, and strawberries all have ... have two sets of chromosomes and are diploid, these ... more sets of chromosomesseedless watermelon and salmon have 3 ... 10! While this might seem surprising, in fact ... was first discovered over a century ago, but only ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... (PCE) in drinking water may increase the risk ... new study led by a Boston University School ... in the journal Environmental Health , compared ... 1,766 women in Cape Cod, Ma., where water ... early 1980s by the installation of vinyl-lined asbestos ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... to using marijuana, new research, involving mice and published ... Journal of Leukocyte Biology , suggests that just ... should. That,s because a team of Italian scientists have ... long-term damage to the immune system. This damage may ... as multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Gene doubling shapes the world: Instant speciation, biodiversity, and the root of our existence 2Gene doubling shapes the world: Instant speciation, biodiversity, and the root of our existence 3Gene doubling shapes the world: Instant speciation, biodiversity, and the root of our existence 4Contaminated water linked to pregnancy complications, BU study finds 2Adolescent exposure to thc may cause immune systems to go up in smoke 2
... 6, 2007) - The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) ... awards were presented at the societys annual meeting that was ... as the American Fern Society and the American Society of ... a list of the 2007 award winners in 10 different ...
... each cell, a little engine called RNA polymerase II does ... nucleus that get carried to production units in the rest ... at the University of Michigan Medical School have shown that ... damage. When certain types of damage in DNA halt the ...
... Moray eels have a unique way of feeding reminiscent of ... After seizing prey in its jaws, a second set of ... mouth, grabs the food and carries it back to the ... for feeding behavior for fishes in general," said Rita Mehta, ...
Cached Biology News:The American Society of Plant Biologists announces 2007 awards 2The American Society of Plant Biologists announces 2007 awards 3The American Society of Plant Biologists announces 2007 awards 4The American Society of Plant Biologists announces 2007 awards 5Enzyme alerts cell's powerful army to repair DNA damage 2Enzyme alerts cell's powerful army to repair DNA damage 3'Alien' jaws help moray eels feed 2
(Date:9/30/2014)... release is available in German . ... around several quantum dots in a semiconductor layer. Quantum dots ... of atomic processes. If a short laser pulse is fired ... the quantum dot experiences a change in the electromagnetic field ... the emission of light by the dot. As soon as ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... of one of nature,s most efficient light-harvesting structures, ... by Alejandro Briseno of the University of Massachusetts ... long-sought polymer architecture to boost power-conversion efficiency of ... , Briseno, with colleagues and graduate students ... and Dresden University of Technology, Germany, report in ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments has released the DSES-1000 ... tool for measuring displacement in rubber and other ... movement distance, the DSES-1000 can measure elongations up ... 10 mm. In addition, it achieves +/- 0.2 ... within +/- 100 µm below 50-mm stroke. , ...
(Date:9/30/2014)... September 30, 2014 Proove Biosciences ... is excited to announce a new genetic test built ... Proove Pain Perception Test will provide physicians with ... why pain tolerance levels are stratified between individuals. With ... whether a person has a genetic predisposition that will ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Ultrafast remote switching of light emission 2Blades of grass inspire advance in organic solar cells 2Blades of grass inspire advance in organic solar cells 3Shimadzu’s New Long-Travel Extensometer Increases Precision for Soft Material Testing 2Proove Biosciences is Now Offering the Proove Pain Perception Genetic Test to Help Physicians Assess Patient Pain Tolerance Levels 2Proove Biosciences is Now Offering the Proove Pain Perception Genetic Test to Help Physicians Assess Patient Pain Tolerance Levels 3
... online today in Genome Research ( www.genome.org ... the genes and pathways associated with aging. This ... simple model organisms that may lead to the characterization ... and age-associated diseases. , While nearly all organisms experience ...
... to the electronics industrys rallying cry of smaller and ... are likely to come from microchips and data storage ... molecules and polymers. With innovative measurement techniques and new ... the March Meeting of the American Physical Society how ...
... GPRO ) announced today that the Company will present ... Miami Beach on March,18, 2008 at approximately 3:15 p.m. ... Healthcare Conference in Boston on March 19, 2008 at,approximately ... webcast live and may be accessed through a link ...
Cached Biology Technology:Growing old together: Yeast, worms and people may age by similar mechanisms 2Copolymers block out new approaches to microelectronics at NIST 2Gen-Probe to Webcast Presentations at Lehman and Cowen Healthcare Conferences 2
...
... Triple-angle light scattering detector for ambient ... signal processing hardware for two external ... detectors. Also contains an analog output ... to strip chart recorders. Includes an ...
...
...
Biology Products: