Ants and aphids are known for their mutualistic relationships in which aphids will provide ants with honeydew. The ants in turn, will protect the aphids from predators. However, not all ants will protect aphids all the time.
A group of New England biologists and ecologists have put together a detailed field guide for those who prefer to train their attention on the ground, instead: helping to distinguish the segmented bodies, toothed mandibles, and stinger positionings of local ants.
The second Don’t Bug Me webinar set for Friday, March 1 discusses tramp ant species such as tawny crazy ants and Argentine ants. Bethany O’Rear, a regional home grounds agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, will host the free webinar set for 1 p.m. Central time.
Insects use a wide range of tools for orientation, including visual memory, smell, and counting steps. The tricky question is how they combine and compute different kinds of inputs, and whether their methods can help us understand more complex brains or create artificial ones.
Today, a study published by John Wang and colleagues in the journal Nature explains the answer. Gp-9, it turns out, is just one of many genes that are located on what the authors call a "social chromosome" in fire ants.
The world's first detection dog for Argentine ants is being used to keep the Hauraki Gulf Islands pest-free. Rhys Jones, a Welsh springer spaniel, was certified this year to detect the aggressive Argentine ants that pose a major threat to insects and endangered native birds.
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