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1.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 1400, 2021 12 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34912037

RESUMO

Social insect queens have evolved mechanisms to prevent competition from their sexual daughters. For Solenopsis invicta, the fire ant, queens have evolved a primer pheromone that retards reproductive development in their winged reproductive daughters. If these daughters are removed from the influence of the queen, it takes about a week to start reproductive development; however, it starts almost immediately after mating. This dichotomy has been unsuccessfully investigated for several decades. Here we show that male fire ants produce tyramides, derivatives of the biogenic amine tyramine, in their reproductive system. Males transfer tyramides to winged females during mating, where the now newly mated queens enzymatically convert tyramides to tyramine. Tyramine floods the hemolymph, rapidly activating physiological processes associated with reproductive development. Tyramides have been found only in the large Myrmicinae ant sub-family (6,800 species), We suggest that the complex inhibition/disinhibition of reproductive development described here will be applicable to other members of this ant sub-family.


Assuntos
Formigas/fisiologia , Neurotransmissores/metabolismo , Comportamento Sexual Animal , Tiramina/análogos & derivados , Animais , Feminino , Masculino , Reprodução , Tiramina/metabolismo
2.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0258836, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34714845

RESUMO

Cultivated cotton, such as Gossypium hirsutum L., produces extrafloral (EF) nectar on leaves (foliar) and reproductive structures (bracteal) as an indirect anti-herbivore defense. In exchange for this carbohydrate-rich substance, predatory insects such as ants protect the plant against herbivorous insects. Some EF nectar-bearing plants respond to herbivory by increasing EF nectar production. For instance, herbivore-free G. hirsutum produces more bracteal than foliar EF nectar, but increases its foliar EF nectar production in response to herbivory. This study is the first to test for systemically induced changes to the carbohydrate composition of bracteal EF nectar in response to foliar herbivory on G. hirsutum. We found that foliar herbivory significantly increased the sucrose content of bracteal EF nectar while glucose and fructose remained unchanged. Sucrose content is known to influence ant foraging behavior and previous studies of an herbivore-induced increase to EF nectar caloric content found that it led to increased ant activity on the plant. As a follow-up to our finding, ant recruitment to mock EF nectar solutions that varied in sucrose content was tested in the field. The ants did not exhibit any preference for either solution, potentially because sucrose is a minor carbohydrate component in G. hirsutum EF nectar: total sugar content was not significantly affected by the increase in sucrose. Nonetheless, our findings raise new questions about cotton's inducible EF nectar responses to herbivory. Further research is needed to determine whether an herbivore-induced increase in sucrose content is typical of Gossypium spp., and whether it constitutes a corollary of systemic sucrose induction, or a potentially adaptive mechanism which enhances ant attraction to the plant.


Assuntos
Formigas/fisiologia , Gossypium/química , Sacarose/química , Animais , Gossypium/parasitologia , Herbivoria , Folhas de Planta/química , Folhas de Planta/parasitologia , Néctar de Plantas/química
3.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 17931, 2021 09 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34504119

RESUMO

Climate change is one of the major threats to biodiversity, but its impact varies among the species. Bark beetles (Ips spp.), as well as other wood-boring pests of European forests, show escalating numbers in response to the changes driven by climate change and seriously affect the survival of the forests through the massive killing of trees. Many methods were developed to control these wood-boring beetles, however, their implementation can be detrimental for other forest specialists. Ants are widely used for biological pest-control, so in our study, we aimed to test the effect of Formica polyctena on the control of the wood-boring beetles. The results show that the proportion of infested trees is significantly reduced by the increase of the number of F. polyctena nests, with a strong effect on those infested by Ips species. We also show that the boring beetle community is shaped by different biotic and abiotic factors, including the presence of F. polyctena nests. However, the boring beetle infestation was not related to the latitude, altitude and age of the forests. Based on our results, we assert the effectiveness of the red wood ants as biological pest control and the importance of their conservation to keep the health of the forests.


Assuntos
Formigas/fisiologia , Besouros/fisiologia , Florestas , Controle Biológico de Vetores/métodos , Árvores , Altitude , Animais , Biodiversidade , Mudança Climática , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Hungria , Polônia , Dinâmica Populacional , Eslováquia
4.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 18569, 2021 09 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34535706

RESUMO

Symbiotic relationships are widespread in nature, but the mechanisms maintaining these relationships remain to be elucidated because symbiosis incurs a maintenance cost to each participant, which lowers its reproductive rate. In host-parasite relationships, parasites are known to manipulate the host's behavior selfishly, and there is an arms race between them. Selfish manipulations also occur in symbiosis, but the effects of selfish manipulations on symbiosis are not fully understood. Here, we show that an ant-associated aphid manipulates attending ants to receive stronger protection. Aphid honeydew regurgitated by ants contains dopamine (DA). The ants showed low aggressiveness before contact with the aphids, but it rose after contact. Administration of DA to the ants increased ant aggressiveness as the concentration increased, while an antagonist of DA inhibited this effect. The other 3 amines showed no effect on aggressiveness. A previous study showed that attending ants selfishly manipulate aphids by increasing the reproductive rate of green morph to obtain high-quality honeydew. These results suggest that mutual selfish manipulation benefits both participants and is likely to strengthen symbiosis. The selfishness of each participant may contribute to sustaining this symbiosis because their selfishness increases their long-term fitness.


Assuntos
Formigas/fisiologia , Afídeos/fisiologia , Dopamina/metabolismo , Simbiose , Agressão , Animais
5.
J Insect Sci ; 21(4)2021 Jul 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34436597

RESUMO

Worker division of labor is a defining trait in social insects. Many species are characterized by having behavioral flexibility where workers perform non-typical tasks for their age depending on the colony's needs. Worker division of labor and behavioral flexibility were examined in the little fire ant Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger, 1863), for which age-related division of labor has been found. Young workers perform nursing duties which include tending of brood and queens, and colony defense, while older workers forage. When nurses were experimentally removed from the colony, foragers were observed carrying out nursing and colony defense duties, yet when foragers were removed nurses did not forage precociously. We also administered juvenile hormone analog, methoprene, to workers. When methoprene was applied, foragers increased their nursing and defense activities while nurses became mainly idle. The behavioral flexibility of foragers of the little fire ant may be evidence of an expansion of worker's repertoires as they age; older workers can perform tasks they have already done in their life while young individuals are not capable of performing tasks ahead of time. This may be an important adaptation associated with the success of this ant as an invasive species.


Assuntos
Formigas , Hormônios Juvenis , Comportamento Social , Animais , Formigas/efeitos dos fármacos , Formigas/fisiologia , Espécies Introduzidas , Hormônios Juvenis/farmacologia , Hormônios Juvenis/fisiologia , Metoprene/farmacologia
6.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 17266, 2021 08 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34446800

RESUMO

Myrmecomorphy is a strategy utilized by a variety of species, among which spiders are the most common. It is supposed that myrmecomorphy tends to be selected by predator avoidance of preying on ants rather than by blind ant workers. To date, this hypothesis has been tested mainly on invertebrate predators (mantises and spiders). We are the first to test whether an imperfect myrmecomorph spider (Phrurolithus festivus) gains protection against avian predators (wild adult great tits-Parus major) through its appearance. In a set of preferential trials, we showed that the ant model and the myrmecomorph spider are equally well protected against attack, though the attacked myrmecomorphs are usually eaten. This suggests that the mimicry of the myrmecomorph spiders is effective against avian predators and works in a Batesian manner. In this study, we have provided evidence toward the evolution of myrmecomorphy in response to selective pressure elicited by visually-oriented predators like birds.


Assuntos
Mimetismo Biológico/fisiologia , Passeriformes/fisiologia , Comportamento Predatório/fisiologia , Aranhas/fisiologia , Animais , Formigas/fisiologia , Comportamento Alimentar/fisiologia , Humanos , Mantódeos/fisiologia
7.
PLoS Biol ; 19(6): e3001305, 2021 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34191794

RESUMO

Oxytocin/vasopressin-related neuropeptides are highly conserved and play major roles in regulating social behavior across vertebrates. However, whether their insect orthologue, inotocin, regulates the behavior of social groups remains unknown. Here, we show that in the clonal raider ant Ooceraea biroi, individuals that perform tasks outside the nest have higher levels of inotocin in their brains than individuals of the same age that remain inside the nest. We also show that older ants, which spend more time outside the nest, have higher inotocin levels than younger ants. Inotocin thus correlates with the propensity to perform tasks outside the nest. Additionally, increasing inotocin pharmacologically increases the tendency of ants to leave the nest. However, this effect is contingent on age and social context. Pharmacologically treated older ants have a higher propensity to leave the nest only in the presence of larvae, whereas younger ants seem to do so only in the presence of pupae. Our results suggest that inotocin signaling plays an important role in modulating behaviors that correlate with age, such as social foraging, possibly by modulating behavioral response thresholds to specific social cues. Inotocin signaling thereby likely contributes to behavioral individuality and division of labor in ant societies.


Assuntos
Formigas/fisiologia , Comportamento Animal/fisiologia , Ocitocina/metabolismo , Comportamento Social , Vasopressinas/metabolismo , Envelhecimento/fisiologia , Animais , Encéfalo/fisiologia , Células HEK293 , Humanos , Ocitocina/química , Vasopressinas/química
8.
Zootaxa ; 4980(3): 575582, 2021 Jun 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34186963

RESUMO

Cylindera (Cylindera) julietae sp. nov. (Cicindelidae: Cicindelini) is described as new for science from southern Bolivia. The new species is compared to a similar species Cylindera (Cylindera) confluentesignata (W. Horn, 1915). Colour photographs of habitus, habitat and diagnostic characters of the two similar species are presented. The behaviour of adults of the new species, imitating that of co-occurring ants, is discussed.


Assuntos
Comportamento Animal , Besouros , Animais , Formigas/fisiologia , Bolívia , Besouros/classificação , Besouros/fisiologia , Ecossistema , Especificidade da Espécie
9.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 2918, 2021 05 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34006882

RESUMO

Inquiline ants are highly specialized and obligate social parasites that infiltrate and exploit colonies of closely related species. They have evolved many times convergently, are often evolutionarily young lineages, and are almost invariably rare. Focusing on the leaf-cutting ant genus Acromyrmex, we compared genomes of three inquiline social parasites with their free-living, closely-related hosts. The social parasite genomes show distinct signatures of erosion compared to the host lineages, as a consequence of relaxed selective constraints on traits associated with cooperative ant colony life and of inquilines having very small effective population sizes. We find parallel gene losses, particularly in olfactory receptors, consistent with inquiline species having highly reduced social behavioral repertoires. Many of the genomic changes that we uncover resemble those observed in the genomes of obligate non-social parasites and intracellular endosymbionts that branched off into highly specialized, host-dependent niches.


Assuntos
Formigas/genética , Genoma de Inseto/genética , Parasitos/genética , Comportamento Social , Animais , Formigas/classificação , Formigas/fisiologia , Evolução Molecular , Feminino , Rearranjo Gênico/genética , Genômica/métodos , Interações Hospedeiro-Parasita , Proteínas de Insetos/classificação , Proteínas de Insetos/genética , Masculino , Parasitos/classificação , Parasitos/fisiologia , Filogenia , Receptores Odorantes/classificação , Receptores Odorantes/genética , Especificidade da Espécie
10.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 515, 2021 05 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33941829

RESUMO

Choosing the right mating partner is one of the most critical decisions in the life of a sexually reproducing organism and is the basis of sexual selection. This choice is usually assumed to be made by one or both of the sexual partners. Here, we describe a system in which a third party - the siblings - promote outbreeding by their sisters: workers of the tiny ant Cardiocondyla elegans carry female sexuals from their natal nest over several meters and drop them in the nest of another, unrelated colony to promote outbreeding with wingless, stationary males. Workers appear to choose particular recipient colonies into which they transfer numerous female sexuals. Assisted outbreeding and indirect female choice in the ant C. elegans are comparable to human matchmaking and suggest a hitherto unknown aspect of natural history - third party sexual selection. Our study highlights that research at the intersection between social evolution and reproductive biology might reveal surprising facets of animal behavior.


Assuntos
Formigas/fisiologia , Comportamento de Escolha/fisiologia , Reprodução , Comportamento Sexual Animal/fisiologia , Predomínio Social , Animais , Feminino , Masculino
11.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0251497, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33970975

RESUMO

The blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and the invasive European fire ant (Myrmica rubra) are both expanding throughout their sympatric range in coastal New England. Ixodes scapularis is the primary vector of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is the causative agent of Lyme disease, and Mount Desert Island, Maine, home to Acadia National Park, currently is affected by a high Lyme disease burden. Ticks have many natural predators, including ants, although no previous studies have investigated interactions between these two species. To test the hypothesis that the presence of M. rubra alters I. scapularis abundance, we collected ticks by drag-sampling at eight ant-infested sites and eight uninfested control sites in Acadia National Park. We found that nymph density was significantly higher at ant-infested sites, while larval density was significantly higher at control sites. In addition, we conducted a laboratory bioassay to measure M. rubra aggression against I. scapularis larvae, nymphs, and adults and Dermacentor variabilis adults, and found that ant aggression was significantly higher against D. variabilis adults than I. scapularis adults. Our findings support the hypothesis that M. rubra has divergent effects across I. scapularis life stages, and we discuss possible ecological mechanisms, including optimal microclimate and predation, that could promote density of nymphs while inhibiting density of larvae.


Assuntos
Formigas/fisiologia , Espécies Introduzidas , Ixodes/fisiologia , Animais , Vetores Artrópodes/microbiologia , Vetores Artrópodes/fisiologia , Borrelia burgdorferi/isolamento & purificação , Feminino , Ixodes/microbiologia , Doença de Lyme/transmissão , New England , Simpatria
12.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 376(1826): 20200115, 2021 06 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33866805

RESUMO

Eusocial insects can be defined as those that live in colonies and have distinct queens and workers. For most species, queens and workers arise from a common genome, and so caste-specific developmental trajectories must arise from epigenetic processes. In this review, we examine the epigenetic mechanisms that may be involved in the regulation of caste dimorphism. Early work on honeybees suggested that DNA methylation plays a causal role in the divergent development of queen and worker castes. This view has now been challenged by studies that did not find consistent associations between methylation and caste in honeybees and other species. Evidence for the involvement of methylation in modulating behaviour of adult workers is also inconsistent. Thus, the functional significance of DNA methylation in social insects remains equivocal. This article is part of the theme issue 'How does epigenetics influence the course of evolution?'


Assuntos
Evolução Biológica , Metilação de DNA , Epigênese Genética , Insetos/fisiologia , Traços de História de Vida , Animais , Formigas/genética , Formigas/fisiologia , Insetos/genética , Isópteros/genética , Isópteros/fisiologia , Comportamento Social
13.
J Chem Ecol ; 47(6): 513-524, 2021 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33900528

RESUMO

Chemical communication is common across all organisms. Insects in particular use predominantly chemical stimuli in assessing their environment and recognizing their social counterparts. One of the chemical stimuli used for recognition in social insects, such as ants, is the suite of long-chain, cuticular hydrocarbons. In addition to providing waterproofing, these surface hydrocarbons serve as a signature mixture, which ants can perceive, and use to distinguish between strangers and colony mates, and to determine caste, sex, and reproductive status of another individual. They can be both environmentally and endogenously acquired. The surface chemistry of adult workers has been studied extensively in ants, yet the pupal stage has rarely been considered. Here we characterized the surface chemistry of pupae of Formica exsecta, and examine differences among sexes, castes (reproductive vs. worker), and types of sample (developing individual vs. cocoon envelope). We found quantitative and qualitative differences among both castes and types of sample, but male and female reproductives did not differ in their surface chemistry. We also found that the pupal surface chemistry was more complex than that of adult workers in this species. These results improve our understanding of the information on which ants base recognition, and highlights the diversity of surface chemistry in social insects across developmental stages.


Assuntos
Formigas/metabolismo , Hidrocarbonetos/metabolismo , Odorantes/análise , Pupa/metabolismo , Animais , Formigas/efeitos dos fármacos , Formigas/fisiologia , Feminino , Hidrocarbonetos/farmacologia , Masculino , Pupa/efeitos dos fármacos , Reprodução/efeitos dos fármacos
14.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 8737, 2021 04 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33888758

RESUMO

Foraging rhythms in eusocial insects are determined by the colony´s overall pattern. However, in leaf-cutting ant workers, individual rhythms are not fully synchronized with the colonies' rhythm. The colony as a whole is nocturnal, since most worker activity takes place at night; however some workers forage during the day. Previous studies in individualized ants suggest nocturnal and diurnal workers coexistence. Here observations within the colony, in leaf-cutting ants, showed that workers have differential foraging time preference, which interestingly is associated to body size and differential leaf transportation engagement. Nocturnal ants are smaller and less engaged in leaf transportation whereas diurnal ants are bigger and more engaged in leaf carriage. Mechanisms underlying division of labor in work shifts in ants are still unknown but much can be extrapolated from honeybees; another social system bearing a similar pattern. A collective organization like this favors constant exploitation of food sources while preserving natural individual rhythm patterns, which arise from individual differences, and thermal tolerance, given by the size polymorphism presented by this species.


Assuntos
Formigas/fisiologia , Comportamento Animal , Animais , Tamanho Corporal , Folhas de Planta
15.
Curr Opin Insect Sci ; 45: 121-129, 2021 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33901733

RESUMO

Ant-hemipteran mutualism is one of the most frequently observed food-for-protection associations in nature, and is recently found to contribute to the invasions of several of the most destructive invasive ants. Chemical communication underlies establishment and maintenance of such associations, in which a multitude of semiochemicals, such as pheromones, cuticular hydrocarbons, honeydew sugars and bacteria-produced honeydew volatiles mediate location, recognition, selection, learning of mutualistic partners. Here, we review what is known about the chemical communication between ants and honeydew-producing hemipterans, and discuss how invasive ants can rapidly recognize and establish a mutualistic relationship with the hemipterans with which they have never coevolved. We also highlight some future directions for a clearer understanding of the chemical communication in ant-hemipteran mutualism and its role in ant invasions.


Assuntos
Formigas/fisiologia , Hemípteros/fisiologia , Espécies Introduzidas , Feromônios/metabolismo , Simbiose , Animais , Comunicação , Especificidade da Espécie
16.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0246710, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33914749

RESUMO

We report comprehensive evidence for obligatory thelytokous parthenogenesis in an ant Monomorium triviale. This species is characterized by distinct queen-worker dimorphism with strict reproductive division of labor: queens produce both workers and new queens without mating, whereas workers are completely sterile. We collected 333 nests of this species from 14 localities and three laboratory-reared populations in Japan. All wild queens dissected had no sperm in their spermathecae. Laboratory observation confirmed that virgin queens produced workers without mating. Furthermore, microsatellite genotyping showed identical heterozygous genotypes between mothers and their respective daughters, suggesting an extremely low probability of sexual reproduction. Microbial analysis detected no bacterial genera that are known to induce thelytokous parthenogenesis in Hymenoptera. Finally, the lack of variation in partial sequences of mitochondrial DNA among individuals sampled from across Japan suggests recent rapid spread or selective sweep. M. triviale would be a promising model system of superorganism-like adaptation through comparative analysis with well-studied sexual congeners, including the pharaoh ant M. pharaonis.


Assuntos
Formigas/fisiologia , Partenogênese , Animais , Formigas/genética , DNA Mitocondrial/genética , Feminino , Masculino , Repetições de Microssatélites , Reprodução
18.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 376(1823): 20190728, 2021 04 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33678016

RESUMO

The exceptional longevity of social insect queens despite their lifelong high fecundity remains poorly understood in ageing biology. To gain insights into the mechanisms that might underlie ageing in social insects, we compared gene expression patterns between young and old castes (both queens and workers) across different lineages of social insects (two termite, two bee and two ant species). After global analyses, we paid particular attention to genes of the insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 signalling (IIS)/target of rapamycin (TOR)/juvenile hormone (JH) network, which is well known to regulate lifespan and the trade-off between reproduction and somatic maintenance in solitary insects. Our results reveal a major role of the downstream components and target genes of this network (e.g. JH signalling, vitellogenins, major royal jelly proteins and immune genes) in affecting ageing and the caste-specific physiology of social insects, but an apparently lesser role of the upstream IIS/TOR signalling components. Together with a growing appreciation of the importance of such downstream targets, this leads us to propose the TI-J-LiFe (TOR/IIS-JH-Lifespan and Fecundity) network as a conceptual framework for understanding the mechanisms of ageing and fecundity in social insects and beyond. This article is part of the theme issue 'Ageing and sociality: why, when and how does sociality change ageing patterns?'


Assuntos
Envelhecimento/genética , Formigas/fisiologia , Abelhas/fisiologia , Fertilidade/genética , Isópteros/fisiologia , Transcriptoma/fisiologia , Animais , Formigas/genética , Abelhas/genética , Perfilação da Expressão Gênica , Isópteros/genética , Especificidade da Espécie
19.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 376(1823): 20190736, 2021 04 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33678017

RESUMO

The evolution of sociality in insects caused a divergence in lifespan between reproductive and non-reproductive castes. Ant queens can live for decades, while most workers survive only weeks to a few years. In most organisms, longevity is traded-off with reproduction, but in social insects, these two life-history traits are positively linked. Once fertility is induced in workers, e.g. by queen removal, worker lifespan increases. The molecular regulation of this positive link between fecundity and longevity and generally the molecular underpinnings of caste-specific senescence are not well understood. Here, we investigate the transcriptomic regulation of lifespan and reproduction in fat bodies of three worker groups in the ant Temnothorax rugatulus. In a long-term experiment, workers that became fertile in the absence of the queen showed increased survival and upregulation of genes involved in longevity and fecundity pathways. Interestingly, workers that re-joined their queen after months exhibited intermediate ovary development, but retained a high expression of longevity and fecundity genes. Strikingly, the queen's presence causes a general downregulation of genes in worker fat bodies. Our findings point to long-term consequences of fertility induction in workers, even after re-joining their queen. Moreover, we reveal longevity genes and pathways modulated during insect social evolution. This article is part of the theme issue 'Ageing and sociality: why, when and how does sociality change ageing patterns?'


Assuntos
Formigas/fisiologia , Traços de História de Vida , Longevidade/genética , Animais , Fertilidade , Comportamento Social
20.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 376(1823): 20190735, 2021 04 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33678018

RESUMO

Longevity is traded off with fecundity in most solitary species, but the two traits are positively linked in social insects. In ants, the most fecund individuals (queens and kings) live longer than the non-reproductive individuals, the workers. In many species, workers may become fertile following queen loss, and recent evidence suggests that worker fecundity extends worker lifespan. We postulated that this effect is in part owing to improved resilience to oxidative stress, and tested this hypothesis in three Myrmicine ants: Temnothorax rugatulus, and the leaf-cutting ants Atta colombica and Acromyrmex echinatior. We removed the queen from colonies to induce worker reproduction and subjected workers to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress drastically reduced survival, but this effect was less pronounced in leaf-cutting ant workers from queenless nests. We also found that, irrespective of oxidative stress, outside workers died earlier than inside workers did, likely because they were older. Since At. colombica workers cannot produce fertile offspring, our results indicate that direct reproduction is not necessary to extend the lives of queenless workers. Our findings suggest that workers are less resilient to oxidative stress in the presence of the queen, and raise questions on the proximate and ultimate mechanisms underlying socially mediated variation in worker lifespan. This article is part of the theme issue 'Ageing and sociality: why, when and how does sociality change ageing patterns?'


Assuntos
Formigas/fisiologia , Herbicidas/efeitos adversos , Oxidantes/efeitos adversos , Estresse Oxidativo , Animais , Especificidade da Espécie , Sobrevida
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