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1.
Planta ; 254(6): 125, 2021 Nov 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34807329

RESUMO

MAIN CONCLUSION: The extrafloral nectaries of S. occidentalis were studied structurally and anatomically (at secretory and post-secretory developmental stages). Role of extrafloral nectaries as a common plant-adoptive characteristic in context to diversity and phylogenetic pattern was also speculated while exploring other collaborative evolutionary implications of this plant. Extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) are widespread and evolutionarily labile traits that have repeatedly and remarkably evolved in vascular plants. Morphological descriptions of the EFNs of certain plant species are common in the literature, but they rarely relate morphology with histology, gland distribution and secretory characteristics. Studies relating EFNs features, i.e., morphology and distribution with their differential visitation by insects, viz. ants and the cost of maintenance to the plants are important to understand the evolution of these glands. Therefore, in this study a morphological, anatomical (structure and ultrastructure) and secretory characterization of EFNs occurring on Senna occidentalis L. is made with the implications of gland attributes discussed from a functional perspective. S. occidentalis L. (Caesalpiniaceae) is an economically important species from industrial, medicinal and agricultural perspective. Observations from the result showed that shape of the EFNs (size 1-2 mm) ranged to globular, ovoid-conical, dome-shaped, fusiform or cylindrical with conical tip. The EFNs were sessile, positioned interpetiolar or seated at the base of petiole. Light and transmission electron microscopic studies showed the specific internal structures of the extrafloral nectary. Two developmental stages of the EFNs (secretory and post-secretory) were recognized. Our current understanding of the phylogenetic patterns of EFNs makes them powerful candidates for future work exploring the drivers of their evolutionary origins, shifts, and losses.


Assuntos
Formigas , Senna (Planta) , Animais , Filogenia , Néctar de Plantas , Plantas
2.
Zootaxa ; 5019(1): 1-90, 2021 Aug 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34810423

RESUMO

The types specimens of many taxa described by Chandy Kurian were considered lost for many years, which prevented the recognition of the species delimited by him. Fifty holotypes have been rediscovered in the National Forest Insect Collection of Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. Forty-five types belong to Bethylidae (Cephalonomia tritici, Chlorepyris biharina, C. mackenziei, C. pusana, C. sanctipauli, Epyris agraensis, E. agrensis, E. bombayensis, E. delhiensis, E. duni, E. duttai, E. indicae, E. manii, E. patnae, E. pusae, E. shishami, Goniozus ahmeadi, G. chatterjii, G. chowdhari, G. hybleae, G. lygropiae, G. madrassippattanami, G. marasmi, G. mori, G. morindae, G. nephoterycis, G. nilamburensis, G. pulveriae, G. salvadorae, G. sanctijohannis, G. thalasodi, Laelius agraensis, Odontepyris argyriae, O. batrae, O. cirphi, O. hypsipylae, O. indicus, Pristepyris agraensis, Pristocera govindrami, Sclerodermus delhiensis, Sc. hardwickiae, Sc. mori, Sc. raonis, Sulcomesitius bahaduri and Su. duni), one to Chrysididae (Lustrina assamensis), three to Dryinidae (Lestodryinus guptai, Neodryinus karnalensis and N. pusae) and one to Formicidae (Neoclystopsenella luffae). Six new combinations are proposed: Epyris mackenziei comb. nov. from Chlorepyris; Formosiepyris agraensis comb. nov. from Epyris; Holepyris raonis comb. nov. from Sclerodermus; Holepyris patnae comb. nov. from Epyris; Pristocera agraensis comb. nov. from Pristepyris; and Trachepyris sanctipauli comb. nov. from Chlorepyris. We also provide updated diagnoses, as well as detailed remarks and photographs for all types rediscovered. In addition, we provide researchers worldwide with valuable taxonomic information for the Bethylidae, Chrysididae, Dryinidae and Formicidae described by Kurian. A review of Bethylidae from India and a tribute to Chandy Kurian has also been provided.


Assuntos
Formigas , Academias e Institutos , Animais , Florestas , Índia , Masculino
3.
Zootaxa ; 5061(2): 201-248, 2021 Nov 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34810629

RESUMO

Strumigenys is a globally distributed genus of mostly cryptic leaf-litter ants. In North America they are common throughout eastern deciduous forests but become increasingly rare to the west. Here I review the Strumigenys fauna of western North America north of the Mexico border including all states west of the eastern border of Texas. Six new native species with ranges entirely within this region are described: S. collinsae sp. nov., S. macgowni sp. nov., S. mendezi sp. nov., S. moreauviae sp. nov., S. lucky sp. nov., and S. subtilis sp. nov. Strumigenys ananeotes Longino Booher 2019 is given a more thorough description, and S. alberti Forel 1893, a Neotropical species, is reported from the region for the first time. All new species bear clear morphological relationships with a native North American clade of smithistrumiform species. I include species accounts and provide an illustrated key for all species of this region.


Assuntos
Formigas , Asteraceae , Himenópteros , Animais , México
4.
Zootaxa ; 5048(1): 141-144, 2021 Oct 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34810810

RESUMO

Epopostruma is an uncommon genus of myrmicine ants endemic to relatively mesic regions of southern and eastern Australia. Here we describe a new species recently recorded from the 'Top End of Australias Northern Territory, E. topendi sp. n. from Melville Island and Nitmiluk National Park. The new species is known from one specimen from each of two sites in the Australian monsoonal tropics, the only records of the genus from this region. This addition brings the number of described species of Epopostruma to twenty.


Assuntos
Formigas , Animais
5.
Zootaxa ; 5033(1): 1-230, 2021 Sep 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34811105

RESUMO

This paper provides a taxonomic revision and reviews natural history for 35 South American species of the seed-harvesting ant genus Pogonomyrmex. Species treated herein mostly comprise the P. rastratus-group; four species are revived from synonomy, three taxa are elevated from subspecies to species, five taxa are synonymized, and 20 new species are described. The following taxa are revived from synonomy: P. intermedia Menozzi, P. semistriata Emery, P. spinolae Emery, and P. weiseri Santschi. The following taxa are raised from subspecies to species: P. leonis Kusnezov, P. pulchellus Santschi, and P. sanmartini Kusnezov. The following new synonymies are proposed, with the senior synonym listed first, and the junior synonym(s) in parentheses: P. carbonarius Mayr (= P. kusnezovi Cuezzo Claver, = P. weiseri var. neuquensis Santschi, = P. variabilis Santschi); P. vermiculatus Emery (= P. vermiculatus var. chubutensis Forel, = P. vermiculatus var. jorgenseni Forel). The following new species are described: P. apterogenos, P. araucania, P. atacama, P. bolivianus, P. colca, P. cusquena, P. excelsior, P. forelii, P. granulatus, P. lagunabravensis, P. loaensis, P. mapuche, P. maulensis, P. pichachen, P. propinqua, P. santschii, P. strioligaster, P. tafi, P. varicolor, and P. wilsoni. One species treated herein has brachypterous queens (P. atacama), one species has dimorphic queens (winged and brachypterous in P. longibarbis), and two species have ergatoid (permanently wingless) queens and ergatoid males (P. apterogenos, P. laguanbravensis); the latter two are the only known ant species in which both sexual castes are only ergatoid. I also provide keys for workers and queens (in English and Spanish), diagnoses for males, photographs of known castes, distribution maps, and a summary of known biology.


Assuntos
Formigas , Gorgulhos , Animais , Hispano-Americanos , Humanos , Masculino , Classe Social
6.
Zootaxa ; 5055(1): 1-137, 2021 Oct 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34811227

RESUMO

This paper provides a taxonomic revision of the Neotropical ant genus Hylomyrma Forel (1912) (Myrmicinae: Pogonomyrmecini). Morphological traits combined with geographical data and natural history information led to the recognition of 30 species, fourteen of them described here as new: Hylomyrma adelae sp. n., Hylomyrma dandarae sp. n., Hylomyrma jeronimae sp. n., Hylomyrma lispectorae sp. n., Hylomyrma lopesi sp. n., Hylomyrma macielae sp. n., Hylomyrma margaridae sp. n., Hylomyrma mariae sp. n., Hylomyrma marielleae sp. n., Hylomyrma mitiae sp. n., Hylomyrma peetersi sp. n., Hylomyrma primavesi sp. n., Hylomyrma virginiae sp. n. and Hylomyrma wachiperi sp. n. Lectotypes for H. speciosa (junior synonym of H. balzani) and H. reitteri are here designated from syntypes to improve nomenclatural stability. Except for the three species most recently described (H. montana, H. plumosa, and H. villemantae), the external morphology of workers is described or redescribed, as well as for the known males and queens, most described here for the first time. Of the 30 recognized species herein, 11 present intercastes; at least three of them present female specimens with queen-like traits that may be understood as ergatoids. An updated identification key for Hylomyrma workers is provided, as well as high resolution photographs of all known sexes and castes, species distribution maps, and a summary of what is known from the biology of all species.


Assuntos
Formigas , Ortópteros , Animais , Feminino , Geografia , Masculino , Fenótipo , Classe Social
7.
Zootaxa ; 5005(2): 145-160, 2021 Jul 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34811273

RESUMO

A characteristically bicolored ant belonging to the Temnothorax sordidulus species-complex is described from mountainous habitats in Iberia and named T. estel sp. nov. Three additional and closely-related taxa are newly recognized as members of the complex, including the Iberian endemics T. ibericus (Menozzi, 1922) and T. platycephalus (Espadaler, 1997) and the Pyrenean T. conatensis Galkowski Lebas, 2016. The taxonomy of all four species is reviewed and discussed within the Palearctic context. Images and an identification key are provided.


Assuntos
Formigas , Himenópteros , Animais
8.
Zootaxa ; 5001(1): 1-83, 2021 Jul 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34811340

RESUMO

The state of Par in northern Brazil is located entirely within the Amazon Basin and harbors a great diversity of landscape and vegetation types that support high levels of biodiversity. Here, we provide a comprehensive inventory of ant species and their distribution in Par. This regional list is based on an extensive review of species records from published and unpublished sources covering a period of 134 years (18862020) and includes the five most representative ant collections in Brazil. In total, we documented 12 subfamilies, 90 genera and 753 ant species, including 97 species recorded for the first time in Par and 12 species newly reported in Brazil. Sampling effort across the state is highly uneven, and most records may be associated with research areas near the state capital, mining areas, hydroelectric dams, and research field stations run by the state or universities. In addition, our results suggest a strong bias in ant collection in Par in terms of proximity of sampled sites to access routes, such as roads and rivers. We also found that species records were highly unevenly distributed based on areas of endemism within the Amazon, vegetation type, and protected areas within the state. Ant surveys are still lacking from most protected areas of Par, and further sampling is urgently needed in view of the current trend of expansion of major infrastructure projects and natural resource harvesting within protected areas of Par. Our database represents an extremely valuable and rich source of information for further studies on ant biodiversity and conservation in the Amazon Basin.


Assuntos
Formigas , Animais , Biodiversidade , Brasil , Rios
9.
An Acad Bras Cienc ; 93(suppl 4): e20201821, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34730620

RESUMO

The objective of the study was to compare the richness and diversity of ant assemblages in an agroecological system under peach orchard, conventional system under peach orchard cultivation and native vegetation in rural properties located in a Pampa Biome. The study was conducted in four samplings in 2017: 1st and 09th March (summer); 24th and 31st July (winter); and four samplings in 2018: 23rd and 30th January (summer); 31st July and 07th August (winter). Pitfall traps were used. The assemblages were characterized and compared using richness, number of occurrences of ants, Shannon diversity (H'), equitability, rarefaction analysis and Chao 1. The association of the species with the samples was evaluated by a Principal Component Analysis (PCA). The agroecological system had the highest number of occurrences, while the conventional orchard the lowest number. Richness and abundance were greatest during the summer. The conventional peach orchard obtained the lowest H' for both seasons when compared to the agroecological orchard and native vegetation. The PCA explained 77.40% of the occurrence of ants in the environments and in the seasons. The results found demonstrated that conservationist systems tend to harbor greater wealth and diversity of ant assemblages, as well as occurring in native áreas.


Assuntos
Formigas , Animais , Biodiversidade , Produtos Agrícolas , Ecossistema , Estações do Ano
10.
Braz J Biol ; 83: e245536, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34669792

RESUMO

Acacia mangium (Willd., 1806) (Fabales: Fabaceae) is a fast growing, rustic, pioneer species, with potential to fix nitrogen, and for programs to recover degraded areas. The objective was to evaluate the distribution and the functional diversity of interactions and the K-dominance of arthropod groups on A. mangium saplings. The number of individuals of eleven species of phytophagous insects, three bee species, and fourteen natural enemy species were highest on the adaxial leaf surface of this plant. Abundance, diversity and species richness of phytophagous insects and natural enemies, and abundance and species richness of pollinators were highest on the adaxial A. mangium leaf surface. The distribution of five species of sap-sucking hemipterans and six of protocooperating ants (Hymenoptera), with positive interaction between these groups, and three bee species (Hymenoptera) were aggregated on leaves of A. mangium saplings. Aethalion reticulatum (L.) (Hemiptera: Aethalionidae) and Bemisia sp. (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae); Brachymyrmex sp. and Camponotus sp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae); and Trigona spinipes Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Apidae) were the most dominant phytophagous insects, natural enemies, and pollinators, respectively, on A. mangium leaves. Knowledge of preferred leaf surfaces could help integrated pest management programs.


Assuntos
Acacia , Formigas , Artrópodes , Fabaceae , Animais , Abelhas , Folhas de Planta
11.
Naturwissenschaften ; 108(6): 56, 2021 Oct 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34665328

RESUMO

Ants in temperate grasslands are consumers and ecosystem engineers, influencing biodiversity and potentially grassland productivity. However, the effects of ant exclusion or suppression on resource removal and the biological community in temperate grasslands have yet to be fully explored. We conducted ant-suppression experiments and evaluated the effects of ants on ground-dwelling arthropod communities in the field by using pitfall and bait traps. In the laboratory, we evaluated the effects of ants on the ant-attended aphid Aphis rumicis, which is a honeydew resource for ants, and the slug (Deroceras laeve), an aphid predator. Aboveground arthropod communities were not affected by the ant-suppression treatment. However, slugs (D. laeve and Ambigolimax valentianus) visited bait resources more frequently in the ant-suppression treatment area. In the ant-absence condition in the laboratory experiment, there were fewer aphids on the plants compared to the ant-presence condition owing to predation by D. laeve. Our results suggest that ant abundance in temperate grasslands influences the predation activity of slugs toward honeydew sources such as aphids.


Assuntos
Formigas , Afídeos , Animais , Ecossistema , Pradaria , Plantas , Simbiose
12.
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
13.
Biol Lett ; 17(10): 20210240, 2021 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34665990

RESUMO

We combined participatory science data and museum records to understand long-term changes in occupancy for 29 ant species in Denmark over 119 years. Bayesian occupancy modelling indicated change in occupancy for 15 species: five increased, four declined and six showed fluctuating trends. We consider how trends may have been influenced by life-history and habitat changes. Our results build on an emerging picture that biodiversity change in insects is more complex than implied by the simple insect decline narrative.


Assuntos
Formigas , Animais , Teorema de Bayes , Biodiversidade , Ecossistema
14.
Fungal Biol ; 125(11): 886-890, 2021 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34649675

RESUMO

An ancient fungal parasite of a Camponotus ant (Formicidae: Hymenoptera) in Baltic amber is described as Allocordyceps baltica gen. et sp. nov. (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae). The new genus is characterized by an orange, stalked, cup-shaped ascoma with partially immersed perithecia that emerges from the rectum of the ant, two separate stromata with septate mycelium that emerge from the base of the neck and the abdomen of the ant, respectively, and free-standing putative perithecia bearing putative asci with putative multicellular ascospores fragmented into one-celled partspores. This oldest known fossil fungus of an ant could represent a precursor of the genus Ophiocordyceps, which at present is the only fungal lineage parasitizing ants of the genus Camponotus. The fossil shows unique morphological features that existed in the Hypocreales some 35-55 MYA.


Assuntos
Formigas , Hypocreales , Parasitos , Âmbar , Animais , Fósseis , Hypocreales/genética
15.
J Exp Biol ; 224(20)2021 10 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34605911

RESUMO

Decision-making processes face the dilemma of being accurate or faster, a phenomenon that has been described as speed-accuracy trade-off in numerous studies on animal behaviour. In social insects, discriminating between colony members and aliens is subject to this trade-off as rapid and accurate rejection of enemies is of primary importance for the maintenance and ecological success of insect societies. Recognition cues distinguishing aliens from nestmates are embedded in the cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) layer and vary among colonies. In walking carpenter ants, exposure to formic acid (FA), an alarm pheromone, improves the accuracy of nestmate recognition by decreasing both alien acceptance and nestmate rejection. Here, we studied the effect of FA exposure on the spontaneous aggressive mandible opening response (MOR) of harnessed Camponotus aethiops ants presented with either nestmate or alien CHCs. FA modulated both MOR accuracy and the latency to respond to odours of conspecifics. In particular, FA decreased the MOR towards nestmates but increased it towards aliens. Furthermore, FA decreased MOR latency towards aliens but not towards nestmates. As response latency can be used as a proxy of response speed, we conclude that contrary to the prediction of the speed-accuracy trade-off theory, ants did not trade off speed against accuracy in the process of nestmate recognition.


Assuntos
Formigas , Agressão , Animais , Formiatos , Hidrocarbonetos , Reconhecimento Psicológico , Comportamento Social
17.
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
18.
Primates ; 62(6): 871-877, 2021 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34586529

RESUMO

Ants are the dominant group of animals in many habitats, particularly in tropical rainforests. High abundance and formation of large colonies convert them into a potential food source for a broad spectrum of animals. In this paper we review myrmecovory (consumption of ants) in Neotropical primates. Myrmecovory has been reported from 57 taxa (species + subspecies) out of 217 species of Neotropical primates, representing 18 out of 22 genera. The proportion of ants in the animal portion of the diet is highest amongst members of the genera Cebus, Sapajus, Cheracebus and Plecturocebus, but generally low in callitrichids, large pitheciids (Cacajao, Chiropotes) and atelids. Ants from seven subfamilies of Formicidae (out of 13 subfamilies found in the Neotropics) are consumed, including taxa with and without functional sting and with varying other defences. Foraging technics employed in myrmecovory range from picking ants from open substrates to extractive foraging involving the destruction of ant nests or shelters, but tool use has not been reported. We conclude that myrmecovory is widespread amongst Neotropical primates but on average contributes only a minor proportion of the diet. The diversity of foraging technics employed and lack of tool use in Neotropical primate myrmecovory, even for ants with functional stings and aggressive biting, suggests that tool use for myrmecovory in hominids has not evolved in response to ant defences but is a consequence of enhanced cognitive skills that evolved under other selection pressures.


Assuntos
Formigas , Pitheciidae , Animais , Dieta , Ecossistema
19.
Proc Biol Sci ; 288(1958): 20211456, 2021 09 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34493081

RESUMO

Social animals display a wide range of behavioural defences against infectious diseases, some of which increase social contacts with infectious individuals (e.g. mutual grooming), while others decrease them (e.g. social exclusion). These defences often rely on the detection of infectious individuals, but this can be achieved in several ways that are difficult to differentiate. Here, we combine non-pathogenic immune challenges with automated tracking in colonies of the clonal raider ant to ask whether ants can detect the immune status of their social partners and to quantify their behavioural responses to this perceived infection risk. We first show that a key behavioural response elicited by live pathogens (allogrooming) can be qualitatively recapitulated by immune challenges alone. Automated scoring of interactions between all colony members reveals that this behavioural response increases the network centrality of immune-challenged individuals through a general increase in physical contacts. These results show that ants can detect the immune status of their nest-mates and respond with a general 'caring' strategy, rather than avoidance, towards social partners that are perceived to be infectious. Finally, we find no evidence that changes in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles drive these behavioural effects.


Assuntos
Formigas , Animais , Comportamento Animal , Asseio Animal , Humanos , Hidrocarbonetos , Comportamento Social
20.
J R Soc Interface ; 18(182): 20210424, 2021 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34493090

RESUMO

The extraordinary success of social insects is partially based on division of labour, i.e. individuals exclusively or preferentially perform specific tasks. Task preference may correlate with morphological adaptations so implying task specialization, but the extent of such specialization can be difficult to determine. Here, we demonstrate how the physical foundation of some tasks can be leveraged to quantitatively link morphology and performance. We study the allometry of bite force capacity in Atta vollenweideri leaf-cutter ants, polymorphic insects in which the mechanical processing of plant material is a key aspect of the behavioural portfolio. Through a morphometric analysis of tomographic scans, we show that the bite force capacity of the heaviest colony workers is twice as large as predicted by isometry. This disproportionate 'boost' is predominantly achieved through increased investment in muscle volume; geometrical parameters such as mechanical advantage, fibre length or pennation angle are likely constrained by the need to maintain a constant mandibular opening range. We analyse this preference for an increase in size-specific muscle volume and the adaptations in internal and external head anatomy required to accommodate it with simple geometric and physical models, so providing a quantitative understanding of the functional anatomy of the musculoskeletal bite apparatus in insects.


Assuntos
Formigas , Adaptação Fisiológica , Animais , Força de Mordida , Humanos , Mandíbula , Folhas de Planta
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