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Native to Argentina and Brazil, the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) is an invasive species that has become established on six continents and many oceanic islands. In several parts of its introduced range, including the western United States, southern Europe and Chile, the Argentine ant is unicolonial, forming extensive supercolonies. We examined(More)
Identifying mechanisms governing the establishment and spread of invasive species is a fundamental challenge in invasion biology. Because species invasions are frequently observed only after the species presents an environmental threat, research identifying the contributing agents to dispersal and subsequent spread are confined to retrograde observations.(More)
In response to the anthropogenic assault of toxic baits, populations of the German cockroach have rapidly evolved an adaptive behavioral aversion to glucose (a phagostimulant component of baits). We hypothesized that changes in the peripheral gustatory system are responsible for glucose aversion. In both wild-type and glucose-averse (GA) cockroaches,(More)
Territorial boundaries between conspecific social insect colonies are maintained through a highly developed nestmate recognition system modulated by heritable and, in some instances, nonheritable cues. Argentine ants, Linepithema humile, use both genetic and environmentally derived cues to discriminate nestmates from nonnestmates. We explored the(More)
The most rapidly expanding habitat globally is the urban habitat, yet the origin and life histories of the populations of native species that inhabit this habitat remain poorly understood. We use DNA barcoding of the COI gene in the widespread native pest ant Tapinoma sessile to test two hypotheses regarding the origin of urban populations and traits(More)
Introduced populations of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, have experienced moderate to severe losses of genetic diversity, which may have affected nestmate recognition to various degrees. We hypothesized that cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC) serve as nestmate recognition cues, and facilitate colony fusion of unrelated L. humile colonies that share(More)
Many potential species invasions fail before establishment. This is likely especially true for invasive Argentine ants that must overcome a severe founding bottleneck and transition from propagules that rely on protein-rich prey to massive supercolonies that dominate by consuming carbohydrate-rich honeydew from hemipteran mutualists. While this dietary(More)
Glucose is a universal phagostimulant in many animal species, including the cockroach Blattella germanica. However, some natural populations of B. germanica have been found that are behaviorally deterred from eating glucose. In dose-response studies, glucose was a powerful phagostimulant for wild-type cockroaches, but it strongly deterred feeding in a(More)
Fitness-related costs of evolving insecticide resistance have been reported in a number of insect species, but the interplay between evolutionary adaptation to insecticide pressure and variable environmental conditions has received little attention. We provisioned nymphs from three German cockroach (Blattella germanica L.) populations, which differed in(More)
Glucose-aversion is a heritable trait that evolved in a number of German cockroach (Blattella germanica L.) populations in response to strong selection with glucose-containing insecticide baits. However, in the absence of glucose-containing bait, glucose-averse (GA) cockroaches have lower performance than wild-type (WT) cockroaches in several(More)