Wanja Kinuthia

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The worker caste of polymorphic ant species consists of individuals of strikingly different morphologies. Most studies of polymorphic species have focused on intracolonial allometries and their association with division of labour and task performance of workers of different physical subcastes. However, the factors driving the evolution of these allometries(More)
Swarm-raiding army ants are extremely polyphagous nomadic predators inhabiting tropical forests. They are considered keystone species because their raids can regulate the population dynamics of their prey and because a plethora of both invertebrate and vertebrate species are obligatorily or facultatively associated with them. Field observations and(More)
African driver ants are nomadic social mesopredators feeding on a highly diverse array of prey species at different trophic levels. Colonies of certain driver ant species have a biomass which can equal that of medium-sized mammalian carnivores and the ultimate cause of their nomadic life-style is thought to be local prey depletion. The impact of driver ant(More)
Deciphering the evolutionary processes driving nucleotide variation in multiallelic genes is limited by the number of genetic systems in which such genes occur. The complementary sex determiner (csd) gene in the honey bee Apis mellifera is an informative example for studying allelic diversity and the underlying evolutionary forces in a well-described model(More)
Although swarm-raiding army ants are considered keystone predators in tropical forest ecosystems, information on the prey spectra of most species is based on anecdotal reports and not on systematic studies with extensive sampling. We analysed prey samples of 18 colonies of the two afrotropical species Dorylus (Anomma) molestus and Dorylus (Anomma) wilverthi(More)
Army ant colonies do not have permanent nests but frequently move to new patches. Local food depletion is considered the ultimate cause of this nomadic behaviour, but the proximate causes are not well understood. We tested if and how patch departure time of the aboveground-hunting army ant Dorylus molestus under field conditions is influenced by food(More)
The ichneumonid endoparasitoid Venturia canescens successfully develops inside the hemocoel of another insect by using maternal protein secretions, including nucleic acid-free virus-like particles (VLPs), to manipulate host physiology. These VLPs consist of four major proteins, which are produced mainly in the calyx tissue and transferred into the host(More)
Identifying the forces shaping intraspecific phenotypic and genotypic divergence are of key importance in evolutionary biology. Phenotypic divergence may result from local adaptation or, especially in species with strong gene flow, from pronounced phenotypic plasticity. Here, we examine morphological and genetic divergence among populations of the western(More)
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