Fire ant thermal preferences: behavioral control of growth and metabolism

  title={Fire ant thermal preferences: behavioral control of growth and metabolism},
  author={Sanford D. Porter and Walter R. Tschinkel},
  journal={Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
SummaryThermal preferences of well-fed and food-limited fire ant colonies (Solenopsis invicta) were studied in relation to colony growth and metabolic costs. The growth curve for well-fed colonies was strongly skewed toward warmer temperatures with maximal growth occurring near 32° C (Fig. 2A). The growth curve for food-limited colonies was skewed toward cooler temperatures with maximal colony size occurring around 25° C (Fig. 2B). Food-limited colonies apparently grew larger at cooler… 

Thermoregulatory brood transport in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

Temperature tracking within the nest is key to understanding thermoregulatory placement of fire ant brood, as well as insight into the production of sexual brood and reproduction.

Thermoregulation strategies in ants in comparison to other social insects, with a focus on red wood ants ( Formica rufa group)

Temperature influences every aspect of ant biology, especially metabolic rate, growth and development. Maintenance of high inner nest temperature increases the rate of sexual brood development and

Nest site selection and longevity in the ponerine ant Rhytidoponera metallica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

A strong correlation between colony size and rock size indicates that nesting under a larger rock promotes colony growth and workers are capable of recognizing larger rocks from external physical characters.

Impact of worker longevity and other endogenous factors on colony size in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

Central to the survival and reproduction of social insect queens is the size of colonies at maturity. The influence of exogenous factors such as predation, food abundance, and seasonal changes in

Extraordinary starvation resistance in Temnothorax rugatulus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) colonies: Demography and adaptive behavior

This study is the first to comprehensively study mechanisms of starvation resistance in ant colonies, linking demography and behavior, and found brood to be the only significant predictor of colony starvation resistance, but not the degree of polygyny.

Effects of Temperature and Season on Foraging Activity of Red Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Oklahoma

Temperature and seasonal effects on foraging activity of Solenopsis invicta Buren (red imported fire ant) in Oklahoma were investigated by periodically quantifying the number of ants captured in baited vials for 2 yr, suggesting recommendations for timing of insecticidal bait applications against S.invicta that are appropriate in more southern portions of the fire ant range may not be appropriate for Oklahoma.

The life history and seasonal cycle of the ant, Pheidole morrisi Forel, as revealed by wax casting

The seasonal vertical distribution of ants suggested that the ants responded to temperature, but not crowding, and the overall density of the ants was highest in medium-sized colonies, lowest in small colonies, and moderate in large colonies.

Global energy gradients and size in colonial organisms: worker mass and worker number in ant colonies.

  • M. Kaspari
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2005
A decline in worker number with increasing NPP supports the hypothesis that abundant carbon ameliorates the Achilles heel of small taxa in competition with large taxa: their relatively high metabolic demands.

Territorial behavior and temperature preference for nesting sites in a pavement ant Tetramorium tsushimae

It was suggested that the colonies might compete for the high temperature zone to increase their reproductive success and that this results in the larger territories with multiple nest sites.



Temperature Preferences of Four Species of Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Solenopsis)

Temperature preferences are predicted to occur in insects due to homeostatic considerations. Enzymes should be adapted to function optimally within the narrow range of temperatures encountered by an

Brood translocation and circadian variation of temperature preference in the ant Camponotus mus

Evaluated pupa developmental time as well as percentage of pupa mortality at different temperature regimes allowed to construct an efficiency index relating pupa survival and cocoon developmental time, which reached its maximal values in the range of temperatures selected by nurses.

Fire ant polymorphism: the ergonomics of brood production

Energetic efficiency in polymorphic colonies was approximately 10% higher than in colonies composed of only small workers, suggesting that when food supplies are limiting, polymorphism may offer a slight advantage in brood production.

Phenology and causation of nest heating and thermoregulation in red wood ants of the Formica rufa group studied in cariferous forest habitats in southern Finland

The observations indicate that in colonies with a worker complement exceeding 1 million, nest-warming after winter could start as an autocatalytic process and hence may not require triggering by sunning, and suggest that a capacity for social thermoregula tion is a cause of thermal stability in red wood ant nests.

Foraging in Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): effects of weather and season.

Foraging activity of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, was monitored at bait traps for 1 yr to determine how weather and season affected foraging. Soil temperature at 2 cm was the


The greater efficiency in thermoregulation by V. arenaria is largely due to the fact that nests of this species have a greater biomass of wasps than approximately equal sized nests of V. maculata.

Division of labour and specification of castes in the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta buren

Caste and division of labor in leaf-cutter ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Atta)

  • E. Wilson
  • Biology
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2004
SummaryMore than 90% of media workers with head widths 1.8–2.2 mm, comprising the largest and energetically most efficient segment of the foraging force, were removed from four Atta cephalotes