Undertaking specialization in the desert leaf-cutter ant Acromyrmex versicolor

  title={Undertaking specialization in the desert leaf-cutter ant Acromyrmex versicolor
  author={Glennis E. Julian and Sara Helms Cahan},
  journal={Animal Behaviour},
We investigated undertaking behaviour in the desert leaf-cutter ant to determine whether colonies show undertaking specialization, how task specialization is regulated and the consequences of specialization on colony performance. Task specialization has been hypothesized to be a result of internal physiological or genetic factors that govern worker behaviour. On the other hand, it has been suggested that task specialization could be a result of spatial structuring of workers allowing only a… 

Fitness consequences of cooperative colony founding in the desert leaf-cutter ant Acromyrmex versicolor

Under laboratory conditions, single foundresses were significantly less likely to initiate a successful symbiotic fungus garden, which inevitably led to colony starvation and death, and cooperation in this species may be maintained by survival benefits than by growth rate differences, which may be constrained in groups by individual and colony-level costs.

Weak specialization of workers inside a bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) nest

It is shown that in spite of this, B. impatiens workers generally perform multiple tasks throughout their life, and the size of this task repertoire size does not depend on body size, nor does it change with age.

Waste Management of the Polymorphic Ant Camponotus aethiops ( Hymenoptera : Formicidae )

There were, however, individuals that were more “ready” to perform these actions, thereby enhancing the efficiency of these tasks, keeping the infections prevalence low, and, this way, contributing to colony survival.

Polymorphism and Division of Labor During Foraging Cycles in the Leaf-cutting Ant Acromyrmex octospinosus (Formicidae; Attini)

Marked major workers known to be foragers tended to remain idle within the nest when the colony was deprived of forage, while non-foragers of similar head width engaged in a variety of within-nest tasks, suggesting polyethism in majors may be based on factors other than size.

Fine Individual Specialization and Elitism among Workers of the Ant Ectatomma tuberculatum for a Highly Specific Task: Intruder Removal

The data show that the ants discriminated between live and pentane-washed intruders and adjusted their behavior accordingly, the first demonstration in ants of both behavioral specialization and hyperspecialization in intruder removal.

Division of labor increases with colony size in the harvester ant Pogonomyrmex californicus

A positive scaling relationship between colony size and division of labor in 2 different contexts is found and the importance of colony size for the organization of work in insect societies is highlighted, raising broader questions about the role of size in sociobiology.

Transitioning from unstable to stable colony growth in the desert leafcutter ant Acromyrmex versicolor

This work monitors worker population growth and fungal development in the desert leafcutter ant, Acromyrmex versicolor, and suggests that developing colonies undergo key changes in organizational structure and stability as they grow, with a resulting positive transition in efficiency and robustness.

Tool use by the forest ant Aphaenogaster rudis: Ecology and task allocation

The results provide evidence that the debris dropping behavior of Aphaenogaster rudis deserves to be labeled as foraging tool use; and the first evidence that tool use is a specialized task performed by a subset of A. rudis foragers within each colony at any given point in time is provided.



Genotypic constraints on plasticity for corpse removal in honey bee colonies

The hypothesis that plasticity in honey bee, Apis mellifera, division of labour can be influenced by genotypic differences in worker behaviour was tested in colonies with electrophoretically distinct subfamilies, and strong genetic influences on the likelihood that an individual worker will perform a particular task, such as undertaking, may constrain a colony's ability to respond to changing conditions.

Genetic determination of guarding and undertaking in honey-bee colonies

The results, which support the first requirement of the darwinian model for the evolution of colony organisation, suggest that the genetic structure of an insect society plays a fundamental, and previously unrecognized, role in the division of labour.

Aspects of Necrophoric Behavior in the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis Invicta

Corpse-bearing ants show stereotyped behavior upon encountering refuse piles and adding their burden to it, and there is a positive relationship between slope and the presence of refuse piles, and these are located downhill from the mound.

Division of labor between undertaker specialists and other middle-aged workers in honey bee colonies

The results suggest that undertakers and guards may be slightly developmentally advanced compared to food storers and wax workers, and there was evidence for lifetime differences in behavioral preferences which could not be explained by differences in adult development.

Honeybee colony integration: worker-worker interactions mediate hormonally regulated plasticity in division of labor.

  • Z. HuangG. Robinson
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1992
This work used two experimental paradigms inspired by developmental biology to study how bees obtain information on changing colony needs that results in precocious foraging and found similarities in the integration of activity that exist between individuals in insect colonies and cells in metazoans.

The Genetics of Division of Labour in Honey Bee Colonies

Regulation of division of labor in insect societies.

A key feature of the division of labor in insect colonies is its plasticity, which enables it to continue to grow, develop, and ultimately produce a new generation of reproductive males and females despite changing colony conditions.

Non-random behavioural interactions among genetic subgroups in a polygynous ant

Abstract Abstract. Genetic variation within colonies of some species of ants is increased by polygyny, in which two or more queens contribute their own genetically distinct offspring to a single

Social evolution in ants

An overview of the current state of scientific knowledge about social evolution in ants is presented and how studies on ants have contributed to an understanding of many fundamental topics in behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology is shown.