The Ants

The Ants

Bert Holldobler, Edward O. Wilson

Language: English

Pages: 732

ISBN: 0674040759

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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This landmark work, the distillation of a lifetime of research by the world's leading myrmecologists, is a thoroughgoing survey of one of the largest and most diverse groups of animals on the planet. Hölldobler and Wilson review in exhaustive detail virtually all topics in the anatomy, physiology, social organization, ecology, and natural history of the ants. In large format, with almost a thousand line drawings, photographs, and paintings, it is one of the most visually rich and all-encompassing views of any group of organisms on earth. It will be welcomed both as an introduction to the subject and as an encyclopedia reference for researchers in entomology, ecology, and sociobiology.





















consequently, the larger the number of queens it produces. Nevertheless the ant colony is far from a mere growth machine. Prudence would seem to dictate that the colony commit only a small fraction of the worker force at any one time to foraging. Workers expend up to seven times more energy while running than while resting (Nielsen et al., 1982; Lighton et al., 1987), so that a point of diminishing return in energy harvesting is quickly reached. To this can be added the high construction costs

of nesting material around in their mandibles but did not succeed in placing them together to form a plug at the nest entrance. The duloticus workers began to feed on honey for the first time but took as much as ten times longer to drink the same quantity as the curvispinosus slaves. They never retrieved solid food. The result of all this ineptness was a rapid deterioration of the slaveless colony. When the original curvispinosus slaves were returned to the nest following the experiment, they

nebrascensis and M. manni were studied by Wheeler (1900) and by Henderson and Akre (1986a-c). In many ways the findings on M. manni parallel those made on M. acervorum. Henderson and Akre (1986b), however, found that M. manni reproduces sexually, with males exhibiting dominance hierarchies during mating. In contrast, no males at all are known from M. acervorum, and it has therefore been suggested that this species reproduces by parthenogenesis (Schimmer, 1909; Hölldobler, 1947). Myrmecophila

and energy with which ants harvest rewards such as elaiosomes suggest that they are crucial to the economy of ant colonies. This may be especially true when the colony is stressed, either by the external environment or by major internal demographic events such as reproduction. For the plants, we have repeatedly seen that ant services are potent forces that increase plant fitness. In many cases the failure of ant services leads to a variety of demographic failures, including poor seed set and poor

most insect herbivores, the leafcutters have been able to exploit a very wide range of food plants, including most of the crop species grown in tropical regions. TABLE 17-3 Characteristics of attine genera believed to exhibit consistent evolutionary trends within the group. The genera are listed in order of their presumed approximate phylogenetic position, with the first genus, Cyphomyrmex, being the most primitive. (Based mostly on Wheeler, 1907b; Weber, 1941b, 1946a, 1972, 1982).

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