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Archive for August, 2007

Insects, spiders, hyenas, amoeba, corvids, and humans: the complex feature of sociality exhibited in all these societies is in the upcoming special issue of Current Biology dedicated to the Biology of Societies.

Articles not to be missed are:

  • Kin Selection versus Sexual Selection: Why the Ends Do Not Meet by Jacobus J. Boomsma
  • Social Learning in Insects — From Miniature Brains to Consensus Building by Ellouise Leadbeater and Lars Chittka
  • Social spiders by Duncan E. Jackson
  • Social Immunity by Sylvia Cremer, Sophie A.O. Armitage, and Paul Schmid-Hempel

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Ant Gallery is up!!

For a while I have been thinking of setting up my ant photographs in one place rather than having sample shots!! Finally I have set up an image gallery here. I am currently in the middle of digging out images from my backup drives. The first batch of pictures are up: Anoplolepis, Camponotus, Crematogaster, Diacamma, Leptomyrmex, Melophorus, Myrmecia, Oecophylla, Polyrhachis, Rhytidoponera, Solenopsis and ant-mimics. Will be uploading images over the next few weeks and hence this site maybe be not be accessible continuously, only for the next few weeks!

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An article on the Japanese ant Cerapachys biroi shows that success or failure of a foraging individual (~7 successive experiences) can determine if the ant would continue as a forager or would decide to nurse the brood. A really simple strategy that could structure division of labour in insect societies. It is interesting to note the authors mention that an unsuccessful individual spends more time with the brood and hence could end up caring for the brood instead of foraging. Virgin workers of this species produces diploid eggs through thelytokous parthenogenesis. It would be interesting to see how insects with different grades of recruitment fare with this current finding.

Read the article here:

Ravary F, Lecoutey E, Kaminski G, Châline N & Jaisson P. 2007. Individual experience alone can generate lasting division of labour in ants. Current Biology 17: 1308-1312.

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