"Understanding the regulation of nutrient reserves, particularly fat storage, at the individual and colony levels is critical to understanding both the division of labor characteristics of social insect colonies and the evolution of important colony life-history traits such as the timing of reproduction, founding mode, and over-wintering behaviour," explains Hahn.
In order to better understand how individual fat storage tactics translated into colony-level resources, Hahn captured queens of different species and reared colonies under controlled laboratory conditions in nests for two years, feeding the ants a combination of frozen cockroach and moth eggs, mixed with honey, vitamins, and salt. He then sampled five colonies each of the two different species, and found that, despite similar environments, darker workers and soldiers stored more fat per unit of lean mass than lighter ants did, but the lighter colony involved a greater proportion of soldiers in storage.
"Storing more fat per unit lean mass has been well documented as a tactic for increasing fat storage during ontogeny among colonies of a number of ant species, and now has been shown to contribute to between-species differences as well," Hahn writes. "Differences in individual-level storage tactics between the two desert species could lead to significant behavioral differences, perhaps in the rate that individuals progress through behavioral development, or in their motivation to forage or defend their nests."
Suzanne Wu | EurekAlert!
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Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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