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Effects of Colony Composition and Food Type on Nutrient Distribution in Colonies of Monomorium orientale (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

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Monomorium orientale Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is a common structure- and food-infesting ant in Asia. There is only limited information on the biology and habits of this species, especially on the preferred foods and distribution of nutrients in colonies. We conducted a laboratory study on the distribution of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids, which were represented by respective food sources, in M. orientale colonies. Three colony conditions were applied: normal, with a balanced ratio of castes, queenless (only workers and brood), and broodless (only queens and workers). Food sources were stained to track the flow of the respective food in the colonies. Results revealed that carbohydrates had rapid distribution, with >60% of the colony indicated in 24 h, in all colony conditions. Queens in all colonies did not feed on protein. Protein showed a more delayed distribution in the brood in all colony conditions; <10% of the colony fed on protein by 24 h. Only queens in broodless colonies showed signs of feeding on lipid, with <10% indicated in 24 h. Workers in all colonies fed on lipid as soon as it was delivered, whereas the brood only began to reveal feeding response after 24 h.

Keywords: Monomorium orientale; colony composition; food distribution; food type

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493(2006)099[0129:EOCCAF]2.0.CO;2

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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