Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (1): 177-179, 2013 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2013.026

Cost to the cavity-nest ant Temnothorax crassispinus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of overwintering aboveground

Sławomir MITRUS
Department of Biosystematics, Laboratory of Evolution and Animal Ecology, Opole University, Oleska 22, 45-052 Opole, Poland; e-mail: smitrus@uni.opole.pl

Most species of ants inhabiting the temperate zone overwinter underground, whereas those of the genus Temnothorax remain in nests aboveground. I studied the cost of aboveground overwintering. Workers of Temnothorax crassispinus survived in higher numbers (median = 88%) in artificial nests experimentally buried at a depth of 5 cm than those in nests on the surface (48%) of the soil. The results support the hypothesis that overwintering aboveground could be a consequence of a limited supply of nests and/or the advantage of being able to respond quickly to warm temperatures in spring.

Keywords: Formicidae, Temnothorax crassispinus, percentage survival, overwintering

Received: April 24, 2012; Accepted: August 14, 2012; Published: January 2, 2013

Download citation

References

  1. BALE J.S. & HAYWARD S.A.L. 2010: Insect overwintering in a changing climate. - J. Exp. Biol. 213: 980-994 Go to original source...
  2. BERMAN D.I., ALFIMOV A.V., ZHIGULSKAYA Z.A. & LEIRIKH A.N. 2010: Overwintering and Cold-Hardiness of Ants in the Northeast of Asia. Pensoft, Sofia, Moscow, 294 pp
  3. BIALAS B., GRANIECZNY P., PEDZISZ A. & MITRUS S. 2011: Colony size, density and type of nesting sites of the ant Temnothorax crassispinus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). - Opole Sci. Soc. Nat. J. 44: 185-191
  4. CZECHOWSKI W., RADCHENKO A. & CZECHOWSKA W. 2002: The Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Poland. Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS, Warszawa, 200 pp
  5. DEHEER C.J. & HERBERS J.M. 2004: Population genetics of the socially polymorphic ant Formica podzolica. - Insectes Soc. 51: 309-316 Go to original source...
  6. FOITZIK S. & HEINZE J. 1998: Nest site limitation and colony takeover in the ant Leptothorax nylanderi. - Behav. Ecol. 9: 367-375 Go to original source...
  7. HEINZE J. 1993: Life histories of subarctic ants. - Arctic 46: 354-358 Go to original source...
  8. HEINZE J. & BUSCHINGER A. 1988: Polygyny and functional monogyny in Leptothorax ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). - Psyche 95: 309-325 Go to original source...
  9. HEINZE J., STAH M. & HOLLDOBLER B. 1996: Ecophysiology of hibernation in boreal Leptothorax ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). - Ecoscience 3: 429-435 Go to original source...
  10. HERBERS J.M. 1986: Effects of ecological parameters on queen number in Leptothorax longispinosus (Hmenoptera: Formcidae). - J. Kansas Entomol. Soc. 59: 675-686
  11. HERBERS J.M. 1989: Community structure in north temperate ants: temporal and spatial variation. - Oecologia 81: 201-211 Go to original source...
  12. HERBERS J.M. & BANSCHBACH V.S. 1995: Size-dependent nest site choice by cavity-dwelling ants. - Psyche 102: 13-17 Go to original source...
  13. HERBERS M.J. & JOHNSON A.C. 2007: Social structure and winter survival in acorn ants. - Oikos 116: 829-835 Go to original source...
  14. KOZUCHOWSKI K. 2011: Klimat Polski. Nowe Spojrzenie. [Climate of Poland. A New Look.] Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa, 293 pp
  15. LEATHER S.R., WALTERS K.F.A. & BALE J.S. 1995: The Ecology of Insect Overwintering. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 255 pp
  16. LORENC H. (ed.) 2005: Atlas Klimatu Polski. [Climate Atlas of Poland.] Instytut Meteorologii i Gospodarki Wodnej, Warszawa, 116 pp
  17. SEIFERT B. 2007: Die Ameisen Mittel- und Nordeuropas. Lutra, GGrlitz, 368 pp
  18. SORVARI J., HAATANEN M.K. & VESTERLUND S.R. 2011: Combined effects of overwintering temperature and habitat degradation on the survival of boreal wood ant. - J. Insect Conserv. 15: 727-731 Go to original source...
  19. STATSOFT INC. 2011: STATISTICA (Data Analysis Software System), Version 10. www.statsoft.com
  20. WILSON E.O. & HOLLDOBLER B. 2005: The rise of the ants: A phylogenetic and ecological explanation. - Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102: 7411-7414 Go to original source...