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Article
Opposable spines facilitate fine and gross object manipulation in fire ants.
Faculty Publications
  • Deby L. Cassill
  • Anthony Greco
  • Rajesh Silwal
  • Xuefeng Wang
SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Deby L. Cassill

Document Type
Article
Publication Date
2007
Date Issued
January 2007
Disciplines
Abstract

Ants inhabit diverse terrestrial biomes from the Sahara Desert to the Arctic tundra. One factor contributing to the ants' successful colonization of diverse geographical regions is their ability to manipulate objects when excavating nests, capturing, transporting and rendering prey or grooming, feeding and transporting helpless brood. This paper is the first to report the form and function of opposable spines on the foretarsi of queens and workers used during fine motor and gross motor object manipulation in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. In conjunction with their mandibles, queens and workers used their foretarsi to grasp and rotate eggs, push or pull thread-like objects out of their way or push excavated soil pellets behind them for disposal by other workers. Opposable spines were found on the foretarsi of workers from seven of eight other ant species suggesting that they might be a common feature in the Formicidae.

Comments
Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in Naturwissenschaften, 94, 326-332. doi: 10.1007/s00114-006-0194-y Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.
Language
en_US
Publisher
Springer Verlag
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Citation Information
Cassill, D., Greco, A, Silwal, R. & Wang, X. (2007). Opposable spines facilitate fine and gross object manipulation in fire ants. Naturwissenschaften, 94, 326-332. doi: 10.1007/s00114-006-0194-y