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1 March 2014 Micronutrient Changes in Colonies of the Ant Temnothorax curvispinosus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) during the Colony Cycle
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Abstract

To gain a better understanding of micronutrient distribution, and how this relates to growth and survival of a social insect colony, this study focused on micronutrient levels within colonies of the ant Temnothorax curvispinosus Mayr during four periods of the colony cycle—1) Pre-Reproductive, Reproductive, Pre-Winter, and Winter. Ten colonies were collected from the field monthly and were analyzed for levels of Ca, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, and Zn. Several overall trends were noted. 1) A general loss of some micronutrients within the workers and queens, and the colony as a whole in the Winter Period. 2) Levels of Mg and Mn increased during the Pre-Reproductive and Reproductive Periods in workers and queens while levels of Ca and Zn only increase in the queens during these periods. 3) Levels of K peaked in the Pre-Winter Period in workers and queens while levels of Na only increased in workers during this period. 4) Levels of Mn were lower in alates than the workers, queens, or brood during the reproductive period. The potential reasons for the observed patterns are discussed.

© 2014 Entomological Society of America
Brent A. Ashcraft and Timothy M. Judd "Micronutrient Changes in Colonies of the Ant Temnothorax curvispinosus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) during the Colony Cycle," Annals of the Entomological Society of America 107(2), 475-483, (1 March 2014). https://doi.org/10.1603/AN13002
Received: 5 January 2013; Accepted: 1 December 2013; Published: 1 March 2014
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