0203 The effect of polydomy on food distribution in the odorous house ant (Tapinoma sessile)

Monday, December 14, 2009: 9:03 AM
Room 205, Second Floor (Convention Center)
M.T. VanWeelden , Department of Entomology, Louisiana State Univeristy, Baton Rouge, LA
Grzegorz Buczkowski , Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Colony spatial structure in the odorous house ant Tapinoma sessile (Say) exhibits an immense amount of variation as compared to other species of Hymenoptera. Colonies range from small single nest colonies to large multinest supercolonies. We examined the effect colony spatial organization on intracolony food distribution using laboratory colonies. Sucrose water spiked with a rabbit IgG marker was presented to colonies containing a single nest (monodomy) or multiple nests (polydomy). Ant samples were collected at 1h and 8h after an allotted feeding period, and analyzed using a sandwich ELISA to determine the percentage of individuals testing positive for the protein marker. Monodomous colonies exhibited a higher percentage of positive workers as compared to the polydomous colonies. For both monodomous and polydomous colonies, a higher percentage of individuals scored positive for the IgG marker after 8h due to the increased amount of time for nestmates to spread the marker throughout the colony via trophallaxis.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.42348