Tag Archives: ants

Effects of Agrochemicals on Ants – Just the Tip of the Ant Mound?

Figure 2. Six mazes were observed at a time and recordings were staggered. The orientation of each maze was randomly changed to minimise potential biases.

We are a pair of undergraduate students working on our dissertation project in the Sumner Lab. For our project we decided to study the effects that agrochemicals can have on two native UK ant species. Non-target organisms can often become victims of exposure to agricultural chemicals, with the most studied example being the common honeybee (Apis mellifera) [1]. Very little published research is currently available on the effects of agrochemicals on other non-target species [2].

Research Published! Colony size predicts division of labour in attine ants


Henry Ferguson-Gow, Seirian Sumner, Andrew F. G. Bourke and Kate E. Jones   Division of labour is central to the ecological success of eusocial insects, yet the evolutionary factors driving increases in complexity in division of labour are little known. The size–complexity hypothesis proposes that, as larger colonies evolve, both non-reproductive and reproductive division of labour become more complex as workers and queens act to maximize inclusive fitness. Using a statistically robust phylogenetic comparative analysis of social and environmental traits