What is it about?

The Pharaoh and Flower ants are common tramp ant species invading houses around the tropics. They are minute, slow moving ants that can quickly build large colonies. As such, they are often used as models for understanding other species. In this study we present an overview and finer details of the digestive system (i.e. guts) of adult and immature ants -- the larvae. We have added resolution to the topic as frequently previous studies presented messy images and confused statements. There was a general lack of information concerning larvae, which is our crusade here and elsewhere.

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Why is it important?

Understanding insect physiology is central to designing control methods and new biotech. Internal anatomy is a fundamental step to animal physiology. Ant larvae lie at the basis of colony functioning and nutrition. Ant larvae are in fact considered the ant colony's gut. Therefore this study holds basic information for insect and ant researchers.

Perspectives

The present study was the main contribution of Dr Solis' doctorate research. We have spent enjoyable years working together on sewing up general knowledge about ant anatomy, with a special focus on the overly-neglected ant larvae. I was particularly fascinated by the possibility of cutting specimens open with sharp blades, as to directly exposed internal anatomy. Any reader will notice that studies in this topic are typically filled with distorted specimens and fuzzy magnification details, and we believe to have added important imagery to the topic.

Dr Eduardo G P Fox
IBCCF / UFRJ

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: On the Morphology of the Digestive System of TwoMonomoriumAnt Species, Journal of Insect Science, July 2013, Oxford University Press (OUP), DOI: 10.1673/031.013.7001.
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