Presentation Title

Does the macronutrient given to ants affect the number of living individuals in a colony?

Faculty Mentor

David Mbora

Start Date

17-11-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

17-11-2018 10:30 AM

Location

CREVELING 12

Session

POSTER 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Studies show that ants consume more carbohydrates (Rust, 2000), and worker ants change their harvesting strategies based on the nutritional demands among the individuals in the colony (Dussutour & Simpson, 2009), with workers using carbohydrates while larvae consume proteins. The purpose of this study then, was to test what happened to an ant colony when the nutritional needs could not be met. We predicted that if a control colony was given protein and carbohydrates, it would have more living individuals than colonies in which only carbohydrates and or only proteins were provided. In addition, the ant colonies with only protein may produce more larvae than the carbohydrate groups, while the control, with both protein and carbohydrate, would produce the most larvae.

We tested these predictions by exposing the control group to proteins and carbohydrates, half a cricket for protein and approximately .16g of apple for carbohydrate, the protein group to only half a cricket and carbohydrate group to approximately 0.16g of apple. The food was changed twice a week, over a nine week period. We then compared the number of ants alive, the activity rate, number of dead ants and number of larvae present under all three treatments. There was significant difference between ant colonies and activity rate (ANOVA, F=68.051, P-value <0.00), ant colonies and number of living ants (ANOVA, F=4.0714, P- value <0.02), ant colonies and larvae produced (ANOVA, F=5.0044, P-value < 0.00). In all of the differences, control had the highest amount while protein had the lowest amount in each difference that we looked at. These results show that when ants colonies’ macronutrient needs cannot be met, it affects the entire colony by lowering activity levels, reproductive rate and increasing death rate.

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Nov 17th, 8:30 AM Nov 17th, 10:30 AM

Does the macronutrient given to ants affect the number of living individuals in a colony?

CREVELING 12

Studies show that ants consume more carbohydrates (Rust, 2000), and worker ants change their harvesting strategies based on the nutritional demands among the individuals in the colony (Dussutour & Simpson, 2009), with workers using carbohydrates while larvae consume proteins. The purpose of this study then, was to test what happened to an ant colony when the nutritional needs could not be met. We predicted that if a control colony was given protein and carbohydrates, it would have more living individuals than colonies in which only carbohydrates and or only proteins were provided. In addition, the ant colonies with only protein may produce more larvae than the carbohydrate groups, while the control, with both protein and carbohydrate, would produce the most larvae.

We tested these predictions by exposing the control group to proteins and carbohydrates, half a cricket for protein and approximately .16g of apple for carbohydrate, the protein group to only half a cricket and carbohydrate group to approximately 0.16g of apple. The food was changed twice a week, over a nine week period. We then compared the number of ants alive, the activity rate, number of dead ants and number of larvae present under all three treatments. There was significant difference between ant colonies and activity rate (ANOVA, F=68.051, P-value <0.00), ant colonies and number of living ants (ANOVA, F=4.0714, P- value <0.02), ant colonies and larvae produced (ANOVA, F=5.0044, P-value < 0.00). In all of the differences, control had the highest amount while protein had the lowest amount in each difference that we looked at. These results show that when ants colonies’ macronutrient needs cannot be met, it affects the entire colony by lowering activity levels, reproductive rate and increasing death rate.