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Jaitrong W.,Thailand Natural History Museum | Wiwatwitaya D.,Kasetsart University | Sakchoowong W.,Forest Entomology and Microbiology Group
Far Eastern Entomologist

The Thai species of the ant genus Sphinctomyrmex Mayr, 1866 are revised. S. furcatus Emery, 1893 is firstly recorded from Thailand (Saraburi and Trang provinces). S. siamensis Jaitrong, sp. n. is described from Chiang Mai Province based on worker caste. Both Thai species were collected from soil, under leaf litter. A key to Asian species of Sphinctomyrmex is provided. Source

Kanao T.,Kyushu University | Maruyama M.,Kyushu University | Sakchoowong W.,Forest Entomology and Microbiology Group

Schedolimulus komatsui Kanao & Maruyama, n. sp. (Aleocharinae, Trichopseniini) is described from Khao Yai National Park, East Thailand. This is a new record of Trichopseniini from Thailand. Phorilimulus Pasteels & Kistner, 1971 is synonymized with Schedolimulus Pasteels & Kistner, 1971, and Schedolimulus is redescribed. Phorilimulus minutus Pasteels & Kistner, 1971 is transferred to Schedolimulus. A key to the species of Schedolimulus is given. Copyright © 2011 Magnolia Press. Source

Hughes D.P.,Pennsylvania State University | Hughes D.P.,Copenhagen University | Andersen S.B.,Copenhagen University | Hywel-Jones N.L.,National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology | And 3 more authors.
BMC Ecology

Background: Parasites that manipulate host behavior can provide prominent examples of extended phenotypes: parasite genomes controlling host behavior. Here we focus on one of the most dramatic examples of behavioral manipulation, the death grip of ants infected by Ophiocordyceps fungi. We studied the interaction between O. unilateralis s.l. and its host ant Camponotus leonardi in a Thai rainforest, where infected ants descend from their canopy nests down to understory vegetation to bite into abaxial leaf veins before dying. Host mortality is concentrated in patches (graveyards) where ants die on sapling leaves ca. 25 cm above the soil surface where conditions for parasite development are optimal. Here we address whether the sequence of ant behaviors leading to the final death grip can also be interpreted as parasite adaptations and describe some of the morphological changes inside the heads of infected workers that mediate the expression of the death grip phenotype.Results: We found that infected ants behave as zombies and display predictable stereotypical behaviors of random rather than directional walking, and of repeated convulsions that make them fall down and thus precludes returning to the canopy. Transitions from erratic wandering to death grips on a leaf vein were abrupt and synchronized around solar noon. We show that the mandibles of ants penetrate deeply into vein tissue and that this is accompanied by extensive atrophy of the mandibular muscles. This lock-jaw means the ant will remain attached to the leaf after death. We further present histological data to show that a high density of single celled stages of the parasite within the head capsule of dying ants are likely to be responsible for this muscular atrophy.Conclusions: Extended phenotypes in ants induced by fungal infections are a complex example of behavioral manipulation requiring coordinated changes of host behavior and morphology. Future work should address the genetic basis of such extended phenotypes. © 2011 Hughes et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Kanao T.,Kyushu University | Maruyama M.,Kyushu University | Sakchoowong W.,Forest Entomology and Microbiology Group

Discoxenus katayamai sp. n. and Odontoxenus thailandicus sp. n. are described from Khao Yai National Park, East Thailand. Both species were collected from nests of termite of the genus Odontotermes Holmgren, 1912. These are the first records of both genera from Thailand. Discoxenus katayamai is similar to D. indicus Wasmann, 1904, and O. thailandicus is similar to O. butteri (Wasmann, 1916). Each species is easily distinguished from their congeners by the body size, the number of the setae on the pronotum, elytra and abdomen and other characters discussed below. © T. Kanao, M. Maruyama, W. Sakchoowong. Source

Maruyama M.,Kyushu University | Komatsu T.,Shinshu University | Katayama Y.,Ehime University | Song X.-B.,Shanghai Normal University | Sakchoowong W.,Forest Entomology and Microbiology Group

Three species of rove beetles (subfamily Aleocharinae) were collected from colonies of Aenictus hodgsoni Forel, 1901 in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. They are classified into three genera, including two new genera, and described herein as: Aenictobia siamensis Maruyama, sp. n. (tribe Aenictoteratini), Aenictosymbia cornuta Maruyama, gen. & sp. n. (tribe Lomechusini) and Aenictoxenides mirabilis Maruyama, gen. & sp. n. (tribe Pygostenini). The systematic positions of the new genera are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press. Source

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