Project Title

Cuticle Variation in Striated Genera of Ants

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Clint Penick

Disciplines

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Entomology

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The exoskeleton is a unique biological innovation that allowed insects to radiate and dominate the globe. Exoskeletons provide numerous functions such as desiccation and abrasion resistance, defense against predators, and internal structures to attach musculature. The surface of ant exoskeletons is unique as they display a huge diversity of textures and patterns. The function of this sculpturing is unknown; however recently, efforts have been undertaken to group textures based on their proposed functional morphology. In this study, we explored a consistent cuticle pattern called “striate” that is hypothesized to alleviate cuticle abrasion against ant digging. This pattern can be seen across many ant genera. We collected ridge width and interridge width measurements of 219 species of ants to investigate if any trends occur in cuticle spacing. Trends may help explain the purpose of these unique patterns and provide possible bio-inspiration.

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Cuticle Variation in Striated Genera of Ants

The exoskeleton is a unique biological innovation that allowed insects to radiate and dominate the globe. Exoskeletons provide numerous functions such as desiccation and abrasion resistance, defense against predators, and internal structures to attach musculature. The surface of ant exoskeletons is unique as they display a huge diversity of textures and patterns. The function of this sculpturing is unknown; however recently, efforts have been undertaken to group textures based on their proposed functional morphology. In this study, we explored a consistent cuticle pattern called “striate” that is hypothesized to alleviate cuticle abrasion against ant digging. This pattern can be seen across many ant genera. We collected ridge width and interridge width measurements of 219 species of ants to investigate if any trends occur in cuticle spacing. Trends may help explain the purpose of these unique patterns and provide possible bio-inspiration.

blog comments powered by Disqus