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All pictures on this page are copyright by Daniel Kronauer. Please contact me (dkronauer”at”rockefeller.edu) if you are a journalist looking for images to accompany an article or you want to use the pictures for non-commercial purposes such as lectures and scientific publications. I will be happy to provide high resolution versions and more detailed information on the pictures as long as you present them with proper attribution. Right click on images and open in new tab to enlarge.

Our main study system, the clonal raider ant Ooceraea biroi

Kronauer Obiroi1 Clonal raider ant workers carrying larvae. The ants are individually tagged with unique combinations of color dots for behavioral tracking.
Kronauer Obiroi2 A laboratory colony of clonal raider ants. A lone ant is exploring the environment in the foreground, while the main nest cluster can be seen in the background.
 Kronauer clonal raider ants 3 A laboratory colony of clonal raider ants seen from above. The ants form a main cluster around the larvae, while some ants leave the cluster to explore and forage. This colony is in the brood care phase of the colony cycle, during which ants forage and tend the larvae, but do not lay eggs.
Kronauer ant tracking Our lab has developed a series of setups for automated behavioral tracking. Based on the individual color tags described above, the setup in the picture allows us to track the behavior of individual ants in up to 140 colonies simultaneously.
 Kronauer clonal raider ants4 Ants mostly communicate via chemicals, so-called pheromones. Pheromones are perceived by the ants’ antennae. This picture shows clonal raider ants probing each other with their antennae.
 Ant Aggression_Kronauer Clonal raider ants show aggressive behavior, for example towards intruders from foreign colonies (non-nestmate discrimination) or towards members of their own colony that become reproductively active out of sync with the rest of the colony (worker policing).
 Ants feeding_Kronauer Clonal raider ants feed on the brood of other ants – they are myrmecophagous. In this picture, workers have placed their hungry larvae on a large food item, a fire ant pupa.
 Clonal raider ant male_Kronauer Clonal raider ants reproduce almost exclusively via female parthenogenesis. However, males occur sporadically, even in laboratory colonies.

Other ants we work on

Kronauer ant photo We study army ants in the New World and Old World tropics. Army ants  do not build permanent nests, but instead form so-called bivouacs, made up entirely of the live ants themselves. Bivouac nests of the species Eciton burchellii are often suspended from buttress roots or fallen tree trunks. While the ants hunt during the day, the bivouac comes down at night and the entire colony emigrates to a new nest site.
Kronauer ant photo A newly eclosed Eciton burchellii male walking in the emigration column of its mother colony. A reproductive brood of army ants typically contains several thousand males and just a few young queens. The males disperse on the wing to mate. Have you noticed the Cephaloplectus beetles hitching a ride? One project in the lab studies the interactions between army ants and the many arthropods that live inside their colonies.
Kronauer ant photo The Eciton burchellii queen walks in the nightly emigrations. Army ant queens are permanently wingless and never leave the colony. Large colonies reproduce by fission, and each daughter colony retains a single queen which mates inside the colony with ca. twenty males.
Kronauer ant photo An Eciton burchellii soldier guarding a raiding column. Soldiers of this species have impressive, saber-shaped mandibles, which probably evolved to defend the colony against potential predators.
Kronauer ant photo We also study the mutualistic interactions between citronella ants (genus Lasius (Acanthomyops)), the root aphids and mealybugs they tend for honeydew, and the microbiota of both parties. This work is being conducted at the Rockefeller University Field Center in Millbrook, NY.




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Laboratory of Social Evolution and Behavior
Box #27
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065