An evaluation of two biochemical methods of age determination in insects (pteridines and lipofuscins) using the ant Polyrhachis sexpinosa Latrielle (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
Robson, Simon K.A., and Crozier, Ross H. (2009) An evaluation of two biochemical methods of age determination in insects (pteridines and lipofuscins) using the ant Polyrhachis sexpinosa Latrielle (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Australian Journal of Entomology, 48 (2). pp. 102-106.
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Accurate information on the age of wild-caught animals is valuable for a variety of areas, but can be particularly difficult to obtain for small holometabolous insects, whose body size is fixed at the time of pupal eclosion. A variety of chemical groups, such as lipofuscins and pteridines accumulate in body tissues through time and can be used to predict age in a variety of arthropod taxa. Here we use spectrofluorometry to confirm the presence of extractable levels of lipofuscins and pteridines in individual social insects (using the ant Polyrhachis sexpinosa Latrielle, average body size 25 mg, as an example) and evaluate their ability to predict age. Pteridine levels were independent of age but lipofuscin levels increased with age in a predictable manner (r2 = 72.8%). Lipofuscin levels therefore represent a new method of age determination for social insects that should be applicable to both individual laboratory and wild-caught animals.
|Item Type:||Article (Refereed Research - C1)|
|Keywords:||age determination, age-related pigments, lipofuscin, Polyrhachis sexpinosa, pteridine, tropical biology, AAC|
|Date Deposited:||03 Nov 2009 23:51|
|FoR Codes:||06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified @ 100%|
|SEO Codes:||97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%|
|Citation Count from Web of Science||