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When attempts at robbing prey turn fatal

Dejean, Alain and Corbara, Bruno and Azémar, Frédéric and Carpenter, James M. When attempts at robbing prey turn fatal. (2012) Naturwissenschaften, 99 (7). 579-582. ISSN 0028-1042

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00114-012-0929-x

Abstract

Because group-hunting arboreal ants spreadeagle insect prey for a long time before retrieving them, these prey can be coveted by predatory flying insects. Yet, attempting to rob these prey is risky if the ant species is also an effective predator. Here, we show that trying to rob prey from Azteca andreae workers is a fatal error as 268 out of 276 potential cleptobionts (97.1 %) were captured in turn. The ant workers hunt in a group and use the “Velcro®” principle to cling firmly to the leaves of their host tree, permitting them to capture very large prey. Exceptions were one social wasp, plus some Trigona spp. workers and flies that landed directly on the prey and were able to take off immediately when attacked. We conclude that in this situation, previously captured prey attract potential cleptobionts that are captured in turn in most of the cases.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Springer Verlag editor. The definitive version is available at link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00114-012-0929-x/fulltext.html
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Other partners > AgroParisTech (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique - CIRAD (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Blaise Pascal - UBP (FRANCE)
Other partners > American Museum of Natural History - AMNH (US)
Other partners > Université d'Auvergne - UDA (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université des Antilles et de la Guyane (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
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Deposited By: Frédéric Azémar
Deposited On:19 May 2014 08:26

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