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The Ecology and Feeding Habits of the Arboreal Trap-Jawed Ant Daceton armigerum

Dejean, Alain and Delabie, Jacques H. C. and Corbara, Bruno and Azémar, Frédéric and Groc, Sarah and Orivel, Jérôme and Leponce, Maurice The Ecology and Feeding Habits of the Arboreal Trap-Jawed Ant Daceton armigerum. (2012) PLoS ONE, 7 (5). e37683. ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0037683


Here we show that Daceton armigerum, an arboreal myrmicine ant whose workers are equipped with hypertrophied trapjaw mandibles, is characterized by a set of unexpected biological traits including colony size, aggressiveness, trophobiosis and hunting behavior. The size of one colony has been evaluated at ca. 952,000 individuals. Intra- and interspecific aggressiveness were tested and an equiprobable null model used to show how D. armigerum colonies react vis-à-vis other arboreal ant species with large colonies; it happens that D. armigerum can share trees with certain of these species. As they hunt by sight, workers occupy their hunting areas only during the daytime, but stay on chemical trails between nests at night so that the center of their home range is occupied 24 hours a day. Workers tend different Hemiptera taxa (i.e., Coccidae, Pseudococcidae, Membracidae and Aethalionidae). Through group-hunting, short-range recruitment and spreadeagling prey, workers can capture a wide range of prey (up to 94.12 times the mean weight of foraging workers).

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to PloS ONE editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0037683
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Other partners > Universidade Estadual De Santa Cruz - UESC (BRAZIL)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université Blaise Pascal - UBP (FRANCE)
Other partners > Centro de Pesquisas do Cacau - CEPLAC (BRAZIL)
Other partners > Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (BELGIUM)
Other partners > Universidade Federal de Uberlândia - UFU (BRAZIL)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:19 May 2014 08:39

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