Artículos de revistas
Forager abundance and its relationship with colony activity level in three species of South American Pogonomyrmex harvester ants
Nobúa Behrmann, Beatriz Elisa; Lopez de Casenave, Javier Nestor; Milesi, Fernando Adrian; Pavan, B.; Forager abundance and its relationship with colony activity level in three species of South American Pogonomyrmex harvester ants; Springer; Insectes Sociaux; 60; 2; 2-2013; 243-249
Nobúa Behrmann, Beatriz Elisa
Lopez de Casenave, Javier Nestor
Milesi, Fernando Adrian
The proportion of foragers in ant colonies is a fairly constant species-specific characteristic that could be determined by intrinsic or extrinsic factors. If intrinsic factors are relevant, species with similar life history characteristics (e.g., colony size and foraging strategies) would be expected to have a similar proportion of foragers in their colonies. Within the genus Pogonomyrmex, North American species can vary largely in their colony size, whereas only species with small colonies are known in South America. We studied the characteristics of the foraging subcaste in three sympatric South American species of Pogonomyrmex harvester ants, and compared it with the available information on other species of the same genus. We used two mark-recapture<br />methods and colony excavations to estimate the number and proportion of foragers in the colonies of P. mendozanus, P. inermis, and P. rastratus, and to test the relationship between forager external activity levels and abundance per colony. Forager abundance in the three studied species was lower than in most North American species. The percentage of foragers in their colonies ranged 7-15 %, more similar to North American species with large colonies than to those with small colony size. Foraging activity was positively correlated with forager abundance in all three species, implying that colony allocation to number of foragers allows for higher food acquisition. Further comparative studies involving a wider range of traits in South and North American species would allow to unveil the role of environmental factors in shaping each species´ particular traits.