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Ecology and social behavior of Odontomachus hastatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae)

Grant number: 00/00442-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2000
Effective date (End): February 28, 2002
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Paulo Sergio Moreira Carvalho de Oliveira
Grantee:Rafael Xavier de Camargo
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Odontomachus hastatus is a common species in the sandy plain forest (locally called restinga forest) of the Parque Estadual da Ilha do Cardoso (São Paulo Brazil), which presents colonies with facultative polygyny. The species nests are constructed among epiphytes bromeliads roots and can be associated with one or two plants. The colony composition, diet, rhythm and nest sites characteristics (diameter of the support basis of the bromeliad(s), species and number of bromeliads which were present in the nests) were some of the aspects which were studies for this species. In 19 collected colonies, the queens and workers mean were, respectively, 3.74 (+- 3.66 SD) and 291.21 (+- 163.03 SD). The queen number was positively correlated with the worker number and both numbers are strongly influenced by the diameter of the area occupied by the ants in the support basis of the bromeliad(s). O. hastatus workers activity was essentially nocturnal and occurred on vegetation branches, with small number of foragers during the day. The species was characterized by being a generalist predator and the food items collected by the workers in foraging contained large quantities of insects and spiders. O. hastatus nests occur more frequently in site that have support basis diameters of the bromeliad(s) larger than the support basis diameters of the epiphyte(s) bromeliad(s) which are randomly encountered in the sandy plain forest. The species highest occurrence in these nests sites shows that the diameter exerts strong influence over the demographic composition of the colonies. This work for the first time shows biology and natural history aspects of the O. hastatus ant, demonstrating strong evidences that the nests sites characteristics of the species can affect the fecundated number of queen present in each colony. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
CAMARGO, Rafael Xavier de. Ecologia e comportamento social da formiga arboricola Odontomachus hastatus (Hymenoptera : Formicidae : Ponerinae). 2002. Master's Dissertation - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Biologia Campinas, SP.

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