Convergent structure and function of mycelial galleries in two unrelated Neotropical plant-ants

Autor(en)
V. E. Mayer, J. Lauth, J. Orivel
Abstrakt

The construction process and use of galleries by Azteca brevis (Myrmicinae: Dolichoderinae) inhabiting Tetrathylacium macrophyllum (Salicaceae) were compared with Allomerus decemarticulatus (Myrmicinae: Solenopsidini) galleries on Hirtella physophora (Chrysobalanaceae). Though the two ant species are phylogenetically distant, the gallery structure seems to be surprisingly similar and structurally convergent: both are pierced with numerous holes and both ant species use Chaetothyrialean fungi to strengthen the gallery walls. Al. decemarticulatus is known to use the galleries for prey capture and whether this is also the case for Az. brevis was tested in field experiments. We placed Atta workers as potential prey/threat on the galleries and recorded the behaviour of both ant species. We found considerable behavioural differences between them: Al. decemarticulatus was quicker and more efficient at capture than was Az. brevis. While most Atta workers were captured after the first 5 min by Al. decemarticulatus, significantly fewer were captured by Az. brevis even after 20 min. Moreover, the captured Atta were sometimes simply discarded and not taken to the nest by Az. brevis. As a consequence, the major function of the galleries built by Az. brevis may, therefore, be defense against intruders in contrast to Al. decemarticulatus which uses them mainly for prey capture. This may be due to a higher need for protein in Al. decemarticulatus compared to coccid-raising Az. brevis.

Organisation(en)
Department für Botanik und Biodiversitätsforschung
Externe Organisation(en)
Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Journal
Insectes Sociaux
Band
64
Seiten
365-371
Anzahl der Seiten
7
ISSN
0020-1812
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00040-017-0554-y
Publikationsdatum
03-2017
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
106042 Systematische Botanik, 106008 Botanik, 106012 Evolutionsforschung
Schlagwörter
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Insect Science
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/convergent-structure-and-function-of-mycelial-galleries-in-two-unrelated-neotropical-plantants(7bf6fa91-39fc-4b29-ba8d-a00bcfcb69ec).html