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A dolichoderine ant that constructs traps to ambush prey collectively: convergent evolution with a myrmicine genus

Abstract : Azteca brevis Forel, a dolichoderine ant species, builds along the branches of its host plant galleries that bear numerous holes slightly wider than a worker's head. We noted that the workers hide, mandibles open, beneath different holes, waiting for arthropod prey to walk by or alight. They seize the extremities of these arthropods and pull backwards, immobilizing the prey, which is then spreadeagled and later carved up or pulled into a gallery before being carved up. The total duration of the capture ranges from a few minutes to several hours. This ambush group hunting permits the capture of insects of a wide range of sizes, with the largest being 48.71 times heavier than the workers, something that we compared with other cases of group hunting by ants and trap use by other arthropods. A convergence with myrmicine ants of the genus Allomerus is shown. Thus, this study also shows that the genus Azteca presents the largest panel of group hunting strategies by ants and that there is polyethism related to polymorphism, as hunting workers are larger than their nestmates. We concluded that these gallery-shaped traps correspond to the notion of 'extended phenotype'.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02621353
Déposant : Migration Prodinra <>
Soumis le : mardi 26 mai 2020 - 01:57:58
Dernière modification le : vendredi 5 février 2021 - 03:40:24

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Markus Schmidt, Alain Dejean. A dolichoderine ant that constructs traps to ambush prey collectively: convergent evolution with a myrmicine genus. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Linnean Society of London, 2018, 124 (1), pp.41-46. ⟨10.1093/biolinnean/bly028⟩. ⟨hal-02621353⟩

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