Foraging behavior of the queenless ant Dinoponera quadriceps Santschi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Neotropical Entomology
Arrilton Araújo, Zenilde Rodrigues


The search for and ingestion of food are essential to all animals, which spend most of their lives looking for nutritional sources, more than other activities such as mating, intra-specific disputes or escaping from predators. The present study aims to describe and quantify several aspects of foraging behavior, diet and food transport in the queenless ant Dinoponera quadriceps Santschi in a secondary Atlantic forest, Northeastern Brazil. Three colonies were randomly selected at a distance of at least 50 m from one another. On leaving the colony, worker ants were followed until their return, with no nutritional provision or interference with their activities. Activities were recorded using focal time sampling with instantaneous recording every minute for 10 consecutive minutes. Each colony was observed 1 day/week, for at least 6 h/day resulting in 53.8h of direct observation of the workers. Foraging activities, success in transporting food, type of food, cleaning and interaction among the workers were recorded. Foraging was always individual, with no occurrence of recruitment. Diet was composed mainly of arthropods, mostly insects. The collection of small fruits (Eugenia sp.) was also observed. Foraging time was greater when wor...Continue Reading


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