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|Type:||Artigo de periódico|
|Title:||Recruitment behavior during foraging in the neotropical ant Gnamptogenys moelleri (Formicidae : Ponerinae): Does the type of food matter?|
|Abstract:||Gnamptogenys moelleri nests in bromeliads and feeds on an array of food items, including dead and live animals, and nectar. Field data in Brazilian forests indicate that G. moelleri hunts solitarily, while retrieving is performed both by solitary workers for small items, or by a group of recruited workers for large items. This flexible foraging strategy was investigated in the laboratory through a series of experiments to assess the context in which recruitment is elicited. Three types of food were used: 50% honey solution, large insect prey, and cluster of small insects. For all food types the first encounter by a scout resulted in increased numbers of ants leaving the nest and finding the food in the arena. After finding liquid food or large prey, the forager returns to the nest and transmits information to nestmates about food location on the substrate. The successful scout repeatedly taps the sting on the ground, and recruited ants collectively retrieve the large insect to the nest. On the other hand, there is no transmission of information to nestmates about the location of small clumped prey, although the returning scout induces nestmates to leave the nest and hunt. Because foraging in G. moelleri is restricted mostly to the nest bromeliad, and small worker size (0.5 cm) precludes capturing large prey solitarily, recruitment behavior widens the spectrum of food items consumed by this ant species. Although recruitment behavior in ponerines has already been reported to vary with the type and size of a food source, this study also shows that the transmission of information about food location depends on the type of food found ( large prey or liquid food versus cluster of small prey).|
|Editor:||Kluwer Academic/plenum Publ|
|Appears in Collections:||Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos|
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