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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications / Trophic ecology of the armadillo ant Tatuidris tatusia assessed by stable isotopes and behavioral observations.

J. Jacquemin, T. Delsinne, M. Maraun and M. Leponce (2014)

Trophic ecology of the armadillo ant Tatuidris tatusia assessed by stable isotopes and behavioral observations.

Journal of Insect Science, 14(108).

Ants of the genus Tatuidris Brown and Kempf (Formicidae: Agroecomyrmecinae) generally occur at low abundances in forests of Central and South America. Their morphological peculiarities, such as mandibular brushes, are presumably linked with specialized predatory habits. Our aims were to (1) assess the Tatuidris abundance in an evergreen premontane forest of Ecuador; (2) detail morphological characteristics and feeding behavior of Tatuidris; and (3) define the position of Tatuidris in the food web. A total of 465 litter samples were collected. For the first time, live Tatuidris individuals were observed. Various potential food sources were offered to them. A nitrogen stable isotope ratio analysis ((15)N/(14)N) was conducted on Tatuidris tatusia, other ants, and common organisms from the leaf-litter mesofauna. We found a relatively high abundance of T. tatusia in the site. Live individuals did not feed on any of the food sources offered, as usually observed with diet specialist ants. The isotope analysis revealed that T. tatusia is one of the top predators of the leaf-litter food web.
Peer Review, International Redaction Board, Impact Factor
ML157 IF2011 - 1.103
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