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Foraging ecology of the aphid-tending ant Camponotus cruentatus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in a savanna-like grassland

Alsina, A., Bosch, J.


Several aspects of the foraging ecology of the ant Camponotus cruentatus were studied in a savanna-like grassland on the Mediterranean coast. This species is a diurna1 insect in spring and autumn, but it extends its activity to the whole day in summer, a feature not observed in any other ant species on the area. It has a wide margin of tolerance to environmental conditions and only very extreme temperature values stop its activity. Its dietary spectrum is quite narrow. Few animal remains, among which excrements of vertebrates are the most frequent, are carried to the nest. Its main food source is honeydew of aphids tended on the surrounding vegetation. C. cruentatus is an aggressive species and defends its food sources against other ants.

Key words

Ant, Camponotus cruentatus, Foraging activity, Dietary spectrum, Aphid-tender

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MZ volume 12 (1988) mz