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Jd Mciver and C. Loomis (1993)

A Size-Distance Relation in Homoptera-Tending Thatch Ants (formica-Obscuripes, Formica-Planipilis)

Insectes Sociaux, 40(2):207-218.

In 20 of 22 study colonies, Homoptera-tending workers of the thatch ants Formica obscuripes and F. planipilis exhibited a significant ''size-distance'' relation, with smallest tenders working closest to the primary nest. No such relation was observed in scavengers working over the same range of distances in any of the 22 colonies. This paper describes the size-distance relation in tenders quantitatively, examines its expression given variation in Homoptera distribution, and compares it to similar patterns observed in other F. rufa-group species. Three hypotheses on the adaptive significance of the size-distance relation are discussed: that the relation increases energetic efficiency, improves colony defense, or decreases the rate of getting lost in smaller tenders.

division, foraging, polymorphism, aphids, colony, labor, mutualism, field, solenopsis-invicta, hymenoptera, energetics, red wood ants
WOS:A1993LE64200008
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