Evaluating Efficiency of Different Sampling Methods for Arboreal Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in A West African Forest-Savanna Mosaic

Christine-Vincent Dakele Yode, Kanvaly Dosso, Lombart M Maurice Kouakou, Yeo Kolo, Wouter Dekoninck, Souleymane Konate, Kouassi Philippe Kouassi


Ants constitute an important part of arboreal arthropod biomass in rainforests. Nevertheless, there are only a few methods which permit a rapid assessment of these insects in the canopy layer. This study aims at evaluating the efficiency of a new variant type of pitfall trap i.e. “the funnel trap”, to sample arboreal ants in a secondary and gallery forest in Lamto reserve (Côte d’Ivoire). This method was compared to standard arboreal pitfall trap and beating. In total, the 3 methods yielded 7072 ant workers belonging to 43 species, 14 genera and 5 subfamilies. Tree beating recorded the highest ant’s numerical abundance (3670 workers), with 27 species, 12 genera and 3 subfamilies followed by the “funnel trap” that yielded 2800 ant workers, with 23 species belonging to 12 genera and 5 subfamilies. Finally, arboreal pitfall traps caught the lowest individual with 602 ant workers from 20 species belonging to 9 genera and 3 subfamilies. The composition of species which are caught by arboreal pitfall trap and “funnel trap” was similar at 53 percent. Tree beating showed a distinct species composition compared to arboreal pitfall trap and “funnel trap”. The “funnel trap” could be a fast and efficient way to quickly assess ant-biodiversity in forest canopies and agroecosystems as it looks like a non-destructive sampling method.


Pitfall trap, “funnel” trap, Lamto reserve, biodiversity, habitat structure, tree canopy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v67i4.5558


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