Comparison of Foraging Ability Between Solenopsis invicta and Tapinoma melanocephalum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
Keywords:Solenopsis invicta, Tapinoma melanocephalum, searching time, recruitment time
In this study, we investigated the foraging ability of the invasive ant Solenopsis invicta and native ant Tapinoma melanocephalum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) by measuring their searching and recruitment time for 5 types of food (sausage, sausage & honey, honey, mealworm and peanut oil) in infested wasteland and litchi orchards in south China. The searching time was determined by measuring the time required for the first ant to find the food. The recruitment time was determined by measuring the time to recruit 10 ants to the food which was placed on petri dish 30 cm away from nest entrances. 30 colonies each of T. melanocephalum and S. invicta were tested. In the infested wasteland, the searching time of S. invicta for sausage & honey, sausage, mealworm and honey and the recruitment time of S. invicta for sausage & honey, mealworm and honey were significantly longer than those of T. melanocephalum, but the searching time of these two species of ants for peanut oil was not significantly different. In the infested litchi orchard, the recruitment time of S. invicta for sausage was significantly longer than that of T. melanocephalum, while the recruitment time for the other four types of food was not significantly different between the two species of ants. The searching time for all the five types of food was not significantly different between the two species of ants in the infested litchi orchard.
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