“Empty spaces ‘Where’ we are living for” – First record of Dinoponera quadriceps reusing nests of Atta sexdens

Diego Santana Assis, Sam Morris, Fabio S Nascimento


The reuse of nests by the same or different species can save a colony energy and resources. Furthermore, it can increase colony growth and the production of brood. The queenless ant Dinoponera quadriceps builds deep nests in Caatinga to escape from the dry and hot environment. The reuse of deep nests from other species can provide D. quadriceps with protection from high temperature, whilst saving on the energy required to build new nests. Here, we present the first finding of D. quadriceps reusing the nest of Atta sexdens species.


Nesting behavior; Ants; Queenless Ants

Full Text:



Araújo, A., & Rodrigues, Z. (2006). Foraging behavior of the queenless ant Dinoponera quadriceps Santschi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Neotropical Entomology, 35: 159-164.

Bakar, N. A. A., Baracchi, D., & Turillazzi, S. (2016). Reuse of old nests by the European paper wasp Polistes dominula (Hymenoptera Vespidae). Redia, 98: 21-24.

Camargo, R. S., Forti, L. C., Fujihara, R. T., & Roces, F. (2011). Digging effort in leaf-cutting ant queens (Atta sexdens rubropilosa) and its effects on survival and colony growth during the claustral phase. Insectes Sociaux, 58: 17-22.

Hansell, M. H. (1993). The ecological impact of animal nests and burrows. Functional Ecology, 7: 5-12.

Jiménez-Franco, M. V., Martínez, J. E., & Calvo, J. F. (2014). Patterns of nest reuse in forest raptors and their effects on reproductive output. Journal of Zoology, 292: 64-70.

Lenhart, P., Dash, S. T., & Mackay, W. P. (2013). A revision of the giant Amazonian ants of the genus Dinoponera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 31: 119-164.

Medeiros, J., & Araújo, A. (2014). Workers’ extra-nest behavioral changes during colony fission in Dinoponera quadriceps (Santschi). Neotropical Entomology, 43, 115-121.

Menezes, R. S. C., Sampaio, E. V. S. B., Giongo, V., & Pérez-Marin, A. M. (2012). Biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems of the Caatinga Biome. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 72: 643-653.

Monnin, T., & Teeters, C. (1998). Monogyny and regulation of worker mating in the queenless ant Dinoponera quadriceps. Animal Behaviour, 55: 299-306.

Moreira, A., Forti, L. C., Andrade, A. P., Boaretto, M. A., & Lopes, J. (2004). Nest architecture of Atta laevigata (F. Smith, 1858) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, 39: 109-116.

Paiva, R. V. S., & Brandão, C. R. F. (1995). Nests, worker population, and reproductive status of workers, in the giant queenless ponerine ant Dinoponera Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Ethology, Ecology and Evolution, 7: 297-312.

Santos, J. C., Leal, I. R., Almeida-Cortez, J. S., Fernandes, G. W., & Tabarelli, M. (2011). Caatinga: the scientific negligence experienced by a dry tropical forest. Tropical Conservation Science, 4: 276-286.

Vasconcellos, A., Santana, G. G., & Souza, A. K. (2004). Nest spacing and architecture, and swarming of males of Dinoponera quadriceps (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a remnant of the Atlantic forest in northeast Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 64: 357-362.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v64i1.1251


  • There are currently no refbacks.

JCR Impact Factor 2018: 0.604