Locating, collecting, and maintaining colonies of fungus-farming ants (Hymenoptera: Myrmicinae: Attini)

Jeffrey Sosa-Calvo, Ana Jesovnik, Eugenia Okonski, Ted R Schultz


The purpose of this paper is to describe methods developed by generations of attinologists for locating, collecting, and maintaining in the laboratory live colonies of fungus-farming ants. Our goal is to accelerate the study of the many very poorly known and increasingly threatened species of this fascinating and biologically important group.  We primarily focus on the collection of non-leaf-cutting fungus-farming ants and describe standardized measurement and data collection protocols in three sections: (i) locating fungus-farming ants in the field; (ii) collecting whole colonies of fungus-farming ants; and (iii) maintaining living colonies of fungus-farming ants in the laboratory. We provide lists of necessary equipment and materials, including information on where they can be acquired.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v62i2.300-320


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