Trophic Ecology of the Ant Pachycondyla crassinoda (Formicidae: Ponerinae) in a Lowland Neotropical Forest

Anesty E. Tudor, Christopher K Starr, Kristen Mohammed


ABSTRACT- Pachycondyla crassinoda (Latr. 1902) is one of the largest ant species in the New World tropics. We studied its foraging habits in the field in a lowland forest in Trinidad, West Indies, with supplemental observations in the laboratory.  At our study site the density of colonies was estimated at 144/ha.  Like other members of its genus, P. crassinoda forages on the forest floor, apparently never climbing trees or other plants.  Foraging is mostly limited to periods when the ground is relatively dry and is largely close to the nest.  Ants searched under fallen leaves at a high frequency and preyed mostly on small arthropods.  They seldom stung prey, never unless the prey struggled vigorously.  The only form of food-source recruitment observed was tandem running, with a maximum of two nestmates following the scout.


tandem running, foraging, predation

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