Initial development and production of CO2 in colonies of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens during the claustral foundation

Roberto da Silva Camargo

Abstract


Queens in the genus Atta are solely responsible for fungus cultivation and for care of herself and her offspring. Only few studies have investigated their nests in the claustral foundation and it is unknown the production rate of expelled carbon dioxide and/or of oxygen consumption in the initial colonies of leaf-cutting ants. Thus, we have studied the development of 50 initial colonies of Atta sexdens, and production of expelled carbon dioxide under laboratory conditions. The number of eggs was counted one week after nest foundation on the seventh day, the larvae counted on day 28, and the pupae between days 42 and 49. The workers emerged on the 63rd and 70th day. The CO2 concentration increased steeply in the 42nd days (20.60 ± 8.36%) and 49th days (15,37 ± 13,11 %), at 42nd days,  and subsequently returned to lower values, for example, 3.35±2.84% at week seven. The present study is the first to present CO2 emission data in initial nests, in their claustral foundation under laboratory conditions.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Autuori, M. 1942. Contribuição para o conhecimento da saúva (Atta spp. – Hymenoptera – Formicidae). II. O sauveiro inicial (Atta sexdens rubropilosa, Forel, 1908). Arquivos do Instituto Biológico 13: 67–86.

Barker, J.F. 1978. Neuroendocrine regulation of oocyte maturation in the imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta. General and Comparative endocrinology 35: 234–237.

Bollazzi M. & Roces F. 2002. Thermal preference for fungus culturing and brood location by workers of the thatching grass-cutting ant Acromyrmex heyeri. Insect. Soc. 49: 153-157

Bollazzi, M., Forti, L.C. & Roces, F. 2012. Ventilation of the giant nests of Atta leaf-cutting ants: does underground circulating air enter the fungus chambers? Insectes Sociaux 59: 487–498.

Camargo, R.S. & Forti, L.C. 2013. Queen lipid content and nest growth in the leaf cutting ant (Atta sexdens rubropilosa) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Natural History 47: 65–73.

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

Chapman, R. F. The insects: structure and function (4th ed). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK ; New York, 1998.

Della Lucia, T.M.C., Moreira, D.D.O., Oliveira, M.A. & Araújo, M.S. 1995. Perdas de peso da rainha de Atta durante a fundação e o estabelecimento das colônias. Revista Brasileira de Biologia 55:533–536.

Eidmann H. 1935. Zur Kenntnis der Blattschneiderameise Atta sexdens L., insbesondere ihrer Okologie. Z. angew. Entomol. 22: 185–436.

Fowler, H.G., Pereira-da-Silva, V., Forti, L.C. & Saes, N.B. 1986. Population dynamics of leaf-cutting ants: a brief review, p. 123–145. In: Fire ants and leaf-cutting ants: Biology and management. Lofgren, C.S. & Vander Meer, R.K. (Eds). Westview Press, 435 p.

Fröhle, K. & Roces, F. 2012. The determination of nest depth in founding queens of leaf-cutting ants (Atta vollenweideri): idiothetic and temporal control. The Journal of Experimental Biology 215: 1642–1650

Fujihara, R.T., Camargo, R.S. & Forti, L.C. 2012. Lipid and energy contents in the bodies of queens of Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae): pre-and post-nuptial flight. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 56: 73–75,

Hebling M.J.A., Penteado C.H.S. & Mendes E.G. 1992. Respiratory regulation in workers of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel, 1908. Comparative Biochemistry Part A: Physiology 101A: 319–322

Keller, L. & Passera, L. 1989. Size and fat content of gynes in relation to mode of colony founding in ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Oecologia 80: 236–240.

Kleineidam C & Roces F. 2000. Carbon dioxide concentrations and nest ventilation in nests of leaf cutting ants Atta vollenweideri. Insectes Sociaux,47: 241-248.

Mintzer, A. 1990. Foundress female weight and cooperative foudation in Atta leaf-cutting ants, p.180–183. In: Applied Myrmecology: A World Perspective (Westview Studies in Insect Biology). R.K. Van der Meer, K. Jaffe, A. Cedeno, eds. Bouder, Westview Press,741 p

Nielsen, M.G. & Christian, K.A. 2007. The mangrove ant, Camponotus anderseni, switches to anaerobic respiration in response to elevated CO2 levels. Journal Insect Physiology 53: 505–508.

Nielsen, M.G., Christian, K. & Birkmose, D. 2003. Carbon dioxide concentrations in the nests of the mud-dwelling mangrove ant Polyrhachis sokolova Forel (Hymenoptera : Formicidae). Australian Journal of Entomology 42: 357–362.

Nielsen, M.G., Christian, K., Henriksen, P.G. & Birkmose, D. 2006. Respiration by mangrove ants Camponotus anderseni during nest submersion associated with tidal inundation in Northern Australia. Physiological Entomology 31: 120–126.

Pereira-da-Silva, V. 1979. Dinâmica populacional, biomassa e estrutura dos ninhos iniciais de Atta capiguara Gonçalves, 1944 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) na região de Botucatu, SP; Tese de Doutorado, Universidade Estadual Paulista 77 p.

Ribeiro, F.L. 1995. A escavação do solo pela fêmea da saúva (Atta sexdens rubropilosa). Revista de Psicologia 6: 75-93.

Roces, F. & Lighton, J.R.B. 1995. Larger bites of leaf-cutting ants. Nature 373: 373.

Schilman, P.E. & Roces, F. 2005. Energetics of locomotion and load carriage in the nectar feeding ants, Camponotus rufipes. Physiological Entomology 30: 332–337.

Schilman, P.E. & Roces, F. 2008. Haemolymph sugar levels in a nectar-feeding ant: dependence on metabolic expenditure and carbohydrate deprivation. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 178: 157–165.

Seal, J.N. & Tschinkel, W.R. 2007. Energetics of newly-mated queens and colony founding in the fungus-gardening ants Cyphomyrmex rimosus and Trachymyrmex septentrionalis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Physiological Entomology 32: 8–15.

Stahel G, & Geijskes DC. 1940. Observations about temperature and moisture in Atta nests. Rev. Entomol. 11: 766-775.

Wilson, E.O. 1971. The insect societies. Cambridge, Harvard University, 548 p.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v63i1.868

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


JCR Impact Factor 2018: 0.604