Ant Rafting in an Extreme Ecosystem


  • Geraldo Wilson Fernandes Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Flávio Siqueira de Castro Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Flávio Camarota Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Jéssica Cunha Blum Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Renata Maia Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais



Campo rupestre, Linepthema micans, Mountaintop grassland, Rupestrian grassland, Serra do Cipó


Ants are among the most abundant organisms on Earth, being adapted for living on different solid surfaces. However, in some habitats, like riparian forests and flooded plains, water can be a constant obstacle, and overcoming this obstacle can be essential to determine the persistence of ants in such habitats. While most ant species avoid the water during a flood by foraging at higher elevations or climbing on trees, a few species developed ways to overcome this obstacle by swimming. Here, we report, for the first time, ants of the species Linepthema micans (Forel 1908) performing rafts. We observed 14 rafts in three consecutive days at approximately 1400 meters a.s.l. in Serra do Cipó, Brazil. Notably, this is the first record of ant rafting in tropical mountaintop grasslands, which are extreme habitats with shallow and sandy soils, and where small temporary water pools are extremely common in the wet season.


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How to Cite

Wilson Fernandes, G. ., Siqueira de Castro, F. ., Camarota, F., Cunha Blum, J., & Maia, R. (2021). Ant Rafting in an Extreme Ecosystem. Sociobiology, 68(4), e7430.



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