Physical resistance as a criterion in the selection of foraging material by Acromyrmex subterraneus brunneus Forel, 1911 (Hym., Formicidae)

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2004-06-01

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Wiley-Blackwell

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Leaf-cutting ants forage on a wide variety of plant species using the physical and chemical characteristics of the plants as a selection criterion. In order to determine the influence of the physical factor on the selection of foraging material, inert materials such as floral sponge, polystyrene, plastic and clay, which possess different degrees of physical resistance to cutting, were offered simultaneously to five Acromyrmex subterraneus brunneus colonies, and assessed 12 and 24 h after foraging. No substrate selectivity was observed during foraging. Physical resistance was used as a decision criterion for the incorporation or return of the foraged material. This fact suggests the existence of a second time of selection of the foraged material inside the colony during cultivation of the symbiontic fungus.

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Journal of Applied Entomology. Malden: Wiley-blackwell, v. 128, n. 5, p. 329-331, 2004.

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