Complete excavation and mapping of a Texas leafcutting ant nest

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2006
Authors:J. C. Moser
Journal:Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Date Published:September
ISBN Number:0013-8746
Accession Number:ZOOREC:ZOOR14304020788
Keywords:comans, Milichiidae, myrmekophilous, Pholeomyia

A medium-sized nest of the Texas leafcutting ant, Atta texana (Buckley), in northern Louisiana was excavated completely, and a three-dimensional model of its external and subterranean features was constructed. In total, 97 fungus gardens, 27 dormancy cavities, and 45 detritus cavities were located. At the lower center of the funnel-shaped nest was a large central cavity, which in winter functions as a domicile for the colony and where the alate brood is reared. Vertical tunnels, possibly as deep as 32 in, may serve as wells leading to the water table. Winter mean annual temperatures within the central cavity may limit the northern geographical range of A. texana to [approximately equal]33[degree] N latitude. The inquilines Attaphila fungicola Wheeler, Pholeomyia comans Sabrosky, Ceuthophilm sp., Lobopoda subcuneatus Campbell, Geomysaprinus nr. formicus (Hinton), species of Aleocharinae, and a species of Annelida were seen in nest cavities and galleries.

URL:<Go to ISI>://ZOOREC:ZOOR14304020788
Groups audience: 
File attachments: 
Tue, 2008-03-04 09:53 -- Janz
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith