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24 April 2019 Tree-dwelling ant survey (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in Mitaraka, French Guiana
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Abstract

Ants constitute a substantial part of the arthropod biomass in rainforests. Most studies have focused on ground-dwelling ants, which constitute almost half of the diversity of the ant assemblage. We report here the results of the first survey of tree-dwelling ants in French Guiana on a plateau and in a swamp palm forest (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) in the Mitaraka Mountains. We were interested in seeing the effect of topography and geographic distance on species richness and composition and to gather information on the species distribution on tree trunks. The fauna of Mitaraka was compared with one from a site 350 km distant (Petit Saut). In total 105 trees were sampled (30, 30, 45 in the plateau and the swamp forests of Mitaraka, and in Petit Saut plateau forest, respectively). Arboreal ants were attracted using tuna and honey baits spread along a rope reaching an upper branch, except for the palm swamp forest where the baits were only placed at 2 m high. A total of 34, 13 and 22 species were observed in these three respective sites. Six of these species are new records for French Guiana. In Mitaraka Camponotus femoratus (Fabricius, 1804) and Crematogaster leviorLongino, 2003 co-occurred on trees (parabiotic association) and were among the most common species, along with Crematogaster tenuiculaForel, 1904 which was found on other trees (species exclusion). The Mitaraka Mountains appeared more species rich and had a species composition distinct from Petit Saut. Topography also influenced ant species composition. Almost half of the species collected by the baitline method were exclusively foraging in the canopy.

© Publications scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris.
Maurice Leponce, Jacques H. C. Delabie, Jérôme Orivel, Justine Jacquemin, Mariano Calvo Martin, and Alain Dejean "Tree-dwelling ant survey (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in Mitaraka, French Guiana," Zoosystema 40(sp1), 163-179, (24 April 2019). https://doi.org/10.5252/zoosystema2019v41a10
Received: 27 November 2017; Accepted: 7 August 2018; Published: 24 April 2019
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