Dave Lubertazzi, Maria A. Aliberti Lubertazzi, Neil McCoy, Aaron D. Gove, Jonathan D. Majer, Robert R. Dunn
Journal of Insect Science 10 (158), 1-15, (1 September 2010) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.010.14118
KEYWORDS: Ant-plant interactions, elaiosome, life history, mutualism
Rhytidoponera violacea (Forel) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is a keystone seed disperser in Kwongan heathl and habitats of southwestern Australia. Like many myrmecochorous ants, little is known about the basic biology of this species. In this study various aspects of the biology of R. violacea were examined and the researchers evaluated how these characteristics may influence seed dispersal. R. violacea nesting habits (relatively shallow nests), foraging behavior (scramble competitor and lax food selection criteria), and other life history characteristics complement their role as a mutualist that interacts with the seeds of many plant species.