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Identification of polydomy and colony description in two ecologically contrastint species, Camponotus rufipes and C. renggeri (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): a comparative approach between Cerrado and Atlantic Rainforest

Grant number: 19/12646-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2019
Effective date (End): September 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Gustavo Maruyama Mori
Grantee:Gabriel Tofanelo Vanin
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB-CLP). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus Experimental do Litoral Paulista. São Vicente , SP, Brazil


Ants emerged in the Mesozoic and later diversified along with the angiosperms. These insects dominated all continents, except for Antarctica and some oceanic islands. Much of this achievement may be related to eusociality, a feature also observed in different organisms as termites and bees, and to the diversity of life strategies these animals possess, such as diet habits and complex and distinct colony structures. Ants social organization varies not only between taxonomic groups but also between population from different environments. Some of these variations in colony structure include changes in the number of queens, demography, and spatial distribution of the colony. For two carpenter ants, Camponotus rufipes and C. renggeri, characteristics such as polygyny (multiple queens per colony) and polydomy (multiple nests per colony) were observed in colonies in the Cerrado. However, little is known in other environments. Here, our aim is to characterize polydomy and demography to describe colony structure of both Camponotus species in an Atlantic Rainforest environment. Through active search, we will identify nests of C. rufipes and C. renggeri. Workers of each nest will be marked with colored nontoxic inks and aggression tests will be performed allowing the recognition of possible social links and, therefore, the existence of polydomy. All nests of polydomous colonies of each species will be excavated to characterize their demography, based on the number of workers and queens and, if the colonies are in the reproductive phase, on the number of winged males and queens. Finally, this project will allow a better understanding of the natural history of two abundant ants in the Neotropics and their possible variation in distinct biomes, focusing mainly on the comparison between Cerrado and Atlantic Forest.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PEREIRA-ROMEIRO, M. P.; VANIN, G. T.; AZEVEDO-SILVA, M.; MORI, G. M.. Natural history of Camponotus renggeri and Camponotus rufipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in an Atlantic Forest reserve, Brazil. Insectes Sociaux, v. 69, n. 4, p. 6-pg., . (17/18291-2, 20/15636-1, 19/12646-9)

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