The dacetine ant Strumigenys arizonica, an apparent obligate commensal of the fungus-growing ant Trachymyrmex arizonensis in southwestern North America

K. W. Gray, S. P. Cover, R. A. Johnson, Christian Rabeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Over 40 years ago, the dacetine ant Strumigenys arizonica was discovered in a nest of the fungus-growing ant Trachymyrmex arizonensis at Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains of the southwestern United States. This discovery suggested that the two species form compound nests, but this hypothesis has not been investigated. Here, we characterize this symbiosis through an analysis of collection records supplemented by recent field and laboratory observations. Our observations show that S. arizonica and T. arizonensis form compound nests that are a type of commensalistic symbiosis. Individuals of S. arizonica forage in galleries and tunnels of T. arizonensis nests but do not steal fungus or brood. Instead, individuals of S. arizonica hunt collembolans in the internal refuse piles of T. arizonensis nests. Interestingly, S. arizonica was never found independent of its host T. arizonensis over a significant portion of the geographic range of T. arizonensis. These results suggest a tight but asymmetric association where compound nesting is obligate for S. arizonica and facultative for T. arizonensis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-410
Number of pages10
JournalInsectes Sociaux
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

Fingerprint

Trachymyrmex
commensal
ant
nest
Formicidae
nests
fungus
fungi
symbiosis
Southwestern United States
canyons
Collembola
refuse
canyon
forage
pile
tunnel
North America
mountains
mountain

Keywords

  • Attini
  • Commensalism
  • Formicidae
  • Mutualism
  • Social parasitism
  • Symbiosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

Cite this

The dacetine ant Strumigenys arizonica, an apparent obligate commensal of the fungus-growing ant Trachymyrmex arizonensis in southwestern North America. / Gray, K. W.; Cover, S. P.; Johnson, R. A.; Rabeling, Christian.

In: Insectes Sociaux, Vol. 65, No. 3, 01.08.2018, p. 401-410.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{1e619947b9694fa98ba7d5ae9439e6f3,
title = "The dacetine ant Strumigenys arizonica, an apparent obligate commensal of the fungus-growing ant Trachymyrmex arizonensis in southwestern North America",
abstract = "Over 40 years ago, the dacetine ant Strumigenys arizonica was discovered in a nest of the fungus-growing ant Trachymyrmex arizonensis at Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains of the southwestern United States. This discovery suggested that the two species form compound nests, but this hypothesis has not been investigated. Here, we characterize this symbiosis through an analysis of collection records supplemented by recent field and laboratory observations. Our observations show that S. arizonica and T. arizonensis form compound nests that are a type of commensalistic symbiosis. Individuals of S. arizonica forage in galleries and tunnels of T. arizonensis nests but do not steal fungus or brood. Instead, individuals of S. arizonica hunt collembolans in the internal refuse piles of T. arizonensis nests. Interestingly, S. arizonica was never found independent of its host T. arizonensis over a significant portion of the geographic range of T. arizonensis. These results suggest a tight but asymmetric association where compound nesting is obligate for S. arizonica and facultative for T. arizonensis.",
keywords = "Attini, Commensalism, Formicidae, Mutualism, Social parasitism, Symbiosis",
author = "Gray, {K. W.} and Cover, {S. P.} and Johnson, {R. A.} and Christian Rabeling",
year = "2018",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s00040-018-0625-8",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "65",
pages = "401--410",
journal = "Insectes Sociaux",
issn = "0020-1812",
publisher = "Birkhauser Verlag Basel",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The dacetine ant Strumigenys arizonica, an apparent obligate commensal of the fungus-growing ant Trachymyrmex arizonensis in southwestern North America

AU - Gray, K. W.

AU - Cover, S. P.

AU - Johnson, R. A.

AU - Rabeling, Christian

PY - 2018/8/1

Y1 - 2018/8/1

N2 - Over 40 years ago, the dacetine ant Strumigenys arizonica was discovered in a nest of the fungus-growing ant Trachymyrmex arizonensis at Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains of the southwestern United States. This discovery suggested that the two species form compound nests, but this hypothesis has not been investigated. Here, we characterize this symbiosis through an analysis of collection records supplemented by recent field and laboratory observations. Our observations show that S. arizonica and T. arizonensis form compound nests that are a type of commensalistic symbiosis. Individuals of S. arizonica forage in galleries and tunnels of T. arizonensis nests but do not steal fungus or brood. Instead, individuals of S. arizonica hunt collembolans in the internal refuse piles of T. arizonensis nests. Interestingly, S. arizonica was never found independent of its host T. arizonensis over a significant portion of the geographic range of T. arizonensis. These results suggest a tight but asymmetric association where compound nesting is obligate for S. arizonica and facultative for T. arizonensis.

AB - Over 40 years ago, the dacetine ant Strumigenys arizonica was discovered in a nest of the fungus-growing ant Trachymyrmex arizonensis at Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains of the southwestern United States. This discovery suggested that the two species form compound nests, but this hypothesis has not been investigated. Here, we characterize this symbiosis through an analysis of collection records supplemented by recent field and laboratory observations. Our observations show that S. arizonica and T. arizonensis form compound nests that are a type of commensalistic symbiosis. Individuals of S. arizonica forage in galleries and tunnels of T. arizonensis nests but do not steal fungus or brood. Instead, individuals of S. arizonica hunt collembolans in the internal refuse piles of T. arizonensis nests. Interestingly, S. arizonica was never found independent of its host T. arizonensis over a significant portion of the geographic range of T. arizonensis. These results suggest a tight but asymmetric association where compound nesting is obligate for S. arizonica and facultative for T. arizonensis.

KW - Attini

KW - Commensalism

KW - Formicidae

KW - Mutualism

KW - Social parasitism

KW - Symbiosis

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85047109481&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85047109481&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s00040-018-0625-8

DO - 10.1007/s00040-018-0625-8

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85047109481

VL - 65

SP - 401

EP - 410

JO - Insectes Sociaux

JF - Insectes Sociaux

SN - 0020-1812

IS - 3

ER -