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Camponatus sp ant foraging on flowering buttons of the Neoraimondia arequipensis subsp roseiflora Werdermann Backeberg ostolaza Cactaceae cactus El forrajeo de la hormiga Camponotus sp en los botones florales del cactus Neoraimondia arequipensis subsp roseiflora Werdermann Backeberg Ostolaza Cactaceae






Ecologia Aplicada. Diciembre; 41-2: 83-90

Camponatus sp ant foraging on flowering buttons of the Neoraimondia arequipensis subsp roseiflora Werdermann Backeberg ostolaza Cactaceae cactus El forrajeo de la hormiga Camponotus sp en los botones florales del cactus Neoraimondia arequipensis subsp roseiflora Werdermann Backeberg Ostolaza Cactaceae

The seasonal foraging sequence of the Camponatus sp. ant on the flowering buttons of the Neoraimondia arequipensis subsp. roseiflora (Werdermann & Backeberg) Ostolaza (Cactaceae) cactus was the subject of a study at Umarcata hills, lower Rio Chillon basin, Lima, Peru. Fifteen mature cacti plants were marked randomly and the number of total buttons, up to a maximum of 50 buttons, produced by each plant was registered monthly, during twelve months, and the observed total number of ants in each flowering button was simultaneously recorded. Observations were taken monthly from October 2003 to September 2004. Similarity matrices between these months, based on phenological and ant-related data, were compared by the Procrustes technique of rotational axis. A randomized test, Procrustes test or Protest with 1000 permutations, was used to analyze the significance of (non random) association between the configurations obtained by non parametric multidimensional acaling (NMDS) ordenation technique. Ants forage the nectar secreted over the flowering buttons, from the time they are covered by the areoles plush hair till they open as pink flowers. Ant visits show a peak during the months of March, April and May, reaching their maximum in April in response to the recurrent cactus phenophase, temperature and relative humidity. There is an association between the number of flower buttons produced and the number of visiting ants, which is intensified during April, July, October and November, and becomes weaker during the remaining months, which might respond to food offer and abiotic factors such as temperature and relative humidity.


Accession: 038040133



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