Foraging activity and diet of the ant, Anoplolepis tenella Santschi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in southern Cameroon

Anoplolepis tenella is a ground-nesting ant of the tropical forest zone of Central Africa, commonly associated with African root and tuber scale, Stictococcus vayssierei Richard, an emerging cassava pest. Understanding the ant's foraging activity and diet breadth is an important step towards developing control measures against S. vayssierei. The present study was carried out in cassava fields in Awae II and Mengomo, southern Cameroon, during the short wet and dry seasons of 2006. Foraging activity of A. tenella was continuous during the circadian cycle and showed four peaks of activity; two during the day and two at night at both localities and in both seasons. Activity was greater at night than during the day, and greater in the wet than in the dry season. During the day, activity was significantly positively correlated with relative humidity, and negatively correlated with air temperature. During the night, it was positively correlated with relative humidity but not with air temperature at both localities. The diet of A. tenella consisted of solid items, mainly live prey (63.3 %) but also dead prey (36.7 %) and sugary secretions collected from various hemipterans. Stictococcus vayssierei was the most commonly tended hemipteran (98.5 %). Continuous foraging activity, omnivory and especially association with hemipterans are factors that favour the numerical dominance of A. tenella in cassava fields.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Creator Fotso Kuate, Apollin
Creator Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Creator ID Type ORCID
Creator ID 0000-0002-5247-7519
Subject Vocab (AGROVOC/GACS/CAB) Wet Season,Dry season,Time,Temperature,Workers,Humidity,Hemiptera,Pests
Subject(s) Anoplolepis tenella,Stictococcus vayssierei,Activity rhythm
Publisher International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Person Hanna, Rachid; Tindo, Morris; Kenne M.; Georgen G.
Contributor Role Other
Contributor Project Lead Organisation Center International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Project Lead Center International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor CRP CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Banana(RTB)
Contributor Partner Not Applicable
Contributor Donor International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Austrian Government
Contributor Project Integrated Management of Cassava Pests
Contributor Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Open-Access status Open Access
Production Date 2006-08-20
Embargo End Date
Content Type Dataset
File Format csv
Identifier Type DOI
Identifier https://doi.org/10.25502/fzn8-mx80/d
Identifier Citation Fotso Kuate A, Tindo M, Hanna R, Kenne M, Goergen G. 2008. Foraging activity and diet of the ant, Anoplolepis tenella Santschi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in southern Cameroon. Afr Entomol 16(1):107-114. doi: https://doi.org/10.4001/1021-3589-16.1.107
Source Integrated Management of Cassava Pests
Language English
Relation Not applicable
Agroecological Zone Humid warm tropics
Coverage Region Sub-Saharan Africa
Coverage country Cameroon
Coverage Admin Unit Not applicable
Coverage X 3.90019
Coverage Y 11.88062
Coverage Start Date 2006-05-13
Coverage End Date 2006-08-20
Contact Fotso Kuate, Apollin; Visiting Scientist, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contact Email a.fotso@cgiar.org
Restriction CC-BY 4.0
Email Permission Not applicable
Rights CC-BY 4.0