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The Arboreal Ant Fauna of Peruvian Amazon Forests: A First Assessment

Edward O. Wilson
Biotropica
Vol. 19, No. 3 (Sep., 1987), pp. 245-251
DOI: 10.2307/2388342
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2388342
Page Count: 7
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The Arboreal Ant Fauna of Peruvian Amazon Forests: A First Assessment
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Abstract

A first assessment has been made of arboreal ants collected during 1982 and 1983 in four types of forest at the Tambopata Reserved Zone, Peru. The sample, comprising over 100,000 workers in 1707 separate species series, was found to contain 40 genera and an estimated 135 species, the most diverse local arboreal ant fauna ever recorded. A large portion of the diversity was caused by the occurrence of many species in close proximity. For example, a single tree yielded 26 genera and 43 species, approximately equal to the entire ant fauna of all habitats in the British Isles. In pairwise comparisons across the four forest types, 57-63 percent of the species in the smaller fauna were also found in the larger fauna. Consistent with this pattern, 47 percent of the species were found in two or more forest types. The Tambopata arboreal fauna is further characterized by the numerical dominance of three or four species occupying ant gardens, and by a greater diversity and abundance of dolichoderine ants than hitherto recorded in other Neotropical habitats.

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