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Nest Tree Selectivity by the Tropical Ant, Paraponera clavata

Mark C. Belk, Hal L. Black, Clive D. Jorgensen, Stephen P. Hubbell and Robin B. Foster
Biotropica
Vol. 21, No. 2 (Jun., 1989), pp. 173-177
DOI: 10.2307/2388707
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2388707
Page Count: 5
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Nest Tree Selectivity by the Tropical Ant, Paraponera clavata
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Abstract

Paraponera clavata is a large, arboreal foraging, ground nesting, Neotropical ant which appears to rely heavily upon nectar from extra-floral nectaries. In a Costa Rican forest this ant built nests at the base of ten species of trees but seemed to select preferentially the tree Pentaclethra macroloba (Bennett & Breed 1985). These authors suggested that trees with extra-floral nectaries and buttresses may be selected by P clavata. In Panama we found P clavata nests at the base of 76 species of trees and shrubs, 1 palm, and 2 lianas on a 50 ha forest plot. The palm and 4 tree species were positively associated with P clavata, while 4 species (3 shrubs and 1 tree) were negatively associated. Buttressing and the presence of extra-floral nectaries were not conspicuous features of nest trees.

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