Oribatid mite predation by small ants of the genus Pheidole
- Cite this article as:
- Wilson, E.O. Insectes Soc. (2005) 52: 263. doi:10.1007/s00040-005-0802-4
Using “cafeteria experiments” with forest soil and litter, I obtained evidence that at least some small Neotropical species of Pheidole prey on a wide array of slow-moving invertebrates, favoring those of approximately their own size. The most frequent prey were oribatid mites, a disproportion evidently due in part to the abundance of these organisms. The ants have no difficulty breaking through the calcified exoskeleton of the mites.