Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 263–265 | Cite as

Oribatid mite predation by small ants of the genus Pheidole

Research article


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.

Key words.

Mite predation food chain Pheidole ants 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Museum of Comparative ZoologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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