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Arthropod-Plant Interactions

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 75–85 | Cite as

Honeydew collection by the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus versus the native ant L. grandis

  • Carolina Ivon Paris
  • Xavier Espadaler
Original Paper

Abstract

Honeydew collection performed by the invasive ant Lasius neglectus and by the native ant L. grandis was compared. The invasive ant collected 2.09 kg of honeydew per tree while the native ant collected 0.82 kg. The aphid Lachnus roboris was visited by both ant species. In holm oaks colonized by L. neglectus, aphid abundance tended to increase and its honeydew production increased twofold. The percentage of untended aphids was lower in holm trees occupied by L. neglectus. As tending ants also prey on insects, we estimated the percentage of carried insects. The native ant workers carried more insects than the invasive ant. Both ant species preyed mainly on Psocoptera and the rarely tended aphid, Hoplocallis picta. We conclude that the higher honeydew collection achieved by L. neglectus was the consequence of (1) its greater abundance, which enabled this ant to tend more Lachnus roboris and (2) its greater level of attention towards promoting an increase of honeydew production.

Keywords

Aphid–ant mutualism Invasive ants Lachnus roboris Quercus ilex 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Nicolas Pérez Hidalgo (University of León) for aphid identification, and Elizabeth Padilla, María Teresa Salvadó, and Montse Robledo for their help in the estimation of honeydew production. Carolina Paris would like to thank the Government of Catalonia for the grant for young researchers (2003FI 00342). Funding was provided by MEC/FEDER CGL 2004-05240-CO2/01 and CGL2007-64080-C02-01.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Animal Biodiversity Research Group, Ecology Unit and CREAFAutonomous University of BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  2. 2.Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina

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