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Natural history of Camponotus renggeri and Camponotus rufipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in an Atlantic Forest reserve, Brazil

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Widespread species face a wide variety of environmental challenges and their morphology, behavior, and natural history may change across their range. However, not rarely, natural history research is restricted to one or few locations. That is the case for Camponotus renggeri and C. rufipes. Both species occur across South America in different ecosystems, but most research on these species is restricted to the Brazilian savanna, known as Cerrado. Here, we describe the foraging area, nesting habits, and activity schedule of C. renggeri and C. rufipes in an Atlantic Forest reserve in SE Brazil. Inferred intraspecific foraging areas of nearby nests overlapped, especially for C. renggeri foraged exclusively during nighttime and C. rufipes remained active throughout the day, but with little intensity during daylight hours. Most nests of both species were composed of dry straw, and average foraging areas were 0.91 m2 for C. renggeri and 1.79 m2 for C. rufipes. C. renggeri. Our findings reinforce the importance of natural history and add to our knowledge on the ecology and behavior of C. renggeri and C. rufipes in Atlantic Forest.

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We thank P. S. Oliveira, M. U. V. Ronque, and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions that improved this paper. Also, the authors thank Instituto Florestal (COTEC 260108–010.270/2018), Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (SISBIO 66314-1), and Conselho de Gestão do Patrimônio Genético (A025CBF) for sampling and genetic resources access licenses. This research was funded by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq – PIBIC/Unesp #48498, #48010, and #54099) and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP 2017/18291-2; 2019/12646-9; 2020/15636-1). This study was financed in part by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – CAPES (Finance Code 001).

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Correspondence to G. M. Mori.

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Figure S1. Camponotus renggeri and C. rufipes nests found in an Atlantic Forest Reserve, southeastern Brazil. Note the presence of whole leaves and intertwining branches in the architecture. The figure shows (a) a large nest of C. renggeri, (b) a small nest of C. renggeri inside the cavity formed by a twisted leaf with workers around it, and (c) small nest of C. rufipes entangled in vegetation. Yellow arrows indicate workers and white arrows indicate the nests

Video S1. Workers of Camponotus renggeri and C. rufipes engaging in aggressive behavior against each other in an Atlantic Forest reserve

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Pereira-Romeiro, M.P., Vanin, G.T., Azevedo-Silva, M. et al. Natural history of Camponotus renggeri and Camponotus rufipes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in an Atlantic Forest reserve, Brazil. Insect. Soc. 69, 369–374 (2022).

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