Ecological Research

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 669–673 | Cite as

Asian weaver ants, Oecophylla smaragdina, and their repelling of pollinators

Original Articles

The Asian weaver ant, Oecophylla smaragdina, is known to have outstanding predatory power. This ant can protect the host plants from attacks of phytophagous insects and therefore has been used for biological control in the tropics. We present evidence for a possible negative effect of Oecophylla on the performance of host plants. Our observation in a fruit orchard of rambutan in Sumatra suggested that the presence of Oecohylla nests on the trees statistically significantly lowered the flower-visiting rate of flying insects, involving the major pollinator Trigona minangkabau. The visiting rate of Oecophylla workers to each flower shoot of rambutan significantly negatively correlated with the visiting rate of flying insects. Empirical evidence of such an inhibitory effect on flower-visiting of pollinators cased by aggressive ants has been scarce so far.

Key words

ant interspecific interaction Oecophylla pollination stingless bee 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Azuma N., Kikuchi T., Ogata K., Higashi S. (2002) Molecular phylogeny among local populations of weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina. Zoological Science 19: 1321–1328.Google Scholar
  2. Beattie A. J. (1985) The Evolutionary Ecology of Ant-Plant Mutualisms. Cambridge University Press, London.Google Scholar
  3. Beattie A. J., Turnbull C. L., Hough T., Jobson S., Knox R. B. (1985) The vulnerability of pollen and fungal spores to ant secretions: evidence and some evolutionary implications. American Journal of Botany 72: 606–614.Google Scholar
  4. Bernardello G., Anderson G. J., Stuessy T. F., Crawford D. J. (2001) A survey of floral traits, breeding systems, floral visitors, and pollination systems of angiosperms of the Juan Fernandez Islands (Chile). Botanical Review 67: 255–308.Google Scholar
  5. Birkhead T. (2000) Promiscuity: an Evolutionary History of Sperm Competition. Faber and Fabor, London.Google Scholar
  6. Bluthgen N., Gebauer G., Fiedler K. (2003) Disentangling a rainforest food web using stable isotopes: dietary diversity in a species-rich ant community. Oecologia 137: 426–435.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Bronstein J. L. (1988) Predators of fig wasps. Biotropica 20: 215–219.Google Scholar
  8. Djieto-Lordon C. & Dejean A. (1999) Tropical arboreal ant mosaics: innate attraction and imprinting determine nest site selection in dominant ants. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 45: 219–225.Google Scholar
  9. Fiedler K. (1991) A systematic, evolutionary, and ecological implications of myrmecophily within the Lycaenidae (Insecta: Lepidopera: Papilionoidea). Bonner Zoological Monograph. 31: 1–210.Google Scholar
  10. Fleming P. A. & Nicolson S. W. (2003) Arthropod fauna of mammal-pollinated Protea humiflora: ants as an attractant for insectivore pollinators? African Entomology 11: 9–14.Google Scholar
  11. Galen C. & Butchart B. (2003) Ants in your plants: effects of nectar-thieves on pollen fertility and seed-siring capacity in the alpine wildflower, Polemonium viscosum. Oikos 101: 521–528.Google Scholar
  12. Hölldobler B. (1983) Territorial behaviour in the green ant (Oecophylla smaragdina). Biotropica 15: 214–250.Google Scholar
  13. Hölldobler B. & Wilson E. O. (1978) The multiple recruitment systems of the African weaver ant Oecophylla longinoda (Latreille). (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 3: 19–60.Google Scholar
  14. Hölldobler B. & Wilson E. O. (1990) The Ants. Belknap Press, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  15. Inoue T., Salmah S., Abbas I., Yusuf. E. (1985) Foraging behavior of individual workers and foraging dynamics of colonies of three Sumatran stingless bees. Researches on Population Ecology 27: 373–392.Google Scholar
  16. Itioka T., Nomura M., Inui Y., Itino T., Inoue T. (2000) Difference in intensity of ant defense among three species of Macaranga Meyrmecophytes in a Southeast Asian dipterocarp forest. Biotropica 32: 318–326.Google Scholar
  17. Janzen D. H. (1966) Coevolution of mutualism between ants and acacias in Central America. Evolution 20: 249–275.Google Scholar
  18. Kalshoven L. G. E. (1981) Pests of Crops in Indonesia, P. T. Ichtiar Baru –Van Hoeve, Jakarta.Google Scholar
  19. Kawakita A. & Kato M. (2002) Floral biology and unique pollination system of root holoparasites Balanophora kuroiwai, and B. tobiracola. American Journal of Botany 89: 1164–1170.Google Scholar
  20. Konishi M. & Itô Y. (1973) Early entomology in east Asia. In: History of Entomology (eds Smith, R. F., Mittler, T. E. & Smith, C. N.), pp. 1–20. Annual Review Inc, Palo Alto, CA.Google Scholar
  21. McKey D., Davidson W., Gray H. (1993) Ant-plant symbioses in Africa and the neotropics: history, biogeography, and diversity. In: Biological Relationships Between Africa and South America (ed. Goldblat, P.), pp. 568–606. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut.Google Scholar
  22. Peng R. K., Christian K., Gibb K. (1997) Control threshold analysis for the tea mosquito bug, Helopeltis pernicialis (Hemiptera: Miridae) and preliminary results concerning the efficiency of control by the green ant, Oecpphylla smaragdina (Hymenoptera; Formicidae) in northern Australia. International Journal of Pest Management 43: 233–237.Google Scholar
  23. Peng R. K., Christian K., Gibb K. (1999) The effect of colony isolation of the predacious ant, Oecophylla smaragdina (F.) (Hymenoptera; Formicidae), on protection of cashew plantations from insect pests. International Journal of Pest Management 45: 189–194.Google Scholar
  24. Pierce N. E. (1989) Butterfly-ant mutualisms. In: Toward a More Exact Ecology (eds Grubb, P. J. & Whittaker, J. B.), pp. 299–329. Blackwell Science Publications, Oxford.Google Scholar
  25. Raju A. J. S. & Ezradanam V. (2002) Pollination ecology and fruiting behaviour in a monoecious species, Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae). Current Science 83: 1395–1398.Google Scholar
  26. Schatz B. & Hossaert-McKey M. (2003) Interctions of the ant Crematogaster scutellaris with the fig/fig wasp mutualism. Ecological Entomology 28: 359–268.Google Scholar
  27. Tobin J. E. (1991) A neotropical, rainforest canopy, ant community: some ecological considerations. In: Ant–Plant Interactions (eds Huxley, C. R. & Cutler, D. F.), pp. 536–538. Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  28. Van Mele P. & Cuc N. T. T. (2000) Evolution and status of Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius) as a pest control agent in citrus in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. International Journal of Pest Management 46: 295–301.Google Scholar
  29. Way M. J. & Khoo K. C. (1992) Role of ants in pest management. Annual Review of Entomology 37: 479–503.Google Scholar
  30. Willmer P. G. & Stone G. N. (1997) How aggressive ant-guards assist seed-set in Acacia flowers. Nature 388: 165–167.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuki TSUJI
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ahsol HASYIM
    • 3
  • Harlion
    • 3
  • Koji NAKAMURA
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceToyama UniversityToyamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Sciences and Technology, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of the RyukyusOkinawaJapan
  3. 3.Research Institute for FruitWest SumatraIndonesia
  4. 4.Ecological Laboratory, Faculty of ScienceKanazawa UniversityKanazawaJapan

Personalised recommendations