Volume 2, Issue 2, June 2018, Page: 16-22
Predator Ants of the Date Palm Termite Microcerotermes diversus Silvestri and Effects of ant Morphometric Characteristics on ant Functional Response
Masoud Latifian, Date Palm and Tropical Fruit Research Center, Horticulture Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Ahvaz, Iran
Behzad Habibpour, Department of Plant Protection, College of Agriculture, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran
Brad Kard, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA
Received: Aug. 25, 2018;       Accepted: Sep. 5, 2018;       Published: Oct. 4, 2018
DOI: 10.11648/j.aje.20180202.13      View  243      Downloads  19
Scouting for formicidae presence in Microcerotermes diversus galleries was conducted from March to September 2014 in 10 date palm trees located in the Omaltomire region of Khuzestan Province, Iran. Measurements and morphological observations were made of 20 ant workers. For the in vitro predation test, M. diversus nymphs (n = 10 per replicate) were placed in a petri dish. Then, live freshly field-collected worker of ants were added. After 24 h, the number termite nymphs that were fully or partially devoured was determined. Five ants, including Plagiolepis pallescens, Polyrhachis lacteipennis, Pheidole teneriffana, Crematogaster antaris, and Monomorium destructor were predators of termites in date palm orchards. P. lacteipennis and P. teneriffana, and P. pallescens, C. antaris, and M. destructor, showed Type II and Type III functional responses, respectively. The highest predation efficiency, and the lowest handing time coupled with the highest attack rate by predators was recorded for P. lacteipennis and P. teneriffana, and C. antaris and M. destructor, respectively. Predator ant characteristics measured include: HL-Head length; HW-head width; SL-scape length; EL-eye length; PW-pronotal width; WL-thorax length; GL-gaster length; TL-total length; FL-femur length. HL, HW, SL, EL and FL showed positive effects on the functional response parameters. Results showed that termite defense capabilities declined with increasing of ant predation efficiency.
Ant Morphology, Date palm, Predatory Ants, Termites
To cite this article
Masoud Latifian, Behzad Habibpour, Brad Kard, Predator Ants of the Date Palm Termite Microcerotermes diversus Silvestri and Effects of ant Morphometric Characteristics on ant Functional Response, American Journal of Entomology. Vol. 2, No. 2, 2018, pp. 16-22. doi: 10.11648/j.aje.20180202.13
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