Patch fidelity in Camponotus compressus ants foraging on honeydew secreted by treehoppers

Ravindra Palavalli Nettimi*, Priya Iyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Camponotus compressus ants are thought to be mutualistic with plant sap-sucking insects such as aphids and treehoppers, where the ants provide protection from predation and/or help maintain hygiene, in exchange for sugar-rich honeydew secreted by sapsuckers. We studied the foraging strategies and ant-treehopper interactions among C. compressus ants and Oxyrachis tarandus tree-hoppers on the plant Bauhinia tomentosa. We found that ants show fidelity to specific patches of B. tomentosa. We also found a significant correlation between hopper number and the number of visiting ants in foraging patches. Our study raises many questions about the ant-treehopper mutualism, navigation strategies and optimal foraging in C. compressus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-366
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Science
Volume109
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Camponotus compressus
  • honeydew
  • mutualism
  • Oxyrachis tarandus
  • patch fidelity

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