Journal article

Colony characteristics influence the risk of nest predation of a polydomous ant by a monotreme

Ellen Van Wilgenburg, Mark A Elgar

BIOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY | OXFORD UNIV PRESS | Published : 2007

Abstract

Although predation of individual social insect workers has little effect on colony fitness, nest predation may be a significant selective agent because it can result in substantial loss of reproductive success. Surprisingly, the consequences of predation on social insect nests are poorly understood. In the present study, we investigate the factors that correlate with the probability of predation by echidnas, Tachyglossus aculeatus, on nests and colonies of the facultatively polydomous meat ant, Iridomyrmex purpureus. In particular, we investigate whether colony fragmentation provides a mechanism for reducing the costs of echidna predation. Over 2 years, 138 of the 140 colonies on our study s..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers