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Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 286–296 | Cite as

Microclimatic factors influencing foraging patterns and success of the thermophilic desert ant,Ocymyrmex barbiger

  • A. C. Marsh
Article

Summary

Ocymyrmex barbiger is a diurnal scavenger of arthropods in which the number of successful foraging excursions per colony per day increases with daily vapour pressure deficit. It appears that the ants make use of prey items which succumb to thermal and desiccation stress. Running speed is a function of surface temperature but progressively less time is spent searching for prey beyond a critical surface temperature with the result that the optimal search temperature for individual foragers is about 52°C. Maximal foraging activity of colonies occurs at surface temperatures corresponding to this optimal search temperature.

Keywords

Surface Temperature Vapour Pressure Prey Item Vapour Pressure Deficit Desiccation Stress 

Der Einfluss Mikroklimatischer Faktoren auf das Verhalten und den Erfolg bei der Nahrungssuche der thermophilen Wuesten AmeiseOcymyrmex barbiger

Zusammenfassung

Bei derOcymyrmex barbiger, einem aasfressenden, tagaktiven Gliederfuessler, nehmen die erfolgreichen Nahrungsexkursionen, innerhalb einer Kolonie und eines Tages, mit dem taeglichen Dampfdruckabfall zu. Es hat den Anschein, als wuerden die Ameisen bei der Beutesuche von den Tieren Gebrauch machen, die den Temperaturen und der Austrocknung erlegen sind. Die schnelle Fortbewegung ist von der Oberflaechentemperatur abhaengig und sobald ein Grenzwert der Oberflaechentemperatur ueberschritten ist, wird zunehmend weniger Zeit fuer die Nahrungssuche aufgebracht. Die optimale Temperatur fuer die Nahrungssuche der einzelnen Ameise liegt bei ungefahr 52°C. Die maximale Aktivitat der nahrungssuchenden Ameisen einer Kolonie tritt bei Oberflaechen temperaturen ein, die dieser optimalen Temperatur entsprechen.

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Copyright information

© Masson 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. C. Marsh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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