Revista Brasileira de Entomologia
Print version ISSN 0085-5626
VIEIRA, Alexsandro S.; FACCENDA, Odival; ANTONIALLI-JUNIOR, William F. and FERNANDES, Wedson D.. Nest structure and occurrence of three species of Azteca (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in Cecropia pachystachya (Urticaceae) in non-floodable and floodable pantanal areas. Rev. Bras. entomol. [online]. 2010, vol.54, n.3, pp. 441-445. ISSN 0085-5626. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0085-56262010000300014.
Thirty Cecropia pachystachya trees were examined in non-floodable and floodable areas to investigate the association between C. pachystachya and Azteca ants in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. The species Azteca ovaticeps, Azteca isthmica, and Azteca alfari were found nesting inside domatia of C. pachystachya. A. ovaticeps was the most frequent species in the trees in the floodable area, while A. isthmica and A. alfari, in the non-floodable area. A. ovaticeps and A. isthmica maintained more entrance/exit holes in comparison to A. alfari. All Azteca species maintained entrance/exit holes in the closest domatia to the apical area of the branch, due to proximity to Müllerian and pearl bodies, suggesting that these species of Azteca were influenced by their environment during evolution and became specialized. All internodal septa of each examined branch were perforated by ants, indicating the branches were inhabited by a single colony.
Keywords : Ant-Plant; Azteca; Cecropia; Dolichoderinae; Mutualism; Non-floodable and floodable area.