ANTS (HYMENOPTERA, FORMICIDAE) RICHNESS AND COMPOSITION IN URBAN HABITATS

Carolina Moreno, Gilmar dos Santos, Jorge Diniz

Resumo


Ants are a very rich and cosmopolitan group of insects. The ants’ colonies are composed by different castes, in which each individual has its function in the colony (i.e. workers, soldiers, and the queen). This amazing organization in castes is the main responsible for their evolutionary success and their adaptation in distinct types of habitats. Two thousand species of ants in Brazil have already been described, and almost 50 of them adapted to live in urban habitats. Ants are considered urban pests, mainly because they physically carry disease organisms and because they damage household appliances. We sampled urban ants in the city of Jataí - GO, located in a region of Brazilian Cerrado, in the Southwest of the State of Goiás. To better demonstrate the ant fauna of this region, we sampled the ants inside houses and in the backyards. We tested if (1) the species richness is higher in backyards than inside houses. We also tested whether (2) ant species composition differs from those within residences in relation to the ones in backyards. We sampled 47 species of ants belonging to six subfamilies. Backyards had significantly higher species richness than within residences. This result was expected, since the backyards are heterogeneous environments and provide more resources, refuges and a better microclimatic quality, allowing a greater amount of species to coexist. This result was expected, since the backyards present vegetation (mainly Poaceae and fruit plants) and exposed soil, allowing the occurrence of species that need these resources. These results show that knowledge of the richness and composition of the myrmecofauna living in urban areas may be fundamental for the elaboration of management, control and conservation plans of the ants.


Palavras-chave


Backyards; Residences; Urbanization; Heterogeneity.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18316/rca.v11i3.2776

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ISSN: 1981-8858

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