Acromyrmex lundii

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Acromyrmex lundii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Acromyrmex
Species: A. lundii
Binomial name
Acromyrmex lundii
(Guérin-Méneville, 1838)

Acromyrmex lundii casent0173797 profile 1.jpg

Acromyrmex lundii casent0173797 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Subspecies
Synonyms

Acromyrmex lundii is a host species of the inquiline Pseudoatta argentina.

Identification

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina, Brazil (type locality), Paraguay, Uruguay.

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Biology

Bruch 1928. Obrera de hormiga podadora, Acromyrmex lundii con una reina adoptiva de Pseudoatta argentina. (Siete veces aumentadas)

Römer and Roces (2015) carried out a laboratory study examining this ant's nesting behavior. They noted that it was already known that Acromyrmex lundi leaf-cutting ants:

. . . enlarge existing chambers only if they contain fungus; otherwise they excavate tunnels (Fröhle and Roces 2009). They appear to use their voluminous fungus as a template to adjust the size and shape of the nest chambers (Fröhle and Roces 2009). In addition, it was recently demonstrated that the presence of brood and fungus at a given site triggers the excavation of new nest chambers (Römer and Roces 2014). The brood of A. lundi was shown to be attractive to workers, which aggregate around these items and thereby increase local ant density (Römer and Roces 2014). This locally increased worker density was thought to be responsible for increased excavation activity at the site of brood placement, as compared to alternative sites without brood. The occurrence of brood at a site also led to a change in the shape of the excavated structure, which was round and chamber-like, as compared to a tunnel-like structure excavated at a site without brood (Römer and Roces 2014).

This suggests that the presence of in-nest stores can influence the internal architecture of a nest through a self-organized, likely worker aggregation based adjustment of digging activity. Their study tried to assess how the presence of nest contents (brood and fungus) influenced digging /nest-enlargement behavior in groups of workers placed in a tunnel structure versus a tunnel with a small chamber. They summarized their results as follows: Taken together, our results indicate that the adjustment of both nest size and internal architecture does not simply depend on the number of workers that inhabit a colony. The mechanisms underlying the determination of nest size are flexible and are affected by the available nest space and the presence of in-nest stores. They involve positive and negative feedback loops, such as worker aggregation around stored items and inhibition via the generated space, thus leading to a self-regulated onset and lessening of excavation. The extent of local worker density also influences the internal nest architecture, as ants create cavities when excavating in a concentrated manner, and tunnels when they are more dispersed. Another important mechanism by which ants dynamically adjust the size of their nests is the opportunistic deposition of excavated soil pellets at unused spaces, effectively downsizing their nest.

Barrera et al. (2015) studied the diversity of leaf cutting ants along a forest-edge-agriculture habitat gradient. Their study site, in Chaco Serrano of Central Argentina, had forest remnants of various sizes within an agriculture area with wheat, soy and maize. A. lundii was the moderately abundant (21% of the 162 Acromyrmex colonies sampled). This species was found in the forest interior but was much less abundant there than Acromyrmex crassispinus. Along the forest edge it was similar in abundance to Acromyrmex striatus, with A. crassispinus also present but occurring at a slightly lower abundance. A few colonies of Acromyrmex heyeri and Acromyrmex silvestrii were also found along the forest edge. Ten Acromyrmex nets were found within 5m of the forest edge but none were sampled 25m from the forest edge in the croplands.

The ascomycetous yeast species Wickerhamomyces spegazzinii has been isolated from the fungus garden of this species (Masiulionis & Pagnocca, 2016).

Castes

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • lundii. Myrmica lundii Guérin-Méneville, 1838: 206 (q.m.) BRAZIL. Roger, 1863a: 201 (w.); Forel, 1885a: 356 (w.); Wheeler, G.C. 1949: 675 (l.). Combination in Atta: Roger, 1863a: 200; in Atta (Acromyrmex): Forel, 1885a: 356; in Acromyrmex: Forel, 1913l: 237. Senior synonym of bonariensis: Gallardo, 1916d: 331; of risii: Santschi, 1925a: 384; of dubia: Gonçalves, 1961: 150. See also: Bruch, 1921: 192. Current subspecies: nominal plus boliviensis, carli, decolor, parallelus.
  • bonariensis. Atta (Acromyrmex) pubescens var. bonariensis Emery, 1905c: 52 (w.) ARGENTINA. Combination in Acromyrmex: Bruch, 1914: 216. Subspecies of lundii: Bruch, 1914: 216; Santschi, 1925a: 385. Junior synonym of lundii: Gallardo, 1916d: 331; Gonçalves, 1961: 150.
  • dubia. Atta (Acromyrmex) laticeps var. dubia Forel, 1908c: 350 (w.) BRAZIL. Combination in Acromyrmex: Emery, 1924d: 349. Subspecies of lundii: Santschi, 1925a: 385. Junior synonym of lundii: Gonçalves, 1961: 150.
  • risii. Atta (Acromyrmex) lundii var. risii Forel, 1908c: 350. (w.) ARGENTINA. Combination in Acromyrmex: Forel, 1913l: 237. Junior synonym of lundii: Santschi, 1925a: 384.

Description

References

  • Barrera, C. A., L. M. Buffa, and G. Valladares. 2015. Do leaf-cutting ants benefit from forest fragmentation? Insights from community and species-specific responses in a fragmented dry forest. Insect Conservation and Diversity. 8:456-463. doi:10.1111/icad.12125
  • Bruch, C. 1921. Estudios mirmecológicos. Rev. Mus. La Plata 26: 175-211 (page 192, see also)
  • Bruch, C. 1928. Estudios mirmecológicos. An. Mus. Nac. Hist. Nat. B. Aires 34: 341-360 (page 341, see also)
  • Forel, A. 1885a [1884]. Études myrmécologiques en 1884 avec une description des organes sensoriels des antennes. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 20: 316-380 (page 356, worker described, Combination in Atta (Acromyrmex))
  • Forel, A. 1913m. Fourmis d'Argentine, du Brésil, du Guatémala & de Cuba reçues de M. M. Bruch, Prof. v. Ihering, Mlle Baez, M. Peper et M. Rovereto. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 49: 203-250 (page 237, Combination in Acromyrmex)
  • Gallardo, A. 1916e. Notes systématiques et éthologiques sur les fourmis attines de la République Argentine. An. Mus. Nac. Hist. Nat. B. Aires 28: 317-344 (page 331, senior synonym of bonariensis)
  • Gonçalves, C. R. 1961. O genero Acromyrmex no Brasil (Hym. Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 4: 113-180 (page 150, senior synonym of dubia)
  • Guérin-Méneville, F. E. 1838. Première division. Crustacés, arachnides et insectes. In: Duperrey, L. I. (ed.) Voyage autour du monde, executé par ordre du Roi, sur la corvette de sa Majesté, La Coquille, pendant les années 1822, 1823, 1824 et 1825. Zool (page 206, queen, male described)
  • Masiulionis, V.E. & Pagnocca, F.C. 2016. Wickerhamomyces spegazzinii sp nov., an ascomycetous yeast isolated from the fungus garden of Acromyrmex lundii nest (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 66: 2141-2145 (DOI: 10.1099/ijsem.0.001001).
  • Roger, J. 1863a. Die neu aufgeführten Gattungen und Arten meines Formiciden-Verzeichnisses nebst Ergänzung einiger früher gegebenen Beschreibungen. Berl. Entomol. Z. 7: 131-214 (page 201, worker described; page 200, Combination in Atta)
  • Römer, D. and F. Roces. 2015. Available space, symbiotic fungus and colony brood influence excavation and lead to the adjustment of nest enlargement in leaf-cutting ants. Insectes Sociaux. 62:401-413. doi:10.1007/s00040-015-0419-1
  • Santschi, F. 1925a. Revision du genre Acromyrmex Mayr. Rev. Suisse Zool. 31: 355-398 (page 384, senior synonym of risii)
  • Wheeler, G. C. 1949 [1948]. The larvae of the fungus-growing ants. Am. Midl. Nat. 40: 664-689 (page 675, larva described)