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Nest architecture, fungus gardens, queen, males and larvae of the fungus-growing ant Mycetagroicus inflatus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes.

Jesovnik A, Sosa-Calvo J, Lopes CT, Vasconcelos HL, Schultz TR - Insectes Soc (2013)

Bottom Line: Like M. cerradensis, the only other species in the genus for which nesting biology is known, the garden chambers of M. inflatus are unusually deep and the garden is most likely relocated vertically in rainy and dry seasons.Due to the proximity of nests to the Araguaia River, it is likely that even the uppermost chambers and nest entrances of M. inflatus are submerged during the rainy season.Most remarkably, all three examined colonies of M. inflatus cultivate the same fungal species as their congener, M. cerradensis, over 1,000 km away, raising the possibility of long-term symbiont fidelity spanning speciation events within the genus.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Entomology, Maryland Center for Systematic Entomology, University of Maryland, 4112 Plant Science Bldg., College Park, MD 20742 USA ; Department of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, MRC 188 CE517, Washington, DC 20013-7012 USA.

ABSTRACT
All known fungus-growing ants (tribe Attini) are obligately symbiotic with their cultivated fungi. The fungal cultivars of "lower" attine ants are facultative symbionts, capable of living apart from ants, whereas the fungal cultivars of "higher" attine ants, including leaf-cutting genera Atta and Acromyrmex, are highly specialized, obligate symbionts. Since higher attine ants and fungi are derived from lower attine ants and fungi, understanding the evolutionary transition from lower to higher attine agriculture requires understanding the historical sequence of change in both ants and fungi. The biology of the poorly known ant genus Mycetagroicus is of special interest in this regard because it occupies a phylogenetic position intermediate between lower and higher ant agriculture. Here, based on the excavations of four nests in Pará, Brazil, we report the first biological data for the recently described species Mycetagroicus inflatus, including the first descriptions of Mycetagroicus males and larvae. Like M. cerradensis, the only other species in the genus for which nesting biology is known, the garden chambers of M. inflatus are unusually deep and the garden is most likely relocated vertically in rainy and dry seasons. Due to the proximity of nests to the Araguaia River, it is likely that even the uppermost chambers and nest entrances of M. inflatus are submerged during the rainy season. Most remarkably, all three examined colonies of M. inflatus cultivate the same fungal species as their congener, M. cerradensis, over 1,000 km away, raising the possibility of long-term symbiont fidelity spanning speciation events within the genus.

No MeSH data available.


Male of Mycetagroicus inflatus: a full-face view, b lateral profile, c dorsal view, d fore- and hindwings
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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Fig3: Male of Mycetagroicus inflatus: a full-face view, b lateral profile, c dorsal view, d fore- and hindwings

Mentions: Male (Fig. 3)Fig. 3


Nest architecture, fungus gardens, queen, males and larvae of the fungus-growing ant Mycetagroicus inflatus Brandão & Mayhé-Nunes.

Jesovnik A, Sosa-Calvo J, Lopes CT, Vasconcelos HL, Schultz TR - Insectes Soc (2013)

Male of Mycetagroicus inflatus: a full-face view, b lateral profile, c dorsal view, d fore- and hindwings
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3824567&req=5

Fig3: Male of Mycetagroicus inflatus: a full-face view, b lateral profile, c dorsal view, d fore- and hindwings
Mentions: Male (Fig. 3)Fig. 3

Bottom Line: Like M. cerradensis, the only other species in the genus for which nesting biology is known, the garden chambers of M. inflatus are unusually deep and the garden is most likely relocated vertically in rainy and dry seasons.Due to the proximity of nests to the Araguaia River, it is likely that even the uppermost chambers and nest entrances of M. inflatus are submerged during the rainy season.Most remarkably, all three examined colonies of M. inflatus cultivate the same fungal species as their congener, M. cerradensis, over 1,000 km away, raising the possibility of long-term symbiont fidelity spanning speciation events within the genus.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Entomology, Maryland Center for Systematic Entomology, University of Maryland, 4112 Plant Science Bldg., College Park, MD 20742 USA ; Department of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, MRC 188 CE517, Washington, DC 20013-7012 USA.

ABSTRACT
All known fungus-growing ants (tribe Attini) are obligately symbiotic with their cultivated fungi. The fungal cultivars of "lower" attine ants are facultative symbionts, capable of living apart from ants, whereas the fungal cultivars of "higher" attine ants, including leaf-cutting genera Atta and Acromyrmex, are highly specialized, obligate symbionts. Since higher attine ants and fungi are derived from lower attine ants and fungi, understanding the evolutionary transition from lower to higher attine agriculture requires understanding the historical sequence of change in both ants and fungi. The biology of the poorly known ant genus Mycetagroicus is of special interest in this regard because it occupies a phylogenetic position intermediate between lower and higher ant agriculture. Here, based on the excavations of four nests in Pará, Brazil, we report the first biological data for the recently described species Mycetagroicus inflatus, including the first descriptions of Mycetagroicus males and larvae. Like M. cerradensis, the only other species in the genus for which nesting biology is known, the garden chambers of M. inflatus are unusually deep and the garden is most likely relocated vertically in rainy and dry seasons. Due to the proximity of nests to the Araguaia River, it is likely that even the uppermost chambers and nest entrances of M. inflatus are submerged during the rainy season. Most remarkably, all three examined colonies of M. inflatus cultivate the same fungal species as their congener, M. cerradensis, over 1,000 km away, raising the possibility of long-term symbiont fidelity spanning speciation events within the genus.

No MeSH data available.