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Insects 2017, 8(3), 80; doi:10.3390/insects8030080

Oviposition, Life Cycle, and Longevity of the Leaf-Cutting Ant Acromyrmex rugosus rugosus

1
Laboratório de Insetos Sociais-Praga, Departamento de Produção Vegetal-Defesa Fitossanitária, Faculdade de Ciências Agronômicas, UNESP-São Paulo State University, Fazenda Experimental Lageado, Rua José Barbosa de Barros, 18610-307 Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil
2
Faculdade de Ciências Biológicas e Ambientais, Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados, UFGD, 79804-970 Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Brian Forschler
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 16 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
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Abstract

Studies related to the demography of individual members from ant colonies have received little attention, although they are the basis to understanding the population dynamics of colonies. Thus, the objective of this work was to study the queen oviposition rate and the duration of the life cycle and longevity of Acromyrmex rugosus rugosus workers. To determine the oviposition rate, queens from three colonies were individually placed in plastic containers, and the eggs laid were quantified over a 96 h period. The development of the immature forms was observed every 24 h, with which the duration of each stage of development was determined. To verify the longevity of workers, the newly emerged adults were marked and daily observations were made. According to the results, there is variation in the development time of immature forms within the colony itself and between colonies. In addition, the number of eggs deposited was also inconstant in the three colonies, ranging from 5 to 119 eggs per day, while the longevity of workers varied from 3 to 7 months. Occasionally, it was found that the workers feed on the eggs produced by the queen; besides, there was a disappearance of larvae and pupae during the research, indicating a possibility of the practice of cannibalism in this species. View Full-Text
Keywords: cannibalism; leaf-cutting ants; life cycle; oviposition; worker longevity cannibalism; leaf-cutting ants; life cycle; oviposition; worker longevity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Verza, S.S.; Mussury, R.M.; Camargo, R.S.; Andrade, A.P.P.; Forti, L.C. Oviposition, Life Cycle, and Longevity of the Leaf-Cutting Ant Acromyrmex rugosus rugosus. Insects 2017, 8, 80.

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