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Influence of leaf epicuticular waxes from cerrado species on substrate selection by Atta sexdens rubropilosa

Author:
Sugayama, R.L., Salatino, A.
Source:
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 1995 v.74 no.1 pp. 63-69
ISSN:
0013-8703
Subject:
Atta sexdens rubropilosa, cerrado, chemical composition, ecosystems, epicuticular wax, feeding preferences, foraging, hydrophobicity, leaf-cutting ants, leaves, savannas, waxes, woody plants, Brazil
Abstract:
The influence of leaf epicuticular waxes of nine woody species from cerrado (a savanna ecosystem of Brazil) on the foraging behavior of the leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa Forel, 1908 (Formicidae, Attini) was investigated. Some waxes showed neither inhibitory nor attractive effect over a series of tests, while a second group caused a delayed rejection. Waxes of two species were shown to be strongly deterrent to the ants. Since different waxes caused different responses, it is concluded that their chemical composition, rather than hydrophobicity or mechanical constraints, accounts for the observed effects. Plant species with leaves rejected by the ants did not necessarily have repellent waxes. On the other hand, no species with acceptable leaves yielded waxes with deterrent effects.
Agid:
167484