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Ecological factors affecting host plant and shelter preferences of Tetraponera rufonigra (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in urban ecosystem

Sabtu, Faezah Syukriah, Ab Majid, Abdul Hafiz
Journal of Asia-Pacific entomology 2018 v.21 no.3 pp. 778-785
Azadirachta indica, Cassia fistula, Delonix regia, Mimusops elengi, Tabebuia rosea, Tetraponera, ecosystems, environmental factors, habitats, host plants, humidity, regression analysis, temperature, trees, ultraviolet radiation, Malaysia
Host-plant preferences of Tetraponera rufonigra Jerdon (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) were assessed by field measurement in relation to the types of trash found in the surrounding tree perimeters. The correlations between the density of T. rufonigra and the plants (types of trash and levels of infestation) were determined based on the data gathered at 34 study sites in the Eastern part of the Penang Island to clarify the density differences of T. rufonigra among the sites. A simple linear regression analysis was also employed to assess the effects of environmental parameters i.e. UV light, temperature and humidity on the density of T. rufonigra. No significant difference was found between the infestation level at each site and the types of trash. Six species were identified as host-plant preferences of T. rufonigra i.e. Cassia fistula L., Azadirachta indica A. Juss., Mimusops elengi L., Delonix regia (Hook), Cerberra odollam Gaertn and Tabebuia rosea (Bertol.). These tree species were recorded for the first time as the most preferred host trees by T. rufonigra in Malaysia. The results also identified that T. rufonigra preferred the trees with high humidity level, suitable surrounding temperature and UV light as their habitats.