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4 December 2018 Seasonal and Site Differences in Phorid Parasitoidism Rates of Leaf-Cutting Ants
Filipe V. Arruda, Fabrício Barreto Teresa, Hendria C. Martins, Marcos Antônio Pesquero, Marcos Antônio L. Bragança
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Abstract

Interspecific interactions are influenced by several environmental factors that may affect spatial and temporal dynamics. Seasonal variations in environmental conditions and differences among sites may affect the intensity of interactions and the abundance of interacting species. In this study, we describe the variability in parasitoids of Atta ants among sites and seasons over a year. More specifically, we studied parasitoidism of Atta sexdens Linnaeus and Atta laevigata Smith nests at a site with native cerrado vegetation and a Eucalyptus monoculture in dry and rainy seasons. Of the 45,147 workers collected, 1,020 (2.2%) were parasitized. We found five parasitoid species of A. sexdens and four species of A. laevigata. The two species of leaf-cutting ants shared similar parasitoid communities, but the infection rate was higher in A. laevigata (5.3%) compared with A. sexdens (0.8%). Parasitoidism rates of A. laevigata increased in the rainy season, but the rate for A. sexdens was consistently low in both seasons. The identity of the host species and the season, therefore, appear to interact to influence the rate of parasitoidism in these leaf-cutting ant species.

© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Filipe V. Arruda, Fabrício Barreto Teresa, Hendria C. Martins, Marcos Antônio Pesquero, and Marcos Antônio L. Bragança "Seasonal and Site Differences in Phorid Parasitoidism Rates of Leaf-Cutting Ants," Environmental Entomology 48(1), 61-67, (4 December 2018). https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvy166
Received: 26 September 2017; Accepted: 28 October 2018; Published: 4 December 2018
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KEYWORDS
Diptera
Formicidae
natural enemies
Phoridae
savanna
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