Predation on Atta laevigata (Smith 1858) (Formicidae Attini) by Canthon virens (Mannerheim 1829) (Coleoptera Scarabaeidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2006
Authors:F. A. O. Silveira, Santos, J. C., Viana, L. R., Falqueto, S. A., Vaz-De-Mello, F. Z., Fernandes, G. W.
Journal:Tropical Zoology
Date Published:Jul
ISBN Number:0394-6975
Accession Number:ISI:000240785600001
Keywords:cerrado, dung beetle, ecological function, ecosystem service, hymenoptera, leaf-cutter ants, nesting behavior, SELECTION, size

We present observations on the predation and burying of Atta laevigata (Smith 1858) by Canthon virens (Mannerheim 1829) in Brazil. A specialized sequence of burying behavior was observed in 2 consecutive years. No relationship was found between predator and prey size. Up to eight beetles can attack a single ant simultaneously Both male and female beetles prey on ants, but only males attack alone. For the first time we report ants successfully removing beetles from their backs. This behavior may account for the low predation efficiency of C. virens.

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