Henine-Maouche A., Aissat L., Moulaï R.

Diet of Cataglyphis bicolor (Hymenoptera-Formicidae) in an insular condition in north-eastern Algeria

Abstract A study of the adaptation of the ant Cataglyphis bicolor in terms of feeding under insular conditions was conducted on the north-eastern coast of Algeria. For this, three pairs of stations (island-continent) were chosen. Analyzing fragments of prey species found in C. bicolor nests, the diet in each station pair was studied. The results obtained indicate that C. bicolor has an opportunistic diet characterised by insectivory. Indeed, more than 95% of the prey consumed in the six study stations were insects with a clear preference for other ants, with frequencies ranging from 52 to 87%. Among the latter, Messor barbarus, Camponotus sp., Camponotus laurenti, Pheidole pallidula and Tetramorium biskrense were the ants most predated by C. bicolor. The diversity of continental prey seemed greater than that of island environments. For the two Cap Sigli stations, the prey richness was 94 species for the continent against only 28 species for the island environment. For Boulimat, there were 27 prey species for the mainland and 20 prey species for the islet. Finally, for the Sahel region, C. bicolor was able to harvest 42 prey species on the mainland and 28 species on the island. The diversity of C. bicolor prey in the island environments seems to be a function of insect richness (prey availability) and floral richness.

Doi https://doi.org/10.35513/21658005.2019.2.8

Keywords Cataglyphis bicolor; diet; continent; island environment; Algeria

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