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Encyclopedia of Social Insects

Living Edition
| Editors: Christopher K. Starr

Azteca

  • John T. LonginoEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90306-4_13-1
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The genus Azteca is a dominant component of arboreal ant communities in Neotropical forests. Colonies are large and can be spread over large portions of forest canopy or second-growth vegetation, with workers foraging on dead insects, small live prey, extrafloral nectar, and honeydew. They are highly specialized for life in the vegetation, showing a broad range of arboreal nesting habits. Some species are involved in coevolved mutualisms between ants and plants, being obligate inhabitants of myrmecophytes. The most evident and well-known of these associations is with Cecropia, a genus of common second-growth trees found throughout the Neotropics.

Systematics and Morphology

Azteca is in the subfamily Dolichoderinae [1365体育网站]. The subfamily is mostly tropical, with some radiations in hot deserts and the temperate zones of Australia and southern South America. All lack a stinger and instead rely on defensive chemicals that they daub or smear on their enemies. Most species of the subfamily,...

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References

  1. 1.
    Ward, P. S., Brady, S. G., Fisher, B. L., & Schultz, T. R. (2010). Phylogeny and biogeography of Dolichoderine ants: Effects of data partitioning and relict taxa on historical inference. Systematic Biology, 59, 342–362.
  2. 2.
    Longino, J. T. (2007). A taxonomic review of the genus Azteca (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica and a global revision of the aurita group. Zootaxa, 1491, 1–63.
  3. 3.
    Davidson, D. W. (1988). Ecological studies of neotropical ant gardens. Ecology, 69, 1138–1152.
  4. 4.
    Davidson, D. W., & McKey, D. (1993). The evolutionary ecology of symbiotic ant–plant relationships. Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 2, 13–83.
  5. 5.
    Yu, D. W., & Davidson, D. W. (1997). Experimental studies of species-specificity in Cecropia-ant symbioses. Ecological Monographs, 67, 273–294.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA