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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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