Revista Brasileira de Entomologia Revista Brasileira de Entomologia
Rev Bras Entomol 2018;62:46-50 - Vol. 62 Núm.1 DOI: 10.1016/j.rbe.2017.10.002
Biology, Ecology and Diversity
Nest architecture development of grass-cutting ants
Luiz Carlos Fortia, Aldenise Alves Moreirab, Roberto da Silva Camargoa,, , Nadia Caldatoa, Maria Aparecida Castellanib
a Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Faculdade de Ciências Agronômicas, Botucatu, SP, Brazil
b Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia (UESB), Departamento de Fitotecnia e Zootecnia, Laboratório s de Entomologia, Vitória da Conquista, BA, Brazil
Recebido 27 Junho 2017, Aceitaram 18 Outubro 2017

Atta bisphaerica is a species of grass-cutting ants commonly found in the Cerrado biome. The Brazilian Cerrado (savanna) biome covers 2millionkm representing 23% of the area of the country. It is an ancient biome with rich biodiversity, estimated at 160,000 species of plants, fungi and animals. However, little is known about their nest architecture development. This study investigated the architecture of fourteen A. bisphaerica nests from Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil. Molds were made of the nests by filling them with cement to allow better visualization of internal structures such as chambers and tunnels. After excavation, the depth and dimensions (length, width, and height) of the chambers were measured. As expected, there was a lateral development in the nests and increase in the number of chambers over time. Results showed that in nests with an estimated age of 14 months, the average depth was 1.6±0.4m; for those with 18 months it was 2.2±0.7m and at 28 months it was 2.5±0.7m. The number of chambers varied from 4 to 7 in 28-month nests, 2 to 4 in 18-month nests, and from 2 to 3 in 14-month nests. With respect to the dimensions of the internal tunnels, there were variations in their average width, increasing with time. The fungus chambers were located beneath the largest mound of loose soil. This study contributes to a better understanding of the so far unknown nest architecture development of A. bisphaerica grass-cutting ants.

Grass-cutting ants, Nest, Social insects
Rev Bras Entomol 2018;62:46-50 - Vol. 62 Núm.1 DOI: 10.1016/j.rbe.2017.10.002