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The abundance and inter-specific relations of common ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on cocoa farm in Western Nigeria

by Taylor, B; Adedoyin, S.F.
Publisher: 1978Subject(s): THEOBROMA CACAO | FORMICIDAE | OECOPHYLLA LONGINODA | TETRAMORIUM ACULEATUM | PHEIDOLE MEGACEPHALA | EVOLUCION DE LA POBLACION | DISTRIBUCION NATURAL | HABITAT | NIGERIA | THEOBROMA CACAO | FORMICIDAE | PHEIDOLE MEGACEPHALA | POPULATION CHANGE | NATURAL DISTRIBUTION | HABITATS | NIGERIA | THEOBROMA CACAO | FORMICIDAE | PHEIDOLE MEGACEPHALA | EVOLUTION DE LA POPULATION | DISTRIBUTION NATURELLE | HABITAT | NIGERIA In: Bulletin of Entomological Research (RU) v. 68(1) p. 105-121Summary: Following a demonstration of the role of ants in the dissemination of Phytophthora pod rot and an intensive study of the ant mosaic on cocoa at the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, there was a need for a wide-scale assessment of the relative importance of different species of ant on cocoa farms in the major growing area of western Nigeria. Between 19 January and 6 February 1976, 50 trees were examined on each of 76 cocoa farms and all ant species visible from the ground were recorded. Sixteen species, or species-groups, of ants occurred on more than 1 percent of the trees, and their geographical distribution, habitat requirements and inter-specific relations were examined. The last of these were elucidated using principal components analysis, and the results are compared with earlier work on the ant mosaic. Any one cocoa farm only rarely provided a suitable habitat for more than one or two of the dominant species, and a diagram summarising the habitats is given. The potential usefulness of ant population manipulation is thought to be restricted in Nigeria by the undesirable effects of co-dominant and associated species found with the dominant species, Oecophylla longinoda (Latr.) and Tetramorium aculeatum (Mayr), which are regarded as beneficial in Ghana. The most important of the undesirable codominants is Pheidole megacephala (F.). List(s) this item appears in: Cacao | Cultivo de cacao
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Following a demonstration of the role of ants in the dissemination of Phytophthora pod rot and an intensive study of the ant mosaic on cocoa at the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, there was a need for a wide-scale assessment of the relative importance of different species of ant on cocoa farms in the major growing area of western Nigeria. Between 19 January and 6 February 1976, 50 trees were examined on each of 76 cocoa farms and all ant species visible from the ground were recorded. Sixteen species, or species-groups, of ants occurred on more than 1 percent of the trees, and their geographical distribution, habitat requirements and inter-specific relations were examined. The last of these were elucidated using principal components analysis, and the results are compared with earlier work on the ant mosaic. Any one cocoa farm only rarely provided a suitable habitat for more than one or two of the dominant species, and a diagram summarising the habitats is given. The potential usefulness of ant population manipulation is thought to be restricted in Nigeria by the undesirable effects of co-dominant and associated species found with the dominant species, Oecophylla longinoda (Latr.) and Tetramorium aculeatum (Mayr), which are regarded as beneficial in Ghana. The most important of the undesirable codominants is Pheidole megacephala (F.).

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