Acromyrmex volcanus: a tree nesting Leaf Cutter!?!!

Post here for any notes or records of sightings in the wild. Behaviour, nuptial flights etc, everything about these ants from the Tropics!
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Acromyrmexbob
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Acromyrmex volcanus: a tree nesting Leaf Cutter!?!!

Post by Acromyrmexbob » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:59 pm

Apparently Acro volcanus nests up trees in the La Selva area of Costa Rica. Not sure if this species does this everywhere but I read that they do so up trees in this area. One account states that a researcher climbed a tree and found that his legs were covered in workers of this species. He discovered that the place where his foot was also contained a football sized fungus garden and the ants appeared to be venting their displeasure on him for disturbing them. I am hoping to get Acromyrmex volcanus in the early part of 2017 so this might be an interesting feature both for me in setting up public displays and for keeping in arboreal setups!

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Deansie26
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Re: Acromyrmex volcanus: a tree nesting Leaf Cutter!?!!

Post by Deansie26 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:35 pm

Interesting, sounds like it would open up a new angle for set up design. It will be great seeing what you come up with in the new year.

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Re: Acromyrmex volcanus: a tree nesting Leaf Cutter!?!!

Post by Acromyrmexbob » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:10 am

Acro volcanus is not a species I have thought about, to be honest. They are not much kept, if at all. Very exciting to get some new species into the pot! Will need to spend some time working with them to assess whatever will give problems in a display. Dont want to set up new species and constantly worrying about them.

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Re: Acromyrmex volcanus: a tree nesting Leaf Cutter!?!!

Post by Acromyrmexbob » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:37 am

Just found this also for Acromyrmex coronatus....

from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/286 ... sts-A-tree

Fig. 1. General view of the collection area of the Acromyrmex coronatus nests; A) tree with an Acromyrmex coronatus nest 2 meters above ground; B) general view of Microdon tigrinus larvae and puparia on tree bark; C) detail of the larvae together with the fungus garden and Acromyrmex coronatus workers.

Image

stranger and stranger....

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Re: Acromyrmex volcanus: a tree nesting Leaf Cutter!?!!

Post by earthtiger » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:27 pm

There is an article about the nesting behaviour of Acromyrmex volcanus:

Observations on a Little-Known Leaf-Cutting Ant, Acromyrmex volcanus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
by: James K. Wetterer, Mary Moreira, & Abelardo Correa

ABSTRACT
Most well-studied leaf-cutting ant species (e.g., Atta cephalotes, Atta colombica, and Atta sexdens) have mature colonies with more than one million workers, nest on the ground, and primarily attack the leaves of trees. We examined the nesting and foraging ecology of an inconspicuous and little-studied leaf-cutting ant species, Acromyrmex volcanus, at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. Acromyrmex volcanus is known from the Atlantic side of Costa Rica and Nicaragua up to an elevation of 1000 m. Previous studies found that mature A. volcanus colonies have fewer than 20,000 workers, commonly nest in trees, and primarily harvest the leaves of herbaceous plants and fallen leaves, fruit, and flowers. By following laden foragers, we found the nest sites for nine A. volcanus colonies: seven in trees and two on the ground. In addition, we observed one founding A. volcanus queen starting a fungus garden on the ground, under a coconut husk. We examined foraging at seven A. volcanus colonies and discerned no consistent differences in foraging selectivity between day and night, nor between wet and dry season. Our observations generally confirm and augment earlier results, though we made a number of novel findings, including the first record of A. volcanus cutting the fresh leaves of a large tree. One A. volcanus colony, whose ground nest we disrupted, abandoned the nest site and moved their entire colony and fungus garden elsewhere less than one day later. Acromyrmex volcanus may generally start colonies on the ground, but move if disturbed. Disruption of ground nests may be a driving force behind the primarily arboreal nesting habits of A. volcanus.

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https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... Formicidae

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Re: Acromyrmex volcanus: a tree nesting Leaf Cutter!?!!

Post by earthtiger » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:30 pm

And another article regarding this species:

Wetterer, J.K. (1993): Foraging and nesting ecology of a Costa Rican leaf-cutting ant, Acromyrmex volcanus. Psyche 100: 65-76.

Download:
http://scholar.google.de/scholar_url?ur ... canus&bn=1

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Re: Acromyrmex volcanus: a tree nesting Leaf Cutter!?!!

Post by Acromyrmexbob » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:51 pm

Well worth a read! Ill write a comment once Ive read them! I know at La Selva the coronatus are commonly found up trees. Volcanus up trees is new to me. I am due at La Selva next year (permits there are a nightmare). Would love to get some of those.

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Re: Acromyrmex volcanus: a tree nesting Leaf Cutter!?!!

Post by earthtiger » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:52 pm

Acromyrmexbob wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:51 pm
Would love to get some of those.
Me too! ...a friend of mine is keeping a colony- great species with HUGE workers!

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