Antagonistic interactions among common tropical household ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
David I. Abhinandini, Melally G. Venkatesha
Antagonistic interactions are a common phenomenon among different ant species. Laboratory bioassays were conducted on five species of co-occurring household ant pests i.e. Solenopsis geminata, Monomorium latinode, Paratrechina longicornis, Tapinoma melanocephalum and Camponotus variegatus to examine interspecific antagonistic behavior. Although all the chosen ant species were found within a household environment, the study was conducted to observe aggressive behavior and interference competition if any, existing between the five ant species. Aggression was more pronounced in S. geminata than in M. latinode, P. longicornis, T. melanocephalum and C. variegatus. P. longicornis took less time to locate a food source than M. latinode, S. geminata, T. melanocephalum and C. variegatus, but could not continue to defend the food source against the aggressive S. geminata. Although the arrival of S. geminata was delayed at the food source, it dominated and defended the food from other ant species. The results of this study indicated that S. geminata is more aggressive and displayed dominance over other co-occurring household ant species.