Spine and dine: A key defensive trait promotes ecological success in spiny ants

Benjamin Blanchard, Akihiro Nakamura, Min Cao, Stephanie Chen & Corrie Moreau
A key focus of ecologists is explaining the origin and maintenance of morphological diversity and its association with ecological success. We investigate potential benefits and costs of a common and varied morphological trait, cuticular spines, for foraging behavior, interspecific competition, and predator-prey interactions in naturally co-occurring spiny ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Polyrhachis) in an experimental setting. We expect that a defensive trait like spines might be associated with more conspicuous foraging, a greater number of workers...
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These counts follow the COUNTER Code of Practice, meaning that Internet robots and repeats within a certain time frame are excluded.
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