Type of Document Thesis Author Storz, Shonna R URN etd-09182003-183317 Title Distribution, Spread, Activity Patterns, And Foraging Behaviors Of The Introduced Ant Pheidole Obscurithorax In The Southeastern United States Degree Master of Science Department Biological Science, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Walter R. Tschinkel Committee Chair Laura R. Keller Committee Member Thomas E. Miller Committee Member Keywords
- Pheidole obscurithorax Naves
Date of Defense 2003-08-02 Availability unrestricted AbstractA field survey of the southeastern United States showed that Pheidole obscurithorax Naves, an ant introduced from South America, inhabits a 50-mile-wide band along the coast between Mobile, Alabama, and Tallahassee, Florida, and is continuing to increase its range.
Evidence suggests that P. obscurithorax has spread mostly by diffusion by natural means. It
coexists with the fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren, appears to be part of a largely exotic
community of ants that are tolerant of highly disturbed habitats, and seems to have little negative effect on the ant communities that it invades. In Tallahassee P. obscurithorax is rapidly spreading, and its nest density increased by a factor of 6.4 over a two-year period. P.
obscurithorax summer activity patterns appear to be regulated by time of day rather than by
temperature, but they do not appear to be active above ground at temperatures over 36°C.
Evidence suggests that foragers and nest-surface tenders are two separate populations and their
activity is shifted in time relative to each other. The group prey retrieval tactics of P.
obscurithorax related to prey size and mobility do not conform to predictions of central place
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