Coordinated prey capture by <i>Novomessor cockerelli</i> (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

TitleCoordinated prey capture by Novomessor cockerelli (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1984
AuthorsFowler HG, Whitford WG
JournalNew York Entomological Society
Date Published1984
Call Number00070
Keywordsant, prey capture, ant,Novomessor, article, articles, invertebrate,also SEE <ANT>, journal, journals, Novomessor,foraging strategy, Novomessor, Novomessor,prey capture, Orthoptera, Novomessor prey

Novomessor cockerelli uses coordinated behavior to subdue large orthopteran prey. When a partially disabled grasshopper is encountered, the first worker finding it mounts the dorsum of the grasshopper and clamps its mandibles over the wings, thus preventing escape by flight. Workers which arrive subsequently systematically remove or subjugate additional appendages. Behavioral coordination allows N. cockerelli to efficiently exploit large orthopterna prey which would otherwise escape if workers attempted to capture these individually.