Spatial and temporal variations in Chihuahuan desert ant faunas

TitleSpatial and temporal variations in Chihuahuan desert ant faunas
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1976
AuthorsSchumacher A, Whitford WG
JournalThe Southwestern Naturalist
Date Published1976
Call Number00295
Keywordsant, Conomyrma, ant, Formica, ant, Iridomyrmex, ant, Myrmecocystus, ant, Novomessor, ant, Pheidole, ant, Pogonomyrmex, ant, Trachymyrmex, ant,spatial variations, ant,temporal variations, article, articles, journal, journals

Estimates of colony densities of active colonies of ants were made at frequent intervals throughout the year in two Chihuahuan desert communities: a creosotebush bajada and mesquite-mormon tea playas fringe community. Densities of harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex, were higher on the playa site; and seed harvesters, Pheidole, were higher on the bajada. Some ant species exhibited specific habitat requirements with regard to soil type and/or plant cover: Formica perpilosa, Pogonomyrex imbericulus, Trachymyrmex smithi neomexicanus. Other species were more generally distributed. Two congeneric species pairs exhibited differences in seasonal activities suggesting competitive interactions. Peak densities of active ant colonies exceeded 4,000 colonies ha-1 on the playa and 2.000 colonies ha-1 on the bajada.