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Toxicity of straight-chain fatty acids to leaf-cutting ants Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the symbiotic fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus
  • Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)
  • Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar)
This work determined toxicity and attractiveness of straight-chain fatty acids (C 5 to C 12) to Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Forel) workers. The effect to the symbiotic fungus, Leucoagaricus gongylophorus (Singer) Möller, was also tested with the fatty acids C 6 to C 12. A strong mortality of leaf-cutting ants that were fed with an artificial diet containing fatty acids C to C at concentrations above 1.0 -1 was observed. Rice flakes impregnated with solutions of these fatty acids were repellent to leaf-cutting ants. Contact experiments showed that treatments with C 6 and C 7 at concentration of 100 -1 significantly reduced the survival rate of leaf-cutting ants. The fatty acids C 8 to C 11 were toxic to leaf-cutting ants when topically tested at concentration of 200 -1. In relation to the fungus' bioassays, the fatty acids C 6 to C 12 at concentration of 0.1 -1 inhibited 100% of the fungal development. Although when the concentration was reduced by half no inhibition effects were observed. The results showed that straight-chain fatty acids have desirable properties for controlling leaf-cutting ants since they directly interfere with both organisms of the symbiotic relationship. The potential of fatty acids as well as ways to control leaf-cutting ants with these compounds are discussed in this article.
Issue Date: 
Sociobiology, v. 47, n. 3, p. 843-858, 2006.
Time Duration: 
  • Atta sexdens rubropilosa
  • Control
  • Fatty acids
  • Fungistatic
  • Leucoagaricus gongylophorus
  • Repellent
  • Toxicity
  • Atta
  • Formicidae
  • Fungi
  • Hymenoptera
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Appears in Collections:Artigos, TCCs, Teses e Dissertações da Unesp

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