The Ants of Africa
CHAPTER 3 - Mosaics - Evidence from Nigeria - 3 - Adenuga, Adenuga & Adeboyeku
Mosaics Introduction Mosaics Nigeria 1 Mosaics Nigeria 2

Adenuga (1975), Adenuga & Adeboyeku (1987)

These authors were based at the University of Ife (centre of the Map of the cocoa growing area) and especially examined the interactions between ants and Homopterans. The earlier paper (Adenuga, 1975) has a number of examples of misnaming of the ants, for instance, Crematogaster "leneri" for Crematogaster kneri, "Acantholepsis" for Lepisiota (as Acantholepis), "Polyrachis" for Polyrhachis, Macromischoides "aculeata" for M. aculeatus, now Tetramorium aculeatum. He also reported that workers of "Crematogaster spp. and Macromischoides have been observed actively carrying up cocoa trees particles of soil which they use in building their nests". As Crematogaster species use material of vegetable origin and the latter construct the well known felt nests on the underside of leaves, it seems that Adenuga was writing with insufficient background knowledge.

The later paper, however, had the benefit of ant identifications by the British Museum (presumably Barry Bolton) and reported ants and Homopterans on several tree and field crops, particularly cocoa; mango, Mangifera indica; and pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan. The most abundant species (shown in their tables and figures) can be divided into those found only on the tree crops and those found also on the field crops.

On trees only were Oecophylla longinoda, Crematogaster clariventris, Crematogaster species (kneri group), Atopomyrmex mocquerysi and Tetramorium aculeatum.
On both tree and field crops were Camponotus acvapimensis, Pheidole spp., and Crematogaster species. Also found were Lepisiota species (as Acantholepis, mis-spelt Acantholepsis) on okra (Hibiscus esculentus) and a different Pheidole species on Siam Weed (Eupatorium odoratum).
On cocoa the main ant-tended Homoptera were Stictococcus sjostedti tended by Oecophylla longinoda, Pheidole species and Camponotus acvapimensis; Planococcoides njalensis tended by Crematogaster species and Atopomyrmex mocquerysi; and Toxoptera aurantii tended by Camponotus acvapimensis and Pheidole species.

From cocoa an interesting finding was the seasonal variation in Stictococcus sjostedti, which peaked with the early season flush of growth, and was accompanied by peak numbers of Camponotus acvapimensis and Pheidole species. Although not recorded, the peak of Toxoptera aurantii probably would have been similar. Their evidence confirmed the positive associations of the three ant species Oecophylla longinoda, Camponotus acvapimensis and Pheidole megacephala in Nigeria, and supported the argument in favour of co-dominance.

Ewuim, Badejo & Ajayi (1997) used pitfall traps to monitor the activity of ants in a forest floor and a one-year fallow plot in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, at monthly intervals from November 1980 to October 1981, with similar studies in October 1987 and June 1988. They also made manual collections of ants from the ground surface of the plots. Ten species of ants were collected, the most common of which was P. crassinoda.

Contents Mosaics Introduction Mosaics Nigeria 1 Mosaics Nigeria 2
1998, 2003, 2012 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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