Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Attracted to Rabbit Carcasses in Three Different Habitats

Journal Article
مستخلص المنشور: 

This study reports the ant species that were attracted to rabbit carcasses in three
different habitats (agricultural, desert, urban) in the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
from May to July 2014. Rabbit carcasses were used as a model for decomposition.
Carcasses were categorized as exposed, clothed, shaded and burnt. A total of
726 ants belonging to three subfamilies and 14 species were collected during
the decomposition process. Trichomyrmex mayri (Forel) was the only ant species
attracted to the carcasses placed in the desert site. At the agricultural site, there
was one ponerine species, five formicine species, and three myrmicine species
were attracted, while at the urban site, five formicine species and one myrmicine
species were recorded. The agricultural site attracted the highest number of ants.
In contrast, the desert site attracted the lowest number of ants. Tr. mayri was the
most prevalent species occurring in both the agricultural and desert sites. The
bloated stage of decomposition attracted the highest number of ants followed
by the decay, fresh and dry stages, respectively. Clothed carcasses attracted
the highest number of ants followed by the exposed and burnt carcasses,
respectively. The shaded carcasses attracted the fewest number of ants. This
study found that ants are attracted to carcasses at all stages of decomposition
and are common components of the necrofauna of central Saudi Arabia.