Choice of prey by P. megacephala when there are lots of insects attracted to light and uv in Gaborone Botswana.

Ive noticed that when p.megacephala is confronted with a big choice of prey, they seem to very aggressively attack small wasps like braconidae which have been abundant, small cerambycidae ( like exocentrus and eunidia), some miridae, some Chrysomelidae but seem to ignore moths, carabid beetles, aphodiinae, cixiidae, staphylinidae, most heteroptera. I noticed that green lacewings get a lot of attention from the ants, they like to climb over it, 'smell' it with antennae, hold its legs, but in the end didnt kill it and let it go. The green lacewing responded to all this attention by playing dead and became completely immobile. Perhaps Gaborone is a native home of p. megacephala so a lot of insects here have 'evolved' chemical defences to deter the ants from attacking and carrying them away to nests. However small wasps are the most aggressively attacked prey. perhaps this is because some wasps may be a threat to p.megacephala andnot just a food source. It would be interesting to find out what the prey preferences of these ants are in area where the ants are certainly invasive and if the ants are less choosy about what they attack when there is a limited choice and abundance of prey. Im not a biologist or antomologist so Im just at the questioning stage. has anyone got any answers or further useful information. Please share it here ! Thanks.

Posted by botswanabugs botswanabugs, February 12, 2019 07:13

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