Preprint Communication Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Predatory Ants: First Report on Direct Evidence of Predation by Dorylus orientalis Westwood, 1885 on Olive Ridley Eggs from India

Version 1 : Received: 16 August 2020 / Approved: 20 August 2020 / Online: 20 August 2020 (13:20:44 CEST)

How to cite: Korgaonkar, S.; Vartak, A.; Sivakumar, K. Predatory Ants: First Report on Direct Evidence of Predation by Dorylus orientalis Westwood, 1885 on Olive Ridley Eggs from India. Preprints 2020, 2020080465 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0465.v1). Korgaonkar, S.; Vartak, A.; Sivakumar, K. Predatory Ants: First Report on Direct Evidence of Predation by Dorylus orientalis Westwood, 1885 on Olive Ridley Eggs from India. Preprints 2020, 2020080465 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0465.v1).

Abstract

Abstract: Predation of eggs and emerging hatchlings of olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) by wild animals and feral dogs are known. They reduce the hatching success rate considerably affecting the conservation management of this vulnerable species. Hatchery management is practised in India to overcome predation. Ant predation is a serious threat to turtle nest protected by ex situ or in situ erected hatchery. This article reports the first direct evidence of turtle eggs predation by Dorylus orientalis Westwood, 1835 commonly called red ants. Native to India, Oriental, Indo Australian and Palearctic regions they are notorious as an agricultural pest. Chlorpyrifos pesticides recommended for their control could become fatal for the developing embryos of turtles if applied near the hatchery. In the turtle nesting site of the west coast of India, D. orientalis has more of an ecological role than as a pest. Natural pesticide such as Neem powder (Azadirachta indica) shows promising results for preventing their infestation.

Subject Areas

Red ants; Ex-situ; Conservation; Hatchery; Sea turtles; Lepidochelys olivacea

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