Ecology of Myrmecofauna (Genus: Crematogaster) Associated to Helixanthera mannii (Oliv.) Danser (Loranthaceae) to Cocoa Trees in Oboa: Center Region of Cameroon, Africa

  •  Luc B. C. Yebga    
  •  Ruth Mony    
  •  Siegfried D. Dibong    


In order to find an effective control method against Helixanthera mannii (Oliv) Danser, parasite of agroecosystems in the northern part of the city of Yaoundé, a study of the myrmecofauna associated with this plant was carried out in an orchard of Oboa in Soa district. The total parasitism rate by Helixanthera mannii Danser was 20.43% for the entire orchard. 168 ants belonging to 12 species including ten genera and four subfamilies were collected from unparasitized and parasitized host individuals of Theobroma cacao. 86 ants belonging to two subfamilies were collected from selected branches of Helixanthera mannii from parasitized cocoa trees, namely Formicinae (Camponotus flavomarginatus) and Myrmicinae (Crematogaster (oxygyne) sp., Crematogaster (decacrema) sp. and Cataulacus sp. ) or 58.14% of the myrmecofauna during the flowering of this Loranthaceae and 41.86% during its fruiting. The ants of the genus Crematogaster proved to be the most active and abundant, i.e., 76.83% on non-parasitized hosts and 93.03% on hosts parasitized by Theobroma cacao by Helixanthera mannii. Crematogaster (oxygyne) sp. had an occupancy rate of 69.77% followed by Crematogaster (decacrema) sp. with 23.26% or 93.03% of the myrmecofauna recorded during the flowering and fruiting of Helixanthera mannii. Crematogaster (oxygyne) sp. proved to be the most active ant on these hosts. Note that the dominant ant status recognized for ants of the genus Crematogaster and their foraging activity on the flowers and fruits of Helixanthera mannii can contribute to the reduction of these parasitisms.

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