Interested in receiving weekly updates on Myrmecol. News & Myrmecol. News Blog? Follow the link & subscribe: https://myrmecologicalnews.org/cms/index.php?option=com_jnews&act=subone&listid=1&itemid=78&Itemid=107

DOI: https://doi.org/10.25849/myrmecol.news_030:073

Open Access: CC BY 4.0

Author:

Rocha, F.H., Lachaud, JP. & Pérez-Lachaud, G.



Year: 2020

Title:

Myrmecophilous organisms associated with colonies of the ponerine ant Neoponera villosa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) nesting in Aechmea bracteata bromeliads: a biodiversity hotspot



Journal: Myrmecological News

Volume: 30

Pages: 73-92

Type of contribution: Original Article

Supplementary material: Yes, see below

Abstract:

Ants and their resources are exploited by a plethora of other organisms, some using remarkable morphological and behavioral adaptations for host deception and social integration. The diversity, abundance, and distribution of myrmecophiles are likely underestimated, particularly regarding Neotropical ants. This study aims to document the diversity of myrmecophiles associated with the colonies of Neoponera villosa (Fabricius, 1804) in the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, a region with rapid transformation and high risk of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation. Between January 2016 and January 2019, 82 colonies (or parts of colonies) established in the core of the tank bromeliad Aechmea bracteata (Sw.) Griseb., 1864, were collected. All invertebrates present in the nest chambers were recorded, and ants and their brood were inspected under a stereomicroscope for the presence of any sign of parasitism. Natural history of some of the recorded myrmecophiles and nest associates was determined. Results showed a diverse array of associated taxa, with organisms from six classes distributed in at least 43 different taxa belonging to 16 orders and 24 families. Twelve different taxa belonging to 12 families, eight arthropod orders and one fungus order, were encountered in direct physical association with the ant brood and / or the adults in the central part of the nest: Hymenoptera (Diapriidae, Eucharitidae), Lepidoptera (Riodinidae), Diptera (Syrphidae), Coleoptera (Staphylinidae, Tenebrionidae), Acari Mesostigmata (Laelapidae, Oplitidae), Acari Trombidiformes (Scutacaridae), Acari Sarcoptiformes (Galumnidae), Pseudoscorpiones (Chernetidae), and Hypocreales Ophiocordycipitaceae). These specialized myrmecophiles showed diverse trophic interactions with the ants, mostly antagonistic (parasites, parasitoids, predators, cleptoparasites). Although their prevalence was low, their combined effect upon the host population was not negligible. Not integrated, facultative, guests included several scavengers and predators found in the refuse pile within the nest or in the periphery of the chambers: springtails, rove beetles, mites, and other small ant species that nested close to N. villosa. With the exception of the parasitoid syrphid fly Hypselosyrphus trigonus Hull, 1937, which had been previously reported, all associations are new to science. The diverse group of obligate myrmecophiles and facultative guests associated with this highly aggressive ant species confirms arboreal ant colonies as reservoirs of diversity and suggests that ant species with relatively small colony sizes, such as ponerines, can also harbor a high diversity of associated taxa.

Open access, licensed under CC BY 4.0. © 2020 The Author(s).



Key words: Ant parasitoids, cleptoparasitism, predation, colony integration, ant associates, interaction.

Publisher: The Austrian Society of Entomofaunistics

ISSN: 1997-3500

Check out the accompanying blog contribution: https://blog.myrmecologicalnews.org/2020/01/29/myrmecophilous-organisms-associated-with-the-ponerine-ant-neoponera-villosa/


Interested in receiving weekly updates on Myrmecol. News & Myrmecol. News Blog? Follow the link & subscribe: https://myrmecologicalnews.org/cms/index.php?option=com_jnews&act=subone&listid=1&itemid=78&Itemid=107

DOI: https://doi.org/10.25849/myrmecol.news_030:073

Open Access: CC BY 4.0

Author:

Rocha, F.H., Lachaud, JP. & Pérez-Lachaud, G.



Year: 2020

Title:

Myrmecophilous organisms associated with colonies of the ponerine ant Neoponera villosa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) nesting in Aechmea bracteata bromeliads: a biodiversity hotspot



Journal: Myrmecological News

Volume: 30

Pages: 73-92

Type of contribution: Original Article

Supplementary material: Yes, see below

Abstract:

Ants and their resources are exploited by a plethora of other organisms, some using remarkable morphological and behavioral adaptations for host deception and social integration. The diversity, abundance, and distribution of myrmecophiles are likely underestimated, particularly regarding Neotropical ants. This study aims to document the diversity of myrmecophiles associated with the colonies of Neoponera villosa (Fabricius, 1804) in the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, a region with rapid transformation and high risk of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation. Between January 2016 and January 2019, 82 colonies (or parts of colonies) established in the core of the tank bromeliad Aechmea bracteata (Sw.) Griseb., 1864, were collected. All invertebrates present in the nest chambers were recorded, and ants and their brood were inspected under a stereomicroscope for the presence of any sign of parasitism. Natural history of some of the recorded myrmecophiles and nest associates was determined. Results showed a diverse array of associated taxa, with organisms from six classes distributed in at least 43 different taxa belonging to 16 orders and 24 families. Twelve different taxa belonging to 12 families, eight arthropod orders and one fungus order, were encountered in direct physical association with the ant brood and / or the adults in the central part of the nest: Hymenoptera (Diapriidae, Eucharitidae), Lepidoptera (Riodinidae), Diptera (Syrphidae), Coleoptera (Staphylinidae, Tenebrionidae), Acari Mesostigmata (Laelapidae, Oplitidae), Acari Trombidiformes (Scutacaridae), Acari Sarcoptiformes (Galumnidae), Pseudoscorpiones (Chernetidae), and Hypocreales Ophiocordycipitaceae). These specialized myrmecophiles showed diverse trophic interactions with the ants, mostly antagonistic (parasites, parasitoids, predators, cleptoparasites). Although their prevalence was low, their combined effect upon the host population was not negligible. Not integrated, facultative, guests included several scavengers and predators found in the refuse pile within the nest or in the periphery of the chambers: springtails, rove beetles, mites, and other small ant species that nested close to N. villosa. With the exception of the parasitoid syrphid fly Hypselosyrphus trigonus Hull, 1937, which had been previously reported, all associations are new to science. The diverse group of obligate myrmecophiles and facultative guests associated with this highly aggressive ant species confirms arboreal ant colonies as reservoirs of diversity and suggests that ant species with relatively small colony sizes, such as ponerines, can also harbor a high diversity of associated taxa.

Open access, licensed under CC BY 4.0. © 2020 The Author(s).



Key words: Ant parasitoids, cleptoparasitism, predation, colony integration, ant associates, interaction.

Publisher: The Austrian Society of Entomofaunistics

ISSN: 1997-3500

Check out the accompanying blog contribution: https://blog.myrmecologicalnews.org/2020/01/29/myrmecophilous-organisms-associated-with-the-ponerine-ant-neoponera-villosa/


Interested in receiving weekly updates on Myrmecol. News & Myrmecol. News Blog? Follow the link & subscribe: https://myrmecologicalnews.org/cms/index.php?option=com_jnews&act=subone&listid=1&itemid=78&Itemid=107

DOI: https://doi.org/10.25849/myrmecol.news_030:073

Open Access: CC BY 4.0

Author:

Rocha, F.H., Lachaud, JP. & Pérez-Lachaud, G.



Year: 2020

Title:

Myrmecophilous organisms associated with colonies of the ponerine ant Neoponera villosa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) nesting in Aechmea bracteata bromeliads: a biodiversity hotspot



Journal: Myrmecological News

Volume: 30

Pages: 73-92

Type of contribution: Original Article

Supplementary material: Yes, see below

Abstract:

Ants and their resources are exploited by a plethora of other organisms, some using remarkable morphological and behavioral adaptations for host deception and social integration. The diversity, abundance, and distribution of myrmecophiles are likely underestimated, particularly regarding Neotropical ants. This study aims to document the diversity of myrmecophiles associated with the colonies of Neoponera villosa (Fabricius, 1804) in the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, a region with rapid transformation and high risk of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation. Between January 2016 and January 2019, 82 colonies (or parts of colonies) established in the core of the tank bromeliad Aechmea bracteata (Sw.) Griseb., 1864, were collected. All invertebrates present in the nest chambers were recorded, and ants and their brood were inspected under a stereomicroscope for the presence of any sign of parasitism. Natural history of some of the recorded myrmecophiles and nest associates was determined. Results showed a diverse array of associated taxa, with organisms from six classes distributed in at least 43 different taxa belonging to 16 orders and 24 families. Twelve different taxa belonging to 12 families, eight arthropod orders and one fungus order, were encountered in direct physical association with the ant brood and / or the adults in the central part of the nest: Hymenoptera (Diapriidae, Eucharitidae), Lepidoptera (Riodinidae), Diptera (Syrphidae), Coleoptera (Staphylinidae, Tenebrionidae), Acari Mesostigmata (Laelapidae, Oplitidae), Acari Trombidiformes (Scutacaridae), Acari Sarcoptiformes (Galumnidae), Pseudoscorpiones (Chernetidae), and Hypocreales Ophiocordycipitaceae). These specialized myrmecophiles showed diverse trophic interactions with the ants, mostly antagonistic (parasites, parasitoids, predators, cleptoparasites). Although their prevalence was low, their combined effect upon the host population was not negligible. Not integrated, facultative, guests included several scavengers and predators found in the refuse pile within the nest or in the periphery of the chambers: springtails, rove beetles, mites, and other small ant species that nested close to N. villosa. With the exception of the parasitoid syrphid fly Hypselosyrphus trigonus Hull, 1937, which had been previously reported, all associations are new to science. The diverse group of obligate myrmecophiles and facultative guests associated with this highly aggressive ant species confirms arboreal ant colonies as reservoirs of diversity and suggests that ant species with relatively small colony sizes, such as ponerines, can also harbor a high diversity of associated taxa.

Open access, licensed under CC BY 4.0. © 2020 The Author(s).



Key words: Ant parasitoids, cleptoparasitism, predation, colony integration, ant associates, interaction.

Publisher: The Austrian Society of Entomofaunistics

ISSN: 1997-3500

Check out the accompanying blog contribution: https://blog.myrmecologicalnews.org/2020/01/29/myrmecophilous-organisms-associated-with-the-ponerine-ant-neoponera-villosa/