These pictures, taken from new e book The Friends of Ants, reveal the behaviour of myrmecophiles, refined organisms from beetles to flies that infiltrate ant colonies to reap the benefits of them
10 August 2022
ANTS are recognized for his or her remarkably refined colonies, coordinating their behaviours to rework a pile of filth into a posh construction in as little as per week – however there are different refined organisms on the market trying to infiltrate these fastidiously arrange societies.
The invaders, collectively referred to as myrmecophiles, are the subject of The Friends of Ants, a brand new e book by biologist Bert Hölldobler and behavioural ecologist Christina Kwapich. The pair study the species that disrupt colonies by profiting from them, whether or not by masquerading as ants or manipulating their behaviour.
These pictures are taken from the e book. Above, a histerid beetle (Haeterius ferrugineus) is proven amongst a brood of Formica ant larvae, which it has been reported to prey on. The beetle has additionally been seen to solicit regurgitated meals from the host ants, attracting their consideration by waving its forelegs.
Different ant attackers embody Apocephalus, a kind of ant-decapitating fly, proven attacking a soldier Pheidole dentata ant, and the larva of the moth Ippa conspersa, seen assaulting a employee of a number ant (in all probability of the species Lasius nipponensis), under.
Attaphila fungicola, a cockroach that lives within the nests of the Texas leafcutter ant (Atta texana) and rides on winged queens once they depart the nest for mating, feeds on a colony’s cultured fungus within the picture above. Under, a Microdon hoverfly larva sits within the nest of the Linepithema oblongum ant. The fly larvae are normally ignored and tolerated by the ants, at the same time as they prey on the ants’ brood of larvae.