A case of Batesian mimicry between a myrmecophilous staphylinid beetle, Pella comes, and its host ant, Lasius (Dendrolasius) spathepus: An experiment using the Japanese treefrog, Hyla japonica as a real predator

K. Taniguchi, M. Maruyama, T. Ichikawa, F. Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Some myrmecophilous animals show myrmecomorphy, however, its adaptive significance is still controversial. We investigated a possible benefit of Batesian mimicry between a myrmecophilous staphylinid beetle, Pella comes, and its host ant, Lasius (Dendrolasius) spathepus, by using a common ant predator, the Japanese treefrog, Hyla japonica. In the field, H. japonica were found to feed on numerous ants and other insects, but in laboratory experiments they refused feeding on L. spathepus. L. spathepus was highly repellent to these frogs, while P. comes was potentially palatable. After repeated contacts with L. spathepus which led to its avoidance, the treefrogs started to reject P. comes as well. This suggests that myrmecomorphy is beneficial to P. comes, reducing the risk of predation, and that it may represent a case of Batesian mimicry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-322
Number of pages3
JournalInsectes Sociaux
Volume52
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Lasius
mimicry (behavior)
mimicry
Hyla
Hylidae
ant
beetle
Formicidae
predator
Coleoptera
predators
experiment
repellents
frog
frogs
predation
insect
insects
animal
animals

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

Cite this

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title = "A case of Batesian mimicry between a myrmecophilous staphylinid beetle, Pella comes, and its host ant, Lasius (Dendrolasius) spathepus: An experiment using the Japanese treefrog, Hyla japonica as a real predator",
abstract = "Some myrmecophilous animals show myrmecomorphy, however, its adaptive significance is still controversial. We investigated a possible benefit of Batesian mimicry between a myrmecophilous staphylinid beetle, Pella comes, and its host ant, Lasius (Dendrolasius) spathepus, by using a common ant predator, the Japanese treefrog, Hyla japonica. In the field, H. japonica were found to feed on numerous ants and other insects, but in laboratory experiments they refused feeding on L. spathepus. L. spathepus was highly repellent to these frogs, while P. comes was potentially palatable. After repeated contacts with L. spathepus which led to its avoidance, the treefrogs started to reject P. comes as well. This suggests that myrmecomorphy is beneficial to P. comes, reducing the risk of predation, and that it may represent a case of Batesian mimicry.",
author = "K. Taniguchi and M. Maruyama and T. Ichikawa and F. Ito",
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AU - Taniguchi, K.

AU - Maruyama, M.

AU - Ichikawa, T.

AU - Ito, F.

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N2 - Some myrmecophilous animals show myrmecomorphy, however, its adaptive significance is still controversial. We investigated a possible benefit of Batesian mimicry between a myrmecophilous staphylinid beetle, Pella comes, and its host ant, Lasius (Dendrolasius) spathepus, by using a common ant predator, the Japanese treefrog, Hyla japonica. In the field, H. japonica were found to feed on numerous ants and other insects, but in laboratory experiments they refused feeding on L. spathepus. L. spathepus was highly repellent to these frogs, while P. comes was potentially palatable. After repeated contacts with L. spathepus which led to its avoidance, the treefrogs started to reject P. comes as well. This suggests that myrmecomorphy is beneficial to P. comes, reducing the risk of predation, and that it may represent a case of Batesian mimicry.

AB - Some myrmecophilous animals show myrmecomorphy, however, its adaptive significance is still controversial. We investigated a possible benefit of Batesian mimicry between a myrmecophilous staphylinid beetle, Pella comes, and its host ant, Lasius (Dendrolasius) spathepus, by using a common ant predator, the Japanese treefrog, Hyla japonica. In the field, H. japonica were found to feed on numerous ants and other insects, but in laboratory experiments they refused feeding on L. spathepus. L. spathepus was highly repellent to these frogs, while P. comes was potentially palatable. After repeated contacts with L. spathepus which led to its avoidance, the treefrogs started to reject P. comes as well. This suggests that myrmecomorphy is beneficial to P. comes, reducing the risk of predation, and that it may represent a case of Batesian mimicry.

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