Nonintegrated host association of myrmecophilus tetramorii, a specialist myrmecophilous ant cricket (Orthoptera: Myrmecophilidae)

Takashi Komatsu, Munetoshi Maruyama, Takao Itino

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Abstract

Myrmecophilus ant crickets (Orthoptera: Myrmecophilidae) are typical ant guests. In Japan, about 10 species are recognized on the basis of morphological and molecular phylogenetic frameworks. Some of these species have restricted host ranges and behave intimately toward their host ant species (i.e., they are host specialist). We focused on one species, M. tetramorii, which uses the myrmicine ant Tetramorium tsushimae as its main host. All but one M. tetramorii individuals were collected specifically from nests of T. tsushimae in the field. However, behavioral observation showed that all individuals used in the experiment received hostile reactions from the host ants. There were no signs of intimate behaviors such as grooming of hosts or receipt of mouth-to-mouth feeding from hosts, which are seen in some host-specialist Myrmecophilus species among obligate host-ant species. Therefore, it may be that M. tetramorii is the species that is specialized to exploit the host by means other than chemical integration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number568536
JournalPsyche (London)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

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