Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 97–100

The ladybird Thalassa saginata, an obligatory myrmecophile of Dolichoderus bidens ant colonies

Authors

    • Laboratoire d’Evolution et Diversité Biologique, UMR-CNRS 5174 Université Toulouse III
  • Pablo Servigne
    • LAPSCO, UMR-CNRS 6024Université Blaise Pascal
  • Philippe Cerdan
    • Laboratoire Environnement de Petit Saut (HYDRECO)
  • Alain Dejean
    • Laboratoire d’Evolution et Diversité Biologique, UMR-CNRS 5174 Université Toulouse III
  • Bruno Corbara
    • LAPSCO, UMR-CNRS 6024Université Blaise Pascal
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00114-003-0499-z

Cite this article as:
Orivel, J., Servigne, P., Cerdan, P. et al. Naturwissenschaften (2004) 91: 97. doi:10.1007/s00114-003-0499-z

Abstract

The larvae and pupae of the ladybird Thalassa saginata develop inside colonies of the dolichoderine ant Dolichoderus bidens. This association is the first specific and obligatory relationship recorded between ants and ladybirds. The ants provide shelter and protection to the larvae but the diet of the latter remains unclear. The integration of T. saginata larvae into the ant colonies is achieved by mimicking the cuticular patterns of the ants’ brood. Moreover, the larvae secrete substances from their hairs and anal gland that are likely to enhance their attractiveness.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004