Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 97–100

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

  • Jérôme Orivel
  • Pablo Servigne
  • Philippe Cerdan
  • Alain Dejean
  • Bruno Corbara
Short Communication

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jérôme Orivel
    • 1
  • Pablo Servigne
    • 2
  • Philippe Cerdan
    • 3
  • Alain Dejean
    • 1
  • Bruno Corbara
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Evolution et Diversité Biologique, UMR-CNRS 5174 Université Toulouse IIIToulouse cedex 4France
  2. 2.LAPSCO, UMR-CNRS 6024Université Blaise PascalClermont-Ferrand cedexFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire Environnement de Petit Saut (HYDRECO)Kourou cedexFrance

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