Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 851–855 | Cite as

Myrmica aloba (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) hosts isolated populations of a hoverfly, a butterfly and an ichneumon species in NE-Portugal

  • András Tartally
  • Maria Conceição Rodrigues
  • Peter Brakels
  • Paula Seixas Arnaldo


Larvae and pupae of the obligately myrmecophilous social parasites Microdon myrmicae (Diptera: Syrphidae) and Maculinea alcon (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) were found using exclusively Myrmica aloba (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) host ants in NE-Portugal. Ichneumon eumerus (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) was also found developing in Ma. alcon pupae in nests of My. aloba at the same site. These are the first records of Mi. myrmicae and I. eumerus for Portugal, and from My. aloba nests. Earlier records that My. aloba is the only known host ant of Ma. alcon in Portugal are confirmed. Further studies on the biology of these isolated peripheral populations are necessary for their well-planned protection.


Alcon Blue Ichneumon eumerus Maculinea alcon Microdon myrmicae Social parasitism 



We are grateful to Simona Bonelli and Klaus Horstmann for confirmation of our determination, and to Xavier Espadaler, David R. Nash, Enikő Tóth and to the three anonymous referees for revising the manuscript. We thank the National Park of Alvão for all their help, and the locals of Lamas de Olo for letting us work on their meadows. The research was supported in part by CITAB, and by funding from the Portuguese Government through the ON.2/QREN PROGRAMM by the projects PROTEGER É CONHECER and SEIVACORGO. AT was supported by a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship and partly by a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant within the 7th European Community Framework Programme, and partly by a ‘Bolyai János’ scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • András Tartally
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maria Conceição Rodrigues
    • 3
    • 4
  • Peter Brakels
    • 5
  • Paula Seixas Arnaldo
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Evolutionary Zoology and Human BiologyUniversity of DebrecenDebrecenHungary
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Centre for Social EvolutionUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Forest Science and LandscapeUniversity of Trás-os-Montes and Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  4. 4.Center of the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences (CITAB)University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  5. 5.VierlingsbeekThe Netherlands

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