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Encyclopedia of Entomology

Myrmecomorphy, or the morphological and behavioral mimicry of ants, has evolved at least 70 times in the arthropods – 15 times in spiders, at least 10 times in plant bugs, and seven times in staphylinid beetles. More than 2,000 species of myrmecomorphic arthropods have been described thus far, belonging to over 200 genera in 54 families. Myrmecomorphy forms a subset of ant mimicry, which includes all species that resemble ants through convergence in morphological, behavioral, chemical, or textural characters (Fig. 117). The other major group of ant-mimetic species are the myrmecophiles, or those arthropods that associate closely with ants, but do not necessarily resemble them morphologically. Although some are also myrmecomorphic, most myrmecophiles have chemical and/or textural characters that facilitate a close relationship with their ant hosts. Here we describe signal properties of myrmecomorphic arthropods, present their taxonomic distribution, and discuss their adaptive...

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McIver, J., Stonedahl, G. (2008). Myrmecomorphy. In: Capinera, J.L. (eds) Encyclopedia of Entomology. Springer, Dordrecht.

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