Skip to main content

Ant-Hemiptera Associations

  • 43 Accesses

Introduction

Ant-Hemiptera associations form when plant-feeding insects of the order Hemiptera provision ants (Formicidae) with food. Most commonly, hemipteran insects feed on plant phloem sap and excrete a sugar-rich waste product known as honeydew, which ants consume (Fig. 1). Diverse taxa within Hemiptera – commonly including members of the suborders Sternorrhyncha (e.g., aphids, coccoids, psyllids, and whiteflies) and Auchenorrhyncha (e.g., treehoppers, leafhoppers, and plant hoppers) – provide honeydew to ants and are also known as trophobionts. Although ants descended from predatory ancestors, species in several subfamilies – most prominently Formicinae, Dolichoderinae, and Myrmicinae – frequently visit hemipterans and make honeydew a substantial part of their diet. Ant-hemipteran associations range from obligate to facultative, and from mutually beneficial (+ +) to predatory (+ −).

Ant-Hemiptera Associations, Fig. 1
figure 126

Camponotus rufipestending treehoppers for honeydew in Brazil....

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-28102-1_8
  • Chapter length: 4 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   749.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-28102-1
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   799.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Ant-Hemiptera Associations, Fig. 1
Ant-Hemiptera Associations, Fig. 2

References

  1. Blüthgen, N., Verhaagh, M., Goitía, W., Jaffé, K., Morawetz, W., & Barthlott, W. (2000). How plants shape the ant community in the Amazonian rainforest canopy: The key role of extrafloral nectaries and homopteran honeydew. Oecologia, 125, 229–240.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  2. Davidson, D. W., Cook, S. C., Snelling, R. R., & Chua, T. H. (2003). Explaining the abundance of ants in lowland tropical rainforest canopies. Science, 300, 969–972.

    CAS  PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  3. Delabie, J. H. (2001). Trophobiosis between Formicidae and Hemiptera (Sternorrhyncha and Auchenorrhyncha): An overview. Neotropical Entomology, 30, 501–516.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  4. Stadler, B., & Dixon, A. F. G. (2005). Ecology and evolution of aphid-ant interactions. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics, 36, 345–372.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  5. Styrsky, J. D., & Eubanks, M. D. (2007). Ecological consequences of interactions between ants and honeydew-producing insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 274, 151–164.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  6. Adrián Salazar, Benjamin Fürstenau, Carmen Quero, Nicolás Pérez-Hidalgo, Pau Carazo, Enrique Font, David Martínez-Torres, (2015) Aggressive mimicry coexists with mutualism in an aphid. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112 (4):1101–1106

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Elizabeth G. Pringle .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this entry

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this entry

Pringle, E.G. (2021). Ant-Hemiptera Associations. In: Starr, C.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Social Insects. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-28102-1_8

Download citation