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Author Hölldobler, Bert, 1936- author.

Title The guests of ants how myrmecophiles interact with their hosts Bert Hölldobler & Christina L. Kwapich
Published Cambridge Harvard University Press [2022]


Description 1 online resource (xiii, 559 pages) illustrations
Contents 1. Superorganisms: A Primer -- 2. Inside and on the Bodies of the Ants -- 3. Recognition, Identity Theft, and Camouflage -- 4. The Lycaenidae: Mutualists, Predators, and Parasites -- 5. Foraging Paths and Refuse Sites -- 6. Spiders and Other Mimics, Pretenders, and Predators -- 7. The Mysteries of Myrmecophilous Crickets -- 8. Grades of Myrmecophilous Adaptations -- 9. Myrmecophiles in the Ecosystem of Ant Nests -- 10. Vertebrates and Ants
Summary A fascinating examination of socially parasitic invaders, from butterflies to bacteria, that survive and thrive by exploiting the communication systems of ant colonies. Down below, on sidewalks, in fallen leaves, and across the forest floor, a covert invasion is taking place. Ant colonies, revered and studied for their complex collective behaviors, are being infiltrated by tiny organisms called myrmecophiles. Using incredibly sophisticated tactics, various species of butterflies, beetles, crickets, spiders, fungi, and bacteria insert themselves into ant colonies and decode the colonies'communication system. Once able to "speak the language," these outsiders can masquerade as ants. Suddenly colony members can no longer distinguish friend from foe. Pulitzer Prize-winning author and biologist Bert H̲lldobler and behavioral ecologist Christina L. Kwapich explore this remarkable phenomenon, showing how myrmecophiles manage their feat of code-breaking and go on to exploit colony resources. Some myrmecophiles slip themselves into their hosts'food sharing system, stealing liquid nutrition normally exchanged between ant nestmates. Other intruders use specialized organs and glandular secretions to entice ants or calm their aggression. Guiding readers through key experiments and observations, H̲lldobler and Kwapich reveal a universe of behavioral mechanisms by which myrmecophiles turn ants into unwilling servants. As The Guests of Ants makes clear, symbiosis in ant societies can sometimes be mutualistic, but, in most cases, these foreign intruders exhibit amazingly diverse modes of parasitism. Like other unwelcome guests, many of these myrmecophiles both disrupt and depend on their host, making for an uneasy coexistence that nonetheless plays an important role in the balance of nature
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Online resource; title from PDF title page (viewed on July 7, 2022)
Subject Myrmecophyes.
Host-parasite relationships.
Ants -- Behavior.
Ant communities.
Host-Parasite Interactions
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Zoology / Entomology
Ant communities
Ants -- Behavior
Host-parasite relationships
Form Electronic book
Author Kwapich, Christina L., 1985- author.
ISBN 9780674276451