The Ants - Chapter 12 Symbioses Among Ant Species Summary & Analysis

Bert Hölldobler
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Chapter 12 Symbioses Among Ant Species Summary

Many species of ants are highly symbiotic. This chapter considers only ant-ant symbiosis, continuing the theme of species communities, which began in Chapter 11. A fascinating case study of the extreme ant parasite Teleutomyrmex schneideri is presented in detail; queens (there are no workers in the species) are entirely reliant upon parasitizing Tetramorium nests for survival. The life cycles of the two species are discussed.

In brief, T. schneideri locates a nest of their host species, invades the queen chamber, and attaches to the back of the host queen. T. schneideri anatomy is extensively altered to enable them to securely fasten themselves to their larger host. Once so attached, T. schneideri is apparently undetectable to the host species' workers (who feed and groom the parasite), and proceeds to lay eggs, which are cared for and reared...

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This section contains 409 words
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