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The ecology of Myrmica ants in relation to the conservation of Maculinea butterflies
TLDR
The latest summary of field data showing the pattern of host specificity by Maculinea is presented, and the current knowledge of habitat partition, colony growth and colony reproduction within communities of Myrmica ants is summarized in relation to the ecology ofMaculinea species.
Host specificity among Maculinea butterflies in Myrmica ant nests
SummaryEcological studies have been made of all 5 European species of Maculinea. These confirm that M. nausithous and M. rebeli live underground in Myrmica ant nests for 10 months of the year, as has
Higher productivity at the cost of increased host‐specificity when Maculinea butterfly larvae exploit ant colonies through trophallaxis rather than by predation
TLDR
Two feeding strategies in the genus Maculinea, whose final‐instar larvae parasitise Myrmica ant colonies, are studied: M.’rebeli and M. alcon mimic ant larvae and are fed directly by the workers.
When rare species become endangered: cryptic speciation in myrmecophilous hoverflies
TLDR
It is suggested that cryptic speciation is apt to evolve in species, such as myrmecophiles, endoparasites and koinobiont parasitoids, whose life-styles result in strong selection on their physiological or behavioural characters.
Interspecific differences in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of Myrmica ants are sufficiently consistent to explain host specificity by Maculinea (large blue) butterflies
TLDR
It is concluded that the hydrocarbon profiles of Myrmica species are sufficiently and consistently different for chemical mimicry to explain the pattern of host specificity recorded for the European Maculinea butterflies.
Polymorphic growth in larvae of the butterfly Maculinea rebeli, a social parasite of Myrmica ant colonies
TLDR
It is suggested that a balanced polymorphism has evolved in M. rebeli growth rates, representing the most efficient way of exploiting the limited, yet steady, daily supply of food available to cuckoo–feeding parasites of long–lived ant societies.
Host propagation permits extreme local adaptation in a social parasite of ants.
TLDR
To counter destabilizing effects on the host, Microdon manipulates the social dynamics of F. lemani by feeding selectively on ant eggs and small larvae, which causes surviving larvae to switch development into queens, thus propagating the vulnerable local genotype and compensating for damage to the host colonies.
Larvae of Maculinea rebeli, a large‐blue butterfly, and their Myrmica host ants: wild adoption and behaviour in ant‐nests
TLDR
It is hypothesized that Maculinea rebeli caterpillars mimic the touch pheromones of ant worker-larvae, which would explain the inability of ants to recognize caterpillar before touching them, their immediate adoption by any Myrmica species after discovery, host specificity inside wild ant-nests, the absence of queen-effect and the intimate attention of host workers.
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