Parasite‐Induced Fruit Mimicry in a Tropical Canopy Ant

  title={Parasite‐Induced Fruit Mimicry in a Tropical Canopy Ant},
  author={Stephen P. Yanoviak and Michael Kaspari and Robert Dudley and George Poinar},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={536 - 544}
Some parasites modify characteristics of intermediate hosts to facilitate their consumption by subsequent hosts, but examples of parasite‐mediated mimicry are rare. Here we report dramatic changes in the appearance and behavior of nematode‐parasitized ants such that they resemble ripe fruits in the tropical rain forest canopy. Unlike healthy ants, which are completely black, infected ants have bright red, berry‐like gasters full of parasite eggs. The infected gasters are held in a conspicuous… 
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