Silk production by adult workers of the ant Melissotarsus emeryi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in South African fynbos

  title={Silk production by adult workers of the ant Melissotarsus emeryi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in South African fynbos},
  author={Brian L. Fisher and Hamish Gibson Robertson},
  journal={Insectes Sociaux},
Summary: In montane fynbos in South Africa Melissotarsus emeryi Forel was found nesting in live wood of Leucospermum praemorsum (Meisn.) E. Phillips, in association with armor-scale insects (Diaspididae). A loose network of silken material was found along gallery tunnels and was combined with wood particles to seal cracks in tunnel walls and to close exit holes. Our observations reveal that the silk is produced by adult workers from glands located in cuticular depressions on the ventral portion… 

A mutualism without honeydew: what benefits for Melissotarsus emeryi ants and armored scale insects (Diaspididae)?

This study studied three colonies of Melissotarsus emeryi ants from two localities in Mozambique, documenting the occurrence of rare individuals with shields inside ant galleries, indicating that their glands continue to secrete wax and proteins as building material.

The mutualism of Melissotarsus ants and armoured scale insects in Africa and Magadascar: distribution, host plants and biology

A review is presented on the geographical distribution of mutualism, of the Melissotarsus species, the associated 10 species of armoured scale insects, and the host plants on which the mutualism takes place.

Behavioural Ecology of Bark-digging Ants of the Genus Melissotarsus

It is revealed that a temporal polyethism exists and that gynes perform the worker duty of digging galleries and that workers that elude the queen’s influence and produce chorioned, viable eggs probably play a role in the control of reproduction by nonphysogastric gynes.

Mutualism between armoured scale insects and ants: new species and observations on a unique trophobiosis (Hemiptera: Diaspididae; Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Melissotarsus Emery)

Workers of M. emeryi did not defend their nest against invading colonies of Crematogaster and other unidentified ants: it is hypothesized that the primary mode of defence is maintenance of isolation within galleries, and three new ant‐associated diaspidid species are described.

New exocrine glands in ants: the hypostomal gland and basitarsal gland in the genus Melissotarsus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

A hitherto unknown hypostomal gland from which this silk-like substance originates is described and a new basitarsal gland in the three pairs of legs of Melissotarsus workers is described.

A masterpiece of evolution – Oecophylla weaver ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

It is speculated that the existence of Oecophylla blocks other weaver ants from evolving highly complex social organization, an idea which could be tested with further knowl-edge on the timing of ant adaptive radiations.

Skeletomuscular adaptations of head and legs of Melissotarsus ants for tunnelling through living wood

Melissotarsus represents an extraordinary case study of how the adaptation to – and indeed engineering of – a novel ecological niche can lead to the evolutionary redesign of core biomechanical systems.

Striking polymorphism among infertile helpers in the arboreal ant Gesomyrmex

Gesomyrmex (subfamily Formicinae) is a poorly known arboreal ant from the Oriental tropics. We sampled colonies in three localities (NE Thailand, peninsular Malaysia, and Sabah) and examined




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