The fate of Corydalis cava elaiosomes within an ant colony of Myrmica rubra: elaiosomes are preferentially fed to larvae

  title={The fate of Corydalis cava elaiosomes within an ant colony of Myrmica rubra: elaiosomes are preferentially fed to larvae},
  author={R. C. Fischer and Silvester {\"O}lzant and Wolfgang Wanek and Veronika E. Mayer},
  journal={Insectes Sociaux},
Summary.The diaspores of many plant species are adapted to dispersal by ants (myrmecochory). The ants carry the diaspores into their nests where the appendages of the diaspores (elaiosomes) are consumed. Little is known, however, about the fate of diaspores in the colony, i.e., whether elaiosomes are consumed only by the larvae or also by the workers. In this study, the distribution of Corydalis cava (Fumariaceae) elaiosomes was monitored between the larvae and the working caste of laboratory… 

The role of elaiosome to seed dispersal of five ant-dispersed herbaceous plants

It is found that the seed size of E. pubescens was significantly larger than that of Corydalis giraldii, and the elaiosome / seed mass ratio of C. Giraldii was the highest, and no significant differences existed in the ant ‘Antennate, ‘Examine爷, and “handle冶 glued to seeds (S+H).

Steep Decline and Cessation in Seed Dispersal by Myrmica rubra Ants

Myrmecochory may be labile at the scale of a fruiting season due to the ability of ants to steeply tune and cease for several months the harvesting of these seemingly poorly rewarding items and to maintain cessation of seed exploitation.

Ants Associated with Turnera subulata (Turneraceae): Elaiosome Attraction, Seed Dispersion and Germination

The results suggest that the consumption of the elaiosome by ant species is not a determinant factor to the success of germination of T. subulata seeds and that such species could contribute indirectly to seed germination by carrying seeds to sites more fertile to germination.

Elaiosome-bearing plants from the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands

The aim was to estimate the number of taxa having elaiosome-bearing diaspores in the Ibero-Balearic territory and its relationship to several factors, finding that at least 572 species and subspecies are present, much higher than those given so far for the Northern Hemisphere.

Geographic variations in Helleborus foetidus elaiosome lipid composition: implications for dispersal by ants

Results reinforce the idea that oleic acid is a major releaser of seed collection by ants and suggest that geographic variations in free fatty acid composition affect the probability of diaspore removal by ants which in turn potentially determine plant demography.

Myrmekochorie - evoluční a ekologické souvislosti

There is a trend of convergence in elaiosomes chemical composition with a higher content of easier digestible compounds inElaiosome, specifically amino acids and shorter chained free fatty acids, which is presumably the main ant attractants.

Colony growth in Myrmica rubra with supplementation of myrmecochorous seeds

After 3 months, elaiosome-supplemented colonies contained significantly more worker pupae than control colonies, whereas the number of new female sexuals was reduced, which is discussed as a possible long-term benefit for M. rubra colonies through myrmecochory by colony growth.

Dispersal of non-myrmecochorous plants by a “keystone disperser” ant in a Mediterranean habitat reveals asymmetric interdependence

It is concluded that in contrast to the common view, dispersal of non-myrmecochorous Mediterranean plants by ants might be an important phenomenon, however, plant benefit may vary greatly according to the amount of seeds per individual plant and the existence of alternative dispersal agents.



Myrmecochory in Polygala vulgaris L., Luzula campestris (L.) DC. and Viola curtisii Forster in a Dutch dune area

Mapping studies demonstrate that the dispersal of the seeds by ants has a marked effect on the distribution pattern of the standing population of Polygala and Viola and it could be demonstrated that the elaiosome is the attractive part of the seed.

Seed dispersal by ants: behaviour-releasing compounds in elaiosomes

It is hypothesized that a small suite of oleyl-containing compounds in elaiosomes elicit a stereotyped carrying response by a variety of ants, and specific compounds may manipulate their behaviour and maximize seed dispersal.


There was no evidence of specialization of particular ant species on particular Viola species, and the advantage of ant dispersal is relocation to a 'safe site' for germination, thus reducing predation, increasing germination stimuli, and increasing the available supply of nutrients.

The flow of food in colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta: a multifactorial study

The amount of food consumed by foragers was influenced by the interaction of food‐type and starvation, and the probability of the queen's receiving food increased when the labelled food was widely exchanged among her nestmates.

Sex ratios and the distribution of elaiosomes in colonies of the ant, Aphaenogaster rudis

Summary: Genetic theory predicts that workers in monogynous ant colonies with singly-mated queens should capitalize on higher relatedness with sisters than with brothers by altering the sex

Ecological benefits of myrmecochory for the endangered chaparral shrub Fremontodendron decumbens (Sterculiaceae).

  • R. Boyd
  • Environmental Science
    American journal of botany
  • 2001
The major ecological benefit to F. decumbens of ant-mediated seed dispersal was elevated post-fire seedling survival resulting from enhanced escape by dispersed seedlings from both predation and competition.

Analysis of how ant behaviors affect germination in a tropical myrmecochore Calathea microcephala (P. & E.) Koernicke (Marantaceae): Microsite selection and aril removal by neotropical ants, Odontomachus, Pachycondyla, and Solenopsis (Formicidae)

It appears that seeds which experience a delay before encountering appropriate germination conditions seem to exhibit an induced dormancy and take longer to germinate even after conditions become appropriate, which would indicate that ant-handling of seeds is predictive of favorable conditions for seedling growth and establishment.

Quantitative food distribution studies within Laboratory colonies of the imported fire ant,Solenopsis invicta Buren

The distribution of three forms of egg yolk protein, liquid bovine hemoglobin, soybean oil, honey, and water was studied in laboratory colonies of the imported fire antSolenopsis invicta Buren to determine the distribution of food and average cumulative consumption in micrograms or microliters.

Convergence of elaiosomes and insect prey: evidence from ant foraging behaviour and fatty acid composition

This study investigated the hypothesis that elaiosomes on seeds have converged in composition and attractiveness with the insect prey of ants, and the response of six ant species to the diglyceride 1,2-diolein was compared.


The differential response of the ant species to such characteristics as seed arrangement and elaiosome/seed ratios demonstrates the way in which ant behavior may have been an important selective force in the evolution and maintenance of myrmecochory.