First report of Social Parasitism in Ectatommninae

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First report of Social Parasitism in Ectatommninae

Post by Benoit Guenard on Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:17 am

A new article published in Zootaxa by Feitosa et al. describe the first case of a social parasitism for an Ectatomma species.

This article is interesting by two aspects. The first one is that it reports a social parasitism case for the Ectatomminae subfamily. The second aspect is that it provide a new example of social parasitism for tropical (or subtropical) ecosystems. Social parasitism examples are numerous for temperate ecosystems, however this is due probably to a sampling biaisis due to a long tradition of the study of social parasitism in those countries: like Germany, Switzerland or France by myrmecologists like Kutter, Buschinger for instances. However, with more and more ecological studies realized in the tropical regions, the number of tropical social parasites increase. This article is one of the good example of this tendency.

Here is the abstract of the article:

A new social parasite in the ant genus Ectatomma F. Smith (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Ectatomminae)

Feitosa R. M., R. R. Hora, J. H. C. Delabie, J. Valenzuela and D. Fresneau
Zootaxa 1713: 4752 (2008).

Ectatomma parasiticum Feitosa & Fresneau, a new ant species socially parasitic on Ectatomma tuberculatum (Olivier), is described from gynes discovered in Apazapan, state of Veracruz, Mexico, and reared in the laboratory. Ectatomma parasiticum is the first social parasite described in the Ectatomminae. This species can be distinguished from its host by morphological and behavioral features characteristic of the inquilines known in other ant subfamilies including reduced size, thickened petiole, and agonistic interactions with host species.
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Benoit Guenard
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