Original Research

The scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) associated with the cocktail ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Johannes H. Giliomee
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 34, No 1 | a1286 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v34i1.1286 | © 2015 Johannes H. Giliomee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 2014 | Published: 30 April 2015


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Abstract

Nests of the cocktail ant, Crematogaster peringueyi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), were collected from various locations along the coast of the Western Cape. The purpose was to determine which scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) live in association with these ants. Scale insects of three families, that is, Pseudococcidae (mealy bugs), Coccidae (soft scales) and Kerriidae (lac scales) were found in the nests, all of them known for secreting honeydew. This mutualistic association between the ants and scale insects, known as myrmecophily, is facultative, as the cocktail ant and the scale insects were also both found separately. The cocktail ant does not appear to be selective in choosing a plant on which to build a nest.

Keywords

miere; dopluisagtiges; mutualisme

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