Functional Analysis of the Myrmecophilous Relationships between Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Lycaenids (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)

I. Release of Food Recruitment in Ants by Lycaenid Larvae and Pupae


Zoologisches Institut der Universität, Siesmayerstr. 70, D-6000 Frankfurt/Main


Myrmecophilous lycaenid larvae possessing a dorsal nectar organ release strong recruitment behavior in ants attending them. Larvae lacking a functional dorsal nectar organ are unable to release such recruitment behavior. Thus, the dorsal nectar organ with its carbohydrate secretions is responsible for the release of the recruitment behavior. The importance of the dorsal nectar organ for the evolution of mutualistic trophobiotic associations between myrmecophilous lycaenid larvae and their attending ants is discussed.