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Exploitation of ants-Qualea grandiflora (Vochysiaceae) mutualism by Medetera (Dolichopodidae, Diptera)

Grant number: 10/13619-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2011
Effective date (End): February 28, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal researcher:Paulo Sergio Moreira Carvalho de Oliveira
Grantee:Mayra Cadorin Vidal
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Qualea grandiflora is a typical tree of the Brazilian cerrado that bears paired extrafloral nectaries (NEFs) along its stems. Plants bearing this NEFs can maintain mutualism with aggressive ants that visit and defend them against herbivores insects. Through field observation we could find larvae of Diptera of the genus Medetera that bild theirs shelter with a stick secretion over the NEF of Q. grandiflora. The presence of this shelter blocks the nectaries and prevent the acess of others organisms, including ants. Besides, ants and others insects visiting the NEF get stuck in the shelter and are eaten by the larvae. Thereby larvae of Medetera can be interfering in the mutualism between ants and plant, potentially acting as a exploiter of this interaction. Within this context, this research project's main objectives are to investigate whether the ant fauna associated with Q. grandiflora is affected by the presence of larvae Medetera, and how this effect changes the protection afforded by ants against herbivores visitors. Another aim is to analyze the chemical composition of the shelter and the secretion produced by the larvae. The study aims to clarify how the presence of one species affects the results of exploratory mutualistic relationship between ants and Q. grandiflora.

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Scientific publications (5)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
VIDAL, MAYRA C.; SILVA, ANA K.; SENDOYA, SEBASTIAN F. Foraging preferences of ants on a heterogeneous Brazilian sandy shore habitat. ECOLOGICAL ENTOMOLOGY, v. 44, n. 2, p. 283-286, APR 2019. Web of Science Citations: 1.
VIDAL, MAYRA C.; SENDOYA, SEBASTIAN F.; YAMAGUCHI, LYDIA F.; KATO, MASSUO J.; OLIVEIRA, RAFAEL S.; OLIVEIRA, PAULO S. Natural History of a Sit-and-Wait Dipteran Predator That Uses Extrafloral Nectar as Prey Attractant. ENVIRONMENTAL ENTOMOLOGY, v. 47, n. 5, p. 1165-1172, OCT 2018. Web of Science Citations: 0.
VIDAL, MAYRA C.; SENDOYA, SEBASTIAN F.; OLIVEIRA, PAULO S. Mutualism exploitation: predatory drosophilid larvae sugar-trap ants and jeopardize facultative ant-plant mutualism. ECOLOGY, v. 97, n. 7, p. 1650-1657, JUL 2016. Web of Science Citations: 5.
VIDAL, M. C.; VILELA, C. R. A New Species of Rhinoleucophenga (Diptera: Drosophilidae) From the Brazilian Cerrado Biome Associated With Extrafloral Nectaries of Qualea grandiflora (Vochysiaceae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, v. 108, n. 5, p. 932-940, SEP 2015. Web of Science Citations: 7.
LIMA E MOTA, LUISA; TACIOLI, ANDRE; SENDOYA, SEBASTIAN FELIPE; VIDAL, MAYRA CADORIN. MITES INHABITING A LEPIDOPTERAN EGG. JOURNAL OF THE LEPIDOPTERISTS' SOCIETY, v. 68, n. 2, p. 141-142, JUN 2 2014. Web of Science Citations: 0.
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
VIDAL, Mayra Cadorin. Ant predation bu Rhinoleucophenga sp. nov (Diptera, Drosophilidae) and its effect on the mutualism between ants and Qualea grandiflora (Vochysiaceae). 2013. Master's Dissertation - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Biologia.

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: cdi@fapesp.br.