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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Species-specific levels of ant attendance mediate performance costs in a facultative myrmecophilous butterfly

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Kaminski, Lucas A. [1, 2] ; Rodrigues, Daniela [1]
Total Authors: 2
[1] Univ Estadual Campinas, Dept Biol Anim, Inst Biol, BR-13083970 Campinas, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Estadual Campinas, Programa Posgrad Ecol, Sao Paulo - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 2
Document type: Journal article
Source: PHYSIOLOGICAL ENTOMOLOGY; v. 36, n. 3, p. 208-214, SEP 2011.
Web of Science Citations: 13

Trophobiont butterfly larvae offer caloric rewards to ants through specialised glands and, in return, gain ant-derived protection from natural enemies. Thus, from the larva's perspective, the major cost of myrmecophily comprises the reward production. Larvae of the butterfly Parrhasius polibetes (Stoll) (Lycaenidae) are facultatively tended by several ant species, which might differ in the intensity of tending behaviour. The performance costs (development time, survival, pupal mass and adult dry mass) of P. polibetes are examined when tended by two ant species differing in size and foraging strategies (Camponotus melanoticus Emery and Camponotus crassus Mayr), along with the corresponding intensity of tending behaviour towards late instars. Untended larvae serve as controls. Larvae tended by C. melanoticus take longer to pupate compared with both C. crassus and control larvae. By contrast, pupae whose larvae are tended by C. crassus are lighter than control larvae but do not differ from those tended by C. melanoticus. No differences are found in the adult stage, indicating compensation in all cases. Both at short-and long-term scales, C. melanoticus tends larvae of P. polibetes more intensely than C. crassus. The increase in tending activity of C. melanoticus presumably delays the development time of larvae tended by this ant species. The results of the present study show that tending intensity varies depending on the ant species, and that P. polibetes has compensatory mechanisms to minimise myrmecophily costs, regardless of tending intensity. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first experimental evidence that intensity of ant-tending behaviour is species-specific and affects performance in a trophobiont insect. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 07/07802-4 - Advances in the study of polyphagy in neotropical Lepidoptera
Grantee:Daniela Rodrigues
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate