The space occupied by evolutionarily advanced ant societies can be subdivided into functional sites, such as broodchambers; peripheral nest chambers; kitchen middens; and foraging routes. Many predators and social parasites are specially adapted to make their living inside specific niches created by ants. In particular, the foraging paths of certain ant species are frequented by predatory and kleptoparasitic arthropods, including one striking example, the nitidulid beetle, Amphotis marginata. Adults of this species obtain the majority of their nutrition by acting as a kind of “highwayman” on the foraging trails of the ant Lasius fuliginosus, where they solicit regurgitation from food laden ant-workers by mimicking the ant’s food-begging signals. Employing food labeled with the radio isotope [superscript 32]P, we assessed the quantities of food the beetles siphoned-off of food-laden ants, and we investigated the site preferences, behavioral mechanisms and possible morphological adaptations underlying the food kleptoparasitism of A. marginata.
- Amphotis Marginata (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae): A Highwayman of the Ant 'Lasius Fuliginosus'
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Hölldobler, B., & Kwapich, C. L. (2017). Amphotis marginata (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) a highwayman of the ant Lasius fuliginosus. Plos One, 12(8). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0180847