Foe to frenemy: predacious ant nest beetles use multiple strategies to fully integrate into ant nests

Wendy Moore, Giulia Scarparo, Andrea Di Giulio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ant nest beetles (Carabidae, Paussinae, Paussini; Paussus) are renowned myrmecophiles, mostly known for their bizarre and diverse antennal shape. While little is known about their development, behavior and host range, we do know they spend most of their lives inside ant nests, feeding upon the hemolymph of ant brood and teneral workers. Recent findings suggest these beetles use a surprisingly complex strategy for interacting and deceiving ants. They have managed to break into multiple communication channels that ants use to recognize and communicate with one another in order to deceive the ants and profit from the rich resources of the nest. Mounting evidence from structural, chemical, acoustic, and behavioral studies support the hypothesis that Paussus is among the most highly integrated parasite of social insects known to date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100921
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
Volume52
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

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