Entomological News | 2019
Effects of Attending Ant Species on the Fate of Colonies of an Aphid, Macrosiphoniella yomogicola (Matsumura) (Homoptera: Aphididae), in an Ant-Aphid Symbiosis
ABSTRACT: An aphid, Macrosiphoniella yomogicola, establishes an obligate symbiosis with ants and cannot survive without attending ants. Several species of ant attend this aphid, but differences in the effects of attending ant species on the fate of aphid colonies are unknown. Here, we report that parasitism rates by parasitic wasps and the survival of aphid colonies differ depending on the species of attending ants in this symbiotic system in autumn 2017. the proportions of mummies (parasitized aphid individuals) were significantly higher in colonies attended by ants (tetramorium tsushimae and Pheidole fervida) other than lasius japonicus, which is the most abundant attender. Only the aphid colonies attended by l. japonicus survived to the end of the observational period. Our results indicate that the species of attending ant has a crucial effect on the fate of symbiotic aphid colonies.