THE PRODUCTION OF LONG ANAL FILAMENTS BY THE BAMBOO NODE MEALYBUG, ANTONINA SP. (HEMIPTERA: COCCOIDEA: PSEUDOCOCCIDAE), AS A RESPONSE TO LACK OF ATTENDING ANTS

I.L. Lit, M. Caasi-Lit, C.V. Talidong

Abstract


THE PRODUCTION OF LONG ANAL FILAMENTS BY THE BAMBOO NODE MEALYBUG, ANTONINA SP. (HEMIPTERA: COCCOIDEA: PSEUDOCOCCIDAE), AS A RESPONSE TO LACK OF ATTENDING ANTS.

Bamboo node mealybugs, Antonina sp., in the absence of attending ants, were observed to produce long waxy filaments both in the field and in the greenhouse. In contrast, ant-attended mealybugs had only very short filaments or none at all. Ant exclusion experiments confirmed the field observations. The available data suggest that the long filaments are an adaptation for the dispersal of honeydew in the absence of solicitous ants, so as to avoid drowning in the accumulating honeydew or suffocation due to development of sooty moulds.

Key words: Poaceae, Gramineae, Bambusa, damage, filament structure, Sternorrhyncha, Anoplolepis longipes, Dolichoderus, Oecophylla smaragdina, Polyrhachis, Solenopsis geminata, Monomorium.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15162/0425-1016/851

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ISSN: 0425-1016