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Various chemical strategies to deceive ants in three Arhopala species (lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) exploiting Macaranga myrmecophytes.

Inui Y, Shimizu-Kaya U, Okubo T, Yamsaki E, Itioka T - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Macaranga myrmecophytes (ant-plants) are generally well protected from herbivore attacks by their symbiotic ants (plant-ants).Behaviorally, the larvae and dummies coated with cuticular chemicals of A. dajagaka were well attended by the plant-ants, especially by those of the host.Our results suggested that conspicuous variations exist in the chemical strategies used by the myrmecophilous butterflies that allow them to avoid ant attack and be accepted by the plant-ant colonies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Arts and Sciences, Osaka Kyoiku University, Kashiwara, Osaka, Japan.

ABSTRACT
Macaranga myrmecophytes (ant-plants) are generally well protected from herbivore attacks by their symbiotic ants (plant-ants). However, larvae of Arhopala (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) species survive and develop on specific Macaranga ant-plant species without being attacked by the plant-ants of their host species. We hypothesized that Arhopala larvae chemically mimic or camouflage themselves with the ants on their host plant so that the larvae are accepted by the plant-ant species of their host. Chemical analyses of cuticular hydrocarbons showed that chemical congruency varied among Arhopala species; A. dajagaka matched well the host plant-ants, A. amphimuta did not match, and unexpectedly, A. zylda lacked hydrocarbons. Behaviorally, the larvae and dummies coated with cuticular chemicals of A. dajagaka were well attended by the plant-ants, especially by those of the host. A. amphimuta was often attacked by all plant-ants except for the host plant-ants toward the larvae, and those of A. zylda were ignored by all plant-ants. Our results suggested that conspicuous variations exist in the chemical strategies used by the myrmecophilous butterflies that allow them to avoid ant attack and be accepted by the plant-ant colonies.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Ant responses to introduced Arhopala larvae.Ant responses to larvae of Arhopala dajagaka (a), A. amphimuta (b), and A. zylda (c) on trees of three Macaranga species: M. rufescens (RUF), M. trachyphylla (TRA), and M. beccariana (BEC) are presented. Solid, hatched, and opened columns indicate the percentages of attack, antennation, and ignoring behaviors, respectively. Numbers of tested trees (equal to the numbers of tested ant colonies) are represented in parentheses at the foot of the columns.
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pone.0120652.g001: Ant responses to introduced Arhopala larvae.Ant responses to larvae of Arhopala dajagaka (a), A. amphimuta (b), and A. zylda (c) on trees of three Macaranga species: M. rufescens (RUF), M. trachyphylla (TRA), and M. beccariana (BEC) are presented. Solid, hatched, and opened columns indicate the percentages of attack, antennation, and ignoring behaviors, respectively. Numbers of tested trees (equal to the numbers of tested ant colonies) are represented in parentheses at the foot of the columns.

Mentions: A. dajagaka larvae were often attended, not only by plant-ants on their host plant species, M. rufescens, but also by other plant-ant species on the nonhost plant species, M. trachyphylla and M. beccariana (Fig. 1A). Although the frequency of the three types of ant responses did not significantly differ between the plant-ant species (nominal logistic fit, LR χ2 = 2.99, p = 0.56), the frequency of ant attacks toward A. dajagaka larvae was lowest on the host species. The introduced larvae of A. amphimuta were frequently attacked by plant-ants on the nonhost plant species (M. rufescens and M. beccariana) and the frequency of attacks was remarkably lower on their host plant species (M. trachyphylla; Fig. 1B). Plant-ants on M. trachyphylla primarily showed attending behavior toward A. amphimuta larvae (Fig. 1B). The plant-ant responses toward A. amphimuta differed significantly among the plant-ant species (nominal logistic fit, LR χ2 = 32.00, p < 0.0001). A. zylda larvae were chiefly ignored by the plant-ants on all of the host plant species (Fig. 1C), resulting no significant difference in the ant responses among the plant-ant species (nominal logistic fit, LR χ2 = 0.54, p < 0.76).


Various chemical strategies to deceive ants in three Arhopala species (lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) exploiting Macaranga myrmecophytes.

Inui Y, Shimizu-Kaya U, Okubo T, Yamsaki E, Itioka T - PLoS ONE (2015)

Ant responses to introduced Arhopala larvae.Ant responses to larvae of Arhopala dajagaka (a), A. amphimuta (b), and A. zylda (c) on trees of three Macaranga species: M. rufescens (RUF), M. trachyphylla (TRA), and M. beccariana (BEC) are presented. Solid, hatched, and opened columns indicate the percentages of attack, antennation, and ignoring behaviors, respectively. Numbers of tested trees (equal to the numbers of tested ant colonies) are represented in parentheses at the foot of the columns.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4390302&req=5

pone.0120652.g001: Ant responses to introduced Arhopala larvae.Ant responses to larvae of Arhopala dajagaka (a), A. amphimuta (b), and A. zylda (c) on trees of three Macaranga species: M. rufescens (RUF), M. trachyphylla (TRA), and M. beccariana (BEC) are presented. Solid, hatched, and opened columns indicate the percentages of attack, antennation, and ignoring behaviors, respectively. Numbers of tested trees (equal to the numbers of tested ant colonies) are represented in parentheses at the foot of the columns.
Mentions: A. dajagaka larvae were often attended, not only by plant-ants on their host plant species, M. rufescens, but also by other plant-ant species on the nonhost plant species, M. trachyphylla and M. beccariana (Fig. 1A). Although the frequency of the three types of ant responses did not significantly differ between the plant-ant species (nominal logistic fit, LR χ2 = 2.99, p = 0.56), the frequency of ant attacks toward A. dajagaka larvae was lowest on the host species. The introduced larvae of A. amphimuta were frequently attacked by plant-ants on the nonhost plant species (M. rufescens and M. beccariana) and the frequency of attacks was remarkably lower on their host plant species (M. trachyphylla; Fig. 1B). Plant-ants on M. trachyphylla primarily showed attending behavior toward A. amphimuta larvae (Fig. 1B). The plant-ant responses toward A. amphimuta differed significantly among the plant-ant species (nominal logistic fit, LR χ2 = 32.00, p < 0.0001). A. zylda larvae were chiefly ignored by the plant-ants on all of the host plant species (Fig. 1C), resulting no significant difference in the ant responses among the plant-ant species (nominal logistic fit, LR χ2 = 0.54, p < 0.76).

Bottom Line: Macaranga myrmecophytes (ant-plants) are generally well protected from herbivore attacks by their symbiotic ants (plant-ants).Behaviorally, the larvae and dummies coated with cuticular chemicals of A. dajagaka were well attended by the plant-ants, especially by those of the host.Our results suggested that conspicuous variations exist in the chemical strategies used by the myrmecophilous butterflies that allow them to avoid ant attack and be accepted by the plant-ant colonies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Arts and Sciences, Osaka Kyoiku University, Kashiwara, Osaka, Japan.

ABSTRACT
Macaranga myrmecophytes (ant-plants) are generally well protected from herbivore attacks by their symbiotic ants (plant-ants). However, larvae of Arhopala (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) species survive and develop on specific Macaranga ant-plant species without being attacked by the plant-ants of their host species. We hypothesized that Arhopala larvae chemically mimic or camouflage themselves with the ants on their host plant so that the larvae are accepted by the plant-ant species of their host. Chemical analyses of cuticular hydrocarbons showed that chemical congruency varied among Arhopala species; A. dajagaka matched well the host plant-ants, A. amphimuta did not match, and unexpectedly, A. zylda lacked hydrocarbons. Behaviorally, the larvae and dummies coated with cuticular chemicals of A. dajagaka were well attended by the plant-ants, especially by those of the host. A. amphimuta was often attacked by all plant-ants except for the host plant-ants toward the larvae, and those of A. zylda were ignored by all plant-ants. Our results suggested that conspicuous variations exist in the chemical strategies used by the myrmecophilous butterflies that allow them to avoid ant attack and be accepted by the plant-ant colonies.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus