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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

nMDS ordination based on the proportions of shared hydrocarbons of Arhopala dajagaka larvae and the host ants collected from six trees of Macaranga rufescens.Open and closed circles indicate A. dajagaka larvae and ant workers, respectively. Alphabetical letters in the facet of axis 2 and 3 indicate the colony identification; same letters indicate the larvae or the ants collected from the same Macaranga tree. The MDS stress value was 0.031.
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pone.0120652.g003: nMDS ordination based on the proportions of shared hydrocarbons of Arhopala dajagaka larvae and the host ants collected from six trees of Macaranga rufescens.Open and closed circles indicate A. dajagaka larvae and ant workers, respectively. Alphabetical letters in the facet of axis 2 and 3 indicate the colony identification; same letters indicate the larvae or the ants collected from the same Macaranga tree. The MDS stress value was 0.031.

Mentions: Among the three Arhopala species, only A. dajagaka larvae showed a similar composition of hydrocarbons to the plant-ants on its host myrmecophyte, M. rufescens (Fig. 2). From A. dajagaka larvae and the plant-ants on M. rufescens, 26 and 28 peaks, respectively, were obtained, and 21 components were shared by both species (Fig. 2A, Table 1). On average, the 21 shared components accounted for 81.1% of the total amount of hydrocarbons of A. dajagaka. The ANOSIM tests based on the relative proportion of the 21 components showed that the dissimilarity between the plant-ants and A. dajagaka larvae was significant (RANOSIM = 0.72, P = 0.004), whereas that among plant-ant colonies was not (RANOSIM = 0.078, P = 0.36). However, in the nMDS ordination, the larva and plant-ants of the colony on the same tree were generally clustered tightly along axis 3 (Fig. 3).


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)

nMDS ordination based on the proportions of shared hydrocarbons of Arhopala dajagaka larvae and the host ants collected from six trees of Macaranga rufescens.Open and closed circles indicate A. dajagaka larvae and ant workers, respectively. Alphabetical letters in the facet of axis 2 and 3 indicate the colony identification; same letters indicate the larvae or the ants collected from the same Macaranga tree. The MDS stress value was 0.031.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0120652.g003: nMDS ordination based on the proportions of shared hydrocarbons of Arhopala dajagaka larvae and the host ants collected from six trees of Macaranga rufescens.Open and closed circles indicate A. dajagaka larvae and ant workers, respectively. Alphabetical letters in the facet of axis 2 and 3 indicate the colony identification; same letters indicate the larvae or the ants collected from the same Macaranga tree. The MDS stress value was 0.031.
Mentions: Among the three Arhopala species, only A. dajagaka larvae showed a similar composition of hydrocarbons to the plant-ants on its host myrmecophyte, M. rufescens (Fig. 2). From A. dajagaka larvae and the plant-ants on M. rufescens, 26 and 28 peaks, respectively, were obtained, and 21 components were shared by both species (Fig. 2A, Table 1). On average, the 21 shared components accounted for 81.1% of the total amount of hydrocarbons of A. dajagaka. The ANOSIM tests based on the relative proportion of the 21 components showed that the dissimilarity between the plant-ants and A. dajagaka larvae was significant (RANOSIM = 0.72, P = 0.004), whereas that among plant-ant colonies was not (RANOSIM = 0.078, P = 0.36). However, in the nMDS ordination, the larva and plant-ants of the colony on the same tree were generally clustered tightly along axis 3 (Fig. 3).

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