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Title (Primary) Myrmica host-ants limit the density of the ant-predatory large blue Maculinea nausithous
Author Anton, C.; Musche, M.; Hula, V.; Settele, J.;
Journal Journal of Insect Conservation
Year 2008
Department BZF;
Volume 12
Issue 5
Language englisch;
Keywords Habitat conservation; Myrmica rubra; Spatial density-dependence
Abstract Butterflies of the highly endangered genus Maculinea are parasites of red Myrmica ants. Prior to the adoption by Myrmica worker ants Maculinea caterpillars feed on a specific host plant. This field study aims to answer the question whether the density and distribution of the host plant Sanguisorba officinalis or the density of the host ant M. rubra limit the density of M. nausithous egg, larval and adult stage. We found that the density of M. nausithous egg stage and adult stage increased with the density of the host ant. The density of M. nausithous caterpillars was not associated with ant density or plant density. This study suggests that the density of M. nausithous is limited by the density of the host ant M. rubra. We conclude that habitat management for M. nausithous should focus on the maintenance of habitats that hold both resources, but that enable high densities of M. rubra. In addition, it is discussed why high densities of host ants might be more important in predatory than in cuckoo-feeding Maculinea.
ID 745
Persistent UFZ Identifier http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=745
Anton, C., Musche, M., Hula, V., Settele, J. (2008):
Myrmica host-ants limit the density of the ant-predatory large blue Maculinea nausithous
J. Insect Conserv. 12 (5), 511 - 517