Relationship of silverfish and army ants

Infection of army ant pupae by two new parasitoid mites (Mesostigmata: Uropodina) [PeerJ]

relationship of silverfish and army ants

This relationship was commensalism because the clownfish gets a place Silverfish eats the food gathered by army ants and lives with them. C. Commensalism - a type of relationship in which one organism benefits and silverfish move in permanent association with army ants; share food caught in. One disadvantage to silverfish and army ants is the fact that bothare hard to get rid of What is the symbiotic relationship between army ants and silverfish?.

Among them are the Mesostigmata mites, a particularly common and diverse group of ant-associated arthropods. While parasitism is ubiquitous in Mesostigmata, parasitoidism has only been described in the genus Macrodinychus. Yet information about the basic biology of most Macrodinychus species is lacking.

relationship of silverfish and army ants

Out of 24 formally described species, information about basic life-history traits is only available for three species. Here we formally describe two new Macrodinychus species, i. Macrodinychus hilpertae and Macrodinychus derbyensis. In both species, immature stages developed as ecto-parasitoids on ant pupae of the South-East Asian army ant Leptogenys distinguenda.

Entomological “Ant”ics - Swarthmore College Bulletin

By piercing the developing ant with their chelicera, the mites apparently suck ant hemolymph, ultimately killing host individuals. We compare infection rates among all studied Macrodinychus species and discuss possible host countermeasures against parasitoidism.

relationship of silverfish and army ants

The cryptic lifestyle of living inside ant nests has certainly hampered the scientific discovery of Macrodinychus mites and we expect that many more macrodinychid species await scientific discovery and description. Background In David H.

The latter are particularly abundant guests of social insect colonies Kistner, ; Eickwort, ; Gotwald Jr, While most of the myrmecophilous mites use ant workers solely as transportation vehicles, some species are ectoparasitic Kistner, ; Eickwort, For instance, Macrocheles rettenmeyeri Krantz, Mesostigmata: Macrochelidae is an ectoparasite of Neotropical army ants Eickwort, Given the great diversity of mite myrmecophiles, it is surprising that a parasitoid lifestyle is only known in a single mite family, i.

Information about the basic biology and life history of most Macrodinychus species is lacking.

Community ecology

The life cycle is only well known for three out of 24 species, i. InWerner Hirschmann, a pioneer in the taxonomy of Uropodina, i.

relationship of silverfish and army ants

The Macrodinychus species […] collected from soil samples are probably chance finds, because the actual living environment of the Macrodinychus species seems to be the ant nest, where the animals live as paraphages or parasites on ants.

When Hirschmann wrote these lines, his hypothesis was speculative and lacked solid evidence. For most Macrodinychus species we still lack information about their basic biology including possible symbiosis with ants. Both species were collected from colonies of the South-East Asian army ant Leptogenys distinguenda. Uropodina species were discovered during a project aiming to uncover the interactions of the army ant Leptogenys distinguenda and its diverse myrmecophile fauna Witte et al.

The Army Ant Entourage

The mites were initially hidden, enclosed in ant pupal cocoons, and collection took place incidentally by collecting ant pupae Fig. The latter were collected during army ant colony emigrations using aspirators and forceps for more information see von Beeren et al. Macrodinychid mites are vouchered together with their respective ant pupa. All other specimens have been lost during several institutional moves of one of the authors CvB.

Host pupa infected with Macrodinychus parasitoid. Pupae were collected during colony emigrations of Leptogenys distinguenda.

Pupal cocoons are opaque but become transparent in ethanol white arrow. The highlighted pupa is infected with Macrodinychus hilpertae.

It was designated previously as Leptogenys sp.

relationship of silverfish and army ants

To be consistent with the most recent publications we use the name Leptogenys distinguenda for the species, which is in fact a nomen nudum.

Swarm raids are accompanied by flocks of ant birds that hover near the swarm not to attack the ants but rather to devour the arthropods they flush out during their marauding. During his junior year, he found himself in a biology course with a group of students who were all premed except for him. Graduating with a B. Life paid for the trip and provided a small stipend. He explains that hundreds of thousands of insects—including species of microscopic flies, beetles, and silverfish—live among the army ant colonies.

Hidden in the swarm, they enjoy a degree of protection because their natural predators are themselves likely to fall prey to the aggressive ants. When Rettenmeyer returned to Kansas, faculty members were impressed.

They urged him to apply for a grant to return to the rain forest and continue his research. She became his lifelong partner and assistant.

With grants from the NSF and, later, the University of Connecticut Research Foundation, he and Marian made more than 20 expeditions to Panama, Costa Rica, and Ecuador as well as field trips to Kansas and Texas, collecting specimens and studying the behavior of army ants.

His early research is carefully recorded, neatly handwritten, on 3- by 5-inch index cards, which he keeps in his university laboratory along with the page dissertation that resulted in his receiving a Ph.

relationship of silverfish and army ants

He retired in and now holds emeritus status. Founding director of the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, he is the author of many scholarly articles, monologues, and book chapters. His photographs have appeared in publications of wildlife organizations including National Geographic, the Audubon Encyclopedia of Wildlife, National Wildlife Federation, and Smithsonian magazine.

Also housed there is the Rettenmeyer Collection, which contains hundreds of thousands of already identified specimens, preserved in layer upon layer of neatly ordered trays.

Relationship Between Silverfish & Army Ants

InRettenmeyer published a DVD titled Astonishing Army Ants, a spectacular testament to the breadth of his research and the fascinating behavior of his subjects. And for those who watch them, those corny science-fiction movies will pale by comparison.