The Host Genera of Ant-Parasitic Lycaenidae Butterflies: A Review

Konrad Fiedler
2012 Psyche: A Journal of Entomology  
Numerous butterfly species in the family Lycaenidae maintain myrmecophilous associations with trophobiotic ants, but only a minority of ant-associated butterflies are parasites of ants.Camponotus,Crematogaster,Myrmica, andOecophyllaare the most frequently parasitized ant genera. The distribution of ant-parasitic representatives of the Lycaenidae suggests that onlyCamponotusandCrematogasterhave multiply been invaded as hosts by different independent butterfly lineages. A general linear model
more » ... al linear model reveals that the number of associated nonparasitic lycaenid butterfly species is the single best predictor of the frequency of parasitic interactions to occur within an ant genus. Neither species richness of invaded ant genera nor their ecological prevalence or geographical distribution contributed significantly to that model. Some large and dominant ant genera, which comprise important visitors of ant-mutualistic lycaenids, have no (Formica,Dolichoderus) or very few ant-parasitic butterflies (Lasius,Polyrhachis) associated with them.
doi:10.1155/2012/153975 fatcat:l5pdcszdkvaq5of6fojruhx6v4