Mutualistic ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) associated with aphids in central and southwestern parts of Iran

Elahe Shiran, Mohammad Mossadegh, Mehdi Esfandiari
2013 J. Crop Prot   unpublished
Ants consume or store the honeydew which is secreted by aphids or other homopteran insects. Major benefit of ant attendance for aphids is protection against natural enemies. A study was carried out during 2009-2010, to determine the mutualistic association between ants and aphids on different host plants in some parts of Khuzestan and Esfahan provinces. A total of 20 ant species belonging to 12 genera and 3 subfamilies were collected and identified. Among them, four species are new to Iranian
more » ... t fauna as follows: Monomorium libanicum Tohme; Monomorium qarahe Collingwood & Agosti; Monomorium mayri Forel and Lasius paralienus Seifert. The collected myrmecophilous aphids were 33 species belonging to 3 families and 5 subfamilies. Details and mechanisms of such associations between ants and aphids are unknown to us. More detailed investigations are needed in each case to adequately understand them.