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Impact of Two Attending Ants, Crematogaster subnuda and Camponotus compressus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), on the Parasitism of Sugarcane Aphid Melanaphis sacchari (Zehnt.)

Impact of Two Attending Ants, Crematogaster subnuda and Camponotus compressus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), on the Parasitism of Sugarcane Aphid Melanaphis sacchari (Zehnt.)

Zubair Ahmad1, 2, 4, Hamed A. Ghramh1, 2, 3,Khalid Ali Khan1, 2, 3*, Farhat Khan4 and Shujauddin5

1Research Center for Advanced Materials Science (RCAMS), King Khalid University, P.O. Box 9004, Abha 61413, Saudi Arabia
2Unit of Bee Research and Honey Production, Faculty of Science, King Khalid University, P.O. Box 9004, Abha 61413, Saudi Arabia
3Biology Department, Faculty of Science, King Khalid University, P.O. Box 9004, Abha 61413, Saudi Arabia
4Biology Department, Faculty of Sciences and Arts, King Khalid University, Dhahran Al-Janoub, Saudi Arabia.
5Department of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh-202002, UP, India

*      Corresponding author: khalidtalpur@hotmail.com

ABSTRACT

The mutualistic relation between ants and aphids is considered as one of the best examples of inter-specific mutualism between species that produces net benefits for the participants. In this paper, the interaction between aphid M. sacchari and their attending ants on sugarcane (Saccharum officinerum) was studied. The presence of ants, especially, Crematogaster subnuda Mayr. and Camponotus compressus adversely affects the parasitoid effectiveness of Lysiphlebia mirzai and Aphelinus desantesi. The aphids got 31% and 26.3% parasitism when attended by C. compressus and C. subnuda Mayr., respectively. Further in the presence of these two dominant species the other ants viz., Paratrechina longicornis (Latr) and Tapinoma melanocephalum (F.) are unable to make contact with the aphids and even chased away on their mere appearance in the vicinity of aphid colony. The vague stimuli via the host in C. subnuda Mayr. causes a phenomenal warning to the other members for searching the invader.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

October

Vol. 52, Iss. 5, Pages 1631-2026

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