Deposition of phasmid eggs (Phasmatodea) in the nests of Acanthomyrmex glabfemoralis Zhou & Zheng, 1997 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae)

Aiki Yamada, Joachim Bresseel, Zhilin Chen, Anh D. Nguyen, Katsuyuki Eguchi

Published on: 17 May 2021

Page: 267 - 272

DOI: 10.6165/tai.2021.66.267

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2021 vol.66 no.2 pp.267-272


Ant-mediated secondary dispersal (myrmecochory) of phasmid eggs using a fleshy nutrient-rich appendage called capitulum remains poorly studied, albeit the egg capitula are present in a large number of phasmid species worldwide. We here report our unexpected collection of 42 multi-species phasmid eggs deposited together with seeds in the four nests of the myrmicine ant species, Acanthomyrmex glabfemoralis Zhou & Zheng, 1997, in southern China and northern Vietnam. The collected phasmid eggs were composed of five egg morphospecies that most likely belong to some related genera in the two lonchodid subfamilies, Necrosciinae and Lonchodinae. None of the collected phasmid eggs had an intact capitular structure, indicating a strong likelihood of their consumption by the ants. To our knowledge, these records are the first published field evidence of myrmecochory in the Oriental phasmid species and these two subfamilies, supporting the broad occurrence of the myrmecochory in phasmids. Notes on the seeds deposited in these nests are also provided herewith.

Keyword: Ants, Asia, dispersal, myrmecochory, myrmecophily, stick insects, symbiosis