Xenobiosis

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Xenobiosis, also referred to as compound nests or guest ants, occurs when two species of ants live together in the same nest but keep their broods separate and they show minimal actual interaction with each other. Details of the relationship among the partners in a xenobiotic nest vary considerably. In some cases, the species involved are essentially equal partners with little indication of either species being a "guest" or a "host" (parabiosis and plesiobiosis). In other cases, the guest species form small colonies (up to a hundred individuals) in the nesting material or nest walls of the host and are normally much smaller than their host (cleptobiosis and lestobiosis). The guest maintains its nest well separated from the brood chambers of their host and they tend their own brood. They are dependent upon the hosts for nutrition and often shelter and some xenobiotic species may solicit regurgitated food directly from a host worker or participate in food exchange (trophallaxis) between two host workers.

The biology of Formicoxenus nitidulus provides natural history information about one representative guest ant.

Xenobiotic species generally fall into one of 4 subtypes:

  • Cleptobiosis: stealing food from other species; a mutual relation in which members of one species habitually steal food from another.
  • Lestobiosis: stealing brood; cleptobiosis in which covert thievery replaces aggressive plundering.
  • Parabiosis: sharing nests and trails.
  • Plesiobiosis: casual or regular nesting in close vicinity; casual association of two or more colonies.

Known Xenobiotic Ants

xenobiont Host Locality Source Notes
Cephalotes specularis Crematogaster ampla Powell et al., 2014
Colobopsis yogi Temnothorax andrei Creighton and Snelling, 1966 nature of relationship unknown
Crematogaster carinata Dolichoderus bispinosus
Crematogaster carinata Dolichoderus debilis
Crematogaster carinata Dolichoderus inermis
Crematogaster carinata Odontomachus panamensis
Crematogaster carinata Solenopsis picea
Crematogaster carinata Temnothorax subditivus
Formica moki Temnothorax andrei Mann, 1911 nature of relationship unknown
Formica ravida Temnothorax andrei Mackay & Mackay, 1984 nature of relationship unknown
Formicoxenus chamberlini Manica invidia Wheeler (1904)
Formicoxenus nitidulus Formica aquilonia Holldobler & Wilson 1990; Busch 2001; Martin et al. 2007
Formicoxenus nitidulus Formica exsecta Holldobler & Wilson 1990; Busch 2001; Martin et al. 2007
Formicoxenus nitidulus Formica lugubris Holldobler & Wilson 1990; Busch 2001; Martin et al. 2007
Formicoxenus nitidulus Formica pisarskii Holldobler & Wilson 1990; Busch 2001; Martin et al. 2007
Formicoxenus nitidulus Formica polyctena Holldobler & Wilson 1990; Busch 2001; Martin et al. 2007
Formicoxenus nitidulus Formica pratensis Holldobler & Wilson 1990; Busch 2001; Martin et al. 2007
Formicoxenus nitidulus Formica rufa Holldobler & Wilson 1990; Busch 2001; Martin et al. 2007
Formicoxenus nitidulus Formica truncorum Holldobler & Wilson 1990; Busch 2001; Martin et al. 2007
Formicoxenus nitidulus Formica uralensis Holldobler & Wilson 1990; Busch 2001; Martin et al. 2007
Formicoxenus nitidulus Polyergus rufescens Wilson 1971; Martin et al. 2007
Formicoxenus nitidulus Tetramorium caespitum Wilson 1971; Martin et al. 2007
Formicoxenus provancheri Myrmica fracticornis
Formicoxenus provancheri Myrmica incompleta
Lasius crypticus Monomorium minimum Mackay & Mackay, 2002
Lasius latipes Formica occulta Mackay & Mackay, 2002
Lasius latipes Lasius sitiens Mackay & Mackay, 2002
Lasius latipes Myrmica hamulata Mackay & Mackay, 2002
Megalomyrmex adamsae Mycetomoellerius zeteki
Megalomyrmex mondabora Cyphomyrmex cornutus Costa Rica Adams & Longino, 2007; Adams et al., 2015
Megalomyrmex mondaboroides Apterostigma goniodes Costa Rica Longino, 2010; Adams et al., 2015
Megalomyrmex mondaboroides Cyphomyrmex costatus Panama Longino, 2010; Adams et al., 2015
Megalomyrmex silvestrii Cyphomyrmex costatus Panama Longino, 2010; Adams et al., 2015
Megalomyrmex symmetochus Sericomyrmex amabilis Liberti et al., 2015
Megalomyrmex wettereri Paratrachymyrmex bugnioni Brandão (2003)
Solenopsis picea Camponotus femoratus British Guiana Weber, 1943
Solenopsis picea Crematogaster carinata British Guiana Weber, 1943
Strumigenys arizonica Trachymyrmex arizonensis
Tapinoma litorale Camponotus planatus
Tapinoma litorale Cephalotes varians
Tapinoma litorale Pseudomyrmex elongatulus
Temnothorax andrei Colobopsis yogi Creighton and Snelling, 1966 nature of relationship unknown
Temnothorax andrei Formica moki Mann, 1911 nature of relationship unknown
Temnothorax andrei Formica ravida Mackay & Mackay, 1984 nature of relationship unknown

References

  • Kanizsai, O., Lőrinczi, G., Gallé, L. 2013. Nesting associations without interdependence: A preliminary review on plesiobiosis in ants. Psyche 2013, Article ID 238602 (DOI 10.1155/2013/238602).