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Asian Myrmecology, Volume 1, pages 59-68, published August 2007

Trophobioses on Borneo Climbing Bamboo – diversity and ecology of ant-hemipteran associations on Dinochloa trichogona (Poaceae)

DIRK MEZGER1* & NICO BLÜTHGEN2

1Institute of Experimental Ecology, University of Ulm, Germany

2Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, Biozentrum, University of Würzburg, Germany

DOI: 10.20362/am.001006

© 2007 D. Mezger & N. Blüthgen

Abstract: Trophobioses between ants and hemipterans play an important role in tropical rainforests. The Borneo Climbing Bamboo Dinochloa trichogona commonly occurs in the understorey of lowland forests on Borneo where it frequently hosts trophobioses. Twenty-eight species of ants attending ten species of hemipterans were found on these plants. Coreid bugs and delphacids contributed the majority of associations. On average, 25 % of the stems were infected with trophobioses. Some ants built shelters over their hemipteran partner to protect them. When offered an artificial food resource, the hemipterans were not abandoned completely. D. trichogona seems to be a keystone species for ants in the forest understorey, since a large proportion of understorey trophobioses was found on this plant.

Keywords: climbing bamboo, Dinochloa, hemiptera, trophobioses, tropical rainforests

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