Associations between ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Adriana
Gaudich. (Euphorbiaceae) in East Gippsland.
Mackay, D. A. Whalen, M. A.
School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.
Australian Journal of Entomology. 1998. 37: 335-339
CAB Abstract 991100745
The consequences of ant attendance on plants with extrafloral nectaries
(EFN) belonging to the endemic Australian genus Adriana (Euphorbiaceae)
were examined at two study sites in Gippsland, Victoria. Ants in seven
genera were observed visiting nectaries across both sites and ants in
four of these genera had also been previously observed on the foliage
of Adriana plants in Queensland and Western Australia. Following
ant exclusions, numbers of insect herbivores (primarily flea beetles [Chrysomelidae])
exhibited a significant increase, although this was not reflected in an
increase in foliar herbivory on experimental branches. Numbers of coccinellid
beetles also increased on branches from which ants were excluded. The
lack of a treatment effect on herbivory may reflect low herbivore densities