Associations between ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Adriana Gaudich. (Euphorbiaceae) in East Gippsland – Publication

Abstract of a publication based on research funded at least in part by the Australian Flora Foundation

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 Adrianaplants 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 on plants.