Myrmecophily


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Myrmecophily

 

the use by ants of various plant parts or excretions. Myrmecophilous plants are found primarily in the tropics of America and Southeast Asia. The ants inhabit hollow stems, spines, or internodal cavities. They also dwell in the passages of tuberous stems. In other cases, the ants feed on a plant’s glandular excretions, which contain proteins, sugars, and fats. Another form of myrmecophily is the adaptation by a number of animals to life in anthills and ant nests. The relationship between the ants and their guests myrmecophiles may be neutral, but cases of symbiosis and commensalism are not rare.

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