Myrmecophilous organisms associated with the ponerine ant Neoponera villosa

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In the recently published article “Myrmecophilous organisms associated with colonies of the ponerine ant Neoponera villosa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) nesting in Aechmea bracteata bromeliads: a biodiversity hotspot”, Franklin H. Rocha, Jean-Paul Lachaud, and Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud reveal that various myrmecophiles are associated with the colonies of N. villosa (Fabricius, 1804) in the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. They found that various taxa from six classes belonging to 16 orders and 24 families were associated with N. villosa, some of them antagonistically. Here, Irma Pérez-Lachaud shares some pictures of the fieldwork.

A Photoblog contribution by Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud

General view of the collecting sites: Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. (© Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud)

Franklin Rocha, a PhD candidate, is the expert in climbing trees. (© Gabriela Pérez- Lachaud)

Several ant species may colonize A. bracteata. Here, we are looking for Neoponera villosa colonies. (© Gabriela Pérez- Lachaud)

Young guys climbed trees…. (© Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud)

… and wise guys stayed at ground level (somewhat out of necessity…) (Gabriela and Jean-Paul) (© Gabriela Pérez- Lachaud)

Being a student is a risky task… (© Gabriela Pérez- Lachaud)

Trying not to get seasick! (© Gabriela Pérez- Lachaud)

And trying not to get stung when placing the bromeliad into the plastic bag! (©Gabriela Pérez- Lachaud)

Sometimes a ladder was required… (© Gabriela Pérez- Lachaud)

… but students are resourceful! (© Gabriela Pérez- Lachaud)

Neoponera villosa cocoons in the lab. Waiting for the parasitoid syrphid flies Hypselosyrphus trigonus Hull, 1937 to emerge. (© Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud)

First instar larva of he parasitoid syrphid flies Hypselosyrphus trigonus (Diptera: Syrphidae) upon a Neoponera villosa male pupa. (© Gabriela Pérez- Lachaud)

First instar larva of Hypselosyrphus trigonus (Diptera: Syrphidae). (© Gabriela Pérez- Lachaud)

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