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Ant/braconid wasp/aphid interaction
#1 Print Post
Posted on 05-11-2006 10:43

Posts: 671
Joined: 06.09.05

Was photographing braconid wasps on aphids again and not for the first time noticed that the ants who regularly patrol/honeydew collect the aphids take absolutely no notice of the wasps. Anyone know how the wasps avoid detection by the ants ?

Brian V.

In this shot (not very clear) but the wasp is ovipositing and the ant actually has one leg resting on the wasps back. Almost looks like they are good pals Smile
Edited by LordV on 05-11-2006 12:32
Paul Beuk
#2 Print Post
Posted on 05-11-2006 20:09
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Location: Netherlands
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Joined: 11.05.04

No real idea, but I can imagine that the ants have been sent on route to collect honeydew and not 'meat' so they leave anything else alone...

- - - -

Paul Beuk on
#3 Print Post
Posted on 06-11-2006 08:24

Posts: 671
Joined: 06.09.05

Thanks for the comment Paul. You are right about their primary target but whilst doing this they certainly chase off larger aphid predators such as ladybird larvae or adults or of course ants from a different nest. Might just be they don't notice small interlopers but have a feeling there is more to it than that.
Brian V.
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