First record of ants with Cestodes from southwestern United States.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Olav Rueppell, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Ants of the myrmicine tribe Formicoxenini may serve as intermediate hosts of im- mature stages (cysticercoids) of two genera of dilepidid cestodes. The parasites are thought to enhance the transmission to their final hosts, piciform, galliform or passe- riform birds (Gabrion et al. 1976, Péru et al. 1988, 1990) and also shrews (Sawada & Harada 1995), by modifying the behavior and the pigmentation of their hosts. In- fected Leptothorax are yellowish rather than brown or black as are their unparasit- ized nestmates, and they also do not flee when the nest is disturbed (Plateaux 1972, Buschinger 1973, reviewed in Moore 1995), thus increasing the probability that they are eaten. The tapeworms mature and reproduce in the intestine of the final host (Péru et al. 1990), and the eggs are still contained in parts of the tapeworm’s uterus or in complete proglottids when released with the bird’s feces. Ants collect the protein- rich pieces and feed them to their larvae (Gabrion et al. 1976, Péru et al. 1988).

Additional Information

Florida Entomologist 81:122-125
Language: English
Date: 1998
Ants, Formicoxenini, Cestodes

Email this document to