What is it about?

This study is part of a series of publications detailing the [neglected] morphology and biology of ant larvae. While focusing on a vineyard pest ant from Brazil it provides the number of larval stages and caste differences for the species, along with ultrastructural surface details of all instars. The species is compared to related ants in highlighting specific traits.

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Why is it important?

The vineyard argentine ant L. micans is an important pest to wine production in southern Brazil and Argentina. It is the sole known vector of the disease-causing pest bug known as the Earthen Pearl Eurhizococcus brasiliensis (Wille, 1922) (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) than affects production and quality of grapes. Understanding its biology, for which there is a paucity of published information, is essential to designing a proper response in combating this pest.

Perspectives

This study was a continuation of a joint project by Solis & Fox in filling in the gaps about larval morphology among ants. The samples were obtained by the first author during a trip to vineyards in southern Brazil. We intend to explore the variation in larval traits among other closely related ant species, elucidating an apparent complex of cryptic species.

Dr Eduardo G P Fox
IBCCF / UFRJ

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Description of the immatures of workers of the ant Linepithema micans forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Microscopy Research and Technique, August 2010, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/jemt.20913.
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