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Ants and Form Reversal in Aphids


EL-ZIADY and Kennedy1 found that in colonies of Aphis fabae Scop. which were attended by ants there was a higher rate of multiplication and delayed production of winged forms compared with unattended colonies. It has been suggested that the higher rate of multiplication is a result of ant-attendance delaying dispersal of the aphids from the nutritious apical growth of the host plants2; and it seemed probable that the delayed production of winged forms may have been due to the same cause. However, ant-attendance does cause a marked increase in the feeding rate of aphids3 and the possibility of it having a more direct inhibitory effect on the development of winged forms was not ruled out. In the present communication such an effect is reported.

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  1. 1

    El-Ziady, S., and Kennedy, J. S., Proc. Roy. Ent. Soc., A, 31, 61 (1956).

  2. 2

    Banks, J. C., Bull. Ent. Res., 49, 701 (1958).

  3. 3

    Herzig, J., Z. agew. Ent., 24, 367 (1957). Banks, J. C., and Dixon, H. L., J. Exp. Biol., 35, 703 (1959).

  4. 4

    Johnson, B., Ent. Exp. and Appl. (in the press).

  5. 5

    Wadley, F. M., Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 16, 279. Johnson, B., and Birks, P. R. (in lit.).

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