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2018 | 20 | 62-77
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Myrmecophilous association between ants and aphids – an overview

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Ant-aphid mutualism is considered as a beneficial, reciprocal and myrmecophilous association. Ants farm aphids, harvesting honeydew or flesh, in return protect the aphids from their natural foe i.e. predators and parasites and perhaps for other benefits like acceleration of aphid’s growth and reproductive rate and in the establishment of aphid colony. And finally aphid could get a pest status. Some of the aphid species are better adapted to profit from the presence of ants than others and benefits are more marked in small populations than in large ones (Saha & Raychaudhuri, 1998). Therefore, it seems essential to know about the interacting ants, their relationship with aphids in any agroecosystem for a better management strategy. The present paper attempts to document the aphids and aphidocolous ants against different host plants. Our investigation during August, 2017 – July, 2018 results a total of 40 aphid infested host plants along with 7 species of aphidocolous ants. Out of 10 aphid species recorded Aphis gossypii (Glover) is tended by more no. of ant species (5) followed by Rhopalosiphum maidis (Fitch) by four (4) species of ants. Aphidocolous ants demand serious attention as their attendance promotes aphids to reach pest status as well as ant populations need a check so that they may take care of fewer aphid individuals.
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  • Post Graduate Department of Zoology, Barasat Government College, 10, K.N.C. Road, Barasat, Kolkata – 7000124, India
  • Post Graduate Department of Zoology, Barasat Government College, 10, K.N.C. Road, Barasat, Kolkata – 7000124, India
  • IRDM Faculty Centre, Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Narendrapur, Kolkata – 700103, India
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