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The soft scale (Coccidae) associates of Malaysian ant-plants

  • Hans-Peter Heckroth (a1), Brigitte Fiala (a2), Penny J. Gullan (a3), Azarae HJ. Idris (a1) and Ulrich Maschwitz (a4)...

Abstract

Myrmecophytic species of the Paleotropical plant genus Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae) have hollow stems that are almost always occupied by ants of the genus Crematogaster and scale insects of the family Coccidae (Hemiptera: Coccoidea). The coccids have a cryptic endophytic lifestyle and are confined to this microhabitat. They are much more diverse than previously recognised. First data are presented on the diversity, prevalence, specificity and distribution of the coccids associated with myrmecophytic Macaranga species. Twenty-two species of Coccidae in total, including 15 previously unknown from Macaranga, were discovered from 19 species of Macaranga in Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo. The original describers tentatively assigned the known coccid species to Coccus (Coccinae) but the Macaranga coccids still require taxonomic research to establish their correct placing. The coccids varied in their host-plant specificity from species that occurred in most of the sampled Macaranga to one species that was found almost exclusively only on a single host species. In addition to their occurrence on Macaranga, only three species, C. macarangae and C. secretus and morphospecies C. 214 were found on rare occasions in the stem interior of a few other myrmecophytes and in a non-myrmecophytic liana, but did not regularly colonise these plants. Most of the coccids can be regarded as highly specific at the plant genus level.

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The soft scale (Coccidae) associates of Malaysian ant-plants

  • Hans-Peter Heckroth (a1), Brigitte Fiala (a2), Penny J. Gullan (a3), Azarae HJ. Idris (a1) and Ulrich Maschwitz (a4)...

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