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First record of myrmecophily in buprestid beetles: immature stages of Habroloma myrmecophila sp. nov. (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) associated with Oecophylla ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

The association of Habroloma myrmecophila sp. nov. (Coleoptera: Buprestidae: Trachydini) with Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius, 1775) ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) has been observed on secondary shrubs in Goa Province (India). After mating, adult beetles were found to invade damaged or newly constructed Oecophylla nests to lay eggs. Larvae mine in the leaves forming the nest wall and pupate within the mines. Only adult beetles interact directly with ants, potentially triggering their necrophoric behaviour when caught. The adults and larvae of the beetles are described in detail and the benefits of the ant association for the beetles are hypothesized.


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