Symbiotic ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) associated with aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in Golestan province, Iran

Document Type : Research articles


1 Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Biodiversity, Institute of Science and High Technology and Environmental Sciences, Graduate University of Advanced Technology, Kerman, Iran


Mutualistic interaction between aphids and ants is one of the classical examples of mutualism. The current study was carried out during 2013-2014 in Golestan province, North-eastern Iran, to investigate the myrmecophilous aphids and their relationships with ants. In this study, 11 ant species representing seven genera and two subfamilies associated with 12 aphid species belonging to two subfamilies were collected on different host plants. Among aphid species, Aphis gossypii Glover 1877 and A. craccivora Koch 1854 were observed frequently associated with ants, while among ant species, Crematogaster subdentata Mayr 1877 and Plagiolepis taurica Santschi 1920 had more frequent interactions with aphids. Moreover, except Formica persica Seifert & Schultz, 2009, all ant species were reported for the first time from Golestan province. More detailed studies are needed to investigate ant–aphid mutualistic relationships in Iran to understand their complicated relationships in nature.


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