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Re: [Aroid-l] Myrmecophilous Monstera????


I'd be curious as to whether the ants were truly living, i.e. nesting et al. under the leaves, or just congregating and using the leaves as cover. I have seen this sort of protective usage by both ants and termites as they travel up and down tree trunks, both under shingle foliage and right in next to bare stem vines that are anchored to the trees. Of course, especially with termites, sometimes they build their own tunnels that look remarkably like thinnish bare-stemmed vines going up the tree. But all these cases I would suggest are more for travelling purposes and not habitations. I'll be interested to hear input from others.


While we are on the subject of shingling aroids - A friend of mine recently got back from Panama where she was doing some field work, and told me of how she found ants living under the juvenile shingling foliage of a particular Monstera species she collected as an herberium specimen. I had never heard of this occurring, and was curioius if ants do regularly live under the shingle phase leaves in a mutualistic relationship, as they are well-known to do in Hoya imbricata as well as several species of Dischidia with similar shingling habits. I just figured if it did regularly occur I would have heard about it by now. Would be curious if ants are present in Rhaphidophora as well.

Just curious!


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