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Re: Ants

  • Subject: Re: [ferns] Ants
  • From: Regferns@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 18:21:47 EDT

Many of the Lecanopteris species are also homes for ants.  Ants are  also 
attracted to plants with nectaries, such as many of the Aglaomorpha  species, 
particularly Photinopteris speciosum (now Aglaomorpha speciosa).   Interesting 
timing with the talk of Solanopteris brunei (the Potato Fern).   Last evening, 
Robbin Moran spoke in Miami to the Tropical Fern & Exotic  Plant Society.  This 
morning around the breakfast table we were discussing  Solanopteris.  This 
discussion was prompted by the fact that a couple  of years ago while in Borneo, 
we bought several specimens of Platycerium  ridleyi.  The plants were 
infested with stinging black ants.  After  almost 1 hour of trying to dislodge the 
ants from the plants (with  lots of water), ants were still coming out.  We 
noticed that there were  numerous chambers, nooks and crannies in the base fronds, 
and the ants had  thoroughly and efficiently colonized these plants.  Some 
observers have  surmised that there is a symbiotic relationship between the ants 
 and Platycerium ridleyi. The ants do come out in force to defend their  
Reggie  Whitehead
Tropical Fern & Exotic Plant  Society

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