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Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


myrmecophile, myrmecophilous, myrmecophily

Gray Hairstreak Caterpillar tended by ants - Strymon melinus Scarab - Cremastocheilus canaliculatus Myrmecophilous hister beetle - Psiloscelis perpunctata - female Myrmecophilous histerid - Terapus Staphylinid - Adranes coecus Cricket - Myrmecophilus pergandei - male Mollusk-like Larva - Microdon
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
No Taxon (Glossary)
No Taxon (M)
No Taxon myrmecophile, myrmecophilous, myrmecophily
Explanation of Names
From Greek murmex (μυρμηγξ) ant, plus suffix -phile, a Latinized version of Greek philos (φιλος) dear, beloved (Wiktionary).
myrmecophile noun, adjective myrmecophilous - an organism, especially an insect or other arthropod, that lives in close association with or shares a nest with a species of ant--Formicidae (Wiktionary). Myrmecophily refers to the phenomenon of ant association in general. Examples are known from several groups:
Lepidoptera - Lycaenidae
Coleoptera - examples from many groups, such as scarabs (example--Cremastocheilus), Staphylinids (example--Adranes)
Orthoptera--Ant crickets, Myrmecophilidae
Diptera--Syrphidae, Microdon
Quoting the summary from Wikipedia:
Myrmecophiles may have various roles in their host ant colony. Many consume waste materials in the nests, such as dead ants, dead larvae, or fungi growing in the nest. Some myrmecophiles, however, feed on the stored food supplies of ants, and a few are predatory on ant eggs, larvae, or pupae. Others benefit the ants by providing a food source for them. Many myrmecophilous relationships are obligate, meaning one or the other participant requires the relationship for survival. Some associations are facultative, benefiting one or both participants but not being necessary to their survival.
Internet References
Art Shapiro's Butterfly Site--Lycaenidae