Many epiphytic ferns in tropical forest canopies have domatia that provide habitat for arboreal arthropods such as ants. Two species of fern that were predominantly occupied by Crematogaster difformis ants were collected from the canopy of a forest in Borneo. In the fern domatia, two cockroach species, Pseudoanaplectinia yumotoi and Blatta sp., were found to live with C. difformis. Pseudoanaplectinia yumotoi were found in large numbers and accounted for approximately 20% of the total arthropod population, while Blatta sp. comprised only 1% of the arthropods living in the domatia. Behavioural experiments were conducted to evaluate the response of C. difformis workers to newly introduced cockroaches of each species and to allospecific ant workers. Crematogaster difformis workers were highly aggressive and quickly attacked allospecific workers. Both cockroach species could fend off ant attacks; however, dead Blatta sp. were often attacked by the ants while dead P. yumotoi were infrequently bothered.
- Ant guest
- Epiphytic fern
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics