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Forum for Epiphytic Myrmecophytes

Acacia cornigera

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A nice Neotropical Acacia, Also called Vachellia cornigera.

The big and hollow spines house some ants, really agressive. A colleague was in hollidays in Costa Rica, two years ago and see a similar tree. He would like to move the leaves aside to see the spines, and before he touch the plant, a tiny ant, placed under the leaves, shot him with formic acid. I suppose that really few herbivore animals can eat them in nature!

Ants are attracted by small protein-lipid nodules (beltian bodies) at the end of each leaflet.

In cultivation, these nodules don't stay a really long time in the plants, a lot of insects, particularly ants (but not plant-associated species) eat them willingly.

However, you can see a few of them (small greenish yellow sticks at the end of some leaflets).


These are one year seedlings from the botanical garden of Liberec.






The famous spines:



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