Jump to content
Forum for Epiphytic Myrmecophytes

Viscaceae family, Phoradendron villosum

Recommended Posts

http://www.parasiticplants.siu.edu/Documents/Nickrent1988GoldenBough.html. (url now works) "3. Myrmecophytous Mistletoes? Strictly speaking, a myrmecophyte is a plant with a series of morphological adaptations which predispose it and an ant species toward a mutualistic relationship. The most noted examples of these include such rubiaceous epiphytes as Hydnophytum and Myrmecodia that form complex, bulbous chambers which harbor ant colonies. Apparently such plants derive a selective advantage by being protected from herbivores and twining plants. In a review of symbioses between ants and epiphytes, Huxley (1980) lists seven families of plants, including ferns, monocots, and dicots, which have members regularly associated with ants. Unfortunately, no reference to parasitic epiphytes, such as mistletoes. is made. Such an association was described Wheeler (1942) where the stems of Phoradendron flavescens var. villosum (P. villosum) in Arizona are regularly inhabited by Crematogaster arizonensis. The chambers are actually excavated by a curculionid beetle and several other insects share this "interesting biocenose". It is probable that this mistletoe has not undergone the evolutionary adaptations to ant habitation that other species have, such as the production of foliar nectaries, food bodies, or "myrmecodomatia"."


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...