samedi 6 août 2016

Food for baby ants

I already made a post on Helleborus foetidus, and mentioned that the plant is using two sorts of insects to have a successful reproduction. The first helps for pollination and the second, ants, for seeds dispersion.
Part of the grain, the elaiosomes (From the Greek “oil”, elaios and “body”, some), rich in lipids and proteins, here in white, attracts ants, which take the seed to their nest and feed the elaiosome to their larvae.
This type of seed dispersal is termed myrmecochory from the Greek "ant" (myrmex) and "dispersal" (kore). This type of symbiotic relationship appears to be mutualistic.

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