Ant-Homoptera Interactions in a Neotropical Savanna: The Honeydew-Producing Treehopper, Guayaquila xiphias (Membracidae), and its Associated Ant Fauna on Didymopanax vinosum (Araliaceae)1

  • Del-Claro K
  • Oliveira P
  • 97


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 98


    Citations of this article.


We investigate the ant fauna associated with the Neotropical treehopper, Guayaquila xiphias, on shrubs of Didymopanax vinosum in the cerrado (savanna) of SE Brazil. Treehoppers infested plane at the border of the cerrado almost euclusively and preferably fed near the apical meristem. During the reproductive phase of the host plant, however, the vast majority of the treehoppers aggregated on the inflorescences. We found 21 ant species harvesting honeydew at G. xiphias aggregations, the most frequent being Camponotus rufipes, Ectatomma edentatum, C. crassus, and C. renggeri. Such a taxonomic diversity of ants tending G. xiphias aggregations in the cerrado is far greater than that reported for any other ant-homopteran system. Daily turnover of ant species at a given treehopper aggregation was observed on 29 percent (64 out of 222) of the G. xiphias aggregations recorded on D. vinosum shrubs. Species replacements probably reflect distinct humidity and temperature ranges tolerated by the species, and may ultimately reduce interspecific competition at homopteran aggregations. Since predation and parasitism on G. xiphias can be severe, and tending: ants protect the homopterans against predators and parasitoids, the round-the-clock activity by ants at G. xiphias aggregations is regarded as crucial for the survival of these treehoppers in the cerrado

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Kleber Del-Claro

  • Paulo S. Oliveira

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free