Myrmecophiles Termitophiles

Myrmecophiles are just a few millimeters long, oval in shape, strongly convex, and rather uniformly covered with short, fine setae (Fig. 1.16A,B). They are typically apterous or brachypterous, the legs and antennae are short, and in some species the eyes are reduced. Att. fungicola (Blattellidae) have no more than 70 ommatidia per eye (Wheeler, 1900; Roth, 1995c). No glands are obvious that may function in appeasing their hosts. Myrme-

coblatta wheeleri (Polyphagidae) run rapidly, and when disturbed withdraw their appendages under the body and adhere tightly to the substrate (Deyrup and Fisk, 1984). This behavior is similar to the defensive behavior of flattened Neotropical species (Fig. 1.11C) and suggests that although they appear integrated into colony life, a wariness of their predator hosts remains of selective value. Wheeler (1900) suggested that Att. fungicola is a "truly cavernicolous form, living in caves constructed by its emmet hosts." It is the species of Nocticola taken from termite nests, however, that exhibit the delicate, elongate body, attenuated appendages, and pale cuticle typical of cave-adapted insects (and of most other Nocticolidae— Roth, 1988,1991a; Fig. 1.16C).

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