Myrmecia urens

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Myrmecia urens
Scientific classification
M. urens
Binomial name
Myrmecia urens
Lowne, 1865

Myrmecia urens is a species of ant in the genus Myrmecia (bulldog ants) found in Australia.


Behaviour and ecology[edit]

While pollination by ants is somewhat rare,[1] the orchid Leporella fimbriata is a myrmecophyte which can only be pollinated by the winged males of this species.[2][3][4] Pollination of this orchid usually occurs between April and June during warm afternoons, and may take several days until the males all die due to their limited lifespan.[5] The flower mimics M. urens queens, and so the males move from flower to flower in an attempt to copulate with it.[6][7]


  1. ^ Beattie, Andrew J.; Turnbull, Christine; Knox, R. B.; Williams, E. G. (1984). "Ant Inhibition of Pollen Function: A Possible Reason Why Ant Pollination is Rare". American Journal of Botany. 71 (3): 421–426. doi:10.2307/2443499. JSTOR 2443499.
  2. ^ Peakall, Rod (1989). "The unique pollination of Leporella fimbriata (Orchidaceae): Pollination by pseudocopulating male ants (Myrmecia urens, Formicidae)". Plant Systematics and Evolution. 167 (3–4): 137–148. doi:10.1007/BF00936402. ISSN 1615-6110. JSTOR 23673944.
  3. ^ Peakall, Rod; Angus, Craig J.; Beattie, Andrew J. (October 1990). "The significance of ant and plant traits for ant pollination in Leporella fimbriata" (PDF). Oecologia. 84 (4): 457–460. doi:10.1007/BF00328160. ISSN 1432-1939. JSTOR 4219450.
  4. ^ Peakall, R.; Beattie, A. J.; James, S. H. (October 1987). "Pseudocopulation of an orchid by male ants: a test of two hypotheses accounting for the rarity of ant pollination". Oecologia. 73 (4): 522–524. doi:10.1007/BF00379410. ISSN 1432-1939. JSTOR 4218401.
  5. ^ Pridgeon, Alec M. (2001). Genera Orchidacearum. Volume 2, Orchidoideae (part 1). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-19-850710-9.
  6. ^ Thompson, John N. (1994). The coevolutionary process. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-226-79759-5.
  7. ^ Cingel, N. A. van der (2000). An atlas of orchid pollination: America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Rotterdam, South Holland: Balkema. p. 200. ISBN 978-90-5410-486-5.

External links[edit]