Oak galls exhibit ant-dispersal convergent with myrmecochorous seeds

Robert Warren, Antoine Guiguet, Chloe Mokadam, John Tooker & Andrew Deans
Ants disperse oak galls of some cynipid wasp species similarly to how they disperse seeds with elaiosomes. We conducted choice assays in field and lab settings, with ant-dispersed seeds and wasp-induced galls found in ant nests and found that seed-dispersing ants retrieve these galls as they do myrmecochorous seeds. We also conducted manipulative experiments in which we removed the putative ant-attracting appendages (“kapéllos”) from galls and found ants are specifically attracted to kapéllos. Finally, we...
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