First fossil record of nematode parasitism of ants; a 40 million year tale
A mermithid nematode emerging from a male ant, Prenolepis henschei Mayr, in Baltic amber is the first fossil record demonstrating nematode parasitism of ants. This parasite, described as Heydenius formicinus sp. n., is compared to extant mermithid parasites of ants, especially Allomermis myrmecophila Baylis 1921. The present fossil, together with earlier reports of braconid and mite parasitism of ants in Baltic amber, indicates that several diverse groups had already evolved parasitic associations with ants by the Eocene.(Received May 20 2002)
(Revised June 29 2002)
(Accepted June 29 2002)
Key Words: fossil Mermithidae; Baltic amber; ant parasitism.
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