12 responses to “Vachellia drepanolobium”

  1. Bonnie

    Interesting Daniel. I stay away as far as I can from any ant and sure wouldn’t be studying them. 🙂

  2. Claire Bullaro

    These are such incredibly complex relationships, and fascinating. How little we do know about other interactions like this in the world around us.

  3. Hollis Marriott

    What an interesting post! You mentioned early on that the spine bases are “gall-like.” Are they strictly plant-controlled growth or do the insects play some role in stimulating growth?

    1. Dominic Janus

      Hi there, sorry for the late reply. I believe the growth is plant controlled but evolutionary selection has most likely favoured trees with larger bases due to their ability to accommodate more ants.

  4. Meg

    Nature gets more interesting all the time!

  5. James C. Trager

    Not all ants are equal, and some more unequal than others. Another twist in this story is that invasive ants disrupt the symbiotic relationship in ways harmful to the plants:
    “Disruption of a protective ant–plant mutualism by an invasive ant increases elephant damage to savanna trees” Ecology, Volume 96, Issue 3, March 2015, Pages 654–661

  6. Nette

    The photo and accompanying story make me whistle.

  7. Sara

    and I thought the thorns from the invasive black locust were bad…!!! guess these would be a good fence against trespassers.

  8. Di Higgy

    What is the distinctive feature of the Acacia in the renaming Vachellia & Senegalia. Do the thorns play a role here?
    A very interesting article on the ‘ant tree’ Thank you.

  9. Tierney R Rosenstock

    I <3 myrmecophiles! So fascinating!

  10. Duke

    Thanks for this post. I collected seed from these Acacias (as they were known to me at the time) in 2010, but was unable to obtain the Latin binomial… until now!

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