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Cephalic Microstructure and its role in Predation Biology of Myrmicaria brunnea on Antheraea mylitta

Ganesh Bhagwat Gathalkar, Deepak Dewaji Barsagade.


The Antheraea mylitta (Drury) (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) is commercially most important for the world-class ‘Wild Silk,' popularly known as ‘Tasar’ or ‘Kosa’ silk. However, the ant Myrmicaria brunnea (Saunders) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is being a serious predator of A. mylitta (Gathalkar and Barsagade 2017). Whose predation include the continuous pricking and biting leads to complete distractions of the silkworm larvae, resulting in massive crop loss. Therefore, we hypothesized the role of sensilla present on the antenna and mouthparts in its predatory success. Hence, we explore the cephalic appendages of M. brunnea to trace out the presence of mechano- and chemosensory organs, which we thought to play a significant role in the predatory behavior of M. brunnea. The host-predator interactions based on this sensory physiology, will enable to develop an effective control strategy in sericultural practices, to trap this predator.

Key words: Keywords: Aggressive predator, invasions, crop damage, feeding behavior, tasar-culture

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