journal contributionposted on 2019-07-30, 00:00 authored by Chayant Tantipathananandh
This image was captured in Kenya during a field trip as part of a course in computational ecology, which is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Department of Computer Science at UIC and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. My team studied two symbiotic ant species (Crematogaster mimosae and C. nigriceps) on how they help protect whistling thorn trees (Acacia drepanolobium) against a new species of parasitic midges. This image was captured during an experiment to observe the response of ants toward invading beetles. From our observation, C. nigriceps ants are more aggressive toward invertebrate invaders, and trees inhabited by them are less likely to be infested by the parasitic midges. This suggests that the defensiveness of ant species might explain the differences in infestation of acacia trees by the parasitic midges.