Ants deterring herbivores … and pollinators?

A new study has found an unusual case of ant-plant interactions. Rather than deterring herbivores, Weaver ants found in rhododendron flowers appear to allow plants to be selective in their pollinators. Weaver ants deter smaller less efficient pollinators while attracting larger, better bee pollinators (i.e. Carpenter bees). Read about the findings in New Scientist magazine, here.

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Weaver ants: not only do they seem to deter herbivores, but they also allow for selectivity in pollination. Sounds like handy ant mutualists if you ask the rhododendron.

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