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Dipartimento di Scienze

Parasites of super-organisms

Titolo Parasites of super-organisms
Dove Aula 7 primo piano, V.le G. Marconi 446
Inizio 31-05-2018, 09:00
Fine 31-05-2018, 11:00
Oratore Prof. Andrea Di Giulio, Prof. Marco A. Bologna, Dipartimento di Scienze, Università degli Studi "Roma Tre"
Differently to parasites that usually exploit a single organism, social parasites are able to exploit a social unit, which is a super-organism consisting of many eusocial individuals. These peculiar parasites can locate the host colony, enter the colony by overcoming the host defensive mechanisms, exploit the colony resources (stored food, broods, host behaviour and work) and convert them into reproductive output. In order to circumvent the communication systems and the aggressiveness of their hosts, these “smart” parasites evolved an amazing array of visual, structural, tactile, acoustical and chemical strategies that are still scarcely known. Eusocial Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps) represent the main target for social parasites, and more than 10.000 species of arthropods, especially insects, were recently counted to exploit just the ants. In this seminar some new spectacular examples of beetles and flies parasitizing ants and bees are presented and discussed in the context of the evolution of social parasitism