The online resource for Megalomyrmex related research!

The genus Megalomyrmex (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Solenopsidini) comprises 44 described species. At least ten Megalomyrmex species are thought to be associated with fungus-growing ant hosts consuming fungus garden and host brood and all others are free-living predators. Within the silvestrii species group, there is a gradation of parasitic behavior that includes lestobiotic parasitism, also described as raiding "thief ants" (e.g., M. mondabora, M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii), agro-predatory associations, where the parasite usurps the nest and fungus garden (e.g., M. wettereri), and the cohabiting "guest ants" or xenobiotic parasitism (e.g., M. wettereri, M. symmetochus, and M.adamsae).

About Rachelle M. M. Adams

I explore trait evolution at ecological and evolutionary time scales in arthropods. My interests are in how symbioses evolve and shape ecosystem diversity focusing on species interactions and co-evolution of symbiotic networks. I study the Megalomyrmex parasite-host ant system that I developed but am interested in all arthropod symbioses.

Please see Research Projects for a selection of projects I am working on!


To find out more about my upcoming PhD course select the following:

2015 Tropical Behavioural Ecology and Evolution


Rachelle will be in the USA! November 2014

Rachelle’s seminars and visits: Paths to and from parasitism: Behavioral and chemical transitions of predators, parasites and protective symbionts

  • Nov. 5, 2014 Pennsylvania State University, Department of Entomology
  • Nov. 7, 2014 Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Department of Entomology
  • Entomological Society of America,Portland(Nov. 16-19, 2014): Rachelle's invited presentation (18 Nov., 4:54 PM) in Social Insects as Models for Biological Complexity: Lessons Learned and Challenges on the Horizon Title: Chemically armed ants pillage and protect fungus-farming societies

    August 2014

    Rachelle gives a guest lecture in eurOants—Taxonomy, Identification, and Ecology of European Ants

    July 2014

    IUSSI 2014 Cairns, Australia: Joanito gave a presentation on his Master’s project and Rachelle gave a poster and advertised for the 2015 Panama course!

    June 2014

    Rachelle gives a guest lecture in Current Research Topics in Neurobiology, Universität Konstanz

    May 2014

    Joanito and I head to Panama (STRI) to complete diet experiments requested by our reviewers. Hope to have the MiSeq data analyzed and his manuscript back to the reviewers soon!

    Rachelle presents: Yosemite Symbiosis Workshop, Sierra Nevada Research Institute, Yosemite National Park, CA

    April 2014

    Rachelle interviewed for an article in the Modern Farmer. The article, "Ant Farm: These Insect Cowboys Harvest, Herd and Milk" features photographs by Pepijn Kooij!

    February 2014

    Rachelle’s seminars and visits: Chemically armed ants pillage and protect fungus-farming societies

  • University of California-Riverside, Department of Entomology
  • University of Cincinnati, Department of Biological Sciences
  • December 2013

    Reuters interview: Three-way ant warfare a lesson in co-existence

    November 2013

    Zootaxa: Central American ants of the genus Megalomyrmex Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): six new species and keys to workers and males

    October 2013

    WEBS: Rachelle attends the Women Evolving Biological Sciences symposium at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) in Durham, NC

    September 2013

    Quirks and Quarks radio interview: Mercenary Ants

    PNAS:Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    August 2013

    Stefanie Neupert visits from the University of Konstanz to work on her TBEE 2013 course project. "Are parasitized host ants more tolerant toward foreign ants?"

    Joanito presented his microbiota work at the Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology in Lisbon, Portugal.

    ESEB poster here! Well done Joanito!