Predatory beetles can detect the unique alarm signal released by ants being attacked by parasitic flies, and use what they overhear to pick safe egg-laying sites on coffee bushes.
Azteca instabilis ants patrol coffee bushes and emit chemical alarm signals when they’re under attack by phorid flies.
Pregnant lady beetles intercept the ants’ alarm pheromones, which let the beetles know that it’s safe to deposit their eggs, say researchers from University of Michigan.
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Photo credit: Ivette Perfecto