Call For Papers: Special Issue on “The overlooked biodiversity of ant associates”

This special issue welcomes reviews and articles highlighting the important role of ants as a source of biodiversity for a wide range of associated organisms (other than ants), and how nest micro-habitats and/or ant behavior promote this biodiversity.

Submissions open: 1 September 2023
Submissions close: 15 May 2024

Ant-specialist predators, parasitoids, parasites, and symbionts represent an astonishing diversity of myrmecophilous organisms exploiting the resources and protective services provided by their host colonies and nests or by the behavior of ant foragers, not to mention the many organisms themselves associated with these myrmecophiles. These associations may be obligatory or facultative, permanent or temporary, neutral, harmful or beneficial to the host. Despite the interest shown by the many studies carried out since the 19th century, detailed knowledge of both the diversity and abundance of these associations and the actual nature of interactions with the host is lacking in most cases. Their impact on colony phenotype and their role in the ecology and evolution of their hosts remain largely unknown or overlooked, particularly in tropical regions and in difficult-to-access habitats such as the canopy. Given the rapid and dramatic changes undergone over many years because of anthropogenic disturbance and climate change, many natural habitats serving as reservoirs of biodiversity are disappearing, with cascading effects on ants and associated organisms, and such studies or surveys are therefore urgently needed.

Aims and Scope
The aim of this special issue of Insectes Sociaux is obviously not to cover every aspect of interactions between ants and their associates, but simply to give a few representative examples of the diversity of myrmecophilous associations found in a few specific ant species or genera, linked to specific habitats or micro-habitats, or focused on associated organisms of particular interest. With this in mind, we encourage reviews and experimental studies highlighting the role of ant nests and colonies as hotspots of overlooked biodiversity or updating the unsuspected diversity of associations involving some ant species or genera. We invite colleagues to contribute original research articles as well as review articles on the various aspects concerning ants and myrmecophiles but without considering here the many interactions (inquilinism, social parasitism, lestobiosis, plesiobiosis, etc.) between ant species. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
・Diversity of taxa associated with specific ant species or genera, or host specificity of selected myrmecophilous taxa.
・Little-known or threatened ant-associated species or taxonomic groups, including their natural history and ecology.
・Conservation ecology of ant-associates.
・Behavioral interactions between ants and their associates or between associates, and ant-associated networks.
・Modification of host-myrmecophile interactions as a function of varying micro-habitat characteristics.
・Dynamics of association, chemical and behavioral integration into host society and host defense.
・Direct or indirect effects of associated organisms on the host’s behavior, reproductive patterns and life cycles.
・Global change effects upon ants and their associates.

Deadline for submission
15 May 2024

Submission information
To submit a manuscript for this Special Issue, authors should follow the steps bellow:
Authors submit their papers through the following website
Under “Additional Information”, authors must select “Yes” to their manuscript being submitted to a Thematic Series, then choose “SI: The overlooked biodiversity of ant associates”

Insectes Sociaux is the journal of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects ( and has no APC, so there will be no hidden costs associated with your publication.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the guest editors Jean-Paul Lachaud (, Bálint Markó (, and Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud (, or Editor-in-Chief Madeleine Beekman (

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Guest Editors

Jean-Paul Lachaud, ECOSUR (El Colegio de la Frontera Sur), Dpto. Conservación de la Biodiversidad, Avenida Centenario Km. 5.5, AP 424, 77900 Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico;

Bálint Markó, Hungarian Department of Biology and Ecology, Babeş–Bolyai University, Clinicilor 5-7, 400006 Cluj-Napoca, Romania;

Gabriela Pérez-Lachaud, ECOSUR (El Colegio de la Frontera Sur), Dpto. Conservación de la Biodiversidad, Avenida Centenario Km. 5.5, AP 424, 77900 Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico;

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