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MYRMECOCHORY – What do ants have to do with seed dispersal?

Writer: Dr Anina Lee.

What a magnificent word! It’s a word not even my addled memory forgets because I say it over and over just for the sound of it.

Why, you may ask, is myrmecochory even in my vocabulary? Not so strange. It means “carried by ants” and hence the dispersal of seeds and fruits by ants. Many plants employ this method of spreading their seeds, most notably fynbos plants in the protea family.

Small pugnacious ant (Anoplolepis steingroeverii) with seed of Mimetes cucullatus. GRAPHIC: Peter Slingsby
Extremely rare Mimetes stokoei. PHOTO: antsofthecape.blogspot.com
Click below to read more. (The full article can be found on page 8)