Myrmecochorous Plants

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online

These plants produce seeds with elaiosomes, an external structures attached to the seed coat that provides nutrients for ants

See Myrmecochory for additional information about seed dispersal by ants.


A large family of plants. Some species have eliaosome bearing seeds, and there are also species exhibiting diplochory, with the post ballistic-dispersal of seeds followed by ant dispersal. See Chen et al. 2019 and wikipedia [1] for more information.



(Proteaceae) - Commonly known as pincushions, species in this genus are found in southern Africa (South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Mozambique). In studies of species in this plant genus, Anoplolepis species have been found to be the main ant mutalists that gather seeds of Leucospermum. See Brits and Manning, 2019 and wikipedia [2] for more about this plant genus.


  • Brits, G. J. and J. C. Manning. 2019. Seed structure and physiology in relation to recruitment ecology in Leucospermum (Proteaceae) in fynbos. Australian Journal of Botany 67:290-308. doi:10.1071/BT18199
  • Chen, S. C., A. H. Pahlevani, L. Malikova, R. Riina, F. J. Thomson, and I. Giladi. 2019. Trade-off or coordination? Correlations between ballochorous and myrmecochorous phases of diplochory. Functional Ecology. 33:1469-1479. doi:10.1111/1365-2435.13353