Labial Gland Disease

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Labial gland disease causes swelling of the labial glands in the pupal stage in Formica species. The resulting adults have enlarged thoraces and are called secretergates (Wasmann's pseudogynes). They infect the younger larvae, probably during feeding. The agent of the disease is unknown. It soon becomes non-infectious outside the labial glands. Diseased females were not seen to feed larvae. Yet their offspring contained secretergates. The discrepancy remains unexplained. (Elton, 1991)

Known Ant Hosts

Ant Pathogen Species Locality Source Notes
Formica fusca unknown agent Spain Espadaler & Riasol, 1981; Elton, 1991
Formica japonica unknown agent Japan Sonobe, 1974; Elton, 1991
Formica lemani unknown agent Spain Collingwood, 1956; Espadaler & Riasol, 1981; Elton, 1991
Formica lugubris unknown agent Spain Espadaler & Riasol, 1981; Elton, 1991
Formica polyctena unknown agent Elton, 1991
Formica pratensis unknown agent Japan Elton, 1991 as ''Formica nigricans'', needs confirmation
Formica rufa unknown agent Elton, 1975; Elton, 1991
Formica rufibarbis unknown agent Elton, 1991
Formica sanguinea unknown agent Elton, 1991
Formica uralensis unknown agent Japan Elton, 1991 needs confirmation

References