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Beltian bodies

Beltian body

A Beltian body is a structure found on the leaves of some species of Acacia. Beltian bodies, named after Thomas Belt, are found on the tips of each leaflet and are rich in lipids and proteins and often red in colour. They are believed to have evolved in a symbiotic relationship with ants. The ants live inside special plant structures (Domatia) or near the plant and keep away herbivores. Other ant-mutualism related plant structures include Beccarian, Mullerian and pearl bodies.

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