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From Latin inquilīnus (tenant, lodger)


inquiline (plural inquilines)

  1. (biology) An animal that lives commensally in the nest, burrow, gall, or dwelling place of an animal of another species.
    • 2003, Gary J. Blomquist & Ralph W. Howard, “Pheromone biosynthesis in social insects”, in Gary J. Blomquist, Richard G. Vogt, editors, Insect Pheromone Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, page 331:
      The other study [] involved the larvae of the caterpillar Maculinea rebeli, an inquiline of Myrmica schenki.
    • 2003, Mary Jane West-Eberhard, Developmental Plasticity and Evolution:
      Queens of socially parasitic inquiline ants reproduce by laying eggs in the colonies of other species.
    • 2010, P. J. Gullan, P. S. Cranston, The Insects: An Outline of Entomology, 4th edition, page 332:
      A reproductive female inquiline gains access to a host nest and usually kills the resident queen.
  2. (biology) An organism that lives within a reservoir of water collected in the hollow of a plant stem or leaf.
    • 1998, Stephen B. Heard, “Capture rates of invertebrate prey by the pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea L.”, in The American Midland Naturalist, volume 139, number 1, page 79-89:
      Captured prey also constitute the resource base for a community of inquiline bacteria, protozoa, and invertebrates that inhabit the water-filled pitchers. For at least two of these inquilines (the pitcher-plant mosquito Wyeomyia smithii Coquillet and the pitcher-plant midge Metriocnemus knabi Coquillet) the availability of captured prey limits individual growth, and ultimately population growth []
    • 2001, J. K. Cronk, M. Siobhan Fennessy, Wetland Plants: Biology and Ecology, page 145:
      The insect and other animal inhabitants of the pitchers, known collectively as the inquilines, may benefit the plants by breaking down prey and making nutrients available for plant absorption.

Derived terms[edit]





  1. feminine of inquilin



inquiline f

  1. plural of inquilina




  1. vocative singular of inquilinus