Integration raids in the Amazon ant Polyergus rufescens (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

Insectes Sociaux (Impact Factor: 1.31). 01/2005; 52(1):103-104. DOI: 10.1007/s00040-004-0788-3

ABSTRACT Groups of enslaved Formica fusca workers from mixed colonies of Polyergus rufescens with numerous slave workforce tend to split off and found small and almost homospecific nests around the main nest, with at least some of them connected with the latter with underground passages. Their inhabitants are able, at least temporarily, to adopt young F. fusca gynes. P. rufescens invades these satellite nests in a manner similar to the normal slave raids, and carries the slaves back to the main nest. The supposed evolutionary cause of this behaviour is to keep integrity of mixed colonies and prevent possible emancipation of slaves.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The wood ant Formica polyctena Först. is a territorial species, a regular top dominant of ant communities in forests. Its colonies defend their whole foraging areas (territories) against other territorial ants, including F. sanguinea Latr., a common facultative slave-maker. The most frequent 'victim' of F. sanguinea is F. fusca L., a ubiquitous submissive ant species. On the basis of some earlier observations, the presumption was made that F. polyctena, when defending its own territories, would indirectly protect F. fusca colonies, which nest within these territories, from F. sanguinea raids. It was expected that F. fusca should be more abundant in F. polyctena territories, than in F. sanguinea territories, while other subordinate ants, which are not potential slaves of F. sanguinea, should not show such difference. This hypothesis was supported by the results of the baiting experiments carried out in the Białowieża Forest, NE Poland. The findings are discussed in the context of interspecific competition hierarchy in ants.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Seed collections in gene banks are useful for the preservation of wild germplasm, providing inexpensive insurance for species that survive in conventional cold storage (–18 C). Seeds that cannot survive these conditions must be pretreated with cryoprotectants and stored at liquid nitrogen temperatures, which presents unique technical and methodological challenges. Implicit in this approach is the assumption that these added manipulations do not change the genetic diversity of the preserved collections. We used polymorphic microsatellite markers for an endangered aquatic grass, Texas wild rice (Zizania texana), to conduct a preliminary evaluation of the effects of cryogenic preservation of mature embryos on genetic diversity. Using several statistical approaches, we show that allele frequencies did not change in collections of seeds that underwent cryopreservation (cryoprotected) compared to those samples that was not exposed to cryopreservation (control). The retention of the allelic diversity at the five loci examined suggests that there were no significant changes in genetic diversity due to treatments and that these protocols may be appropriate for ex situ conservation of genetically diverse wild germplasm.
    Conservation Genetics 10/2004; 5(6):853-859. · 1.85 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Unusual rubbish piles of Myr- mica schencki Em. colonies nesting within terri- tories of Formica polyctena Först. are described. The piles tightly surrounded M. schencki nest en- trances and consisted mainly of remains of F. poly- ctena corpses (with a small addition of corpses of other local ant species) previously collected as food by M. schencki foragers in F. polyctena waste disposal zones. This observation shows that, un- der certain conditions, M. schencki can actually be a specialised myrmecophagous scavenger. The peculiar finding of M. schencki rubbish piles, in connection with other observations of using dead bodies and other remains by ants, suggests that such piles can play some role in interspecific rela- tions in ants. This possibility is considered in the context of the competitive hierarchy of ant spe- cies.

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jan 23, 2015