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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.

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