Integration raids in the Amazon ant Polyergus rufescens (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)
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.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Wojciech Czechowski, Jan 23, 2015
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ABSTRACT: Tomasz Wlodarczyk1,2 and Lech Szczepaniak31Department of Invertebrate Zoology, University of Bialystok, 'Swierkowa St. 20B, 15-950, Bialystok, Poland3Department of Chemistry of Environment, University of Bialystok, Hurtowa St. 1, 15-399, Bialystok, Poland↵2Corresponding author, e-mail: t.wlodaratuwb.edu.plAbstract Formica sanguinea Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is a slave-making species, i.e., it raids colonies of host species and pillages pupae, which are taken to develop into adult workers in a parasite colony. However, it has been unclear if the coexistence of F. sanguinea with slave workers requires uniformity of cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs), among which those other than n-alkanes are believed to be the principal nestmate recognition cues utilized by ants. In this study, a mixed colony (MC) of F. sanguinea and Formica rufa L. as a slave species was used to test the hypothesis that CHCs are exchanged between the species. Chemical analysis of hexane extracts from antstextquoteright body surfaces provided evidence for interspecific exchange of alkenes and methyl-branched alkanes. This result was confirmed by behavioral tests during which ants exhibited hostility toward conspecific individuals from the MC but not toward ones from homospecific colonies of their own species. However, it seems that species-specific differences in chemical recognition labels were not eliminated completely because ants from the MC were treated differently depending on whether they were con- or allospecific to the individuals whose behavioral reactions were tested. These findings are discussed in the context of mechanisms of colonytextquoterights odor formation and effective integration of slaves into parasite colony. nestmate recognitioncuticular hydrocarbonchemical ecologyslave-makingReceived May 10, 2013.Accepted June 2, 2014.textcopyright The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact email@example.com
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ABSTRACT: Slavery in ants involves robbing of brood of host ant species and rearing captured individuals in the enslaver's nest. Whereas slaves of facultative slave-makers increase the workforce of the colony, in obligate slave-makers presence of slaves is vital for colony survival. Until recently, it was generally believed that enslaved workers act solely for the benefit of their social parasite and are wholly lost for their own colony and population. However, evidence that slaves may act also in favour of their own maternal population by engaging in various forms of the so-called slave rebellions is already quite extensive and may be found in both old and recent myrmecological literature, although, unfortunately, these data are often neglected or overlooked. They may be classified into four categories: (1) acts of physical aggression directed by slaves to slave-makers, (2) attempts of slaves to reproduce within a slave-maker colony, (3) 'sabotage', i.e. activities of slaves leading to weakening of the slave-maker colony and population, and (4) slave emancipation, i.e. partial or complete self-liberation of slaves from slave-maker colonies. In this review, we present and discuss all these diverse (often interrelated) expressions of slave opposition to their enslavers, focussing our discussion on both proximate and evolutionary causation of the discussed phenomena. We also indicate some open questions which remain to be answered by future research.Insectes Sociaux 02/2014; 62(1):9-22. DOI:10.1007/s00040-014-0377-z · 1.31 Impact Factor
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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.