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

Insectes Sociaux (Impact Factor: 1.02). 01/2005; 52(1):103-104. DOI: 10.1007/s00040-004-0788-3


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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Available from: Wojciech Czechowski, Jan 23, 2015
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    • "Consequently, F. fusca colonies could persist there and grow bigger . On the other hand F. polyctena severely decreases the foraging success and alters the foraging strategy of F. fusca (Czechowski 1985, Savolainen and Vepsäläinen 1989, Savolainen 1990, 1991, Czechowski and Markó 2005), and occasionally even destroys wrong-placed colonies. In addition, its dependent colony-foundation causes F. fusca colonies to die out, though at a slower rate than F. sanguinea. "
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    • "Finally, it is worth noting that the minimum distance traveled by P. breviceps to a host colony was only 1 m (Table II). Czechowski (2005) reported that slaves of large P. rufescens colonies commonly formed nearly-independent satellite nests that were raided on several occasions, with slave-makers carrying adult slaves back to the slavemaker nest. Despite the close proximity of the aforementioned host nest to the P. breviceps nest that raided it, this raid seemed characteristic of a normal slave raid rather than of the integration raids described by Czechowski (2005). "
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