, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 12-15

Food robbing in ants, a form of interference competition

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Food robbing is a special form of interference competition in ants. It has been frequently observed in Myrmecocystus mimicus, which waylay returning foragers of several Pogonomyrmex species at their nests and take insect prey, particularly termites, away from them. Myrmecocystus more successfully robs prey from P. desertorum and P. maricopa than from P. barbatus. Usually only those Pogonomyrmex nests are affected by Myrmecocystus prey robbing that are not farther away than 10 m from the Myrmecocystus nest. Some M. mimicus workers show a high specialization in prey robbing. Other cases of food robbing in ants are described.