, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 139-142

First online:

Aggression, cooperation, and relatedness among colonies of the invasive ant, Monomorium pharaonis, originating from different areas of the world

  • Jan FrouzAffiliated withInstitute of Soil Biology, Biology Centre AS CRDepartment of Ecology, South Bohemian UniversityInstitute for Environmental Studies, Charles University
  • , Radek JohnAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology, Charles University
  • , Václav RupešAffiliated withInstitute for Public Health
  • , Gábor CechAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, Eötvös Loránd University
  • , Károly MarialigetiAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, Eötvös Loránd University

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The cooperation and aggression between five laboratory colonies of Monomorium pharaonis were compared using an aggressiveness test and pupa-carrying test in laboratory arenas. The colonies were derived from field collections in different parts of Europe and USA. Generally, inter-colony aggressiveness was low and acceptance of pupae from other colonies was high. Workers from one colony (Lužiny, CZ), however, frequently displayed aggressive behavior when paired with workers from other colonies, and the Lužiny pupae were avoided by workers of other colonies in pupa-carrying tests. Behavioral tests were only partly consistent with the phylogenetic relatedness of ants because the Wisconsin colony (USA) grouped with the Lužiny colony (and not with the other three colonies) in the phylogenetic analysis but grouped with the other three colonies in the behavioral tests.

Key words

Monomorium pharaonis kin selection supercolony genetic bottleneck aggression, invasive species, ant