Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 279–289 | Cite as

Raiding behavior of the Japanese slave-making antPolyergus samurai

  • E. Hasegawa
  • T. Yamaguchi
Research Articles


Raiding behavior of the Japanese slave-making antPolyergus samurai was investigated in the field. Raiding trips occurred from early June to early September. A raiding column of several hundreds workers would rush into a target nest and rob mainly worker pupae of the host species,Formica (Serviformica) japonica. Most trips occurred on sunny days. Air temperature, soil temperature, relative humidity, and radiation energy at the ground surface were significantly different between days with and without raiding trips. Nuptial flights occurred on hot, sunny days, and mostPolyergus colonies released alates simultaneously. Behaviors of newly mated queens are also provided and are compared with otherPolyergus species.

Key words

Ant dulosis slave raid Polyergus 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Czechowski, W. 1975. Slave raids of the antPolyergus rufescens Latr. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).Przeg. Zool. 19: 449–463.Google Scholar
  2. Hölldobler, B. 1984. A new exocrine gland in the slave raiding ant genusPolyergus.Psyche 91: 225–235.Google Scholar
  3. Hölldobler, B. and E. O. Wilson. 1990.The Ants. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  4. Kwait, E. C. and H. Topoff. 1983. Emigration raids by slave-making ants: a rapid-transit system for colony relocation (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche90:307–312.Google Scholar
  5. Kwait, E. C. and H. Topoff. 1984. Raid organization and behavioral development in the slave-making antPolyergus lucidus Mayr.Insectes Soc. 31:361–374.Google Scholar
  6. Marlin, J. C. 1968. Notes on a new method of colony formation employed byPolyergus lucidus lucidus Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).Trans. Ill. State Acad. Sci. 61:207–209.Google Scholar
  7. Mariin, J. C. 1969. The raiding behavior ofPolyergus lucidus lucidus in Central Illinois (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).J. Kansas Entomol. Soc. 42:108–115.Google Scholar
  8. Marlin, J. C. 1971. The mating, nesting and ant enemies ofPolyergus lucidus Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).Am. Midl. Nat. 86:181–189.Google Scholar
  9. Mori, A., D. A. Grasso and F. Le Moli. 1991. Eco-ethological study on raiding behavior of the European amazon ant,Polyergus rufescens Latr. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).Ethology 88: 46–62.Google Scholar
  10. Regnier, F. E. and E. O. Wilson. 1971. Chemical communication and “propaganda” in slavemaker ants.Science 171:267–269.Google Scholar
  11. Sakagami, S. F. and K. Hayashida. 1962. Work efficiency in heterospecific ant groups composed of hosts and their labor parasites.Anim. Behav. 10:96–104.Google Scholar
  12. Stuart, R. J. and T. M. Alloway. 1983. The slave-making ant,Harpagogenus canadensis M. R. Smith and its host species,Leptothorax muscorum (Nylander): slave raiding and territoriality.Behaviour 85: 58–90.Google Scholar
  13. Talbot, M. 1967. Slave-raids of the antPolyergus lucidus Mayr.Psyche 74: 299–313.Google Scholar
  14. Talbot, M. 1968. Flights of the antPolyergus lucidus Mayr.Psyche 75:46–52.Google Scholar
  15. Topoff, H. 1985. Effect of overfeeding on raiding behavior in the western slave-making antPolyergus breviceps.Nat. Geog. Res. 1:437–441.Google Scholar
  16. Topoff, H., D. Bodoni, P. Sherman and L. Goodloe. 1987. The role of scouting in slave raids byPolyergus breviceps (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).Psyche 94:261–270.Google Scholar
  17. Topoff, H., S. Cover, L. Greenberg, L. Goodloe and P. Sherman. 1988. Colony founding by queens of the obligatory slave-making ant,Polyergus breviceps: the role of the Dufour's gland.Ethology 78:209–218.Google Scholar
  18. Topoff, H., S. Cover and A. Jacobs. 1989. Behavioral adaptations for raiding in the slave-making ant,Polyergus breviceps.J. Insect Behav. 2:545–556.Google Scholar
  19. Topoff, H. and L. Greenberg. 1988. Mating behavior of the socially-parasitic antPolyergus breviceps: the role of the mandibular glands.Psyche 95:81–87.Google Scholar
  20. Topoff, H., M. Inez-Pagani, L. Mack and M. Goldstein. 1985a. Behavioral ecology of the slave-making ant,Polyergus breviceps, in a desert habitat.Southwest. Nat. 30:289–295.Google Scholar
  21. Topoff, H., B. La Mon, L. Goodloe and M. Goldstein. 1984. Social and orientation behavior ofPolyergus breviceps during slave-making raids.Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 15:273–279.Google Scholar
  22. Topoff, H., B. La Mon, L. Goodloe and M. Goldstein. 1985b. Ecology of raiding behavior in the slave-making antPolyergus breviceps (Formicidae).Southwest. Nat. 30:259–267.Google Scholar
  23. Topoff, H., M. Pagani, M. Goldstein and L. Mack. 1985c. Orientation behavior of the slave-making antPolyergus breviceps in an oak-woodland habitat.J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 93:1041–1046.Google Scholar
  24. Trager, J. C. and C. Johnson. 1985. A slave-making ant in Florida:Polyergus lucidus with observations on the natural history of its hostFormica archboldi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).Fla. Entomol. 68:261–266.Google Scholar
  25. Vargo, E. L. and P. R. Gibbs. 1987. Notes on the biology of the slave-making antPolyergus lucidus Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Georgia.J. Kansas Entomol. Soc. 60:479–482.Google Scholar
  26. Wheeler, W. M. 1916. Notes on some slave-raids of the western Amazon ant (Polyergusbreviceps Emery).J. N. Y. Entomol Soc. 24:107–118.Google Scholar
  27. Wilson, E. O.The Insect Societies. 1971. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  28. Yamaoka, R. 1990. Chemical approach to understanding interactions among organisms.Physiol. Ecol. Japan, 27:31–52.Google Scholar
  29. Yano, M. 1911. A new slave-making ant from Japan.Psyche 18:110–112.Google Scholar
  30. Yasuno, M. 1964. The study of the ant population in the grassland at Mt. Hakkoda. III. The effect of the slave making ant,Polyergus samurai, upon the nest distribution pattern of the slave ant,Formica fusca japonica.Sci. Rep. Tohoku Univ. 4th Ser. Biol. 30:167–170.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Hasegawa
    • 1
  • T. Yamaguchi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceTokyo Metropolitan UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Ecological ScienceNatural History Museum and InstituteChibaJapan

Personalised recommendations