Advertisement

Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 421–438 | Cite as

Raiding and Foraging Behavior of the Blood-Red Ant, Formica sanguinea Latr. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

  • Alessandra Mori
  • Donato A. Grasso
  • Francesco Le Moli
Article

Abstract

In this paper we report the results of a detailed study on the behavioral ecology of slave raiding and foraging activity in the European blood-red ant, Formica sanguinea Latr. The field study was conducted over an unbroken period of 78 days, during which the activity of two dulotic colonies of this facultative slave-maker was observed for 10 h each day. It was possible to observe 26 raids distributed over 23 days, among which 18 were followed by the sacking of nests belonging to the species F. cunicularia, F. fusca, and Lasius emarginatus, whereas 8 failed. Simple, continuous, and simultaneous raids occurred. We recorded the timing, frequency, distance, and direction of slave raids, including the number of participants and the type of booty. Particular attention was devoted to the scouting behavior and raiding organization. Moreover, every day, we observed foraging and predatory behavior, during which adult insects (mainly ants), seeds, and berries were retrieved to the dulotic colonies. On the basis of our observations F. sanguinea seems to be a very efficient slave-maker and predatory species of the Raptiformica subgenus. Moreover, its dulotic behavior may be regarded as a continuation and an expansion of its foraging and predatory behavior, as predicted by Darwin's hypothesis for the origin and evolution of slavery in ants.

raiding foraging evolution of slavery Formica sanguinea 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Ali, M. F., Attygalle, A. B., Billen, J. P. J., Jackson, B. D., and Morgan, E. D. (1988). Change of Dufour gland contents with age of workers of Formica sanguinea (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Physiol. Entomol. 13: 249-255.Google Scholar
  2. Buschinger, A. (1991). Host specificity and host selection in parasitic ants. In: Proceedings 4th ECE/XIII SIEEC, Gödöllo, pp. 682-685.Google Scholar
  3. Buschinger, A., Ehrhardt, W., and Winter, U. (1980). The organization of slave raids in dulotic ants. A comparative study (Hymenoptera; Formicidae). Z. Tierpsychol. 53: 245-264.Google Scholar
  4. Ceusters, R. (1985). Experiments on the slave raiding behavior of Formica sanguinea Latreille on Formica rufibarbis Fabricius (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Actes Coll. Insectes soc. 2: 221-228.Google Scholar
  5. Cool-Kwait, E., and Topoff, H. (1984). Raid organization and behavioral development in the slave-making ant Polyergus lucidus Mayr. Insectes soc. 31: 361-374.Google Scholar
  6. Czechowski, W. (1977). Recruitment signals and raids in slave-maker ants. Ann. Zool. 34: 1-23.Google Scholar
  7. Darwin, C. (1859). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Murray, London.Google Scholar
  8. Dobrzanska, J. (1959). Studies on the division of labour in ants genus Formica. Acta Biol. Exp. 19: 57-81.Google Scholar
  9. Dobrzanska, J. (1978). Problems of behavioral plasticity in slave-making amazon-ant Polyergus rufescens Latr. and its slave-ants Formica fusca L. and Formica cinerea Mayr. Acta Neurobiol. Exp. 38: 113-132.Google Scholar
  10. Dobrzanska, J., and Dobrzanski, J. (1962). Quelques observations sur les luttes entre différentes espèces de fourmis. Acta Biol. Exp. 22: 269-277.Google Scholar
  11. Dobrzanski, J. (1961). Sur l'éthologie guerrière de Formica sanguinea Latr. (Hymenoptère, Formicidae). Acta Biol. Exp. 21: 53-73.Google Scholar
  12. Dobrzanski, J. (1965). Genesis of social parasitism among ants. Acta Biol. Exp. 25: 59-71.Google Scholar
  13. Escherich, K. (1917). Die Ameisen, Verl. Friedr. Vieweg u. Sohn, Braunschweig.Google Scholar
  14. Forel, A. (1874). Les Fourmis de la Suisse, Imprimerie Coopérative, La Chaux-de-Fonds.Google Scholar
  15. Goodloe, L., and Sanwald, R. (1985). Host specificity in colony-founding by Polyergus lucidus queens (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche 92: 297-302.Google Scholar
  16. Goodloe, L., Sanwald, R., and Topoff, H. (1987). Host specificity in raiding behavior of the slave-making ant Polyergus lucidus. Psyche 94: 39-44.Google Scholar
  17. Grasso, D. A., Ugolini, A., and Le Moli, F. (1996). Homing behavior in Polyergus rufescens Latr. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Ethology 102: 99-108.Google Scholar
  18. Grasso, D. A., Ugolini, A., Visicchio, R., and Le Moli, F. (1997). Orientation of Polyergus rufescens (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) during slave-making raids. Anim. Behav. 54: 1425-1438.Google Scholar
  19. Harkiv, V. A. (1997a). Effectiveness of activity and division of labour between slaves and slavemakers colonies of Formica sanguinea (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Zool. Zh. 76: 438-443.Google Scholar
  20. Harkiv, V. A. (1997b). Competition as a mechanism of distributing functions in colonies of Formica sanguinea (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Zool. Zh. 76: 444-447.Google Scholar
  21. Hasegawa, E., and Yamaguchi, T. (1994). Raiding behavior of the Japanese slave-making ant Polyergus samurai. Insectes soc. 41: 279-289.Google Scholar
  22. Hölldobler, B., and Wilson, E. O. (1990). The Ants, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  23. Huber, P. (1810). Recherches sur les Moeurs des Fourmis indig`enes, Paschoud, Paris.Google Scholar
  24. Le Moli, F., Grasso, D. A., Mori, A., and Ugolini, A. (1994). Eco-ethological factors affecting the scouting and raiding behavior of the slave-making ant, Polyergus rufescens Latr. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Ethology 96: 289-302.Google Scholar
  25. Marikovski, P. I. (1963). The ants Formica sanguinea Latr. as pillagers of Formica rufa Lin. nests. Insectes soc. 2: 119-128.Google Scholar
  26. Marlin, J. C. (1969). The raiding behavior of Polyergus lucidus lucidus in Central Illinois (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Kans. Entomol. Soc. 42: 108-115.Google Scholar
  27. Marlin, J. C. (1971). The mating, nesting and ant enemies of Polyergus lucidus Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Am. Midl. Nat. 86: 181-189.Google Scholar
  28. Möglich, M., and Hölldobler, B. (1974). Social carrying behavior and division of labor during nest moving in ants. Psyche 81: 219-236.Google Scholar
  29. Mori, A., D'Ettorre, P., and Le Moli, F. (1995). Host nest usurpation and colony foundation in the European amazon ant, Polyergus rufescens Latr. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insectes soc. 42: 279-286.Google Scholar
  30. Mori, A., Grasso, D. A., D'Ettorre, P., and Le Moli, F. (1994). Specificity in host choice by the slave-making ant Polyergus rufescens Latr. (Hymenoptera Formicidae). Ethol. Ecol. Evol., Spec. Iss. 3: 89-93.Google Scholar
  31. Mori, A., Grasso, D. A., and Le Moli, F. (1991). Eco-ethological study on raiding behaviour of the European amazon ant, Polyergus rufescens Latr. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Ethology 88: 46-62.Google Scholar
  32. Mori, A., and Le Moli, F. (1998). Mating behavior and colony founding of the slave-making ant Formica sanguinea (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Insect Behav. 11: 235-245.Google Scholar
  33. Otto, D. (1958). Über die Arbeitsteilung im Staate von Formica rufa rufo-pratensis minor Gössw. und ihre verhaltensphysiologischen Grundlagen. Dtsch. Akad. Landw. Wiss. Berlin 30: 1-169.Google Scholar
  34. Regnier, F. E., and Wilson, E. O. (1971). Chemical communication and “propaganda” in slavemaker ants. Science 172: 267-269.Google Scholar
  35. Savolainen, R., and Deslippe, R. J. (1996). Facultative and obligate slavery in formicine ants: Frequency of slavery, and proportion and size of slaves. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 57: 47-58.Google Scholar
  36. Snelling, R. R., and Buren, W. F. (1985). Description of a new species of slave-making ant in the Formica sanguinea group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Great Lake Entomol. 18: 69-78.Google Scholar
  37. Talbot, M. (1967). Slave-raids of the ant Polyergus lucidus Mayr. Psyche 74: 299-313.Google Scholar
  38. Talbot, M. (1968). Flights of the ant Polyergus lucidus Mayr. Psyche 75: 46-52.Google Scholar
  39. Talbot, M., and Kennedy, C. H. (1940). The slave-making ant, Formica sanguinea subintegra Emery, its raids, nuptial flights and nest structure. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 33: 560-577.Google Scholar
  40. Topoff, H., and Greenberg, L. (1988). Mating behavior of the socially-parasitic ant Polyergus breviceps: The role of the mandibular glands. Psyche 95: 81-87.Google Scholar
  41. Topoff, H., La Mon, B., Goodloe, L., and Goldstein, M. (1984). Social and orientation behavior of Polyergus breviceps during slave-making raids. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 15: 273-279.Google Scholar
  42. Topoff, H., La Mon, B., Goodloe, L., and Goldstein, M. (1985). Ecology of raiding behavior in the western slave-making ant Polyergus breviceps (Formicidae). Southwest. Nat. 30: 259-267.Google Scholar
  43. Topoff, H., and Zimmerli, E. (1991). Formica wheeleri: Darwin's predatory slave-making ant? Psyche 98: 309-317.Google Scholar
  44. Wasmann, E. (1891). Die zusammengesetzen Nester und gemischten Kolonies der Ameisen, Aschendorffschen Buchdruckerei, Münster.Google Scholar
  45. Wheeler, W.M. (1910). Ants: Their Structure, Development and Behavior, Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandra Mori
    • 1
  • Donato A. Grasso
    • 1
  • Francesco Le Moli
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia Evolutiva e FunzionaleUniversità degli StudiParmaItaly

Personalised recommendations