Aggression, cooperation, and relatedness among colonies of the invasive ant, Monomorium pharaonis, originating from different areas of the world
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 wordsMonomorium pharaonis kin selection supercolony genetic bottleneck aggression, invasive species, ant
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