Animalia > Arthropoda > Insecta > Hymenoptera > Vespoidea > Formicidae > Polyergus

Polyergus (Rocky Mountain ant)

Wikipedia Abstract

Polyergus, also called Amazon ants, is a small genus of 14 described species of "slave-raiding" ants. Its workers are incapable of caring for brood, in part due to their dagger-like, piercing mandibles, but more importantly, because in the evolution of their parasitism on certain species of the host genus "Formica", they have lost the "behavioral wiring" to carry out even rudimentary brood care, or even to feed themselves. Polyergus workers exist in essence as a specialized brood-acquiring caste in their mixed Polyergus/Formica colonies, maintaining the Formica worker force by robbing brood, especially pupae, of particular species in the closely related genus Formica in massive colony-to-colony raids. The captured ants are generally referred to as "slaves" in scientific and popular literat
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