Preemptive Defensive Self‐Sacrifice by Ant Workers

  title={Preemptive Defensive Self‐Sacrifice by Ant Workers},
  author={Adam Tofilski and Margaret J. Couvillon and Sophie E. F. Evison and Heikki Helanter{\"a} and Elva J. H. Robinson and Francis L. W. Ratnieks},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={E239 - E243}
Worker insects altruistically sacrifice their own reproduction to rear nondescendant kin. This sacrifice reaches its most spectacular level in suicidal colony defense. Suicidal defense, such as when the sting of a honeybee worker embeds in a predator and then breaks off, is normally a facultative response. Here we describe the first example of preemptive self‐sacrifice in nest defense. In the Brazilian ant Forelius pusillus, the nest entrance is closed at sunset. One to eight workers finish the… 

A review on self-destructive defense behaviors in social insects

An overview of the self-destructive defense mechanisms that eusocial insects have evolved is provided and avenues for future research into this form of altruism are discussed.

Appetite for self-destruction: suicidal biting as a nest defense strategy in Trigona stingless bees

The results indicate that suicidal biting may be a widespread defense strategy in stingless bees, but it is not universal and has both parallels and differences with other self-sacrificial worker insects, such as the honey bee.

Altruistic self‐removal of health‐compromised honey bee workers from their hive

The combined theoretical and empirical support for altruistic self‐removal suggests that it may be another important kin‐selected behaviour and a potentially widespread mechanism of social immunity.

Novel aspects of nest defence in stingless bees

This thesis explores this central theme in behavioural ecology using stingless bees as study organisms, and demonstrates that through coordinated vigilance, a group level behaviour rarely observed in animals, the ability of the group to detect predators is enhanced.

Ant, Bee and Wasp Social Evolution

Enslaved ants: not as helpless as they were thought to be

This review presents and discusses all these diverse (often interrelated) expressions of slave opposition to their enslavers, focussing on both proximate and evolutionary causation of the discussed phenomena.

SOCIAL BEHAVIOR Ant, Bee and Wasp Social Evolution q

  • Biology
  • 2019
Investigations of the ontogeny and the phylogeny of social behavior have been initiated, satisfying Niko Tinbergen ’ s vision of the integrated study of animal behavior.

Moribund Ants Leave Their Nests to Die in Social Isolation

Social Evolution: Sick Ants Face Death Alone

Managing the risks and rewards of death in eusocial insects

The causes of death, the sensory detection of death and corpse management strategies of social insects are summarized and insights into the evolution of behavioural response to the dead are provided and the ecological relevance of corpse management are provided.



Foraging and spatiotemporal territories in the honey ant Myrmecocystus mimicus wheeler (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

The honey ant Myrmecocystus mimicus is a scavenger, forages extensively on termites, collects floral nectar, and tends homoptera, and it is concluded that young M. mimicus queens are unlikely to succeed in founding a colony within approximately 3 m of a mature M. Mimicus colony because they are discovered and killed, or driven off by workers of the resident colony.

Comparative study in stingless bees (Meliponini) demonstrates that nest entrance size predicts traffic and defensivity

The nest entrance of Partamona, known in Brazil as boca de sapo, or toad mouth, which has a wide outer entrance but a narrow inner entrance, is discussed, which allows these bees to finesse the defensivity/traffic trade‐off.

The biology of the antRossomyrmex proformicarum K. W. Arnoldi (1928)

R. proformicarum from south-east Kasachstan, which keeps Proformica slaves, is a desert ant; its nest corresponds to that ofProformica, with vertical passage-ways and horizontal chambers.

Colony-level stabilization of soldier head width for head-plug defense in the termite Reticulitermes speratus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

  • K. Matsuura
  • Biology
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2001
Analysis of the relative growth of head width and head length suggested that stabilizing selection on soldier head width operates at the colony level, and within-colony uniformity of soldier headwidth is likely an adaptation of Reticulitermes soldiers for phragmotic defense.

Individual versus social complexity, with particular reference to ant colonies

Insect societies – colonies of ants, bees, wasps and termites – vary enormously in their social complexity. Social complexity is a broadly used term that encompasses many individual and colony‐level

The Biology of the Naked Mole-Rat

An international group of researchers covers such topics as the evolution of eusociality, phylogeny and systematics of the rodent family Bathyergidae, population and behavioral ecology and genetics of naked mole-rats in the field, vocal and nonvocal behaviors, social organization and divisions of labor within colonies, and climatic, social, and physiological factors affecting growth, reproduction, and reproductive suppression.

Raid process, activity pattern and influence of abiotic conditions in the slave-making ant Rossomyrmex minuchae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)

Major differences between Rossomyrmex and Polyergus (the other obligate dulotic genus of the tribe Formicini) in terms of behaviour, both in nestmate recruitment and in the host-nest invasion, reflect different parasitic strategies in the two genera, supporting the assignment of these two generas to different phylogenetic groups.

Platzende Arbeiterinnen: Eine neue Art der Feindabwehr bei sozialen Hautflüglern

The term “autothysis” (greek.: self sacrifice) is proposed for the phenomenon of self sacrifice is social insects to which the bursting of C. saundersi and the related species belongs.

Ecology and natural history of tropical bees

This book discusses approaches to tropical bee biology, nesting and Reproduction Biology, and community Ecology, which focuses on the role of bees in communities in tropical bees.

Interactions between granivorous and omnivorous ants in a desert grassland: results from a long‐term experiment

Abstract.  1. There is growing evidence that granivorous ants compete for seeds in desert ecosystems. But ants that diverge in diet may still interact strongly if existing colonies deter foundress