Preemptive Defensive Self‐Sacrifice by Ant Workers

@article{Tofilski2008PreemptiveDS,
  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},
  year={2008},
  volume={172},
  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… 

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