Preemptive Defensive Self‐Sacrifice by Ant Workers

  title={Preemptive Defensive Self‐Sacrifice by Ant Workers},
  author={A. Tofilski and M. Couvillon and S. Evison and H. Helanter{\"a} and E. Robinson and F. Ratnieks},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={E239 - E243}
  • A. Tofilski, M. Couvillon, +3 authors F. Ratnieks
  • Published 2008
  • Medicine, Biology
  • The American Naturalist
  • 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… CONTINUE READING
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