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Behavioural plasticity in Ectatomma ruidum Roger (Hymenoptera, Ponerinae), in a homospecific interactive situation

, : Behavioural plasticity in Ectatomma ruidum Roger (Hymenoptera, Ponerinae), in a homospecific interactive situation. Insect Social Life 1: 137-143

A laboratory study of interaction between homospecific colonies of the ant Ectatomma ruidum Roger is reported. Different colonies of this neotropical ponerine can share a restricted space without giving rise to serious conflict. During interaction intrusions of alien workers in homospecific nests were examined and a new phenomenon was also observed: the kidnapping of callow workers and brood by workers belonging to alien colonies. According to their characteristical patterns, we considered kidnapping to be a primitive form of intraspecific slavery, originating from interactive situation in high density population.

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