|scientific name Polyergus breviceps |
common name Slave-Maker Ant or Amazons
Found in areas where there slave species (Formica fusca group) are well established.
May to September.
Easily identified by the lack of teeth on the mandibles. Raiders are ~4.7-6.8mm in length, with a red head and thorax with a darker abdomen. Antennal scapes do not surpass the occipital border (Wheeler and Wheeler, 1963, Fisher and Cover, 2007).
The life history of this species is heavily reliant on their slaves, from the Formica fusca group (Fisher and Cover, 2007). The queen, once she has mated finds a host nest and invades it, using a specialized Dufour's gland to suppress the host workers, and then kills the queen assuming control over the host colony (Holldobler and Wilson, 1990). Colonies are usually only made up of 300-500 Polyergus breviceps, but can have thousands of slaves (Holldobler and Wilson, 1990).
Not of concern.
Are unable to feed themselves, but are fed all types of foods from their slaves.
Found throughout much of the northern half of North America.
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