Ants Capture Other Ants To Make Ant Slaves. WHAT?


Slavery has never ended well for anyone. Be it humans or animals, the results have always been harsh on both parties. Especially for the ones being enslaved. However, this particular ant species is turning the tables! Also, yes, we are talking about animals being slaves by other animals! And yes, it is about ant slaves in particular. We will wait while you let that sink in. 

Ants Capture Other Ants To Make Ant Slaves. WHAT?
via Wikipedia

Are you done? Well, let’s come back to the ants. There are particular ant species like Protomagnathus Americanus that are known to enslave ants of other species to work for them. However, surprisingly enough, some ants are starting to rebel against this slavery system! Are you finding it hard to believe? Well, let us elaborate.

Who are these ants that still believe in slavery?

Ants Capture Other Ants To Make Ant Slaves. WHAT?
Ant raid, via Wikipedia

Protomognathus Americanus is a species of ants. It is known to be the species that conducts raids on weaker colonies of ants to enslave them. These ants usually kill the adults and larvae of their enslaved colony and capture the young ones. They make the ant slaves work for them and also raise them in a manner that the enslaved are nannies for the captor’s young ones. It basically helps P. Americanus to increase the number of their own ant colony. However, not every slave is ready to follow the new captive queen.

Who are the rebelling ant ls and ant slaves?

The rebelling ant slaves that were observed in a study are the ants of Temnothorax species. They strike back at their captives. It basically reduces the chances of new raids on the relative colonies of the Temnothorax. The ants work for the new queen. In fact, they help in raiding new colonies. However, a study found out about behavioral changes of these rebel ants that eventually led to a drastic end of the captive species!

So what was the study about?

Ants Capture Other Ants To Make Ant Slaves. WHAT?
via Wikimedia Commons/Adrian A. Smith

According to a study done by Alexandra Achenbach and Susanne Foitzik from Ludwig Maximillian’s University in Munich, ants of the Temnothorax species are striking back. They collected 88 colonies of ants from the P. Americans species. All these colonies enslaved the ants of three species from the Temnothorax. According to their findings, some ants from the enslaved species fought back and destroyed the colonies of the ants that enslaved them, especially targeting the young ones. This change in behavior was more visible after the larvae of the captive species pupated. They observed that the rebel ants killed most of the pupae of the captives, which basically resulted in decreasing the ant population in the captive colony. The queens, in comparison to males, were targeted more in order to eliminate the chances of expansion of the captive colony. These ants sure are some strategic and fierce rebels!

So, believe us or not, but slavery in animals does exist! Of course, slavery can never end well. But in this case, or at least according to the study that was conducted, the captive species surely met a drastic loss.

Ants are not the only smart ones in our animal kingdom. Read about this smarty party of the most intelligent animals known to man!


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