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The possible role of ant larvae in the defence against social parasites

Pulliainen, Unni ; Helanterä, Heikki ; Sundström, Liselotte ; Schultner, Eva



Abstract

Temporary social parasite ant queens initiate new colonies by entering colonies of host species, where they begin laying eggs. As the resident queen can be killed during this process, host colonies may lose their entire future reproductive output. Selection thus favours the evolution of defence mechanisms, before and after parasite intrusion. Most studies on social parasites focus on host worker ...

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