The facultative enslaver Formica sanguinea Latr. uses as slaves F. fusca L. and other species of the subgenus Serviformica For. Earlier observations have shown or suggested that strong territorial wood-ant species, by defending their own territories, interfere with raids by F. sanguinea such that colonies of potential slave species gain protection against raids. At the population level, such protection should be visible as higher nest densities of F. fusca within than outside wood-ant territories, when both areas are within raiding distance of F. sanguinea. Here we tested this hypothesis by mapping nest densities of F. fusca. As expected, nest densities of F. fusca were higher within than outside wood-ant territories. In contrast, nest densities of two aggressive species, Lasius platythorax Seifert and L. niger (L.), unsuitable as slaves, were as expected lower within than outside wood-ant territories. Our results concur with earlier studies based on pitfall trapping, baiting experiments, and in situ observations on raids. The results also show that the positive impact of indirect protection provided by wood ants against raids may outweigh the direct negative impact of wood ants on F. fusca nesting within their territories. We discuss the geographic and habitat cooccurrences of wood ants, enslavers and potential slave species, and coverage of efficient indirect protection of potential slaves against raids.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.