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Experience-Independent Attraction To Slave-Maker Ant Larvae in Host-Species Ant Workers (Leptothorax Longispinosus; Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

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Newly eclosed workers of the frequently enslaved ant species Leptothorax longispinosus were either exposed to conspecific larvae, exposed to larvae of the slave-making parasite Harpagoxenus americanus, or reared in social isolation. In all conditions, the L. longispinosus workers later accepted H. americanus larvae preferentially. This finding indicates that H. americanus larvae are highly attractive to Leptothorax workers and demonstrates that early learning need not to be invoked to account for the acceptance of Harpagoxenus brood by enslaved Leptothorax workers.

Affiliations: 1: (Enrindale College, University of Toronto, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 1C6)


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