New video on slavemaking ants

27 Mar

As I announced a few weeks ago, I have been working on a new video on my work on slavemaking ants. It is now ready and online!

In this video, we talk about our research on slavemaking ants and their hosts (slaves). The slavemakers are of one species (P. americanus) and the hosts of another species (T. longispinosus). Host ants can be captured by the slavemaker ants, and these captured ants (slaves) normally work for the slavemaker queen. But recently, it was found that they sometimes kill slavemakers (Achenbach and Foitzik 2009 and Pamminger et al. 2013). It is unclear why the slaves do this, because they probably cannot reproduce.

The video is based on the paper: “Oh sister, where art thou? Indirect fitness benefit could maintain a host defense trait” by Tobias Pamminger, Susanne Foitzik, Dirk Metzler and myself, which can be found here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.0790. Earlier, I wrote a blog-post about this paper for Haldane’s Sieve.

Susanne Foitzik, who is a professor in Mainz (and previously in Munich) and her students and colleagues have been working on this slavemaker-host system for many years. Another video of our work is here: Raiders from the sky.

The music for the video was taken from the Free Music Archive.

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2 Responses to “New video on slavemaking ants”

  1. Nandita March 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    I love this blog and all your science! Fantastic video.
    — Nandita

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