Formica Sanguinea
The Slave-Maker Ant




    -Physical Characteristics














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     A newly mated queen formica sanguinea ant does not make her own nest. Instead, she will either fake death and let herself be dragged to the enemy queen by soldier ants, or she rushes in by herself, this method often results in quick death. After she gets into the queen's chambers, the formica sanguinea queen will kill the enemy queen. She then will smother herself in the other queen's scent. The workers will think that the formica sanguinea ant queen is their queen, and tend to the eggs she lays. Because a formica sanguinea queen produces only soldier ants, she needs the captured colony's workers to feed her soldiers, for they cannot feed themselves.
     The first ant workers that come with the nest are her first "slaves," but as the population of formica sanguinea ants grows, the queen will need more "slaves" to collect food and take care of the colony. To acquire the needed workers, the soldiers and even some of the "enslaved" ants will attack another colony. The raiding party will either slaughter or chase away the adults, and steal the eggs and larvae of the raided colony.
     Most ants fight by forming a sort of "battle ball." The fighting ants will curl into a ball with the other ant, and tear at each other with their mandibles. The battles are gruesome; usually the fight ends with the one of the ant's body parts strewn across the battlefield. The formica sanguineas are superior fighters to most ants that they raid, so they usually bring back many eggs to their queen. These eggs will be cared for, and when the larvae mature, they will be used as additional "slaves."