Slave ants rebel

Kidnapped worker ants do a little quiet sabotage

5:30pm, August 14, 2008

Tiny ants enslaved inside acorns across the northeastern United States could be resisting their captors with a covert army of killer nannies.

About the size of newspaper commas, ants in the genus Temnothorax fall prey to a marginally larger ant species that doesn't do its own housework.

Instead the do-little ants, Protomognathus americanus, raid smaller species' nests and steal babies in the larval and pupal stages. The youngsters grow up inside the acorn home of the slave-makers’ queen, doing her housework and nursemaiding her young.

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