Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Formica Pergandei

Formica pergandei worker
While out transplanting some things I disturbed a fold of cardboard in the garden to find a colony of Formica (either pallidefulva or incerta) mixed with the parasitic Formica pergandei. While observing I was surprised to find that the smallest F. pergandei workers are much smaller than their host species. I find this strange for an ant that is supposed to be completely dependent on their host. How could a polymorphic caste system be beneficial in this case?