Original Article

Cooperative self-defence: Matabele ants (Pachycondyla analis) against African driver ants (Dorylus sp.; Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Beck, J. & Kunz, B.K.


Abstract: Only few documented cases of cooperative self-defence outside the nest are known in social insects. We report observations of Pachycondyla analis (Latreille, 1802) workers helping each other against attacking epigaeic driver ants (Dorylus sp.) in a West African savannah. The considerably larger P. analis scanned each other's legs and antennae and removed Dorylus clinging to their extremities. In experimentally staged encounters we could reproduce this behaviour.