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Dulosis is the presence of permanent parasitism with slavery.

The biology of Temnothorax muellerianus provides a representative account of dulosis.

Slave-making ants show wide variation in the degree of degeneracy of the worker caste. At one end of the spectrum, represented by Formica sanguinea, the workers are self-sufficient. They conduct all of the quotidian tasks of the colony on their own, and they can easily survive without the support of slaves. At the other extreme, represented by the degenerate slavemakers of the genus Epimyrma (now placed within Temnothorax), the workers have a very limited behavioral repertory and are apparently completely helpless without their slaves. Holldobler & Wilson, 1990).


  • Alloway, T. 1980. The origins of slavery in leptothoracine ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The American Naturalist 115(2): 247-261.
  • Buschinger, A. 1990. Sympatric speciation and radiative evolution of socially parasitic ants ‐ Heretic hypotheses and their factual background. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 28: 241-260 (DOI 10.1111/j.1439-0469.1990.tb00379.x).
  • Buschinger, A., Ehrhardt, W. & Winter, U. 1980. The organization of slave raids in dulotic ants — A comparative study (Hymenoptera; Formicidae). Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 53: 245-264. (DOI 10.1111/j.1439-0310.1980.tb01053.x).
  • Ruano, F., Sanllorente, O., Lenoir, A. & Tinaut, A. 2013. Rossomyrmex, the slave-maker ants from the arid steppe environments. Psyche 2013: Article ID 541804 (DOI 10.1155/2013/541804).
  • Stuart, R.J., Alloway, T.M. 1985. Behavioural evolution and domestic degeneration in obligatory slave-making ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Leptothoracini).

Animal Behaviour 33: 1080-1088 (DOI 10.1016/S0003-3472(85)80166-4).