Temporary social parasites establish new colonies with the assistance of a host species. A queen of the parasite enters the nest of the host and chemically tricks the host workers into adopting her. The intruding queen kills or drives off the host queen and begins to lay her own eggs. Host workers remain in the colony and tend both their own eggs and the eggs of the new queen. Over time the host workers are replaced with workers from the new queen and the colony becomes completely populated by the new queen's offspring.
The biology of Lasius umbratus provides natural history information about one representative temporarily parasitic ant.
Known Temporary Parasites