IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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Biology

Very few details of the ecology and biology of this species have been elucidated, and what it feeds on is still a mystery (3). Colonies of this species are small, numbering around a hundred workers (2), and are situated in pieces of wood or in fronds of bracken within the nest of the host (3). More than one colony can occur in a single host nest (3). The workers are not often seen, but occasionally they emerge and run around on the surface of the host nest (3). Males, which are present from July to September (3), are wingless, and mating occurs on the surface of the nest rather than during a mating flight, as in many species of ant (2). Mated queens may fly to other host nests, or may return to their own nest in order to establish a new colony (2). Host workers tend to completely ignore their 'guests', with shining guest ants moving freely inside the colony (2). However, host workers may occasionally grab F. nitidulus workers, releasing them undamaged, and very rarely they may actually attack them (2). If the hosts move to another nest, the guest ant colony follows closely behind, with queens, larvae and pupae being carried by the workers (2).

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Source: ARKive

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