Social parasitism

One species of social insect relying on another (host) to rear its young. The relation­ship is termed temporary if the parasitic relation­ship only exists during colony founding with the host queen being killed and her workers gradually dying of attrition. It is termed permanent when the entire life cycle of the parasite is spent in the nest of its host; workers are either scarce and degenerate in behavior, or completely lacking. Holldobler & Wil­son ( 1990) refer to permanent social parasitism as inquilinism (q.v.), a term generally employed for more benign guests.

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