“O Sister, Where Art Thou?”—A Review on Rescue of Imperiled Individuals in Ants
Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals, Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-016 Kraków, Poland
Institute of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Jagiellonian University, 30-387 Kraków, Poland
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biology 2021, 10(11), 1079; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10111079 (registering DOI)
Received: 8 September 2021
Revised: 15 October 2021
Accepted: 20 October 2021
Published: 22 October 2021
Ants provide an outstanding example of organisms capable of risky acts. When ants engage in rescue behavior, for example, they do so for a chance of saving another individual from a dangerous situation. What contributes to whether a particular ant engages in rescue behavior? Why do some species of ants show high rescue activity while other species show no such behavior at all? How is rescue behavior triggered in ants? Finally, but no less importantly, how risky engaging in a rescue action really is and what benefits it brings to both the rescuing and rescued ant? These are the fundamental questions we address here. We demonstrate the progress in the research field and, in doing so, we expose the extent to which the abovementioned questions are unanswered. In this comprehensive review, we present a summary of relevant published works and hope to spin higher interest in the fascinating area of study that is ant rescue behavior.