All Amazon ants (Polyergus species) are social parasites; they raid nests of ants from the closely related Formica genus and steal the brood for rearing as slaves in their own colony (3). The colony is totally dependent on its slaves to carry out all the necessary tasks in the nest, such as brood rearing, nest maintenance (4), and foraging; the Formica slaves regurgitate food for Polyergus lucidus to feed on (3).
As the Formica slaves die-off, more are captured to replace them, with raids of Formica nests taking place every six to eight weeks (3). During such raids, as well as bringing larvae and pupae back to the nest, Polyergus lucidus workers also eat a large proportion of the Formica eggs (3).
Polyergus lucidus queens (winged females) mate during a flight which occurs around midday in high temperatures (8). The males do not survive long after reproduction, while the queens lose their wings and go on to found a new colony (9).