Control of brood male production in the Argentine ant Iridomyrmex humilis (Mayr)

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Serval ID
serval:BIB_558F9A4BF88B
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Control of brood male production in the Argentine ant Iridomyrmex humilis (Mayr)
Journal
Insectes Sociaux
Author(s)
Passera L., Keller L., Suzzoni J. P.
ISSN
0020-1812
Publication state
Published
Issued date
1988
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
35
Number
1
Pages
19-33
Language
english
Abstract
The influence of various social factors on the production of males was investigated in the Argentine ant, Iridomyrmex humilis.
In this polygynous species, the workers which are monomorphic are unable to lay reproductive eggs, so all the males are the progeny of the queens.
Although male eggs appear to be laid by mated queens throughout the year, in large stock colonies males are reared periodically (every 3 or 4 months); males develop from brood taken from these colonies at any point in the cycle and given queenless or queenright (1 to 5 queens) units. This is in striking contrast to many other species of ants where it is generally assumed that male eggs are laid seasonnally.
Comparative experiments suggest that several related factors influence the rearing of males as far as the pupal stage.
Worker/larva ratio: The proportion of male larvae developing in standardized units in which the worker/larva ratio was varied from 0.25 to 25 demonstrated that low ratios inhibit male production.
Queen influence: In standardized units where the worker/larva ratio was high the presence of queens did not inhibit the rearing of males suggesting that there is no queen inhibitory pheromone controlling male experimental production. Data suggest evidence that queens prevent male production by means of appropriation of food.
Diet: Male larvae failed to pupate in experimental societies deprived of protein. Thus, the production of males appears to be controlled by the amount of food available to larvae. This depends on foraging activity, the quantity of brood in relation to the number of workers and the number of queens in the society.
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Create date
24/01/2008 18:40
Last modification date
20/08/2019 14:10
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