Queen acceptance in a socially polymorphic ant

Details

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State: Public
Version: Final published version
Serval ID
serval:BIB_8D362F9068B2
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Title
Queen acceptance in a socially polymorphic ant
Journal
Animal Behaviour
Author(s)
Meunier J., Reber A., Chapuisat M.
ISSN
0003-3472
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2011
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
81
Number
1
Pages
163-168
Language
english
Abstract
A central question in social evolution is what processes regulate the number of breeders in each social group. Here, we tested whether differences in the rate of acceptance of new queens by resident workers could be a proximate cause explaining the coexistence of single- and multiple-queen colonies in an ant population. We found that Formica selysi workers discriminated against foreign (non-nestmate) queens, which contributes to maintaining the genetic integrity of the social group essential to kin selection. All the young and newly mated foreign queens introduced into experimental groups of workers died within 48 h. In contrast, workers frequently accepted young newly mated nestmate queens. The survival of nestmate queens was not significantly lower in groups of workers originating from single- queen colonies than in groups of workers originating from multiple-queen colonies. Finally, virgin queens had significantly higher survival than mated queens. Together, these results show that the maintenance of single-queen and multiple-queen colonies in the same population is unlikely to be caused by strong differences between the two types of colonies in their rate of acceptance of new queens by workers. They also suggest that the discrimination of queens by resident workers restricts the dispersal of foreign queens among colonies, but not the acceptance of additional nestmate queens.
Keywords
Formica selysi, nestmate recognition, queen number, social evolution
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
22/09/2010 17:10
Last modification date
20/08/2019 14:51
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