Article: article from journal or magazin.
Queen-worker conflict over sex ratio: a comparison of primary and secondary sex ratios in the Argentine ant,
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
We compare the primary sex ratio (proportion o haploid eggs laid by queens) and the secondary sex ratio (proportion of male pupae produced) in the Argentine ant Iridomyrmex humilis with the aim of investigating whether workers control the secondary sex ratio by selectively eliminating male brood. The proportion of haploid eggs produced by queens was close to 0.5 in late winter, decreased to less than 0.3 in spring and summer, and increased again to a value close to 0.5 in fall. Laboratory experiments indicate that temperture is a proximate factor influencing the primary sex ratio with a higher proportion of haploid eggs being laid at colder temperatures. Production of queen pupae ceased in mid-June, about three weeks before that of male pupae. After this time only worker pupae were produced. During the period of production of sexuals, the proportion of male pupae ranged from 0.30 to 0.38. Outside this period no males were reared although haploid eggs were produced all the year round by queens. Workers thus exert a control on the secondary sex ratio by eliminating a proportion of the male brood during the period of sexual production and eliminating all the males during the remainder of the cycle. These data are consistent with workers preferring a more female-biased sex ratio than queens. The evolutionary significance of the production of male eggs by queens all the year round is as yet unclear. It may be a mechanism allowing queen replacement in the case of the death of the queens in the colony.
iridomyrmex-humilis argentine ant sex ratio haploidiploidy queen-worker conflict
Web of science
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