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How to fool a virgin: Artificial dealation triggers oviposition in virgin Lasius niger queens
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Once inseminated, ant queens rapidly shed their wings and start to lay eggs. Here we test whether there is a causal link between dealation and oviposition in the ant Lasius niger. We show that artificially dealated virgin queens start to lay eggs shortly after wing removal, whereas winged virgin queens hardly ever lay eggs. Dealate virgins do, however, produce fewer eggs than mated queens. These findings indicate that dealation does induce egg-laying, and that other factors, such as mating and/or insemination, further stimulate oviposition under natural conditions.
oviposition dealation lasius niger egg-laying virgin queens solenopsis-invicta fire ants primer pheromone sex-ratio hymenoptera formicidae histolysis
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