Article: article from journal or magazin.
Queen recruitment in a highly polygynous supercolony of formica-lugubris (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)
This work examines behavioural relationships between young females (potential queens) and workers, in a multi-nest population (supercolony), of Formica lugubris. Each nest contains hundreds of functional queens but the colony is initiated by a single foundress (secondary polygyny). Thus, recruitment of new queens into the nests is part of the population dynamics. Substantial variation in worker response towards introduced female sexuals, ranging from execution to complete acceptance, is demonstrated. The mating status of the introduced females has a clear effect on the worker response: virgin females are accepted with about twice the probability of inseminated females. When native alates are present in a nest, all introduced females are accepted with higher probability than when the native alates are absent, later in the season. No effect of distance (between donor and recipient nests) on the worker reaction was found, within the supercolony borders. Proximate mechanisms and selective forces regulating the recruitment process are discussed in light of these findings.
ANTS HYMENOPTERA, STRATEGIES, EVOLUTION, EXSECTA, NUMBER
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