Article: article from journal or magazin.
The assessment of reproductive success of queens in ants and other social insects
Recently considerable research has focused on the causes of evolution of multiple-queen (polygynous) colonies. In order to better understand the factors which may have led to these polygynous associations it is vital to compare the reproductive success of queens in monogynous (one queen per colony) and polygynous colonies as well as the relative fitness of queens in polygynous colonies. This paper addresses the difficulties arising from such comparisons and their implications with regard to the methods commonly used to assess reproductive success in queens. The relative reproductive success of queens in monogynous and polygynous colonies is commonly assessed by comparing the relative number of reproductives they produce during a single reproductive season. However, shift in queen number seems to be only one aspect of a profound shift in social structure and reproductive strategy that constitutes, in effect, a ''polygyny syndrome''. For example, female reproductives produced in polygynous colonies frequently use a different mode of colony founding, which in turn affects the probability of their survival. Furthermore, queens from monogynous and polygynous colonies frequently differ in their life-span and the number of sexual broods they produce. As a result, the reproductive success of queens in monogynous and polygynous colonies may not be directly related to the relative number of sexuals they produce during a single reproductive season.
iridomyrmex-humilis mayr colony characteristics solenopsis-invicta argentine ant fire ant hymenoptera evolution number formicidae mode
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