Alternative reproductive tactics in the queen size dimorphic ant Leptothorax rugatulus (Emery) and population genetic consequences

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Olav Rueppell, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: We report the results of a comprehensive investigation of the queen size dimorphism in the North American ant Leptothorax rugatulus. Employing allozymes and microsatellites as genetic markers, we found no evidence that the gene pools of large (macrogynes) and small (microgynes) queens are distinct. Queens in polygynous colonies are related to each other, supporting the hypothesis that colonies with more than one queen commonly arise by the adoption of daughter queens into their natal colonies. The higher fat content of macrogynes, their predominance in monogynous societies and in small founding colonies, and their greater flight activity favor the view that macrogynes predominantly found colonies independently, while microgynes are specialized for dependent colony founding by readoption. When comparing the genetic structure of three different subpopulations, we found that the alternative life histories had no significant effect on population viscosity at the scale investigated.

Additional Information

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 50: 189-197
Language: English
Date: 2001
Size polymorphism, Microgynes, Reproductive tactics, Life history evolution , Population structure

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