Schrempf, Alexandra and Heinze, Jürgen (2007) Back to one: consequences of derived monogyny in an ant with polygynous ancestors. Journal of evolutionary biology 20 (2), pp. 792-799.
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The number of queens per colony is of fundamental importance in the life history of social insects. Multiple queening (polygyny), with dependent colony founding by budding, has repeatedly evolved from ancestral single queening (monogyny) and independent founding by solitary queens in waSPS, bees and ants. By contrast, the reversal to monogyny appears to be rare, as polygynous queens often lack morphological adaptations necessary for dispersal and independent colony founding. In the ant genus Cardiocondyla, monogynous species evolved from polygynous ancestors. Here, we show that queens of monogynous species found their colonies independently, albeit in an unusual way: they mate in the maternal nest, disperse on foot and forage during the founding phase. This reversal appears to be associated with the occurrence of a wing polymorphism, which reflects a trade-off between reproduction and dispersal. Moreover, queens of monogynous species live considerably longer than queens in related polygynous taxa, suggesting that queen life span is a plastic trait.
|Institutions:||Biology, Preclinical Medicine > Institut für Zoologie|
|Keywords:||Cardiocondyla; colony founding; longevity; queen number; queen polymorphism; trade-off reproduction–dispersal; wing muscle polymorphism|
|Subjects:||500 Science > 570 Life sciences|
500 Science > 590 Zoological sciences
|Refereed:||Yes, this version has been refereed|
|Created at the University of Regensburg:||Yes|
|Deposited On:||30 Jan 2009 12:04|
|Last Modified:||20 Jul 2011 21:24|