Du, Y. and Schrempf, A. and Heinze, J. (2007) Environmental determination of the male morph in the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). European Journal of Entomology 104 (2), pp. 243-246.
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Cardiocondyla is one of the few ant genera in which winged dispersing males coexist with wingless fighter males, which predominantly mate inside their maternal nests. Male polymorphism is not genetically determined but induced by environmental conditions (e.g., a decrease in temperature). The factors leading to the production of winged males were studied in more detail by exposing colonies of C. obscurior to a specific set of rearing conditions. A "stressful" environmental condition (rearing temperature lowered on average by 5°C) experienced for at least two days, the decrease of temperature by a minimum of 3°C, and the addition of protein-rich food triggered the development of winged males. In contrast, a smaller decrease in temperature, starvation, encounters with workers from other species, and encounters with alien, conspecific winged males did not induce the production of winged males. Colonies differed strongly in their reaction to changing environmental conditions, which might indicate a difference in their threshold sensitivity. The results are discussed and compared with data from other dimorphic insect species.
|Institutions:||Biology, Preclinical Medicine > Institut für Zoologie|
|Keywords:||Formicidae; male dimorphism; environmental morph determination; Cardiocondyla; ergatoid males|
|Subjects:||500 Science > 570 Life sciences|
500 Science > 590 Zoological sciences
|Refereed:||Yes, this version has been refereed|
|Created at the University of Regensburg:||Unknown|
|Deposited On:||30 Jan 2009 10:28|
|Last Modified:||20 Jul 2011 21:24|