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Queen polymorphism in the North American harvester ant, Ephebomyrmex imberbiculus

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Heinze, Jürgen ; Hölldobler, B. ; Cover, S. P.
Date of publication of this fulltext: 05 Aug 2009 13:59


In the North American harvester ant Ephebomyrmex imberbiculus, in addition to dealate queens, wingless female reproductives occur that have greatly reduced ocelli and thoracic sutures (intermorphic queens). Both queen types are equivalent in function, and do not differ in ovarian morphology. Colonies may contain several inseminated and egg-laying intermorphic queens. We discuss queen polymorphism in respect to the biology of this desert-dwelling species.

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