Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 345–354

Genetic population structure and sociogenetic organisation in Formica truncorum (Hymenoptera; Formicidae)

  • Liselotte Sundström

DOI: 10.1007/BF00172934

Cite this article as:
Sundström, L. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1993) 33: 345. doi:10.1007/BF00172934


The genetic population structure and the sociogenetic organization of the red wood ant Formica truncorum were compared in two populations with monogynous colonies and two populations with polygynous colonies. The genetic population structure was analysed by measuring allele frequency differences among local subsets of the main study populations. The analysis of sociogenetic organisation included estimates of nestmate queen and nestmate worker relatedness, effective number of queens, effective number of matings per queen, relatedness among male mates of nestmate queens and relatedness between queens and their male mates. The monogynous populations showed no differentiation between subpopulations, whereas there were significant allele frequency differences among the subpopulations in the polygynous population. Workers, queens and males showed the same genetical population structure. The relatedness among nestmate workers and among nestmate queens was identical in the polygynous societies. In three of the four populations there was a significant heterozygote excess among queens. The queens were related to their male mates in the polygynous population analysed, but not in the monogynous ones. The data suggest limited dispersal and partial intranidal mating in the populations with polygynous colonies and outbreeding in the populations having monogynous colonies. Polyandry was common in both population types; about 50% of the females had mated at least twice. The males contributed unequally to the progeny, one male fathering on average 75% of the offspring with double mating and 45–80% with three or more matings.

Key words

Population structure Genetic relatedness Sociogenetic organisation Queen number Social insects 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liselotte Sundström
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

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