Intra- and inter-nest variation in mitochondrial DNA in the polygynous antLeptothorax acervorum (Hymenoptera; Formicidae)
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- Stille, M. & Stille, B. Ins. Soc (1992) 39: 335. doi:10.1007/BF01323953
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27 nests ofLeptothorax acervorum were analysed for restriction fragment-length polymorphism (RFLP) in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), using four endonucleases. A substantial degree of variation was found between nests in the population (13 composite haplotypes). Intra-nest variation was detected in 15 % of the nests. The presence of occasional alien inseminated females indicates that polygyny in this species is caused by adoption of mated females. The occasional acceptance of alien females is difficult to explain, but interesting, since this behaviour could have given rise to inquilinism. Our results suggest that analysis of mtDNA RFLP is a method well suited for investigations of the population structure of ants.