, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 87-91

Flexibility of first brood production in a claustral ant, Camponotus japonicus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

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Abstract

The numbers of first-batch eggs and workers (minims) in a carpenter ant Camponotus japonicus are not fixed but are regulated in response to various internal and external factors of founding queens. The initial body weight of founding queens was positively correlated with the number of minims. The amount of queen weight loss during the founding period was highly correlated with the number of minims. The numbers of first-batch eggs and minims for artificially fed queens were significantly greater than those for control group queens and for unfed queens, respectively. The number of eggs laid by a queen increased when eggs deposited in the early stage of founding were removed. In contrast, artificial addition of alien eggs reduced the number of eggs laid by a queen. The adaptive implications of this flexibility in the production of the first-batch brood in C. japonicus are discussed.

Received: December 18, 2000 / Accepted: March 19, 2001