Advertisement

Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 1–15 | Cite as

Ergatoid queens and intercastes in ants: Two distinct adult forms which look morphologically intermediate between workers and winged queens

  • C. P. Peeters
Review

Summary

The term “ergatogyne” is used in ants to describe permanently-wingless female adults which are “morphologically intermediate” between workers and winged queens. This definition is ambiguous because there are two distinct categories of “ergatogynes”: ergatoid queens and intercastes. Both have an external appearance (ocelli and alitrunk structure) which combines traditional queen and worker characters, and thus can be confused if they both function as reproductives — however intercastes in most species cannot reproduce.

Ergatoid queens have replaced winged queens in a substantial number of species. They are sometimes externally similar to conspecific workers, especially in various ponerine species which exhibit limited size dimorphism between castes. Ergatoid queens retain the specialized attributes of a reproductive caste, including larger ovaries, and they are always the functional egg-layers in a colony. In contrast, conspecific intercastes represent various graded stages in a series connecting workers and winged queens, and they occur together with the queens. These hybrid phenotypes result from deviations from the normal pattern of caste differentiation during larval development. Intercastes generally lack a spermatheca and have no reproductive function; however they can mate in a few leptothoracine ants, and then reproduce instead of winged queens in a proportion of colonies.

Key words

Reproduction caste morphology Ponerinae Leptothoracini 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Arnold, G., 1915. A monograph of the Formicidae of South Africa.Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 14:1–766.Google Scholar
  2. Bier, K., 1954. Über den Saisondimorphismus der Oogenese vonFormica rufa rufo-pratensis minor Gössw. und dessen Bedeutung für die Kastendetermination.Biol. Zbl. 73:170–190.Google Scholar
  3. Bolton, B., 1974. A revision of the ponerine ant genusPlectroctena F. Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).Bull. Br. Mus. nat. Hist. (Ent.) 30:309–338.Google Scholar
  4. Bolton, B., 1975. A revision of the ant genusLeptogenys Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Ethiopian region.Bull. Br. Mus. nat. Hist. (Ent.) 31:235–305.Google Scholar
  5. Bolton, B., 1981a. A revision of the ant generaMeranoplus F. Smith,Dicroaspis Emery andCalyptomyrmex Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Ethiopian zoogeographical region.Bull. Br. Mus. nat. Hist. (Ent.) 42:43–81.Google Scholar
  6. Bolton, B., 1981b. A revision of six minor genera of Myrmicinae in the Ethiopian zoogeographical region.Bull. Br. Mus. nat. Hist. (Ent.) 43:245–307.Google Scholar
  7. Bolton, B., 1986. Apterous females and shift of dispersal strategy in theMonomorium salomonis group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).J. Nat. Hist. 20:267–272.Google Scholar
  8. Bolton, B., 1987. A review of theSolenopsis genus-group and revision of AfrotropicalMonomorium Mayr.Bull. Br. Mus. nat. Hist. (Ent.) 54:263–452.Google Scholar
  9. Bolton, B., 1990. Abdominal characters and status of the cerapachyine ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).J. Nat. Hist. 24:53–68.Google Scholar
  10. Bolton, B. and A. C. Marsh, 1989. The Afrotropical thermophilic ant genusOcymyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).J. Nat. Hist. 23:1267–1308.Google Scholar
  11. Bourke, A., 1987.The social biology of the slave-making ant Harpagoxenus sublaevis. Ph. D. thesis, University of Bath.Google Scholar
  12. Brandão, C. R. F., 1990. Systematic revision of the neotropical ant genusMegalomyrmex Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae), with the description of thirteen new species.Arq. Zool., S. Paulo, 31:411–481.Google Scholar
  13. Brian, M., 1955. Studies of caste differentiation inMyrmica rubra L. 2. The growth of workers and intercastes.Ins. Soc. 2:1–34.Google Scholar
  14. Brian, M., 1979. Caste differentiation and division of labor. In:Social Insects Vol. 1 (H. R. Hermann, Ed.), Academic Press, pp. 121–222.Google Scholar
  15. Brown, W. L., 1958a. Contributions towards a reclassification of the Formicidae. II. Tribe Ectatommini (Hymenoptera).Bul. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harv. 118:173–362.Google Scholar
  16. Brown, W. L., 1958b. A review of the ants of New Zealand (Hymenoptera).Acta Hymenopterologica, Tokyo 1:1–50.Google Scholar
  17. Brown, W. L., 1960. Contributions towards a reclassification of the Formicidae. III. Tribe Amblyo-ponini (Hymenoptera).Bul. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harv. 122:143–230.Google Scholar
  18. Brown, W. L., 1975. Contributions towards a reclassification of the Formicidae. V. Ponerinae, Tribes Platythyreini, Cerapachyini, Cylindromyrmecini, Acanthostichini, and Aenictogitini.Search, Cornell Univ. 5:1–116.Google Scholar
  19. Brown, W. L. and W. W. Kempf, 1960. A world revision of the ant tribe Basicerotini.Studia Ent., Petropolis (n.s.) 3:161–250.Google Scholar
  20. Buschinger, A., 1978.Queen polymorphism in ants. Réunion Scientifique de la Section Francaise U.I.E.I.S., Besancon, France, Bull. Intérieur, pp. 12–22.Google Scholar
  21. Buschinger, A., 1979. Functional monogyny in the american guest antFormicoxenus hirticornis (Emery) (=Leptothorax hirticornis), (Hym., Form.).Ins. Soc. 26:61–68.Google Scholar
  22. Buschinger, A., 1987. Polymorphism and reproductive division of labor in advanced ants. In:Chemistry and biology of social insects (J. Eder, H. Rembold, Eds), Verlag J. Peperny, Munich, pp. 257–258.Google Scholar
  23. Buschinger, A. and U. Winter, 1975. Der Polymorphisms der sklavenhaltenden AmeiseHarpagoxenus sublaevis (Nyl.) (Hym., Form.).Ins. Soc. 22:333–362.Google Scholar
  24. Buschinger, A. and U. Winter, 1976. Funktionelle Monogynie bei der GastameiseFormicoxenus nitidulus (Nyl.) (Hym., Form.).Ins. Soc. 23:549–558.Google Scholar
  25. Buschinger, A. und U. Winter, 1978. Echte Arbeiterinnen, fertile Arbeiterinnen und sterile Wirtsweibchen in Völkern der dulotischen AmeiseHarpagoxenus sublaevis (Nyl.) (Hym., Form.).Ins. Soc. 25:63–78.Google Scholar
  26. Buschinger, A. and T. Alloway, 1977. Population structure and polymorphism in the slave-making antHarpagoxenus americanus (Emery) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).Psyche 83:233–242.Google Scholar
  27. Buschinger, A. and T. Alloway, 1978. Caste polymorphism inHarpagoxenus canadensis M. R. Smith (Hym., Formicidae).Ins. Soc. 25:339–350.Google Scholar
  28. Buschinger, A., A. Francoeur and K. Fischer, 1980. Functional monogyny, sexual behavior, and karyotype of the guest ant,Leptothorax provancheri Emery (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).Psyche 87:1–12.Google Scholar
  29. Buschinger, A., C. Peeters and R. Crozier, 1989. Life-pattern studies on an AustralianSphinctomyrmex (Formicidae; Ponerinae; Cerapachyini): functional polygyny, brood periodicity, and raiding behavior.Psyche 96:287–300.Google Scholar
  30. Cherix, D., 1983. Pseudogynes (=sécrétergates) et répartition des individus à l'intérieur d'une fourmilière deFormica lugubris Zett (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).Ins. Soc. 30:184–192.Google Scholar
  31. Clark, J., 1951.The Formicidae of Australia Vol. 1. Myrmeciinae. C.S.I.R.O., Melbourne 230pp.Google Scholar
  32. Dubois, M. B., 1986. A revision of the native New World species of the ant genusMonomorium (minimum group) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).Univ. Kansas Science Bull. 53:65–119.Google Scholar
  33. Faber, W., 1969. Beiträge zur Kenntnis sozialparasitischer Ameisen. 2.Aporomyrmex ampeloni nov. gen., nov. spec. (Hym. Formicidae), ein neuer permanenter Sozialparasit beiPlagiolepis vindobonensis Lomnicki aus Österreich.Pflanzenschutz-Berichte 39:39–100.Google Scholar
  34. Forder, J. C. and A. C. Marsh, 1989. Social organization and reproduction inOcymyrmex foreli (Formicidae: Myrmicinae).Ins. Soc. 36:106–115.Google Scholar
  35. Francoeur, A., 1986. Deux nouvelles fourmis néarctiques:Leptothorax retractus etL. sphagnicolus (Formicidae, Hymenoptera).Can. Ent. 118:1151–1164.Google Scholar
  36. Francoeur, A., R. Loiselle and A. Buschinger, 1985. Biosystématique de la tribu Leptothoracini (Formicidae, Hymenoptera). 1. Le genreFormicoxenus dans la région holarctique.Naturaliste can. 112:343–403.Google Scholar
  37. Gotwald, W. H., 1982. Army ants. In:Social Insects Vol.4 (H. R. Hermann, Ed), Academic Press, pp. 157–254.Google Scholar
  38. Gotwald, W. H. and W. L. Brown, 1966. The ant genusSimopelta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).Psyche 73:261–271.Google Scholar
  39. Hall, D. W. and I. C. Smith, 1953. Atypical forms of the wingless worker and the winged female inMonomorium pharaonis (L.). (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).Evol. 7:127–135.Google Scholar
  40. Haskins, C. P. and E. F. Haskins, 1955. The pattern of colony foundation in the archaic antMyrmecia regularis.Ins. Soc. 2:115–126.Google Scholar
  41. Haskins, C. P. and R. M. Whelden, 1965. “Queenlessness”, worker sibship, and colony versus population structure in the formicid genusRhytidoponera.Psyche 72:87–112.Google Scholar
  42. Heinze, J. and A. Buschinger, 1987. Queen polymorphism in a non-parasiticLeptothorax species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae).Ins. Soc. 34:28–43.Google Scholar
  43. Hölldobler, B. and R. W. Taylor, 1983. A behavioral study of the primitive antNothomyrmecia macrops Clark.Ins. Soc. 30:384–401.Google Scholar
  44. Holliday, M., 1903. A study of some ergatogynic ants.Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. 19:293–328.Google Scholar
  45. Itow, T., K. Kobayashi, M. Kubota, K. Ogata, H. T. Imai and R. H. Crozier, 1984. The reproductive cycle of the queenless antPristomyrmex pungens.Ins. Soc. 31:87–102.Google Scholar
  46. Le Masne, G., 1956. La signification des reproducteurs aptéres chez la fourmiPanera eduardi Forel.Ins. Soc. 3:239–259.Google Scholar
  47. Maschwitz, U., S. Steghaus-Kovac, R. Gaube and H. Hänel, 1989. A South East Asian ponerine ant of the genusLeptogenys (Hym., Form.) with army ant life habits.Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 24:305–316.Google Scholar
  48. Passera, L., 1969. Biologie de la reproduction chezPlagiolepis pygmaea Latr. et ses deux parasites sociauxPlagiolepis grassei Le Mas. et Pas. etPlagiolepis xene St. (Hym. Formicidae).Ann. Sci. nat. Zool. Biol. anim. 11:327–482.Google Scholar
  49. Passera, L., 1984.L'organisation sociale des fourmis. Privat, Toulouse, 360pp.Google Scholar
  50. Peeters, C., 1987. The diversity of reproductive systems in ponerine ants. In:Chemistry and biology of social insects (J. Eder, H. Rembold, Eds), Verlag J. Peperny, Munich, pp. 253–254.Google Scholar
  51. Peeters, C. and R. M. Crewe, 1985. Worker reproduction in the ponerine antOphthalmopone berthoudi: an alternative form of eusocial organization.Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 18:29–37.Google Scholar
  52. Peeters, C. and R. H. Crozier, 1988. Caste and reproduction in ants: not all mated egg-layers are “queens”.Psyche 95:283–288.Google Scholar
  53. Peeters, C. and S. Higashi, 1989. Reproductive dominance controlled by mutilation in the queenless antDiacamma australe.Naturwissenschaften 76:177–180.Google Scholar
  54. Plateaux, L., 1970. Sur le polymorphisme social de la fourmiLeptothorax nylanderi (Forster) 1. Morphologie et biologie comparées des castes.Annls. Sci. nat. Zool. 12e série, 12:373–478.Google Scholar
  55. Stitz, H., 1939. Ameisen oder Formicidae. In:Die Tierwelt Deutschlands (F. Dahl, Ed), G. Fischer Verlag, Jena, 428pp.Google Scholar
  56. Terron, G., 1972. La ponte des ouvriéres fécondées chez une fourmi camerounaise du genreTechnomyrmex Mayr: mise en évidence d'une descendance ouvrière.C. R. Acad. Sc. Paris 264:1516–1517.Google Scholar
  57. Tsuji, K., 1988. Obligate parthenogenesis and reproductive division of labor in the Japanese queenless antPristomyrmex pungens. Comparison of intranidal and extranidal workers.Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 23:247–255.Google Scholar
  58. Tulloch, G. S., 1930. An unusual nest ofPogonomyrmex.Psyche 37:61–70.Google Scholar
  59. Wheeler, D. E., 1986. Developmental and physiological determinants of caste in social Hymenoptera: evolutionary implications.Am. Nat. 128:13–34.Google Scholar
  60. Wheeler, W. M., 1910.Ants — their structure, development, and behavior. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  61. Wheeler, W. M. 1917. The phylogenetic development of subapterous and apterous castes in the Formicidae.Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 3:109–117.Google Scholar
  62. Wheeler, W. M., 1923. The occurrence of winged females in the ant genusLeptogenys Roger, with descriptions of new species.Am. Mus. Novit. 90:1–16.Google Scholar
  63. Wheeler, W. M., 1934. A second revision of the ants of the genusLeptomyrmex Mayr.Bull. Mus. comp. Zool. Harv. 77:67–118.Google Scholar
  64. Wilson, E. O., 1958a. Studies on the ant fauna of Melanesia. I. The tribe Leptogenyini. II. The tribes Amblyoponini and Platythyreini.Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., Harvard 118:101–153.Google Scholar
  65. Wilson, E. O., 1958b. The beginnings of nomadic and group-predatory behavior in the ponerine ants.Evol. 12:24–36.Google Scholar
  66. Wilson, E. O., 1971.The Insect Societies. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. P. Peeters
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological ScienceUniversity of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia

Personalised recommendations