Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 319–328

The reproductive potential of workers in slave-making ants

  • J. Heinze
Research Article

Summary

Colonies of slave-making ants have been used repeatedly to test sex allocation theory. It was suggested that workers of slave-making ants are more strongly selected to reproduce than workers of related, non-parasitic species, because they are incapable of manipulating sex allocation and the sexualization of larvae in their colonies. I show here that in slave-making Formicoxenini, worker ovaries on average consist of significantly more ovarioles than in non-parasiticLeptothorax species. Similarly, whereas in mostLeptothorax species, workers form reproductive hierarchies and lay eggs only in orphaned colonies, slave-maker workers show antagonistic interactions already in the presence of the queen and at least in some species have been observed ovipositing in queen-right colonies. The significance of these results is discussed.

Key words

Sex ratio reproductive conflict social parasitism Formicidae 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Heinze
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl Verhaltensphysiologie und SoziobiologieTheodor-Boveri-Institut (Biozentrum der Universität)Am HublandGermany

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