Researches on Population Ecology

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 135–149 | Cite as

Ant reproductive strategies

  • Jürgen Heinze
  • Kazuki Tsuji


In contrast to what is generally believed, the reproductive strategies of ants are remarkably diverse and include such different phenomena, as wingless female and male sexuals, reproduction by mated workers, thelytokous parthenogenesis, and complete workerlessness. We review the various reproductive life histories and investigate them in the light of recent models on the evolution of dispersal strategies and multiple-queening. It appears that most deviations from “normal” colony propagation can be explained by a decreased success of dispersal and solitary founding by solitary queens in certain types of habitats. Consequently, alternative reproductive strategies are found especially in those species, in which environmental conditions or a highly specialized way of life are thought to make solitary founding costly. Among the key factors, which determine the success of reproductive strategies, appear to be spatial and temporal distribution of habitats and the availability of nest sites.

Key words

dispersal life history queen number wing polymorphism ants 


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Copyright information

© the Society of Population Ecology 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Heinze
    • 1
  • Kazuki Tsuji
    • 1
  1. 1.LS Verhaltensphysiologie und SoziobiologieTheodor-Boveri-Institut (Biozentrum der Universität)WürzburgF.R. Germany

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