Ant reproductive strategies
- Cite this article as:
- Heinze, J. & Tsuji, K. Res Popul Ecol (1995) 37: 135. doi:10.1007/BF02515814
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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.