Queen size dimorphism in the ant Tetramorium moravicum (Hymenoptera, Formicidae): Morphometric, molecular genetic and experimental evidence
By combining different methods we evaluate whether the ant Tetramorium rhenanum is specifically separated from T. moravicum or whether it is a conspecific microgyne form. High-precision morphometry shows a clear difference in queen size. Sequence comparison of 1031 bp of COI reveals that T. rhenanum falls into a clade with T. moravicum, which is significantly separated from T. forte and T. chefketi. T. rhenanum shares at least two haplotypes with T. moravicum and is considered as a junior synonym. Sexual behaviour and colony foundation experiments corroborate conspecificity. The queen dimorphism is discussed in the context of social parameters such as queen number and reproductive strategy.
Key words.morphometry mtDNA mating behaviour colony foundation Tetramorium rhenanum
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