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Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 89, Issue 7, pp 305–307 | Cite as

Gamergates in the myrmicine genus Metapone (Hymenoptera:Formicidae)

  • Bert Hölldobler
  • Jürgen Liebig
  • Gary D. Alpert
Short Communication

Abstract.

Gamergates (i.e. mated reproductive workers) are mostly known from ant species within the Ponerinae. We report here the discovery of gamergates in two species of the subfamily Myrmicinae. Until now, mated reproductive females in colonies of myrmicine species have been considered morphologically distinct from the worker caste. However, in two species of the myrmicine Metapone (Metapone madagascarica and a newly discovered, not yet described Metapone species) all workers have six ovarioles and a spermatheca; and some of them are mated. There are no morphological differences between mated and non-mated workers. Field observations and laboratory studies indicate that colonies of the Metapone species can reproduce with gamergates only.

Keywords

Laboratory Study Field Observation Morphological Difference Reproductive Female Work Caste 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bert Hölldobler
    • 1
  • Jürgen Liebig
    • 1
  • Gary D. Alpert
    • 2
  1. 1.LS Verhaltensphysiologie und Soziobiologie der Universität Würzburg, Am Hubland, Biozentrum, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
  2. 2.Museum of Comparative Zoology (Entomology), Harvard University, 26 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

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