Gamergates in the myrmicine genus Metapone (Hymenoptera:Formicidae)
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.
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