Queens and major workers of Acanthomyrmex ferox redistribute nutrients with trophic eggs
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In Acanthomyrmex ferox, two distinct egg-types are produced: reproductive eggs that give rise to offspring and trophic eggs that serve to distribute nutrients. Queens lay both reproductive and trophic eggs, while major and minor workers lay only trophic eggs in the presence of the queen. The queen lays on average 17% of the trophic eggs in a colony, while majors and minors produce 42% and 41%, respectively. The large proportion of trophic egg production by the queen and soldiers is quite remarkable, since ant queens are expected to focus entirely on reproduction and majors, which have a defensive function in many species, to be sterile.
KeywordsMinor Worker Major Worker Defensive Function
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