Geographic variation of temperature effects on initial colony development of Lasius japonicus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

  • Izuru KurokiEmail author
  • Jun Tagawa
  • Keiji Nakamura
Original Research Paper


For Lasius japonicus Santschi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), a common ant species in Japan, diapause induction is temperature dependent. To elucidate the geographic variation of its temperature dependence, new L. japonicus queens were collected immediately after nuptial flight from four sites at different latitudes: Kitami (44.1°N), Hakodate (41.8°N), Shizuku-ishi (39.7°N), and Okayama (34.7°N). The collected queens were reared for 100 days at four constant-temperature conditions (25 °C, 20 °C, 17.5 °C, and 15 °C) under a 12L:12D photoperiod. The queens began founding colonies immediately in all conditions. For all temperature conditions, daily change patterns of the average numbers of eggs, larvae, and pupae were similar among the Hakodate, Shizuku-ishi, and Okayama populations, but the development patterns of the Kitami colonies differed from those of the other three sites. Low temperatures strongly suppressed colony development of the Kitami population; development was weak even at moderate temperatures. For new queens of L. japonicus, solitary overwintering without rearing larvae is regarded as serving an important role in successful colony foundation under cool climate conditions. Results reported herein suggest that local temperatures exert important selective pressure on the timing of diapause induction and on colony development in northern populations.


Colony development Diapause Egg production Geographic variation Temperature effect 



We thank K. Ohta, M. Fujiyama, T. Ohtsuki, and C. Yuge for helping us in this study. Thanks are also extended to H. Takasaki for manuscript preparation and to M. Natori for statistical advice.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematical and Environmental System Science, Faculty of InformaticsOkayama University of ScienceOkayamaJapan

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