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Although multiple mating most likely increases mortality risk for social insect queens and lowers the kin benefits for nonreproductive workers, a significant proportion of hymenopteran queens mate with several males. It has been suggested that queens may mate multiply as a means to manipulate sex ratios to their advantage. Multiple paternity reduces the(More)
Multiple mating is likely to be costly for ant queens and yet it is common. Whether multiple mating brings benefits to queens that outweigh the costs has, therefore, received considerable theoretical attention. Empirical tests of hypotheses have been scarce and no clear evidence has been reported. We tested the “multiple-mating-for-more-sperm” hypothesis on(More)
In most animals, the survival and reproductive success of males and females is linked to their size. The ability of individuals to control environmental influences on size will therefore have consequences for their fitness. In eusocial insects, individual males and reproductive females do not have to forage for themselves or control their local environment.(More)
Multiple mating has been suggested to benefit social insect queens because high genetic variation within colonies might decrease the load imposed by sterile diploid males, enhance resistance to parasites and pathogens, and lead to a more effective division of labour and/or a wider range of tolerable environmental conditions. We tested these hypotheses in(More)
Morphological diversification of workers is predicted to improve the division of labor within social insect colonies, yet many species have monomorphic workers. Individual-level selection on the reproductive capacities of workers may counter colony-level selection for diversification, and life-history differences between species (timing of caste(More)
We studied a population of the Panamanian leafcutter ant Atta colombica and found significant between-colony variation for several male and gyne size parameters. Male sperm complement size was highly variable between individuals and was negatively correlated with head width and thorax weight, the latter itself positively correlated with wing length. This(More)
Considerable attention has focused on why females of many species mate with several males. For social hymenopteran insects, efforts have primarily concentrated on determining whether multiple mating increases colony performance due to the increased genetic diversity. Most of these studies are correlative because it is difficult or impossible to(More)
The evolution of social cooperation is favored by aggregative behavior to facilitate stable social structure and proximity among kin. High dispersal rates reduce group stability and kin cohesion, so it is generally assumed that there is a fundamental trade-off between cooperation and dispersal. However, empirical tests of this relationship are rare. We(More)
Considerable attention has focused on how selection on dispersal and other core life-history strategies (reproductive effort, survival ability, colonization capacity) may lead to so-called dispersal syndromes. Studies on genetic variation in these syndromes within species could importantly increase our understanding of their evolution, by revealing whether(More)
The efficiency of social groups is generally optimized by a division of labour, achieved through behavioural or morphological diversity of members. In social insects, colonies may increase the morphological diversity of workers by recruiting standing genetic variance for size and shape via multiply mated queens (polyandry) or multiple-breeding queens(More)