Colony growth and the ontogeny of worker polymorphism in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

  title={Colony growth and the ontogeny of worker polymorphism in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta},
  author={Walter R. Tschinkel},
  journal={Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
  • W. Tschinkel
  • Published 1 February 1988
  • Economics
  • Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
SummaryColony size and worker polymorphism (headwidth) were determined for fire ant colonies ranging from incipient to 12 years of age. Colonies grew approximately logistically, reaching half size between 21/2 and 31/2 yr and reaching their maximum size of about 220000 workers after 4 to 6 yr. Colony size showed strong seasonal variation. There was some evidence that growth rate may vary with food density. Incipient colonies are monomorphic and consist of small workers only, but as colonies… 

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