Evidence of pheromonal queen control over the production of male and female sexuals in the fire ant,Solenopsis invicta

  title={Evidence of pheromonal queen control over the production of male and female sexuals in the fire ant,Solenopsis invicta},
  author={Edward L. Vargo and David J. C. Fletcher},
  journal={Journal of Comparative Physiology A},
SummaryTwo hypotheses that could explain social regulation of the production of sexuals inSolenopsis invicta were investigated: (1) differences in worker/larva ratios; and (2) pheromonal regulation by queens. Small laboratory units (fragments of multiple-queen, i.e. polygyne, colonies) were found to be capable of producing sexuals and to be sensitive in this regard to differences in queen number; the presence of even a single queen inhibited the numbers of sexuals (male and female) produced in… 

Pheromonal and behavioral queen control over the production of gynes in the Argentine ant Iridomyrmex humilis (Mayr)

Results show that I. humilis queens exert control over the production of gynes in two ways: by preventing the sexualization of female larvae and by killing female larvae after they have become sexualized.

Differential reproduction in multiple-queen colonies of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

  • K. Ross
  • Biology
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2004
Variance in apportionment of maternity of sexuals did not appear to be simply related to varying levels of fecundity, suggesting that the common presumption that reproductive success can be equated with fecundities in polygyne social Hymenoptera may not be well founded.

Mutual pheromonal inhibition among queens in polygyne colonies of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

  • E. Vargo
  • Biology
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2004
SummaryDecrease in individual reproductive output with increasing numbers of reproductives is a general feature of social insect colonies. The previously described negative relationship between the

A bioassay for a primer pheromone of queen fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) which inhibits the production of sexuals

A bioassay is described for a primer pheromone of functional (egg-laying) queens of S. invicta which inhibits the production of male and female sexuals and suggests that the phersomone is relatively nonvolatile.

Control of brood male production in the Argentine antIridomyrmex humilis (Mayr)

The influence of various social factors on the production of males was investigated in the Argentine ant, Iridomyrmex humilis, and evidence that queens prevent male production by means of appropriation of food is suggested.

Effects of Queen Body Parts on the Production of New Sexuals in the Pharaoh's Ant, Monomoriumpharaonis

It is hypothesized that a male alate could inseminate more than one virgin queen in its life, causing the authors to suggest that suppression pheromones could be stored in the queen's gaster.

Identification of a queen pheromone mediating the rearing of adult sexuals in the pharaoh ant Monomorium pharaonis

It is shown that the monocyclic diterpene neocembrene, which in different Monomorium species is produced solely by fertile, egg-laying queens, strongly inhibits the rearing of new sexuals and also exerts a weakly attractive ‘queen retinue’ effect on the workers.

Phenotypic plasticity and “cultural transmission” of alternative social organizations in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

Differences between the social forms in the mature phenotypes that are produced constrain the reproductive options of queens, so that the characteristic social organization of a colony is perpetuated by virtue of the social environment in which new queens are reared.

323 factors that influence individual fecundity of queens and queen production in crazy ant Paratrechina fulva (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

A high worker/pupae ratio is necessary for the production of queens in queenless colonies, but it is possible even from third instar larvae, and restriction of production of gynes by young queens may be an advantage for successful colony foundation.

Queen–worker caste ratio depends on colony size in the pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis)

It is found that smaller colonies produced more new queens relative to workers, and that these queens and workers both tended to be larger, suggesting that polygynous species with budding colonies may adaptively adjust caste ratios to ensure rapid growth.



Queen number and the production of sexuals in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

The timing of the appearance of sexual forms following colony division suggests that queen control may be pheromonally mediated and inhibits the growth of sexuals late in larval development, and that once individual larvae develop beyond a critical point they are no longer subject to queen control.

Effect of queen number on the production of sexuals in natural populations of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

The negative relationship between queen number and number ofSexuals provides evidence that queen control over the production of sexuals, previously established in laboratory experiments, also occurs under natural conditions.

The inhibitory pheromone of queen fire ants: effects of disinhibition on dealation and oviposition by virgin queens

The results demonstrate that the inhibitory pheromone of queen fire ants acts directly on virgin queens and that it prevents muscle histolysis and rapid oogenesis, and the former hypothesis that the phersomone acts mainly on workers and prevents them from causing virgin queens to dealate is disproved.

Monogyny and Polygyny in the Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

All the queens of the 15 polygynous colonies were less physogastric than queens of monogynous colonies, and individually they laid far fewer eggs, but collectively they produced a significantly greater number of eggs per colony.

Queen Control in Colonies of Weaver Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

The queens of the formicines Oecophylla longinoda (Latreille) and O. smaragdina (F.) are extremely attractive to major workers; stimuli from the head, apparently chemical in nature, induce the

Further studies on the influence of the queen in ants of the genusMyrmica

The purpose of this paper is to consider the possibility that the effect is due to competit ion between the queen and larvae for food, and that the queen, by improv ing survival, increases larval compet i t ion and causes the forma t ion of more, but smaller adults, were ru led out.

Comparative study of genetic and social structure in two forms of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

The results do not support the view that kin selection has promoted the evolution of polygyny in North American S. invicta, but mutualism appears to be the most likely selective factor mediating queen associations in this ant.

Regulation of Reproduction in Eusocial Hymenoptera

An evolutionary framework focuses attention on the social factors that regulate reproduction, but to avoid separating them artificially from their ecological context, factors extrinsic to a colony must occasionally enter the discussion.


In a survey conducted in the Southeastern United States, one colony in a sample of 1,007 colonies of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, was infected with a microsporidium (Protozoa: