Extreme queen‐mating frequency and colony fission in African army ants

@article{Kronauer2004ExtremeQF,
  title={Extreme queen‐mating frequency and colony fission in African army ants},
  author={Daniel J. C. Kronauer and Caspar Sch{\"o}ning and Jes S{\o}e Pedersen and Jacobus J. Boomsma and J{\"u}rgen R. Gadau},
  journal={Molecular Ecology},
  year={2004},
  volume={13}
}
Army ants have long been suspected to represent an independent origin of multiple queen‐mating in the social Hymenoptera. Using microsatellite markers, we show that queens of the African army ant Dorylus (Anomma) molestus have the highest absolute (17.3) and effective (17.5) queen‐mating frequencies reported so far for ants. This confirms that obligate multiple queen‐mating in social insects is associated with large colony size and advanced social organization, but also raises several novel… 
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TLDR
Testing the hypothesis that polyandry by social insect queens is an adaptation to counter disease within their colonies found that, on average, colonies headed by multiple-drone inseminated queens had markedly lower disease intensity and higher colony strength at the end of the summer relative to colonies head by single-dr one insemination queens.
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It is shown that colonies of the African army ant Dorylus molestus frequently merge with neighbouring colonies after queen loss, and hypothesize that colony fusion after queens loss might be more widespread, especially in spatially structured populations of social insects where worker reproduction is not profitable.
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