Relationship of queen number and queen relatedness in multiple‐queen colonies of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

  title={Relationship of queen number and queen relatedness in multiple‐queen colonies of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta},
  author={Michael A. D. Goodisman and Kenneth G. Ross},
  journal={Ecological Entomology},
1. The relationship between the number of queens per nest and their relatedness was examined in the polygyne (multiple queens per nest) social form of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. 

Queen recruitment in a multiple-queen population of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

Queen recruitment in this population of S. invicta appears to occur at random with respect to the number of older queens present within nests, suggesting that newly recruited queens represent a random sample of potential reproductive queens in the population.


The results suggest that nonnestmate queen recruitment occurs at a high frequency in introduced populations of this species and kin selection models that rely on the recruitment of only nestmate queens to explain the persistence of polygyny in ants do not apply to polygyne S. invicta in its introduced range.

Lack of detectable nepotism in multiple-queen colonies of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

It is argued that the non-nepotistic strategies displayed by these ants reflect historical selection pressures experienced by native populations, in which nestmate queens are highly related to one another.

The success of alternative reproductive tactics in monogyne populations of the ant Solenopsis invicta: significance for transitions in social organization

This strategy is incorporated into an existing theoretical framework that was developed to explain the evolution of alternative social organizations in ants, providing testable predictions regarding the distribution and frequency of queen adoption in other single-queen ant societies.

Queen Dispersal Strategies in the Multiple‐Queen Form of the Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta

The results presented here are consistent with the hypothesis that the reproductive syndrome that characterizes polygyny in S. invicta is largely controlled by a single locus.

Unusual Behavior of Polygyne Fire Ant Queens on Nuptial Flights

Previously undescribed behavior of fire ant queens on their nuptial flights is reported, and it is suggested that the flying queens are sampling the local environment in order to select a suitable landing site that would contain established polygyne nests into which the queens may be adopted as new reproductives.

Flexibility in nest density and social structure in invasive populations of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile

Comparisons of nest characteristics in three introduced populations of Argentine ants, Linepithema humile, reveal considerable variation in nest density and social structure across populations, suggesting that the social structure of L. humile populations depend on the ecological context.

Mating frequency and mating system of the polygynous ant, Leptothorax acervorum

The mating system of a facultatively polygynous UK population of the ant Leptothorax acervorum is investigated, concluding that the mating system involves queens that mate near nests with unrelated males and then seek readoption by those nests, and queen that mate in mating aggregations away from nests, also with unrelated Males.

Genetic and morphological variation over space and time in the invasive fire ant Solenopsis invicta

Social insects are among the most successful and damaging of invasive taxa. We studied spatial and temporal variation in two traits, colony genetic structure and worker mass, associated with social

Stable relatedness structure of the large-colony swarm-founding wasp Polybia paulista

Using microsatellite markers, the hypotheses of cyclical monogyny and comb partitioning by queens increasing relatedness within nestmates under polygyny in the large-colony epiponine wasp, Polybia paulista are tested.



Origins of new queens in polygyne red imported fire ant colonies (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

Polygyne colonies of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, accepted newly mated queens both from their own colony and unrelated colonies. Only a small fraction of the marked winged queens ...

The Breeding System of the Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta: Effects on Colony Genetic Structure

  • K. Ross
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  • 1993
Significant differences within nests in the matrilineal composition of worker and queen brood are revealed, constituting further evidence for inequities among nest-mate queens in the allocation of their progeny to the two castes at a single point in time.

Colony Reproduction by Budding in the Polygyne Form of Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

The total weights of the colonies increased about four times during the course of the study, indicating substantial growth of colonies in addition to active budding in polygyne colonies of the red imported fire ant.


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  • 1988
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