Reproductive conflict in animal societies: hierarchy length increases with colony size in queenless ponerine ants

  title={Reproductive conflict in animal societies: hierarchy length increases with colony size in queenless ponerine ants},
  author={Thibaud Monnin and Francis L. W. Ratnieks and Carlos R F Brand{\~a}o},
  journal={Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
Dominance interactions determine reproductive status in many animal societies, including many cooperatively breeding vertebrates and eusocial Hymenoptera without queen-worker dimorphism. Typically, the dominant individual monopolises reproduction, and subordinates behave like helpers. In Dinoponera queenless ants, workers are totipotent females and can potentially reproduce, yet only the top-ranking worker actually reproduces. Individual workers ranked immediately below the dominant breeder… 

Dominance hierarchies reduce the number of hopeful reproductives in polygynous queenless ants

Using mathematical models, based on the costs/benefits trade-off for a worker to attempt to become a reproductive, the number of hopeful reproducectives expected to occur in insect societies with totipotent workers and several reproductives is determined.

The build-up of dominance hierarchies in eusocial insects

It is described how the emergence of dominance hierarchies can be understood as a kind of self-organizing process through individual memory and local behavioural interactions, and how the resulting global structures can be captured by using network analyses.

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The effect of group-size in B. terrestris queenless workers on between-worker aggression, and pheromone production is investigated, aiming at mimicking decision-making during the transition of worker behavior from cooperation and sterility to aggressive reproductive competition in whole colonies.

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It is found that the queens’ strategy to monopolize reproduction changes with life stage, shifting from overt aggression to chemical signalling as the queen gets older, contributing to the understanding of reproductive dominance in the context of an individual’s life history.

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It is found that premature replacement of a parent breeder by nonbreeders (overthrow) is rare and honest signalling of breeder vitality can maintain group stability and resolve conflicts over reproduction.

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It is suggested that both risk-taking and egg-care behaviours are related to future reproductive prospects in D. quadriceps, a species with relatively simple societies, and a mechanism by which effective division of labour could have been achieved during the early stages of eusocial evolution.

Conflict over the timing of breeder replacement in vertebrate and invertebrate societies

This cross-taxonomic review reveals that some non-breeders attempt to replace the breeder or position themselves so as to be able to do so when the opportunity arises, which supports the predictions of the model.

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Reproduction versus work in queenless ants: when to join a hierarchy of hopeful reproductives?

This model predicts a hierarchy of five workers in the queenless ant Dinoponera quadriceps, close to empirical data which show that in a colony of about 100 females, the top 5 carry out 72.8% of the aggressive interactions.

Dominance hierarchy and reproductive conflicts among subordinates in a monogynous queenless ant

The relative importance of chemical communication and dominance interactions to regulate reproduction is investigated and Alpha, beta, and sterile workers have different signatures of cuticular hydrocarbons, and these may provide honest information which underpins worker policing by low-ranking individuals.

Dominance orders, worker reproduction, and queen-worker conflict in the slave-making ant Harpagoxenus sublaevis

  • A. Bourke
  • Biology
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2004
In a queenright colony of the monogynous slave-making ant Harpagoxenus sublaevis, a subset of workers formed a linear dominance order in which dominance was corrlated with ovarian development, frequency of trophallaxis, length of time spent in the nest, but not body size, suggesting worker reproduction in this species strongly influences the colony's social structure, nutrient flow, and division of labour.

Dominance and queen succession in captive colonies of the eusocial naked mole–rat, Heterocephalus glaber

The intense dominance–related aggression that accompanies reproductive succession in naked mole–rats provides empirical support for optimal skew theory.

Worker's age regulates the linear dominance hierarchy in the queenless ponerine ant, Pachycondyla sublaevis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

It is suggested that the dominance hierarchy of this ant species has evolved as a consequence of intra-colonial competition for reproduction.

Dominance Interactions Regulate Worker Mating in the Polygynous Ponerine Ant Gnamptogenys menadensis

The probability of mating is regulated by dominance interactions among workers and immobilizations initiated by infertile workers in this polygynous queenless ant.

A linear dominance hierarchy regulating reproduction and polyethism of the queenless antPachycondyla sublaevis

In the queenless ant Pachycondyla (= Bothroponera) sublaevis, this is the first discovery of dominance hierarchy in which most members of a colony are potential successors of the reproductive female.

Rank orders and division of labour among unrelated cofounding ant queens

  • K. KolmerJ. Heinze
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2000
It is shown that the division of labour is strongly affected by aggressive interactions between cofounding queens: the dominant remains in the nest and guards the brood, whereas the subordinate is forced to leave and forage.

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It is shown that in laboratory colonies in which each individual had an equal number of familiar siblings and unfamiliar distant kin (UDK) as potential mates, mating pairs were significantly more likely to consist of UDK.

Serial polygyny and colony genetic structure in the monogynous queenless ant Diacamma cyaneiventre

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