Reproductive conflicts in cooperative associations of fire ant queens (Solenopsis invicta)

@article{Bernasconi1996ReproductiveCI,
  title={Reproductive conflicts in cooperative associations of fire ant queens (Solenopsis invicta)},
  author={Giorgina Bernasconi and Laurent Keller},
  journal={Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences},
  year={1996},
  volume={263},
  pages={509 - 513}
}
  • G. BernasconiL. Keller
  • Published 22 April 1996
  • Biology
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
In ants, unrelated queens frequently associate to initiate a colony cooperatively. The joint reproductive effort of the cofoundresses increases growth and survival of the incipient colony. However, such associations are unstable. Soon after emergence of the first workers, queen–queen and queen–worker fights lead to the death or expulsion of all but one cofoundress. Because no sexual offspring are produced in incipient colonies the surviving queen monopolizes the entire future reproductive… 

Figures from this paper

Phenotype and individual investment in cooperative foundress associations of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

It is indicated that head width differences or correlated phenotypic attributes of fighting ability influenced both investment strategies and survival probability of queens, and that queens with larger heads invested less energy into brood rearing and were more likely to survive.

Unequal partitioning of reproduction and investment between cooperating queens in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, as revealed by microsatellites

The finding that the queen most likely to win the fights is the one with above–average maternity, which may explain why workers apparently do not attempt to influence the outcome of fights.

Worker discrimination among queens in newly founded colonies of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

Results show that workers discriminate strongly among equally familiar queens and that discrimination is based more on the queens' condition and recent social environment than on kinship.

Fecundity determines the outcome of founding queen associations in ants

The results indicate that pleometrosis increased and accelerated worker production via a nutritional boost to the larvae and are consistent with fecundity being central to the onset and outcome of Pleometrosis, a typical case of cooperation among unrelated animals.

Bourgeois queens and high stakes games in the ant Aphaenogaster senilis

This work investigated the importance of physical dominance in queen selection in orphaned groups by manipulating the fighting ability of first-born queens via mandibular ablation, and found first emerged queens were heavier than second emerged queens, performed almost all aggression, and were behaviourally dominant 92% of the time.

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.

Sociogenomics of Cooperation and Conflict during Colony Founding in the Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta

These findings indicate that, in S. invicta, social environment plays a major role in the determination of the patterns of gene expression, while the queen's physiological state is secondary, highlighting the powerful influence of social environment on regulation of the genomic state, physiology and ultimately, social behavior of animals.

Sex-ratio dependent execution of queens in polygynous colonies of the ant Formica exsecta

Experimental studies where gynes were introduced into natal and foreign colonies indeed suggested that polygynous populations of F. exsecta have a poor nestmate recognition system, and showed that colonies that produced only males executed most of the gynes that were experimentally introduced into the colony, whereas female-producing colonies accepted most gynes.

Parentage and sex allocation in the facultatively polygynous ant Myrmicatahoensis

  • J. Evans
  • Biology
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 1998
Colonies of the facultatively polygynous ant Myrmicatahoensis contain from one to several mated queens, and in this species, female sexuals were produced almost exclusively by one queen.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 29 REFERENCES

Colony founding by queen association and determinants of reduction in queen number in the ant Lasius niger

Queens in this study avoided areas frequented by workers of established colonies, leading to additional clumping of nest foundations, indicating that foundress associations are facultative, promoted by crowding and intense intercolony competition.

Worker Control of Queen Density in Hymenopteran Societies

The following model illustrates how worker control of queen density and matricide might evolve in the absence of genetic odor recognition.

Colony Founding by Queens of the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

The method by which newly mated queens of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, found new colonies was investigated and optimum temperature was found to be between 27.5 and 32°C.

Indiscriminate egg cannibalism and reproductive skew in a multiple-queen ant

  • A. Bourke
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1994
Societies of ants with several egg-laying queens (polygyny) permit the study of the evolution of a stable allocation of reproduction (reproductive skew). One factor that could influence the stable

Growth and Development of Colonies of the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

A study of new colonies of Solenopsis invicta Buren showed that from their inception in early May until fall when weather stops development, the colonies had grown from a single queen and 15–20

Invasion of red imported fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): microgeography of competitive replacement

The invasion of Brackenridge Field Laboratory, Austin, Texas, by the multiple-queen form of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, was monitored for 3 yr. This invasion provides a rare

Altruism and relatedness at colony foundation in social insects.

GENETIC ORIGIN OF MALE DIPLOIDY IN THE FIRE ANT, SOLENOPSIS INVICTA (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE), AND ITS EVOLUTIONARY SIGNIFICANCE

Three hypotheses are proposed, based on current knowledge of sex‐determining mechanisms in the Hymenoptera, to explain the loss of genetic diversity associated with high rates of diploid male production in S. invicta: allelic diversity was reduced during colonization of North America by a small founder group, genetic structuring of polygyne populations due to local inbreeding caused reduced allelic Diversity and/or increased homozygosity.

Effect of a founder event on variation in the genetic sex-determining system of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta.

It is concluded that diploid males have increased in frequency in introduced populations because of a loss of allelic diversity at the sex-determining locus (loci) of S. invicta, which has generated a substantial increase in the estimated segregational genetic load associated with production of sterile diploids males in introducing populations over the load in native populations.