Evolution of wingless reproductives in ants: Weakly specialized ergatoid queen instead of gamergates in Platythyrea conradti

  • Molet M
  • Peeters C
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*[Platythyrea conradti is the only species in the genus with ergatoid queens. Colonies lack gamergates, yet aggressive interactions among queen and workers define a hierarchy. A single fertile queen has the top rank and high-ranking workers do not lay eggs, except when the queen dies. Colonial reproduction by both alate queens, independent foundation, and gamergates, fission, seems the ancestral state in Platythyrea. Independent foundation can be selected against in some species, causing the loss of alate queens for economic reasons. Thus gamergates become the only reproductives, except in P. conradti in which queens became ergatoid. Gamergates and ergatoid queens are 2 mutually redundant reproductive phenotypes that allow colonial reproduction by fission.]

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aggression
  • Ergatoid queen
  • Fission
  • Gamergate
  • Hierarchy
  • Queen/worker dimorphism
  • Reproduction

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