ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN QUEEN NUMBER AND FECUNDITY IN POLYGYNE COLONIES OF THE FIRE ANT SOLENOPSIS-INVICTA Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • ABSTRACT. The reproductive status of individual queens in relation to the number of queens in polygyne colonies of Solenopsis invicta Buren was investigated under both field and laboratory conditions. In field colonies, the weight of individual queens is inversely related to the number of resident queens present. The weight of a queen is positively correlated with fecundity, as measured by the number of eggs laid in 5 h in isolation. Thus increasing queen number has a strong negative effect on the fecundity of individual queens in these colonies. A similar relationship was established in standardized laboratory colonies using queens from a single experimental population. Colony size by itself had no significant effect on queen weight in either the field or laboratory colonies, suggesting that the inverse relationship between queen number and fecundity results from mutual inhibition among queens, possibly involving pheromones, rather than reduced nutrition through lower worker/queen ratios. While uninseminated queens can comprise up to 50% of the functional (i.e. egglaying) queens in polygyne colonies of this ant, they tend to be less fecund than their inseminated nestmates; uninseminated queens within a given colony generally weigh 525% less. Copyright 1989, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

published proceedings

  • PHYSIOLOGICAL ENTOMOLOGY

author list (cited authors)

  • VARGO, E. L., & FLETCHER, D.

complete list of authors

  • VARGO, EL||FLETCHER, DJC

publication date

  • January 1, 1989 11:11 AM

publisher