par Aron, Serge ;Passera, Luc
Référence Animal Behaviour, 57, page (325-329)
Publication Publié, 1999
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : In ants, young queens can found new colonies independently (without the help of workers) or dependently (with the help of workers). It has been suggested that differences in the mode of colony founding strongly influence queen survival and colony development. This is because independent queens are constrained to produce a worker force rapidly, before they deplete their body reserves and to resist the intense intercolony competition during the founding stage. By contrast, queens that found colonies dependently remain with the workers, which probably results in a lower mortality rate and earlier production of reproductive offspring. Consequently, in species that found independently, queens of incipient colonies are expected to produce mostly worker brood by laying a lower fraction of haploid (male) eggs than queens in mature colonies; such a difference would not occur in species founding dependently. We compared the primary sex ratio (proportion of male-determined eggs) laid by queens in incipient and mature colonies of two ant species Lasius nigerLinepithema humile, showing independent and dependent modes of colony founding, respectively. As predicted L. niger queens of incipient colonies laid a lower proportion of haploid eggs than queens from mature colonies. By contrast, queens of L. humile laid a similar proportion of haploid eggs in both incipient and mature colonies. These results provide the first evidence that (1) the primary sex ratio varies according to the mode of colony foundation, and (2) queens can adjust the primary sex ratio according to the life history stage of the colony in ants. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.