Large colonies and striking sexual investment in the African stink ant, Paltothyreus tarsatus (Subfamily Ponerinae)

C. Peeters, U. Braun, Berthold Hoelldobler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Most ponerine ants have colonies with up to a few hundreds of workers, but there has been sporadic evolution of species with more populous colonies. Forty two nests of Paltothyreus tarsatus were excavated from three distinct habitats in the Ivory Coast. Colonies were monogynous in Comoé (forest and savanna), but polygynous in Taï (rainforest). Mean colony size was 1576 ± 1543 workers, with the biggest colonies (exceeding 5000 adults) restricted to forest. Hundreds of sexuals occurred in many nests. Unlike males, young queens stay in the nests at least six months before the mating flight, presumably to accumulate fat reserves. This together with high absolute numbers of gynes and their large size relative to workers, amounts to a striking reproductive investment. We discuss this investment in the context of non-claustral independent colony foundation. Mating was observed in large male aggregations, unlike in South Africa where queens mate near the natal nests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-14
Number of pages6
JournalAfrican Entomology
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Fingerprint

ant
Formicidae
nests
nest
queen insects
Cote d'Ivoire
fat reserve
rain forests
savannas
South Africa
flight
rainforest
savanna
lipids
habitats
habitat

Keywords

  • independent colony foundation
  • mating
  • monogyny
  • non-claustral
  • reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

Large colonies and striking sexual investment in the African stink ant, Paltothyreus tarsatus (Subfamily Ponerinae). / Peeters, C.; Braun, U.; Hoelldobler, Berthold.

In: African Entomology, Vol. 21, No. 1, 03.2013, p. 9-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{ce9276b4715e4225b6864472965ec7d1,
title = "Large colonies and striking sexual investment in the African stink ant, Paltothyreus tarsatus (Subfamily Ponerinae)",
abstract = "Most ponerine ants have colonies with up to a few hundreds of workers, but there has been sporadic evolution of species with more populous colonies. Forty two nests of Paltothyreus tarsatus were excavated from three distinct habitats in the Ivory Coast. Colonies were monogynous in Como{\'e} (forest and savanna), but polygynous in Ta{\"i} (rainforest). Mean colony size was 1576 ± 1543 workers, with the biggest colonies (exceeding 5000 adults) restricted to forest. Hundreds of sexuals occurred in many nests. Unlike males, young queens stay in the nests at least six months before the mating flight, presumably to accumulate fat reserves. This together with high absolute numbers of gynes and their large size relative to workers, amounts to a striking reproductive investment. We discuss this investment in the context of non-claustral independent colony foundation. Mating was observed in large male aggregations, unlike in South Africa where queens mate near the natal nests.",
keywords = "independent colony foundation, mating, monogyny, non-claustral, reproduction",
author = "C. Peeters and U. Braun and Berthold Hoelldobler",
year = "2013",
month = "3",
doi = "10.4001/003.021.0121",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "21",
pages = "9--14",
journal = "African Entomology",
issn = "1021-3589",
publisher = "Entomological Society of Southern Africa",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Large colonies and striking sexual investment in the African stink ant, Paltothyreus tarsatus (Subfamily Ponerinae)

AU - Peeters, C.

AU - Braun, U.

AU - Hoelldobler, Berthold

PY - 2013/3

Y1 - 2013/3

N2 - Most ponerine ants have colonies with up to a few hundreds of workers, but there has been sporadic evolution of species with more populous colonies. Forty two nests of Paltothyreus tarsatus were excavated from three distinct habitats in the Ivory Coast. Colonies were monogynous in Comoé (forest and savanna), but polygynous in Taï (rainforest). Mean colony size was 1576 ± 1543 workers, with the biggest colonies (exceeding 5000 adults) restricted to forest. Hundreds of sexuals occurred in many nests. Unlike males, young queens stay in the nests at least six months before the mating flight, presumably to accumulate fat reserves. This together with high absolute numbers of gynes and their large size relative to workers, amounts to a striking reproductive investment. We discuss this investment in the context of non-claustral independent colony foundation. Mating was observed in large male aggregations, unlike in South Africa where queens mate near the natal nests.

AB - Most ponerine ants have colonies with up to a few hundreds of workers, but there has been sporadic evolution of species with more populous colonies. Forty two nests of Paltothyreus tarsatus were excavated from three distinct habitats in the Ivory Coast. Colonies were monogynous in Comoé (forest and savanna), but polygynous in Taï (rainforest). Mean colony size was 1576 ± 1543 workers, with the biggest colonies (exceeding 5000 adults) restricted to forest. Hundreds of sexuals occurred in many nests. Unlike males, young queens stay in the nests at least six months before the mating flight, presumably to accumulate fat reserves. This together with high absolute numbers of gynes and their large size relative to workers, amounts to a striking reproductive investment. We discuss this investment in the context of non-claustral independent colony foundation. Mating was observed in large male aggregations, unlike in South Africa where queens mate near the natal nests.

KW - independent colony foundation

KW - mating

KW - monogyny

KW - non-claustral

KW - reproduction

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84876105702&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84876105702&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.4001/003.021.0121

DO - 10.4001/003.021.0121

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84876105702

VL - 21

SP - 9

EP - 14

JO - African Entomology

JF - African Entomology

SN - 1021-3589

IS - 1

ER -