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African Zoology

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Social organization of Platythyrea lamellosa (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): I. Reproduction

M.H. Villet, A Hart, A.M. Crewe

Abstract


Colonies of Platythyrea lamellosa contained 18-276 workers, but no queens were found. Dissected workers had five to nine ovarioles per ovary, the two ovaries of an individual often differing. In each of the colonies examined, only one worker was inseminated, and it was the only individual that laid diploid reproductive eggs. Virgin workers showed partial development of their ovaries and oocytes, but these appeared to regress with age, and they never laid eggs. Mating was not a prerequisite for reproductive dominance, since a single, young, virgin worker assumed the role of the mated worker when the latter was removed from its colony. Adult males are present in the population for most of the year, but are especially common during summer.



AJOL African Journals Online