Nestmate relatedness in the Australian ant myrmecia pyriformis smith, 1858 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Sanetra, M. (2011) Nestmate relatedness in the Australian ant myrmecia pyriformis smith, 1858 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News, 15. pp. 77-84.

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We investigated the genetic structure of 19 colonies of the myrmeciine ant Myrmecia pyriformis SMITH, 1858, using five microsatellite loci. Nestmate relatedness of b = 0.51 +/- 0.04 significantly deviated from the theoretical value of 0.75, which is expected in a monogynous monandrous social system. The occurrence of multiple mating by queens was the most likely explanation in the majority of colonies, and the effective number of male mates was estimated to be 2.60. However, multiple female reproductives were also inferred in some cases. The results correspond well both to observations on promiscuous mating behaviour in the winged sexuals of some species of Myrmecia and to the occurrence of gamergates (mated workers) in M. pyriformis. The finding of high levels of polyandry in a species with totipotent workers is discussed with regard to the evolution of eusociality.

Item ID: 21818
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1997-3500
Keywords: colony structure; gamergates; microsatellites; multiple mating; Myrmeciinae; paternity
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Date Deposited: 21 May 2012 22:36
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060409 Molecular Evolution @ 33%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 34%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060202 Community Ecology (excl Invasive Species Ecology) @ 33%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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