Rediscovery of the workerless inquiline ant Pogonomyrmex colei and additional notes on natural history (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)


Johnson, R.A., Parker, J.D. and Rissing, S.W. (1996) Rediscovery of the workerless inquiline ant Pogonomyrmex colei and additional notes on natural history (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insectes Sociaux, 43, (1), 69-76. (doi:10.1007/BF01253957).

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Description/Abstract

Pogonomyrmex colei is a workerless inquiline ant known only from nests of P. rugosus, its closest relative. Ten of 776 (1.3%) host nests were
parasitized at a site in central Arizona, while none of 1499 potential
host colonies were parasitized at two other locales. Colonies of P.
colei are perennial, and host alate females in 9 of 10 colonies
demonstrates that host queens survive parasitism. Three of 10 colonies
died over 19 colony years of observation, while only 1 of 601 colonies
became newly parasitized. Mating occurs in morning for up to 2-3 days
following summer and fall rains and in afternoon during cool fall days.
Mating is intranidal just outside the nest entrance, with males
returning to the natal nest. Male P. colei may be flightless because
their wing area is reduced compared to host males. Females fly from the
nest and locate potential host colonies by following trunk trails.
Workers are the largest barrier to nest establishment, as they removed
over 90% of P. colei females placed in trunk trails or that entered
host nests. Males and females of P. colei and P. anergismus, the only
other congeneric inquiline species, are diminutive compared to their
hosts, with females 30% lighter than host workers. Fat content is
lower and water content is higher in P. colei and P. anergismus females
than in their hosts.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0020-1812 (print)
1420-9098 (electronic)
Keywords: interspecific trail following, workerless inquiline ant, pogonomyrmex colei, reproductive biology, seed-harvester ants
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Biological Sciences
ePrint ID: 143683
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2010 10:19
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 19:05
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/143683

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