The Ants - Chapter 6 Queen Numbers and Domination Summary & Analysis

Bert Hölldobler
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Chapter 6 Queen Numbers and Domination Summary

The function of the queen ant(s) within a colony is reviewed and briefly summarized. The queen founds the colony and is, generally, the only colony member that is reproductively successful. However, once the colony enters the ergonomic phase, the queen usually has only limited influence on the colony's decision-making processes.

Alternative hypothetical scenarios to eusocial behavior are briefly considered. Some ant colonies are polygynous (include more than one queen). An overview of origin theory of polygyny and monogyny is discussed. Three methods of creating a polygynous colony are considered; pleometrosis, adoption of extra queens; and fusion of colonies. Various field studies of queen numbers are summarized.

Several disparate topics influencing queen numbers are next considered. Marginal populations are considered, and local colony extinctions are simply modeled. Specialized nest sites for certain species are characterized...

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