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Asian Myrmecology, Volume 10, e010009, pages 1-14, online first (online version of paper published before print issue)

Queen polymorphism in Acanthomyrmex careoscrobis Moffett, 1986 in Peninsular Malaysia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae), with descriptions of hitherto unknown female castes and males

AIKI YAMADA1, *, FUMINORI ITO2, ROSLI HASHIM3 AND KATSUYUKI EGUCHI1

1Systematic Zoology Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 1-1 Minami-Osawa, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, 192-0397, Japan

2Laboratory of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kagawa University, Ikenobe, Miki 761-0795, Japan

3Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Article first published online 01/August/2018

DOI: 10.20362/am.010009

Asian Myrmecology 10: e010009 (1-14)

© A. Yamada, F. Ito, R. Hashim and K. Eguchi

Abstract: The present study presents biological observations on colony characteristics of Acanthomyrmex careoscrobis Moffett, 1986 in Ulu Gombak (Selangor, Malaysia), with redescription of the minor worker and descriptions of the hitherto unknown female castes and males. The colony of A. careoscrobis can produce both alate and ergatoid queens. Ergatoid queens may function as cheap secondary reproductive females, whereas it is at present unclear whether they engage in dependent colony foundation or not. Ergatoid queens have the same number of ovarioles as alate queens, and show variable intermediate external morphology between major workers and alate queens. The colony redistributes nutrients via trophic eggs among colony members. Reviewing current available data for other Acanthomyrmex species, this study highlights the great prevalence and diversity of ergatoid queens in this poorly-studied genus.

Keywords: ant, ergatoid queen, polyphenism, phenotypic plasticity, trophic egg.

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