Asian Myrmecology: Archive - Volume 15


online first (online version of paper published before print issue)

DOI: 10.20362/am.016006
Asian Myrmecology 16: 016006 (1-6)
article first published online: 12/May/2023

Thelytokous parthenogenesis in dealate queens of the ponerine ant Anochetus shohki


Two orphan colonies of Anochetus shohki were collected from Yonaguni Island, Okinawa, Japan. Alate queens emerged from one of the orphan colonies, which had cocoons at the time of field-sampling. These queens exhibited an enlarged pronotum, which is a trait typical of non-claustral foundresses. They shed their wings in a few days, and then started laying eggs 24 days later. These eggs eventually developed into workers. After some of these workers eclosed, dissections revealed that queens possessed well-developed ovaries with six ovarioles (3 + 3) and workers lacked ovaries. Spermathecae of these queens were empty, and no males emerged during the study period. These findings indicate that uninseminated dealate queens in A. shohki can produce workers via thelytokous parthenogenesis, at least in orphan colonies. This represents the first report of thelytoky not only in Anochetus but also in the Ponerini tribe, and it is the second such report in the Ponerinae subfamily.

thelytoky, alate queen, Ponerinae, ovary

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1College of Agriculture, Tamagawa University, Machida, Tokyo 194-8610, Japan

2Graduate School of Agriculture, Tamagawa University, Machida, Tokyo 194-8610, Japan

3Honeybee Science Research Center, Tamagawa University, Machida, Tokyo 194-8610, Japan

*Corresponding author:

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