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Are Tetramorium polygynous?


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#1 Online Pumpkin_Loves_Ants - Posted July 10 2019 - 7:13 PM

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I found a bunch of Tetramorium queens this morning during a flight. I was wondering if I could combine some or would they kill each other in a day? Thanks!



#2 Offline camponotuskeeper - Posted July 10 2019 - 7:21 PM

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I combined some tetramorium that I caught a few weeks ago right after I found them they never hurt each other (there was 4 of them) but I’ve heard that sometimes it’s after the nanitics hatch. I never got there because I released them after about a week and a half to make room for a camponotus queen I recently caught

#3 Offline camponotuskeeper - Posted July 10 2019 - 7:23 PM

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Also it might depend on the species I think mine were tetramorium immigrans

#4 Offline Mdrogun - Posted July 10 2019 - 8:09 PM

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Tetramorium immigrans is pleometrotic. Meaning they will cooperate during founding, but one way or the other, only one queen will remain. In the case of Tetramorium immigrans the queens fight until only one remains. However, this is not the only way queens can be removed in pleometrotic ant species.

 

That being said, there are multiple species of Tetramorium in the United States. Some are truly polygynous. I could liken asking if an entire genus is polygynous to asking what color Camponotus are. It is going to vary between species, obviously.

 

If you would like to know whether or not your Tetramorium sp. is polygynous, I would suggest you start off with IDing them on a species level.


Ready for Nuptial flights!


#5 Offline camponotuskeeper - Posted July 10 2019 - 8:20 PM

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Interesting I did not know that about tetramorium immigrans

#6 Offline Canadian anter - Posted July 11 2019 - 9:32 AM

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Tetramorium immigrans is pleometrotic. Meaning they will cooperate during founding, but one way or the other, only one queen will remain. In the case of Tetramorium immigrans the queens fight until only one remains. However, this is not the only way queens can be removed in pleometrotic ant species.

That being said, there are multiple species of Tetramorium in the United States. Some are truly polygynous. I could liken asking if an entire genus is polygynous to asking what color Camponotus are. It is going to vary between species, obviously.

If you would like to know whether or not your Tetramorium sp. is polygynous, I would suggest you start off with IDing them on a species level.

I'd like to point out that many conventionally pleometronic species will sometimes lean towards polygyny. For example, I once had a Lasius americanus colony which supported 2 queens well over 2000 workers despite the fact that in almost all foundings I've recorded of the species, these ants would start killing each other after workers arrived. Specifically for Tetramorium, I once observed a captive colony that kept 2 queens well after their first workers, at the 800 worker mark, though eventually one of the queens died for unknown reasons (pleometronic behavior kicking in might still be a possibility)

Edit: Yes it was Tetramorium immigrans and not Tetramorium tsushimae

Edited by Canadian anter, July 11 2019 - 9:32 AM.

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#7 Offline camponotuskeeper - Posted July 11 2019 - 9:51 AM

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So some pleometric species might be able to stand polygyny even if is is usually pleometric do you know of any other species like this?

#8 Offline Canadian anter - Posted July 11 2019 - 9:59 AM

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So some pleometric species might be able to stand polygyny even if is is usually pleometric do you know of any other species like this?

Strong emphasis on MIGHT. Those two cases are the only ones where I've seen either species actually maintain both queens for extended periods of time. This is more of a case-by case exception rather than the rule.
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#9 Online Pumpkin_Loves_Ants - Posted July 11 2019 - 3:47 PM

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Tetramorium immigrans is pleometrotic. Meaning they will cooperate during founding, but one way or the other, only one queen will remain. In the case of Tetramorium immigrans the queens fight until only one remains. However, this is not the only way queens can be removed in pleometrotic ant species.

 

That being said, there are multiple species of Tetramorium in the United States. Some are truly polygynous. I could liken asking if an entire genus is polygynous to asking what color Camponotus are. It is going to vary between species, obviously.

 

If you would like to know whether or not your Tetramorium sp. is polygynous, I would suggest you start off with IDing them on a species level.

Sorry about that. I will get them identified soon and make an update as to what species they are.



#10 Offline Mdrogun - Posted July 13 2019 - 9:18 PM

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Tetramorium immigrans is pleometrotic. Meaning they will cooperate during founding, but one way or the other, only one queen will remain. In the case of Tetramorium immigrans the queens fight until only one remains. However, this is not the only way queens can be removed in pleometrotic ant species.

That being said, there are multiple species of Tetramorium in the United States. Some are truly polygynous. I could liken asking if an entire genus is polygynous to asking what color Camponotus are. It is going to vary between species, obviously.

If you would like to know whether or not your Tetramorium sp. is polygynous, I would suggest you start off with IDing them on a species level.

I'd like to point out that many conventionally pleometronic species will sometimes lean towards polygyny. For example, I once had a Lasius americanus colony which supported 2 queens well over 2000 workers despite the fact that in almost all foundings I've recorded of the species, these ants would start killing each other after workers arrived. Specifically for Tetramorium, I once observed a captive colony that kept 2 queens well after their first workers, at the 800 worker mark, though eventually one of the queens died for unknown reasons (pleometronic behavior kicking in might still be a possibility)

Edit: Yes it was Tetramorium immigrans and not Tetramorium tsushimae

 

 

I almost included a paragraph about how there are no "strict rules" on polgyny in ants, haha. It can definitely happen, and does, I'm sure. In numerous species they've been found to maintain multiple queens in certain conditions, killing them in others. Brachymyrmex patagonicus for example has been able to maintain polygyny in lab colonies but a wild colony has never been found with more than one queen. The reverse is true for Solenopsis xyloni and Solenopsis geminata.

 

As humans we tend to think about things in absolute terms. Ants are either polygynous or monogynous. This is simply not the case. That being said, ants do tend to stick to previously observed behavior. I just figured I'd leave out this complicated subject because who I was responding to appears to be a beginner and I figured they don't need the confusion considering something like that is only going to happen in a very few instances. 


Ready for Nuptial flights!





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