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When is a soldier not a soldier?

camponotus mutation soldier worker minor

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5 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted May 18 2017 - 9:57 PM

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Hi!
I caught two Camponotus Variegatus workers for my lonely Camponotus queen (no eggs yet). I placed them together and they got along very well. Soon after, though, I noticed something strange about one of the worker. The "mutated minor" had an off color head and slightly rounder head capsule, similar to that of a Camponotus Variegatus soldier head. The only difference was that her head was as thin as the minor's head. I wonder if this worker is a mutated major!

Has anybody else ever seen this happen? (In case you didn't understand what was written above, the worker is a camponotus soldier with a small head).

Thanks!

PS: I know that she's not a soldier because I've kept soldiers of this species individually before.


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#2 Offline Serafine - Posted May 18 2017 - 10:50 PM

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Regarding the size differences in ant species that are not polymorphic (Formica wood ants can have workers that are 4 times the size of others) I'm pretty sure that this is not too unusual. I haven't noticed any huge head differences in my Camponotus ants but their color varies wildly between individuals from the same colony. Also I remember someone here recently catching a queen with a very massive major-like head.


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#3 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted May 19 2017 - 4:55 AM

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She wasn't just a median caste? Dimorphic ants like Pheidole only have majors and minors (nothing in between) while polymorphic ants like Camponotus have multiple casts or a scale of sizes between major and minor  (i.e. Solenopsis invicta).


Edited by Batspiderfish, May 19 2017 - 5:00 AM.

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#4 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted May 19 2017 - 5:51 PM

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Regarding the size differences in ant species that are not polymorphic (Formica wood ants can have workers that are 4 times the size of others) I'm pretty sure that this is not too unusual. I haven't noticed any huge head differences in my Camponotus ants but their color varies wildly between individuals from the same colony. Also I remember someone here recently catching a queen with a very massive major-like head.

 

 

She wasn't just a median caste? Dimorphic ants like Pheidole only have majors and minors (nothing in between) while polymorphic ants like Camponotus have multiple casts or a scale of sizes between major and minor  (i.e. Solenopsis invicta).

 

 

I think you guys are right. She may be just a median caste. Thanks!


Hawaiiant (Ben)

Keeper of
Miniature Labradoodle
Baby Wolf Spider
Mud Dauber wasp larvae
Ochetellus Glaber
Solenopsis Geminata
Brachymyrmex Obscurior
Cardiocondyla Emeryi
Tetramorium Bicarinatum
Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
Day Gecko
Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps

#5 Offline Serafine - Posted May 20 2017 - 1:18 AM

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Actually my ants have a media worker (more than one by now), she's quite a monstrosity compared to the other workers and her head looks rather different. But there may be size variations within the (rather fluid) 'castes' of Camponotus ants (like supersized minors and undergrown medias).
 
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Edited by Serafine, May 20 2017 - 1:20 AM.

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#6 Offline Martialis - Posted May 22 2017 - 4:36 AM

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I'm assuming this is because of the rather young colony that it is; the nanitics are the smallest, regular workers the media, and the majors are well, just majors.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: camponotus, mutation, soldier, worker, minor

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