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Can there be hybrid ants?


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12 replies to this topic

#1 Offline anttics - Posted September 11 2018 - 3:01 PM

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Can closely related species mate with each other in the wild? I know labs can do it With bees,and and ants.

#2 Offline Major - Posted September 11 2018 - 3:03 PM

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Never heard of this occurring, don't this so.
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#3 Offline CampoKing - Posted September 11 2018 - 3:09 PM

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The only wild example I've heard of is a "hybrid zone" in the Western United States between Pogonomyrmex rugosus and Pogonomyrmex barbatus. Apparently, these two species started cross-breeding a long time ago, and continue to do so to produce workers (but mate separately to produce alates? It's a weird situation)

Scientific details here:

https://pdfs.semanti...d87ea769bc9.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC4541987/
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#4 Offline gcsnelling - Posted September 11 2018 - 3:43 PM

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Solenopsis xyloni and S. geminata get it on as well.



#5 Offline Spamdy - Posted September 11 2018 - 6:30 PM

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Many people, including me came under the false impression that both Pogonomyrmex species HAVE TO mate to ensure fertility after watching the AntsCanada video on Pogonomyrmex. To clear it up, both species do not need to depend off of each other to become fertile, but they are able to.


All my colonies are dead. 

 

 Except:

  

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  Pheidole morens


#6 Offline DaveJay - Posted September 11 2018 - 7:49 PM

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Usually two related species cross breeding results in mules, infertile offspring so I guess the same would apply to ants. I would guess a Queen mated with a male of another species would be able to produce drones but not fertile offspring.

#7 Offline anttics - Posted September 12 2018 - 11:54 AM

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Usually two related species cross breeding results in mules, infertile offspring so I guess the same would apply to ants. I would guess a Queen mated with a male of another species would be able to produce drones but not fertile offspring.


That makes sense. May she can do workers, but not queens

#8 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted September 12 2018 - 12:48 PM

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There are lots of examples of this. The example I can think of is Lasius murphyi X Lasius latipes hybrid. There is also some hybridization with Lasius claviger but I'm not sure with what.


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Ants:    Stigmatomma pallipes

            Temnothorax schaumii - Journal

            Temnothorax curvispinosus

            Myrmecina americana - Journal

            Ponera pennsylvanica - Journal

            Formica incerta Journal

            Formica subsericea

            Formica rubicunda

            Aphaenogaster tennesseensis - Journal

            Aphaenogaster rudis Journal

            Myrmica spp. Journal

            Camponotus chromaiodes - Journal

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            Camponotus subbarbatus - Journal

            Camponotus sp.

            Strumigenys pergandei - Journal (Discontinued)

            Strumigenys pilinasis - Journal

            Hypoponera opacior

            Tetramorium immigrans - Journal

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            Lasius americanus

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Other:  Millipedes

Isopods

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Soil Centipedes (Geophilomorpha sp.)

Stone Centipedes (Lithobius sp.)

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#9 Offline Serafine - Posted September 12 2018 - 2:07 PM

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Yes, there are multiple occasions where ant species can interbreed if they are closely related. Examples can be found in many genuses, most well-known are Pogonomyrmex (which are pretty special anyway as they can adopt foreign workers) and Temnothorax (T. nylanderia has local hybrid populations with T. crassispinus - both species can mate with each other and the workers of those hybrid colonies may show traits of both species, additionally queens usually mate with more than one male so there can be nests with both pure and hybrid workers).

 

This actually happens quite often in the animal kingdom and makes the biological species term a very difficult concept.

Also interbreeding is often encouraged by environmentan conditions - when the Galapagos Islands got hit by a terrible storm a few decades ago which wiped out large portions of the Darwin Finch populations the species borders between the different species of Darwin finches just vanished and they effectively became one species (new borders have been established since then but there's still some interbreeding happening).

Another example are Starling birds which have several subspecies/subpopulations circling the entire world and each "subspecies" is capable of mating with the neighbouring "subspieces" leading to wide hybrid zones (they're not even real hybrids, it's more like a gradual change from one subspecies to the other).

It may also happen when new species are forming - all species on the Earth have a common ancestor which at a certain point in time had to split into two populations that developed into different directions and at some point stopped mating. Considering how fast arthropod evolution can happen it's very very likely that there are a lot more interbreeding ant species than we're currently aware of (mostly due to fact that we simply cannot recognize the individual subspecies involved - remember that Tetramorium caespitum and impurum just got split up into a complex of 30+ subspecies and Messor structor got devided into 7 seperate species).


Edited by Serafine, September 12 2018 - 2:09 PM.

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#10 Offline TheRealAntMan - Posted September 12 2018 - 2:34 PM

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Lets not forget the Solenopsis Richteri x Solenopsis Invicta (RIFA x BIFA) hybrid which starting to be very problematic in the southern states.


Edited by TheRealAntMan, September 13 2018 - 3:20 PM.

An ants' strength can be rivaled by few animals compared to their relative body size
 

 


#11 Offline TheRealAntMan - Posted September 12 2018 - 2:36 PM

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https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC4156693/


An ants' strength can be rivaled by few animals compared to their relative body size
 

 


#12 Offline anttics - Posted September 13 2018 - 10:06 AM

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Fascinating. Serafin knows his biology. Like i said. You made sense. This is the reason. It would be awsome to have a colony with 2 types of workers

#13 Offline Canadian anter - Posted September 13 2018 - 7:41 PM

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Camponotus herculeanus x modoc appears in Athabasca


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