Perhaps this question has been mulled over and over again, but I'm going to ask it anyway.
I recently identified one of my young colonies as Aphaenogaster sp (likely A. epirotes), and as I realize they are largely carnivorous and monomorph, I started pondering the following question:
What would happen if the colony was underfed vs overfed with protein?
I guess the answer is straightforward: The queen would lay less eggs, and some eggs/larvae would get fed to the others - thus less colony growth.
On the other hand, if overfed, the queen would lay a lot of eggs and the colony would boom.
But, apart from the obvious effect, I want to know if anybody has made an observation in the following:
1 - would the larvae develop faster? (i.e. grow to the required size to pupate sooner due to abundance of protein)
2 - would the larvae produce bigger workers? (in monomorph colonies there are still size differences between workers). I noticed my C. scutellaris to be almost twice smaller that the workers in wilderness (might have to do with colony age)
All thoughts/opinions and observations are welcome Please share