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Gamergates

gamergatesbull ants myrmecia

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#1 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 18 2018 - 7:45 AM

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I have a question, maybe a stupid one but I can't seem to pin down a straight answer. Hopefully this is the right forum, it is to do with collecting ants.

 

I have read about gamergates and know that they can lay eggs.

In the absence of a queen the unfertilised eggs will develop into male alates.

 

My question is : Is it possible to collect worker ants from the genus Myrmecia to found a colony?

 

Will a gamergate lay an egg that produces a male alate, then will the male alate mate with a gamergate to produce a Queen thus founding a colony?

 

It seems that this could happen in theory, but does it work in practice?



#2 Offline Scrixx - Posted July 18 2018 - 10:52 AM

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https://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Gamergate

 

Well I read up on it a bit and Gamergate by definition is a mated worker. They will lay fertile eggs so there would be no need to mate with the same male she produced. Take everything after this point with a grain of salt. It's just rambling and thinking. 

 

Now how about infertile queens laying eggs that produces males? Chances are it still would not work. Queens and males typically mate during nuptial flights. Meaning the conditions must be right and they will either mate in the air or on the ground AFTER flight. Now you probably won't get the same queen who laid the egg for the male to fly again. But let's say you did. Both the queen and the male she produced somehow flew.

 

Queens and drones typically avoid inbreeding. There are some species that can inbreed without harm but we'll ignore those. As we know, inbreeding results in a weaker genepool causing them to be more susceptible to diseases, defects, and failure. So normally ants prevent this by flying to a different colony or a different area away from their own relatives. Sure you'll get a few mistakes where they inbreed anyways but for the most part their goal is to mate outside the colony. So the chances of your two ants will mate is slim.

 

But let's say your queen and male flew. You might as well catch the other queens that flew as well.


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ScrixxAnts Queen Adoption

YouTube: View my ants

Keeping: Camponotus sansabeanus - C. vicinus - Formica francoeuri - Liometopum occidentale -  Pogonomyrmex californicus - P. rugosus - P. subnitidus - Solenopsis molesta - S. xyloni - Tapinoma sessile - Temnothorax sp.

Journals: Camponotus sansabeanus & C. vicinus | Pogonomyrmex californicus & P. rugosus | Solenopsis molesta & S. xyloni

Discontinued: Pogonomyrmex subnitidus


#3 Offline Bracchymyrmex - Posted July 18 2018 - 11:46 AM

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I'm currently working in a lab studying Harpagnathos saltador gamergate behavior and it's possible to physically make a worker switch to egg laying mode by isolating it for a period of time, providing it with a constant food supply and mating it. However, this does not succeed all the time as occasionally the worker will or will not mate with a male given the conditions or behavior of the worker. Our lab also isolates several workers at a time and they "duel" until one worker triumphs as the gamergate. I put duel in quotations because they don't really fight, they just wack each other with their antennae until one of them gives in - so no workers end up being harmed. This also does not apply to all species, for instance, a friend of mine's Formica pallidefulva queen died but the colony continued to thrive for another two years. Some of the workers laid eggs that eclosed into males but they never seemed to mate or become true gamergates. So, in my experience, workers can activate their ovaries and become fertile egg-laying individuals given special cues and conditions, but this is particular to certain species and their environments. 

 

Myrmecia, in your case, can turn into gamergates in certain species. Myrmecia pyriformis seem to have displayed gamergates in lab conditions -- see this paper. If you were to collect a colony, make sure you collected males with it. Or if you plan on isolating a single worker, give her a couple males to mate with. 

 

Hope this helped.


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#4 Offline ZllGGY - Posted July 18 2018 - 12:27 PM

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so from my understanding the way gamergates work is a dominant female is established, she lays the eggs. then if she dies another worker with working reproductive organs can become the new "queen" to lay the future generations, but that could just be a general rule with some species being the exception


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Colonies:

 

Founding:

Camponotus cf. Modoc

Camponotus cf. Herculeanus

 

Dream Ants:

 

Stenamma Diecki

Solenopsis Molesta

Manica Invidia

Camponotus Herculeanus

Lasius Latipes

Dorymyrmex Pyramicus

Tapinoma Sessile


#5 Offline Canadian anter - Posted July 18 2018 - 4:32 PM

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so from my understanding the way gamergates work is a dominant female is established, she lays the eggs. then if she dies another worker with working reproductive organs can become the new "queen" to lay the future generations, but that could just be a general rule with some species being the exception

Yes, however it is difficult in captivity sometimes as males will be required to fertilize said workers.
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Visit us at www.canada-ant-colony.com !

#6 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 18 2018 - 7:33 PM

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Thanks for the answers!
Now I can't find the articles I was reading. I must have a few things confused, I had read about unmated workers laying eggs that are often eaten but if left to hatch produce males, now I don't know what I read where!
I guess reading different sources over the last month or so I got some things mixed up.
Back to more research I guess, thanks all :)

#7 Offline Scrixx - Posted July 18 2018 - 7:38 PM

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Thanks for the answers!
Now I can't find the articles I was reading. I must have a few things confused, I had read about unmated workers laying eggs that are often eaten but if left to hatch produce males, now I don't know what I read where!
I guess reading different sources over the last month or so I got some things mixed up.
Back to more research I guess, thanks all :)

 

I believe Pogonomyrmex lay infertile eggs intended to be eaten. That might help you find some information.


ScrixxAnts Queen Adoption

YouTube: View my ants

Keeping: Camponotus sansabeanus - C. vicinus - Formica francoeuri - Liometopum occidentale -  Pogonomyrmex californicus - P. rugosus - P. subnitidus - Solenopsis molesta - S. xyloni - Tapinoma sessile - Temnothorax sp.

Journals: Camponotus sansabeanus & C. vicinus | Pogonomyrmex californicus & P. rugosus | Solenopsis molesta & S. xyloni

Discontinued: Pogonomyrmex subnitidus


#8 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 18 2018 - 7:45 PM

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Thanks for the answers!
Now I can't find the articles I was reading. I must have a few things confused, I had read about unmated workers laying eggs that are often eaten but if left to hatch produce males, now I don't know what I read where!
I guess reading different sources over the last month or so I got some things mixed up.
Back to more research I guess, thanks all :)


I believe Pogonomyrmex lay infertile eggs intended to be eaten. That might help you find some information.
Thanks! I have just read so much on ants in the last month that I think my brain is rebelling!

#9 Offline dermy - Posted July 19 2018 - 2:38 AM

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Thanks for the answers!
Now I can't find the articles I was reading. I must have a few things confused, I had read about unmated workers laying eggs that are often eaten but if left to hatch produce males, now I don't know what I read where!
I guess reading different sources over the last month or so I got some things mixed up.
Back to more research I guess, thanks all :)

Eggs that are laid by workers and queens are sometimes called Trophic eggs are unfertilized and generally used to feed the colony. i'm starting to wonder if some people who get random males in their first batches of workers are just experiencing a Trophic Egg that was supposed to be used to feed the developing larvae but was somehow able to go on to devolop into a male alate.


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