Behavioral hierarchies are important to control the access to resources (like food and reproduction) in vertebrate as well as in insect societies. Despite many studies showed the occurrence of hierarchies among potentially reproductive females in ants, very few stated that hierarchies are involved in the establishment of a reproductive skew. Workers of the slavemaking ant Protomognathus americanus produce a large proportion of the males and seem to perform behavioral hierarchy. Our study aims to correlate behavioral hierarchy and reproductive skew in this species. First, we will characterize dominance behaviors by direct observation of individually marked slavemaker workers. Second, these workers will be dissected to estimate their ovarian development. Third, we will assign produced males to workers, using ten microsatellite loci. Finally, calculation of Nonacs’B will allow us to estimate the reproductive skew and to evidence a potential correlation with ovarian status and behavioral relationships.
Species 1: Hymenoptera Formicidae Protomognathus americanus
Keywords: social behavior, conflict
The ESA 2001 Annual Meeting - 2001: An Entomological Odyssey of ESA