Maternity and cyclical oligogyny in a colony of Parachartergus colobopterus
Quach, Steve Quan
Strassmann, Joan E.
Master of Arts
Genetic data was obtained from a colony of Parachartergus colobopterus using DNA microsatellites. A colony cycle referred to as cyclical oligogyny is believed to account for the high relatedness in this polygynous species. The genetic data was analyzed to support the presence of cyclical oligogyny and determine some of the specific mechanisms behind it. Specifically, queen reduction, increasing reproductive dominance, sexual specialization by queens, and maternity of males (worker vs. queen) were examined. There was evidence for queen reduction occurring in this colony. To the contrary, no support was found for either increasing reproductive dominance or sexual specialization among the queens. It appears that the queens produced all of the males in this colony. This concurs with a worker preference for queen laying of the males that was seen in relatedness estimates.