Oecologia Australis, Vol 8 (2000)

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COOPERAÇÃO, CONFLITOS E RAZÃO SEXUAL EM HIMENÓPTEROS SOCIAlS: A PERSPECTIVA DE UMA FORMIGA AMAZÔNICA

C. R. Fonseca

Abstract


In ant nests, workers, soldiers and queens cooperate in accomplishing a range of tasks. According to the kin selection theory, this cooperation is possible due to the high degree of genetic relatedness between individuals. When a colony reaches reproductive age, part of the colony re­sources will be allocated to the production of female and male reproductives. In contrast with many organisms in which the sex ratio is 1:1, on ants, female and male reproductives frequently are not produced in equal numbers, generating asymmetrical sex-ratios. The main aim of this paper is to briet1y review six existing models dealing with asymmetrical sex ratios, highlighting their different assumptions and predictions. Data on the structure of Phetdole minutula (Myrmecinae) colonies, and their reproductive allocation pattern, illustrate how these models can be tested. The results support the hypotheses of Local Mating Competition, Split Sex-ratio and Resource Availability, but fail to corroborate both the Local Resource Competition and the Numerical Dominance hypotheses.


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ISSN 2177-6199