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1 July 2005 Production of Minima Workers by Gynes of Atta colombica Guérin-Ménéville (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Attini) that Lack a Fungal Pellet
Hermógenes Fernández-Marín, William T. Wcislo
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Abstract

Early studies of Atta nest founding showed that gynes exhibit claustral nest foundation, cultivate fungal gardens with fecal secretions, and nourish their larvae with eggs. These studies also showed that gynes sometimes lose their fungal pellets, or the fungal garden fails before workers emerge, apparently dooming the incipient colony. Here we report that Atta colombica foundresses maintained in the laboratory can produce workers even though they lack fungal pellets to initiate gardens. If such behavior occurs in nature, it raises the possibility that workers might re-acquire a fungal symbiont after nest establishment, and potentially rescue failing colonies.

Hermógenes Fernández-Marín and William T. Wcislo "Production of Minima Workers by Gynes of Atta colombica Guérin-Ménéville (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Attini) that Lack a Fungal Pellet," Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 78(3), 290-292, (1 July 2005). https://doi.org/10.2317/0402.19.1
Accepted: 1 May 2004; Published: 1 July 2005
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KEYWORDS
foundresses
Fungal acquisition
fungus growing ants
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