Title

Impact of worker longevity and other endogenous factors on colony size in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Deby L. Cassill

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Date Issued

January 2011

Abstract

Central to the survival and reproduction of social insect queens is the size of colonies at maturity. The influence of exogenous factors such as predation, food abundance, and seasonal changes in temperature on colony size are well studied. Less well studied are endogenous life history factors such as a queen's fertility and lifespan, duration of worker development from egg to adult and worker lifespan. Endogenous factors regulating the rate of colony growth and colony size were simulated using the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Assuming ideal environmental conditions of no predation, abundant food and uniform temperature, the simulation showed unequivocally that colony size is determined by two endogenous factors: a queen's egg-laying rate (Rq) and worker longevity (Lw) (Colony size = Rq x Lw). Thus, we are left with an unanswered question: if worker longevity contributes directly to colony size, why is the lifespan of workers so short—in most cases, a small fraction of a queen's lifespan?

Comments

Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in Insectes Sociaux, 58, 551-557. doi: 10.1007/s00040-011-0179-5 Members of the USF System may access the full-text of the article through the authenticated link provided.

Language

en_US

Publisher

Springer Verlag

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.