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Assisted dispersal and reproductive success in an ant species with matchmaking
  • Mathilde Vidal,
  • Jürgen Heinze
Mathilde Vidal
University of Regensburg
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Jürgen Heinze
University of Regensburg
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Abstract

Workers of the ant Cardiocondyla elegans drop female sexuals into the nest entrance of other colonies to promote outbreeding with unrelated, wingless males. Corroborating results from previous years we document that carrier and carried female sexuals are typically related and that the transfer initially occurs mostly from their joint natal colonies to unrelated colonies. Female sexuals mate multiply with up to seven genetically distinguishable males. Contrary to our expectation, the colony growth rate of multiple-mated and outbred female sexuals was lower than that of inbred or single-mated females, leading to the question of why female sexuals mate multiply at all. Despite the obvious costs, multiple mating might be a way for female sexuals to “pay rent” for hibernation in an alien nest. We argue that in addition to evading inbreeding depression from regular sibling mating over many generations, assisted dispersal might also be a strategy for minimizing the risk of losing all reproductive investment when nests are flooded in winter.
03 Jun 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
04 Jun 2022Submission Checks Completed
04 Jun 2022Assigned to Editor
10 Jun 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
21 Jul 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
25 Jul 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
28 Jul 20221st Revision Received
29 Jul 2022Submission Checks Completed
29 Jul 2022Assigned to Editor
29 Jul 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
01 Aug 2022Editorial Decision: Accept