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Volume 103, Issue 1-2, Pages 95-101

Colony Founding Behavior of Some Desert Ants: Geographic Variation in Metrosis

1Social Insect Research Group, Department of Biology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1501, USA
2Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
3P.O. Box 458, Dolan Springs, AZ 86441, USA

Received 18 July 1996

Copyright © 2000 Steven W. Rissing et al.


The ants Pogonomyrmex catifornicus and Pheidole tucsonica display cooperative colony foundation with co-foundresses forming associations without respect to relatedness. Geographic variation in method of colony foundation [cooperative (pleometrosis) versus non-cooperative (haplometrosis)] occurs in P. californicus, Acromyrmex versicolor, Myrmecocystus mimicus and Messor pergandei. Such variation in colony founding behavior strongly suggests that comparative studies of the adaptive value of cooperative colony founding will be extremely rewarding.