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Psyche
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 349896, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/349896
Research Article

Behavioral Differentiation and Ovarian Development of Unmated Gynes, Queens, and Workers of Ectatomma vizottoi Almeida 1987 (Formicidae, Ectatomminae)

1Programa de Pós-graduação em Entomologia e Conservação da Natureza, Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados. 241, 79804-970 Dourados, MS, Brazil
2Faculdade de Ciências Biológicas e Ambientais, Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados. 241, 79804-970 Dourados, MS, Brazil
3Laboratório de Ecologia do Centro de Análise Integrado e Monitoramento Ambiental, Universidade Estadual de Mato Grosso do Sul, 351 79804-907 Dourados, MS, Brazil

Received 30 June 2011; Revised 14 July 2011; Accepted 22 July 2011

Academic Editor: Jacques H. C. Delabie

Copyright © 2012 Alexsandro Santana Vieira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Behavioral differentiation and ovarian development of unmated gynes, queens, and workers of Ectatomma vizottoi were investigated in laboratory conditions. Forty-one behavioral acts were identified and quantified for workers, 19 for queens and 24 for unmated gynes, for an overall species repertoire of 42 different behavioral acts. Ovipositing reproductive eggs was an exclusive task of the queen, whereas workers showed 15 caste-specific behaviors. The most important (frequent) behaviors for the queens were brood care, immobility, and reproduction, and for workers were immobility, grooming/interaction, brood care, and foraging. Unmated gynes (not winged) primarily showed immobility, brood care, grooming/interaction, and foraging. Analysis of ovarian development showed that unmated gynes had little-developed ovarioles, in contrast to queens. Queens and unmated gynes showed a clear behavioral differentiation, in which queens played the role of reproducers and unmated gynes performed activities belonging to the worker repertoire. Despite the presence of several breeding queens in the colony, functional monogyny was the rule.