Adoption of a surrogate artificial queen in a colony of Atta cephalotes (L.) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Colombia uri icon

abstract

  • In nature, Atta cephalotes (L.) is a monogynous species. Each colony has a single, permanent queen fed and protected by thousands of sterile workers. At death the queen colony practically disappears. Recently a colony established eight years in the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia, lost the queen being orphaned by three months. Starting from the idea that whether this colony could take a surrogate queen, we collect a field young nest of A. cephalotes, which donated its queen to the orphan colony. Overall, there was a slight aggression among workers without attacking the surrogate queen, which was adopted by the orphan colony. Five months later, the surrogate queen was still alive and there was presence of larvae and pupae. The results show that the artificial colony of A. cephalotes, after a period of orphanhood, accepts surrogate queen and remains stable and active.

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015