Mating and longevity in ant males

Metzler, Sina and Heinze, Jürgen and Schrempf, Alexandra (2016) Mating and longevity in ant males. Ecology and Evolution, 6 (24). ISSN 2045-7758

[img] Text
Metzler_et_al-2016-Ecology_and_Evolution.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (320Kb)
Official URL:


Across multicellular organisms, the costs of reproduction and self-maintenance result in a life history trade-off between fecundity and longevity. Queens of perennial social Hymenoptera are both highly fertile and long-lived, and thus, this fundamental trade-off is lacking. Whether social insect males similarly evade the fecundity/longevity trade-off remains largely unstudied. Wingless males of the ant genus Cardiocondyla stay in their natal colonies throughout their relatively long lives and mate with multiple female sexuals. Here, we show that Cardiocondyla obscurior males that were allowed to mate with large numbers of female sexuals had a shortened life span compared to males that mated at a low frequency or virgin males. Although frequent mating negatively affects longevity, males clearly benefit from a “live fast, die young strategy” by inseminating as many female sexuals as possible at a cost to their own survival.

Item Type: Article
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2474
Uncontrolled Keywords: Reproduction, cardiocondyla, life span, trade-off
Subjects: 500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology > 576 Genetics and evolution
500 Science > 590 Animals (zoology) > 592 Invertebrates
Research Group: Cremer Group
SWORD Depositor: Sword Import User
Depositing User: Sword Import User
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2017 08:02
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2017 09:29

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item