Mating and longevity in ant males

S. Metzler, J. Heinze, A. Schrempf, Ecology and Evolution 6 (2016) 8903–8906.

OA IST-2017-736-v1+1_Metzler_et_al-2016-Ecology_and_Evolution.pdf 328.41 KB

Journal Article | Published | English

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Metzler, SinaIST Austria; Heinze, Jürgen; Schrempf, Alexandra
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.
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Ecology and Evolution
German Science Foundation. Grant Number: SCHR 1135/2-1. We thank M. Adam for handling part of the setups and J. Zoellner for behavioral observations.
8903 - 8906

Cite this

Metzler S, Heinze J, Schrempf A. Mating and longevity in ant males. Ecology and Evolution. 2016;6(24):8903-8906. doi:10.1002/ece3.2474
Metzler, S., Heinze, J., & Schrempf, A. (2016). Mating and longevity in ant males. Ecology and Evolution. Wiley-Blackwell.
Metzler, Sina, Jürgen Heinze, and Alexandra Schrempf. “Mating and Longevity in Ant Males.” Ecology and Evolution. Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.
S. Metzler, J. Heinze, and A. Schrempf, “Mating and longevity in ant males,” Ecology and Evolution, vol. 6, no. 24. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 8903–8906, 2016.
Metzler S, Heinze J, Schrempf A. 2016. Mating and longevity in ant males. Ecology and Evolution. 6(24), 8903–8906.
Metzler, Sina, et al. “Mating and Longevity in Ant Males.” Ecology and Evolution, vol. 6, no. 24, Wiley-Blackwell, 2016, pp. 8903–06, doi:10.1002/ece3.2474.
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