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Brief Report

Body Size Differences between Foraging and Intranidal Workers of the Monomorphic Ant Lasius niger

1
Department of Zoology and Animal Welfare, University of Agriculture in Krakow, al. Mickiewicza 24/28, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
2
Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, ul. Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(7), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11070433
Received: 2 June 2020 / Revised: 2 July 2020 / Accepted: 9 July 2020 / Published: 10 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavior and Ecology of Social Insects)
The association between the division of labour and worker body size of ants is typical for species that maintain physical castes. Some studies showed that this phenomenon can be also observed in the absence of distinct morphological subcastes among workers. However, the general and consistent patterns in the size-based division of labour in monomorphic ants are largely unidentified. In this study, we performed a field experiment to investigate the link between worker body size and the division of labour of the ant Lasius niger (Linnaeus, 1758), which displays limited worker size variation. We demonstrated that the body size of workers exploring tuna baits is slightly but significantly smaller than the size of workers located in the upper parts of the nest. Comparing the present results with existing studies, large workers do not seem to be dedicated to work outside the nest. We suggest that monomorphic workers of certain body sizes are flexible in the choice of task they perform, and food type may be the important determinant of this choice. View Full-Text
Keywords: ants; body size; monomorphism; task division ants; body size; monomorphism; task division
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MDPI and ACS Style

Okrutniak, M.; Rom, B.; Turza, F.; Grześ, I.M. Body Size Differences between Foraging and Intranidal Workers of the Monomorphic Ant Lasius niger. Insects 2020, 11, 433. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11070433

AMA Style

Okrutniak M, Rom B, Turza F, Grześ IM. Body Size Differences between Foraging and Intranidal Workers of the Monomorphic Ant Lasius niger. Insects. 2020; 11(7):433. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11070433

Chicago/Turabian Style

Okrutniak, Mateusz, Bartosz Rom, Filip Turza, and Irena M. Grześ. 2020. "Body Size Differences between Foraging and Intranidal Workers of the Monomorphic Ant Lasius niger" Insects 11, no. 7: 433. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11070433

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