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Brood-rearing in relation to worker number in the ant Myrmica






Physiological Zoology Chicago, 26: 355-366

Brood-rearing in relation to worker number in the ant Myrmica

Groups of workers of different sizes were given fixed numbers of either eggs or larvae, and progress recorded periodically. The relation between group-output and group-size was proportional when workers were few, and constant when they were numerous under a variety of circumstances, by several different indices of production. With moderate numbers of workers even where brood was manifestly under-nourished, group output fell short of proportionality. This inefficient condition could be produced in small worker groups by reducing the numbers of brood supplied and was therefore concerned with the ratio of workers to brood. From these results, it followed that an opt. number of workers for a given number of brood could be calculated. When this was done, the value (expressed as a ratio) was found to be very similar to the avg. ratio workers/larvae in colonies collected from the field in winter.

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Accession: 038030240

DOI: 10.2307/30152162



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