Independent colony founding by ergatoid queens in the ant genus Pogonomyrmex: queen foraging provides an alternative to dependent colony founding
Insectes Sociaux 57(2): 169-176
ISSN/ISBN: 0020-1812 DOI: 10.1007/s00040-010-0065-6
Ant queens exhibit two primary strategies to initiate nests, independent colony founding (ICF) by solitary queens and dependent colony founding (DCF) when the queen starts a nest with a group of workers that disperse on foot from the parent nest. Numerous ant species have wingless (ergatoid) queens, and it is generally assumed that these species exhibit obligate Dcf because their lack of wing musculature provides them with few resources to divert towards producing their first brood of workers.