Pheromonal Control of Dealation and Oogenesis in Virgin Queen Fire Ants

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Science  03 Apr 1981:
Vol. 212, Issue 4490, pp. 73-75
DOI: 10.1126/science.212.4490.73


In the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, sexually mature virgin females are prevented from shedding their wings and becoming functional egg layers by the presence of the mated queen. Experimental data suggest that this inhibitory effect results from the action of a relatively nonvolatile primer pheromone (or pheromones) produced by the mated queen and distributed by the workers. Target ants are both virgin queens and workers.