Soldier Determination in Ants: New Role for Juvenile Hormone

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Science  17 Jul 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4505, pp. 361-363
DOI: 10.1126/science.213.4505.361


Topical application of juvenile hormone analog induces soldier development in the ant Pheidole bicarinata. Soldier induction takes place if the juvenile hormone analog is present during a period of sensitivity that occurs during the last larval instar. Control of worker dimorphism seems to be accomplished through control of timing of metamorphosis. The smallest size at which metamorphosis can be initiated is shifted upwardfrom 1.2 to 1.7 millimeters by exposure to the juvenile hormone analog during the sensitive period.

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