Zakharov A.A. 2011. Monogyny and polygyny in the life of the ant nest // Russian Entomol. J. Vol.20. No.3: 341–344 [in English].

A.N. Severtzov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119071, Russia. E-mail:

Key words: ants, monogyny, polygyny, social structures, development of ant nest.

Abstract. Possibility of a primary polygyny is originally included into the scenario of pleometrosis. Competition of the queens for food, care and attention of the workers is the main factor motivating the choice between monogyny (MG) and polygyny (PG) in ants. The number of queens does not impose the ban on any key features of the society. Development of different features, i.e. foundation of a new family by young queens as well as presence of auxiliary nests (polycaly), sociotomy, permanent superfamilial structures is possible under both conditions (MG/PG) but they are acquired by partially different ways. Like other features, MG/PG condition is related to size, level of organization at different stages of life history and conditions of origin of the community.

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