Fedoseeva E.B.1, Grevtsova N.A.2 2020. Flight muscles degeneration, oogenesis and fat body in Lasius niger and Formica rufa queens (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) // Russian Entomol. J. Vol.29. No.4: 410–420 [in English].
1 Zoological Museum of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Bolshaya Nikitskaya Street 2, Moscow, 125009 Russia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Dept. of Entomology, Faculty of Biology, MSU, 1–12 Leninskie Gory , GSP-1, Moscow, 119991 Russia. E-mail: email@example.com
ABSTRACT. Queens of Lasius niger with their independent mode of colony founding have a much higher fat content than red wood ants queens, which create new colonies either via budding or through temporary social parasitism. After nest foundation, an L. niger queen will never leave it to forage. Therefore, until workers appear, vital activities of the queen require reserves that are within the extremely well-developed gaster fat body, and later, the degeneration of the flight muscles. This comparative anatomical research demonstrated that both alate and dealate young queens of red wood ants collected in nature have no such gaster reserves. During nuptial flight and a month after wings shedding the gaster of the ants remained compact and free of the massive fat body that is specific to L. niger queens. Ovarian development in young queen red wood ants is closely dependent on the degeneration of indirect flight muscles. The process of degeneration includes two distinguishable stages: progressive and active hystolysis of muscle fibers, and two stages of fiber sheaths adipogenesis. Ovarian growth in queen red wood ants takes place during the active hystolysis of muscles, but the oogenesis of the first eggs produced occurs during a long period of muscle fiber sheaths adipogenesis. Ant workers likely play a key role in providing provisions for the queen in the final stage of initial egg development. In contrast, in young L. niger queens, the first batch of eggs is formed much earlier, in the first days after wings shedding, when external manifestations of flight muscle hystolysis are absent, and the abdomen contains a fat body. It is assumed that, unlike L. niger, young red wood ant queens lay their first eggs after nuptial flight no earlier than following spring.
KEY WORDS: comparative anatomical, colony founding, Formica rufa, indirect flight muscles, hystolysis, adipogenesis, ovary, egg.