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2006 | 56 | 4 |
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Do permanently mixed colonies of wood ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) really exist?

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We describe the composition of two colonies of wood ants (FM-1 and FM-2) from southern Finland, identified on the basis of morphological investigations of workers (for FM-1, also of alate gynes and males) as mixed colonies comprising individuals with phenotypes typical of Formica aquilonia Yarr., F. polyctena Först, and F. rufa L. The prevailing species (phenotypes) were F. polyctena in FM-1, and F. rufa in FM-2. Colony FM-1 was observed every year in the period 1996-2006, almost from the moment it was formed. A first tentative investigation in 1999 revealed that it was already a mixed one and was probably also polygynous. Systematic follow-up investigations from 2002 to 2006 demonstrated relative stability of the proportions of individual species (phenotypes). A possible origin of this permanently mixed colony is postulated and discussed.
Opis fizyczny
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