Open Access: CC BY 4.0


Sundström, L. & Vitikainen, E.

Year: 2022


The life history of Formica exsecta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from an ecological and evolutionary perspective

Journal: Myrmecological News

Pages: 23-40

Type of contribution: Review Article

Supplementary material: No


With their sedentary colonies, long-lived ant colonies lend themselves to long-term studies where fitness effects of life-history traits can be investigated in the wild, a task that is challenging in any organism and particularly rarely feasible in insects. Here, we summarize and examine the insights we have gained from a 28-year study on monogyne colonies of the narrow-headed ant Formica exsecta Nylander, 1846, and discuss the ecological and genetic repercussions that emanate from ecological realities and conflicting selection pressures in a fragmented landscape matrix. These entail the effects of habitat structuration on genetic diversity, the effects of reduced genetic diversity on the fitness of individuals and colonies, and the impact of the opposing selection pressures on short- versus long-range dispersal.

Open access, licensed under CC BY 4.0. © 2022 The Author(s).

Key words: Formica, narrow-headed ant, monogyny, dispersal, inbreeding, mating frequency, sex-ratio evolution, long-term study, review.

Publisher: The Austrian Society of Entomofaunistics

ISSN: 1997-3500

Check out the accompanying blog contribution: