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Analysis of brood development in the ant Amblyopone silvestrii, with special reference to colony bionomics


Dr Keiichi Masuko, Institute of Natural Sciences, Senshu University, Higashimita 2-1-1, Tama-ku, Kawasaki, 214-8580 Japan. Email:


There are five larval instars in the temperate, subterranean ponerine ant, Amblyopone silvestrii (Wheeler). An examination of the seasonal developmental patterns of immatures collected from more than 100 colonies collected in the field revealed that most or all of the newly hatched individuals overwintered as second to fifth instar larvae and emerged as adults in the next summer. The fifth instar larvae were most abundant in the colony's larval population all year round. The number of eggs present in the nest diminished temporarily in midsummer, although queens collected during this period maintained fully developed ovaries with mature oocytes. When the larvae matured, they were usually moved to temporary nests away from the nest area of the colony and finished pupation and eclosion there, while accompanied by a small number of workers. Pupation of sexuals occurred in the more distant cocoon chambers compared with pupation of workers.