This paper is part of the PhD work of J. Gadau carried out in the research group of B. Hölldobler and J. Heinze. The main topic of this group is primarily evolutionary biology and ecology of social insects. The research group of M. Schmid, Institut für Humangenetik, provided essential support in establishing the molecular techniques in the beginning of the project.
Population and colony structure of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Volume 5, Issue 6, pages 785–792, December 1996
How to Cite
GADAU, J., HEINZE, J., HÖLLDOBLER, B. and SCHMID, M. (1996), Population and colony structure of the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus. Molecular Ecology, 5: 785–792. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.1996.tb00374.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Received 15 February 1996 revised 2 June 1996
- Camponotus floridanus;
- multilocus DNA fingerprinting;
- mating frequency;
- population structure;
The colony and population structure of the carpenter ant, Camponotus floridanus, were investigated by multilocus DNA fingerprinting using simple repeat motifs as probes [e.g. (GATA)4]. The mating frequency of 15 queens was determined by comparing the fingerprint patterns of the queen and 17–33 of her progeny workers. C. floridanus queens are most probably singly mated, i.e. this species is monandrous and monogynous (one queen per colony). C. floridanus occurs in all counties of mainland Florida and also inhabits most of the Key islands in the southern part of Florida. We tested whether the two mainland populations and the island populations are genetically isolated. Wright's FST and Nei's D-value of genetic distance were calculated from intercolonial bandsharing-coefficients. The population of C. floridanus is substructured (FST= 0.19 ± 0.09) and the highest degree of genetic distance was found between one of the mainland populations and the island populations (D= 0.35). Our fingerprinting technique could successfully be transferred to 12 other Camponotus species and here also revealed sufficient variability to analyse the genetic structure. In three of these species (C. ligniperdus, C. herculeanus and C. gigas) we could determine the mating frequency of the queen in one or two colonies, respectively.