Researcher sheds light on fire ant supergene

Want China Times
Date: 2015-06-04

A researcher has found that the social patterns of fire ants are determined by a supergene, research into which could help mitigate the danger posed by the insects.

John Wang, an assistant research fellow at Academia Sinica, the nation’s highest research institute, said fire ants can be divided into two social groups — monogyne (single queen per nest) and polygyne (multiple functional queens per nest).

In the first group, one nest can have only one queen, and worker ants will kill other queens if they enter the colony, Wang said.

In the second group, multiple queens can live peacefully in the colony.

Fire ants are very aggressive, and their stings cause itching, swelling and redness of the skin.     [FULL  STORY]

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