February 3, 2012

Ant Supercolonies Defying Evolution?

Kristian Sjogren, ScienceNordic


PHGCOM/Wikimedia Commons

First there was one; then there were two – and before long there were billions of them. Invasive ants have managed to form supercolonies that can grow indefinitely.

Ants normally form colonies with only one nest and one queen. But for 15-20 of the world’s 12,643 known ant species, this isn’t enough: they form supercolonies with several nests and several queens. This enables them to spread over large areas and wipe out other ant species.

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TAGGED: Cooperation, Evolution, Ants

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