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A type of tropical ant has dispensed with males altogether, according to scientists, and only the female of the species exists.
Experts have discovered a South American species that is exclusively female and reproduces asexually by cloning the queen.
Reproduction without sex is fairly common in the ant world, but the Mycocepurus smithii is the first known to be a male-free species. The phenomenon takes the stress out of finding a mate and may help keep the peace in colonies, the scientists believe.
By "fingerprinting" DNA of the ant species - Mycocepurus smithii - they found them all to be clones of the colony's queen.
And when they dissected the female insects, they found them to be physically incapable of mating, as an essential part of their reproductive system known as the "mussel organ" had degenerated.
Originally posted by lee anoma
reply to post by mrwupy
I didn't know that about the potatoes in Ireland, thanks for the information and the great observation on nature. I too think this to be so, and I find it quite wonderful really.
I just want more details on this colony to come out.
Like HOW do they clone the queen?
How did this colony begin to move in this direction?
Was it driven by some disaster that eliminated the males?
Were there ever any males at all?
I read something about fungus farming but it seemed like speculation at this point.
I guess I'll have to keep an eye on this one.