Pristomyrmex punctatus

Pristomyrmex punctatus Smith, 1860




In this species, there exists a lineage of larger individuals referred to as the “cheater” (Dobata et al., 2009). The cheater is distinguishable by their body size size and the presence of ocelli (Figure). While coexisting alongside the usual cooperative lineage, the cheater primarily refrains from engaging in tasks other than egg-laying (Dobata & Tsuji, 2009; Tsuji & Dobata, 2011).

Pristomyrmex punctatus
The upper individual is a normal worker and the lower is a cheater.


Distribution and habitat


Dobata S, Sasaki T, Mori H, Hasegawa E, Shimada M, Tsuji K (2009) Cheater genotypes in the parthenogenetic ant Pristomyrmex punctatus. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 276(1656): 567–574.

Dobata S, Tsuji K (2009) A cheater lineage in a social insect: Implications for the evolution of cooperation in the wild. Communicative & Integrative Biology, 2(2): 67-70.

Tsuji K, Dobata S (2011) Social cancer and the biology of the clonal ant Pristomyrmex punctatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News, 15: 91–99.

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