Morphometrics of Caste System and Colony Structure of the Asian Weaver Ant, Oecophylla smaragdina Fabricius, 1775 (Hymenoptera Formicidae) from Cacao Farms in Luzon Island, Philippines

Authors : Anthony Ian G. Pag-ong; Dulce Marie P. Nisperos

Volume/Issue : Volume 8 - 2023, Issue 2 - February

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Morphometric measurements were applied to the caste system of the Asian weaver ant Oecophylla smaragdina Fab. 1775 collected from two cacao farms in Luzon Island, Philippines namely: gyne (deleate ant/reproductive female with shed wings); female alate (female reproductive with wings); and male alate (male reproductive). Length, width, and height dimensions for the brood (egg, larvae, and pupae) were also taken and recorded. The morphological measurements and inferential analysis for broods are made available with other caste systems as most studies of this nature delves into worker caste and not the reproductive and broods. A total of nine weaver ant nests were extracted from the two sites of study. Each nest was dissected and the specimens were separated according to caste. The colony structure of O. smaragdina consisted of a deleate queen, eggs, larvae of female alates, pupae of major and minor workers, pupae of female alates, major workers, minor workers, female alates, and male alates. The study shows that O. smaragdina had a distinct caste system and the frequency of individuals in each caste reflect their respective functions which show eusocial behavior that contributed to the success of their colony

Keywords : Caste System, Cacao Farm, Colony Structure, Oecopphylla Smaragdina.


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