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Utilisation of multiple queens and pupae transplantation to boost early colony growth of weaver ants Oecophylla smaragdina

Peng, Renkang, Nielsen, Mogens G., Offenberg, Joachim and Birkmose, Dorthe (2013). Utilisation of multiple queens and pupae transplantation to boost early colony growth of weaver ants Oecophylla smaragdina. Asian Myrmecology,5(1):177-184.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 82057923xPUB551
Title Utilisation of multiple queens and pupae transplantation to boost early colony growth of weaver ants Oecophylla smaragdina
Author Peng, Renkang
Nielsen, Mogens G.
Offenberg, Joachim
Birkmose, Dorthe
Journal Name Asian Myrmecology
Publication Date 2013
Volume Number 5
Issue Number 1
ISSN 1985-1944   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84885092985
Start Page 177
End Page 184
Total Pages 8
Place of Publication Germany
Publisher Universitaet Ulm * Institut for Experimental Ecology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius)) have been increasingly used as biocontrol agents of insect pests and as insect protein for human food and animals. For either of these purposes, mature ant colonies are essential. However, for a newly established colony to develop to a suitable mature size takes three years, which is too long for most users to spend rearing them. Multiple queens and non-nestmate pupae transplantation may be ways to boost early colony growth. An experiment on newly-founded O. smaragdina colonies with two, three and four founding queens, together with transplantation of 0, 30 and 60 non-nestmate pupae from a mature donor colony, was conducted in 2010 at Darwin, Australia. The survival rates of the workers from transplanted pupae ranged between 73 and 97%, suggesting that queens in incipient colonies accepted foreign pupae. At the end of the experiment, colony size was positively related to the number of founding queens. Compared with the colonies without pupae transplantation, colonies with 30 and 60 transplanted pupae produced 110% and 200% more brood, respectively. Production of 476% more brood was achieved by four-queen colonies with 60-pupae transplantation than by two-queen colonies without pupae transplantation. These results suggest that selecting incipient colonies with multiple queens, and increasing worker numbers by transplanting pupae from other colonies, will promote early colony growth of weaver ants.

Keywords Oecophylla smaragdina
Oecophylla ant farming
Incipient colony boost
Biological control
Edible ant production
Description for Link Link to published version
URL http://www.asian-myrmecology.org/archive/volume-5/peng-etal.html


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