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Fig. 1 | BMC Biology

Fig. 1

From: The disposable male— the ultimate emancipation of females?

Fig. 1

Standard life cycles of ants (a) and termites (b) and deviations due to conflicts between the reproductive interests of queens and males. The genome representation of ancestors is indicated in colours in the offspring (adapted with permission from a sketch made by David Nash). a Ants have a haplo-diploid life cycle, where unfertilized eggs become males and fertilized eggs either workers or female alates. All workers in an ant society are female. In some ants, queens reproduce parthenogenetically to produce alates, but sexually to produce workers, thus parasitizing on males [5]. In yet another deviation, queens and males each produce their own female and male alates via asexual reproduction, but workers via sexual reproduction [6]. Finally, some ant species have become obligately asexual, where both workers and new queens are produced without any contribution of males [7]. b In contrast to ants, termites are diploid social insects. In the ‘standard’ life cycle, a single queen and king found a colony and produce sterile helpers (workers and soldiers) and fertile alates via sexual reproduction. In some species, replacement reproduction occurs, where the primary queen and king can be replaced by their own offspring [8]. In some species the queen can produce a replacement queen by asexual reproduction [9]. Finally, some populations of the species Glyptotermes nakajimai have all-female societies, which form alates and workers via asexual reproduction [2]

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