Body Size and Division of Labor Based on Body Size
The seed-harvesting Messor bouvieri is a polymorphic ant species with a monophasic allometry.
Theory on task-partitioning based on body size predicts larger ants should carry larger loads (larger seeds) than smaller ants. It is suggested that there is a 'weak' task matching between workers and seeds (Retana and Cerda 1994). In a more recent study Arnan (et al. 2011) found smaller ants are better at finding seeds and larger ants are better at transporting seeds. However they found that M. bouvieri workers did not find evidence for body size and tasks performed (Arnan et al. 2011)
Published Body Size Measurements:
Head width 0.9-2.2mm ( Retana and Cerda 1994, Arnan et al. 2011)
- Arnan, X., Ferrandiz-Rovira, M., Pladevall, C., and Rodrigo, A. 2011. Worker size-related task partitioning in the foraging strategy of a seed-harvesting ant species. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol.
- Retana, J., and Cerda X. Worker size polymorphism conditioning size matching in two sympatric seed-harvesting ants. Oikos. 71:261-266.
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