Caste development and evolution in ants: it’s all about size.

Gene-Modified Ants Shed Light on How Societies Are Organized

Dr. Daniel Kronauer of Rockefeller University, a pasionate about ants,  studies social evolution and behavior within complex societies. The sophisticated behavior, communication, and division of labor within ant colonies makes these social insects ideal model systems for this work.

Dr. Daniel Kronauer, shown in a double exposure, above, studies ants with altered DNA in order to understand complex biological systems. Credit Béatrice de Géa for The NY Times

J Exp Biol. 2017 ;220(Pt 1):53-62. 

“Female ants display a wide variety of morphological castes, including workers, soldiers, ergatoid (worker-like) queens and queens. Alternative caste development within a species arises from a variable array of genetic and environmental factors. Castes themselves are also variable across species and have been repeatedly gained and lost throughout the evolutionary history of ants. . . . “




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