Lasius niger - Black Garden Ant pupa and cocoons

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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micro_pix
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Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 12:05 pm
Location: Southampton, Hampshire, UK

Lasius niger - Black Garden Ant pupa and cocoons

Post by micro_pix »

Here are some cocoons and a winged pupa of the Black Garden Ant Lasius niger. It's forecast to be a bumper year for flying ants in the South of England. Interestingly the winged ants of this species are either female queens or haploid males. Anthropomorphically speaking - the flying males don't have a father but they have a grandfather and they can't have a son but they can have a grandson.

The pupae image was a stack and stitch using Zerene and MS ICE. Photographed with a Canon 5D on an Olympus BH2 with 5x MSPlan and reflected/polarised light through a vertical illuminator (UMA). The cocoons were photographed using incident flash and a Minolta scanner lens at 2x (cropped).

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Lasius niger Pupa
ant_pupae.jpg
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Lasius niger cocoons
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rjlittlefield
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Re: Lasius niger - Black Garden Ant pupa and cocoons

Post by rjlittlefield »

Nice pictures, great info!

I had nearly forgotten this "haplodiploidy" system of reproduction, which I now read is used throughout the Hymenoptera. Wikipedia has more to say about it, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hymenopte ... ermination and in the article linked there, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplodiploidy. See also https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/bi ... lodiploidy . Another peculiarity of the system is that females are more closely related to their sisters (75%) than to their mothers or daughters (50%). It is argued that this system of inheritance promotes the development of eusocial behavior, though that case is hard to prove.

--Rik

micro_pix
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Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 12:05 pm
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Re: Lasius niger - Black Garden Ant pupa and cocoons

Post by micro_pix »

Thanks Rik, it’s fascinating stuff, I hadn’t heard the term “eusocial” before - I’ve just read that it’s also the preferred way of organising of a mammal that sounds as aesthetically challenged as it looks - the Naked Mole Rat.

Dave

rjlittlefield
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Re: Lasius niger - Black Garden Ant pupa and cocoons

Post by rjlittlefield »

Ah yes, the naked mole rat! A very interesting creature in its own right (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naked_mole-rat). Also an innocent participant in one of the most audacious scientific April Fools Day pranks ever played: The Hot Headed Naked Ice Borer. Most of the links in that article have rotted, but some of the material can still be found in the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Here is a transcription of the original prank article: https://web.archive.org/web/19981202060 ... orers.html .

--Rik

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