Unique to Nature: Brazilian Ants Say No To Sex

April 18, 2009

Brazil (ChattahBox) – An ant colony commonly found in the Amazon has made a surprising decision regarding it’s future…it has decided to forgo all sex and breeding.

The Mycocepurus smithii are a species of ant that has reproduced entirely by cloning, producing only female ants by a queen, rather then any of both genders through regular breeding, as is usual in ant colonies.

But it goes beyond just a choice at this point. When studied, it was found that every ant was lacking the sexual and reproductive organs needed to mate, making them completely asexual in every way.

“In social insects, there are a number of different types of reproduction. But this species has evolved its own unusual mode,” Dr. Anna Himler of the University of Arizona, who led the study, explains.

“It avoids the energetic cost of producing males, and doubles the number of reproductive females produced each generation from 50% to 100% of the offspring.”

This is the only ant species in the world that has been found to totally eliminate sex from their ritual.


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