Kinomura & Yamauchi, 1992
This species is an inquiline. Queens live in the nest of a different ant species, have no workers and are entirely dependent on their hosts for food. The queens produce eggs that are cared for and raised to maturity by the host workers.
|At a Glance||• Workerless Inquiline • Brachypterous Queen|
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
The genome of P. nipponica was sequenced for a study examining how this and other parasitic ants with no worker caste may have altered their genome to arrive at a workerless state. In comparison to ants with a full complement of castes, there appeared to be no loss of genes in the parasitic ants. This suggests regulatory differences and not sequence differences predominate in gains and losses of castes (phenotypes). (Smith et al. 2015)
Queen described as brachypterous (Ohkawara and Satoh 2015)
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- nipponica. Vollenhovia nipponica Kinomura & Yamauchi, 1992: 203, figs. 1, 2 (q.m.) JAPAN.
- Buschinger, A. (2009). Social parasitism among ants: a review. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 12: 219-235.
- Kinomura, K.; Yamauchi, K. 1992. A new workerless socially parasitic species of the genus Vollenhovia (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from Japan. Jpn. J. Entomol. 60: 203-206 (page 203, figs. 1, 2 queen, male described)
- Ohkawara K. and Satoh A. 2015 Rare production of brachypterous queens in a social parasitic ant, Vollenhovia nipponica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Asian Myrmecology 7: 133–136
- Smith, C. R., S. H. Cahan, C. Kemena, S. G. Brady, W. Yang, E. Bornberg-Bauer, T. Eriksson, J. Gadau, M. Helmkampf, D. Gotzek, M. O. Miyakawa, A. V. Suarez, and A. Mikheyev. 2015. How Do Genomes Create Novel Phenotypes? Insights from the Loss of the Worker Caste in Ant Social Parasites. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 32:2919-2931. doi:10.1093/molbev/msv165