One amongst the top 100 invasive species, a fire ant Wasmannia auropunctata, has males and females each reproducing clonally. Male ants develop parthenogenetically, thus having one copy of each gene, while females develop from fertilized egg, thus having two copies of each gene. Some females develop into a sterile worker class, while some others into reproductive class, called “gyne”. The gynes in this bizarre little ant, have similar genetic makeup as of the reproducing queen. Males for the first time have retaliated by banishing maternal genes from the diploid egg. A stunning similarity in the genotype of the sperm in the speramatheca of the queen and in the newly produced males, revealing this. Would this male dominance or selfishness, result in the need to rewrite colony organisation and kin-selection theories?
from Fourneir et al, 2005. Nature: 1230-1234