Ant guru Jack Longino sends in a myrmecological wonder:
You and/or the antblog might find this interesting. I thought it was pretty cool. Ergatoid queen of Leptogenys josephi, in the process of laying an egg. That’s a big egg! Bet they don’t lay those too fast.
Various species of small Leptogenys have these weird ergatoid queens with inflated, ivory-colored mandibles. Lattke writes about them in his new revision. I’ve found a couple of colonies now of L. josephi/pusilla, both polygyne and subterranean.
Gotta be a fun story there.
Jeremy Pillow, a recent grad working in my lab, made the image.
Indeed. Passing an egg that large has to hurt.
John Lattke’s revision of the new world species- including discussion of these odd queens- is here: (pdf).