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24 species, 23 subspecies
|Diacamma in Ponerinae: Mayr, 1862 PDF: 713 (in key) [Poneridae]; Mayr, 1865: 13 [Poneridae]; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF}: 28.|
A queen caste does not exist in Diacamma. Unique to this genus, all workers emerge from cocoons with a pair of tiny innervated thoracic appendages ("gemmae") that are homologous with wings. Mutilation leads to a permanent change in lifetime trajectory, because workers lacking gemmae never mate. This is unlike other queenless ants where workers establish a dominance hierarchy to regulate reproduction. In Diacamma only one worker retains her gemmae in each colony, she is the gamergate (mated egglaying worker), and she bites off the gemmae of newly emerged workers. Mutilation causes the degeneration of the neuronal connections between the sensory hairs on the gemma’s surface and the central nervous system, and this may explain the irreversibility of modifications in individual behaviour
Bitsch, J. & C. Peeters (1991) Moignons alaires et morphologie thoracique chez l'ouvrière de la fourmi Diacamma australe (Fabricius) (Hym. Formicidae Ponerinae). Bull. Soc. entomol. France, 96: 213-221.
Peeters, C. & J. Billen (1991) A novel exocrine gland inside the thoracic appendages ("gemmae") of the queenless ant Diacamma australe. Experientia, 47: 229-231.