Frank, S. A. 1987. Variable sex ratio among colonies of ants. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 20:195-201.

Small colonies of ants often produce mostly male alates, while large colonies produce mostly female alates. I present a simple model consistent with this pattern in which males that compete for mates are related (Local Mate Competition). The model explains the observed trend even when relatedness among competing males is low, so that there is only a negligible effect on the predicted sex allocation ratio in the population. The reverse trend is expected when there is competition among related females for a limited resource, such as nest sites (Local Resource Competition); small broods are predicted to be mostly female and large broods are predicted to be mostly male.


Download reprint