i just returned from a long vacation in Italy and i found many many freshly mated Tetramorium queens today on a walk.
Altough i know that Tetramorium caespitum queens usually tend to fight each other, i asked myself if pleometrosis, in general, is possible with this species.
Pleometrosis means that 2 or more queens found a colony together, which doesn't necessarily mean that all queens remain in the colony. Monogyne species usually kill all queens but 1 as the colony grows bigger.
Tetramorium caespitum is a monogyne species, but so is Lasius niger, and they are also known to found in pleometrosis.
Just to clarify:
A successful pleometrosis for a monogyne species like this would be that the queens start the colony together, but the workers later choose one queen and kill the other one.
The simple question is:
Will 2 or more Tetramorium caespitum queens found a colony in pleometrosis or not?
(a).. kill each other but 1 queen which then founds a colony on her own, or
(b).. will they actively assist each other and the workers, once they eclose, kill all but 1 queen?
(c).. anything else that might be an interesting observation
I have 8 test tubes with 2 queens each.
I will keep this thread up to date with new developments and post my conclusion here once the experiment is completed.
For now, everything looks fine.
All queens sit next to each other on the wet cotton bud in their test tubes.
Lasius niger and flavus
Myrmica cf. scabrinodis