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Epimyrma adlerzi sp. n. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Greece: morphology and life history

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Epimyrma adlerzi is described from material from S, C and N Greece. Morphologically, it is very similar to E. ravouxi, a slavemaking species, whereas the biology of E. adlerzi is almost identical to that of E. corsica. Both are workerless parasites on Leptothorax exilis, and have a female biased sex ratio and intranidal mating. Like all other Epimyrma species thus far studied the E. adlerzi ♀, after having penetrated into a host nest, kills the queen of this colony through protracted throttling with her mandibles. Despite the biological similarities between E. adlerzi and E. corsica we suggest an independent evolution of workerlessness in these two species. The karyotype of E. adlerzi is the same as in its congeners and Myrmoxenus gordiagini (n = 10).

Affiliations: 1: P. Douwes, Department of Zoology, University of Lund, Helgonavägen 3, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden; 2: K. Jessen and A. Buschinger, Institut für Zoologie, Technische Hochschule, Schnittspahnstr. 3, D-6100 Darmstadt, FRG


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