The number of queens: An important trait in ant evolution

Bert Hölldobler, Edward O. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

475 Scopus citations


The pervasive social and ecological differences between ant colonies that have a single queen and those that have multiple queens are defined. The evolutionary tendencies which lead to polygyny and the adaptive significance of multiple queens are examined. The discussion of the ecological consequences of polygyny and monogyny leads to a deeper understanding of territoriality, spacing and species packing in ants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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