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Risks of being a queen mother

发布时间:2019-02-28 06:01:10来源:未知点击:

MATING comes at a price even queens must pay. A young leaf-cutting ant queen will gamble her own health for the chance to reproduce successfully in the long term. It’s a high-risk strategy: in only a few hours, the queen must mate and store hundreds of millions of live sperm to use for the rest of her 30-year lifespan – all of which weakens her immune system. Then she must found her colony, exposing herself to all sorts of pathogens in the soil. “If females mate too often and/or store too much sperm, they are unable to up-regulate their immune systems,