Thursday, April 16, 2009

'First all-female species' discovered?

Researchers believe a species of tropical ant (Mycocepurus smithii) is exclusively female. (Daily Mail) In the ant world, males are pretty useless. "In most ant species, males have little or no role in the daily activities." But without sexual reproduction, "the young are less genetically diverse," and "over time, this lack of variety could cause major problems, making it harder for the ants to adapt to threats such as disease."

But is this really the "first all-female species" (as the Daily Mail headline says)? Pound360 is confused. In the last paragraph of the article, it says "although rare, all-female species are not unheard of in the insect world, with some types of wasp and moth also doing without any male input."

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.