Scientists have discovered the Amazon ants, who refused to have sex and live in colonies consisting entirely of females. In a report published in the journal «Proceedings of the Royal Society», said that these ants reproduce by cloning, and all females are exact copies of their queen.
This is the first known to science species that has completely passed on asexual reproduction. In addition, these ants - gardeners. They grow mosses, which then feeds the colony.
The group of biologists led by Anna Himler the University of Arizona conducted a series of experiments, removing the "fingerprints" of DNA ant species Mycocepurus smithii. As a result, scientists have found that all the ants of the colony are clones of their queen. A number of insect asexual reproduction of males from unfertilized eggs is common. However, according to researchers, the asexual reproduction of females of the ants is extremely rare.
Scientists can not say for sure why this kind of ants decided to abandon sexual reproduction and how long ago it happened. According to Dr. Himler have life without sex has its advantages. This reduces energy costs for the production of male and female reproductive number doubles in each succeeding generation. On the other hand, the compound of the genetic material in sexual reproduction provides significant benefits to future generations. Genetic diversity provides better protection against pests and diseases. If colonies consisting of clones of parasites overcome one ant at stake and all the rest. If you're asexual, you will not last long. However, the social insects is particularly suitable asexual reproduction, since in this case the queen is able to control the floor and all members of the caste colony.
Not only ants can completely do without sexual relations. Females Fish-hammer normally reproduce by ovoviviparity or live birth, able to produce offspring without sex.