Invertebrate reproduction & development vol:29 issue:1 pages:79-85
In the ponerine ant Ectatomma tuberculatum, workers display an ovariole cycle composed of nine distinct stages. Ovarian maturation depends partly on age. During the first 4 weeks of imaginal life, the ovarioles develop a succession of polytrophic follicles. They reach their maximum growth at approximately 45 days old; at about 3 months, they begin a period of regression until they are completely inactivated at the age of approximately 1 year. However, workers of exactly the same age may display up to five different stages. Such variability is not related to differences in worker size. Body size seems to affect only the number of ovarioles (and perhaps the ability to produce alimentary eggs).