Myco and her sisters have evolved into a rather strange

social system:  There are no male ants at all, only female.

And so they reproduce via cloning.   It seems that they

have also turned out to be incredibly successful as farmers.

This is not unusual, as there are many tribes of ant that

keep domesticated farms.  But Myco and her sisters, seem

to be far more successful at cultivating a greater variety

of fungi, on there farms. It is possible that they evolved

this way, so as not to operate under the usual constraints

of sexual reproduction.  There sexual organs over a period

of time have virtually disappeared.  Interestingly,

the fungi that the ants cultivate also reproduce asexually.

It is therefor  strange why the ants should choose to copy

the reproductive features of there crops.  The one over riding  fact is, it avoids the energetic cost of producing males, and doubles the number of reproductive females produced each generation from  50%  to 100%  of the offspring.  It seems that a lack of men gave these women more time and energy to cultivate some of the most elaborate ant agriculture seen to date.




Mycocepurus Smithii,   from the Amazonian region of South America




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