Ever felt like men and women were seperate species, genetically unrelated?
If you're a particular kind of fire ant, it just might be true.
Research on these particular fire ants seems to indicate that:
* Queens reproduce parthenogenetically - that is, they clone themselves without require fertilisation from a male.
* Drones are produced "normally" - with an egg from a female fertilised by a male
* Males are reproduced... bizarrely. It appears that the male will fertilise a females eg, as per usual - but the female's DNA then gets evicted from the egg, so the resulting offspring is male - and a genetic clone of the father.
Thus, the males in the colony are clones; the queens are clones of each other - but the males and the queens aren't related at all, even if they share parents.