Morphology, ultramorphology and histology of ovaries of workers and mated queens of Pachycondyla striata ants (Hymenoptera: Ponerinae)
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The aim of the present work is to perform morphological and histological studies of the ovaries of workers and mated queens of Pachycondyla striata ants, which belong to the subfamily Ponerinae. The ovaries, after being removed, were schematized. Next, historesin and electronic scanning microscopy techniques were applied, making it possible to note that the left ovary owns a greater number of ovarioles when compared to the right one (workers - 7 to the right and 8 to the left; queens - 6 to the right and 7 to the left) and that the ovarioles of workers present a rather wrinkled aspect due to the fact that they are not developed. The same situation does not occur in mated queens once they always present oocytes in distinct development phases in their ovarioles. Histologically it was observed that the ovarioles are of the meroistic polytrophic kind. Inside the ovarioles of workers, germinative cells were observed in their distal portion, but their lumen were empty. On the other hand, ovarioles of mated queens presented the germinative cells as well as oocytes in different degrees of development, although more than one developing oocyte was never observed in the interior of each ovariole. It was possible to note the presence of follicular epithelium, chorion and vitellin membrane in oocytes of mated queens, which change morphologically according the oocyte development stage.