Cloning in the Animal Kingdom

July 3rd, 2005

Several recent articles discuss the discovery of insects that clone themselves:

The ant Wasmannia Auropunctata, which is native to Central and South
America but has spread into the US and beyond, has opted for a unique
stand-off in the battle of the sexes. Both queens and males reproduce
by making genetically identical copies of themselves – so males and
females seem to have entirely separate gene pools. Conventional
reproduction happens only to produce workers. This is the first
instance in the animal kingdom where males reproduce exclusively by cloning, though male honeybees do it occasionally.