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Female ants display a wide variety of morphological castes, including workers, soldiers, ergatoid (worker-like) queens and queens. Alternative caste development within a species arises from a variable array of genetic and environmental factors. Castes themselves are also variable across species and have been repeatedly gained and lost throughout the evolutionary history of ants. Here, we propose a simple theory of caste development and evolution. We propose that female morphology varies as adoi:10.1242/jeb.145292 pmid:28057828 fatcat:nvewjoi3vjc27gxenwezebewry