Currently worker ants of most species share only three quarters of their genetic code. It seems like worker ant clones would be better, as it would remove all genetic conflict of interest between them. Then they would be like our body cells. Only queens (and possibly males) would be produced sexually.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, worker ants have a relatedness of 0.75 between each other (haplodiploid with shared parents). $\endgroup$ – Stephane Bersier Apr 11 '18 at 4:30

why has evolution not produced perfect X can usually be answered by the correct mutations have not occured. evolution is about jury rigging good enough not perfection.

you are assuming ant are free to change how related they are, they aren't, they cannot rebuild their reproductive system from scratch they can only modify what they have.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hypothetically, there could be disadvantages to making worker ants clones of the queen. In that case, an unfertilized queen could start a colony. Even if that colony was successful, how could the queen produce a new queen and new colonies? If we assume parthenogensis could answer those problems, then we would probably see much less genetic diversity over time, which could potentially lead to massive die-offs if the genetically homogenous ant population couldn't handle some new pathogen or environmental change. Forcing queens to mate before forming a colony ensures greater genetic diversity. $\endgroup$ – user137 Apr 11 '18 at 5:08
  • $\begingroup$ You are assuming my question is rhetoric, when you say "you are assuming ant are free to change how related they are". There is no such assumption in my question. $\endgroup$ – Stephane Bersier Apr 13 '18 at 22:17

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