Nanitic workers are workers in a eusocial insect colony (such as an ant or termite colony) that are smaller than the other workers. Nanitics result from starvation and are often workers arising from the first brood.
When a colony is first founded the new queen must raise the first brood of workers. Working on her own the queen can't provide the same resources as would be the case when there are lots of workers to tend the brood. As a result the first brood are underfed and are smaller than workers resulting from later broods.
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