Queen succession in the primitively eusocial tropical wasp Ropalidia marginata (Lep.) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

Chandrashekara, K. ; Gadagkar, Raghavendra (1992) Queen succession in the primitively eusocial tropical wasp Ropalidia marginata (Lep.) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) Journal of insect behavior, 5 (2). pp. 193-209. ISSN 0892-7553

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Official URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/g4k83432401456...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF01049289


Females of the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata can be classified into three behavioral groups: Sitters, Fighters, and Foragers. It has been speculated that both Sitters and Fighters may be hopeful queens and that the Foragers may have little or no opportunities for direct reproduction. Here we show that in 9 of 12 queen-removal experiments where such a behavioral differentiation could be discerned, the individual that became a queen (the potential queen) was a Sitter in 6 cases, a Fighter in 2 cases, and a Forager in only 1 case. Although potential queens spent significantly more time absent from the nest and showed significantly higher rates of dominance behavior compared to the mean values for nonqueens in their colonies, they were intermediate with respect to all behaviors and age when compared to the range of values for nonqueens in their colonies. Potential queens were not necessarily the highest-ranking individuals among the nonqueens. The pattern of queen succession in this species appears to be quite different from the temperate pattern, where an old and active forager of high dominance rank is the potential queen. Although somewhat similar to the tropical pattern of a relatively younger female that has performed relatively little foraging being the potential queen, it is perhaps more accurate to describe the potential queens of R. marginata as "unspecialized intermediates".

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Springer-Verlag.
Keywords:R marginata; Primitively Eusocial Wasp; Queen Succession; Potential Queen
ID Code:23699
Deposited On:26 Nov 2010 08:58
Last Modified:16 Feb 2011 11:27

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