Colony fission in a social wasp

Gadagkar, Raghavendra ; Joshi, N. V. (1985) Colony fission in a social wasp Current Science, 54 (2). pp. 57-62. ISSN 0011-3891

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A colony of Ropalidia cyathiformis with eleven adult females experienced a period of high levelso faggressiona nd continuously decreasing rood culminating in about half the adults leaving the parent nest to found a new colony nearby. The group that stayed back at the parent nest which we call the Loyalists and the group that left which we call the Rebels were rather evenly matched in numbers and age distribution. The Loyalists were relatively more dominant compared to the Rebels and the latter appeared to have behaved in a highly coordinated manner even before the actual colony fission. The fission resulted in an immediate increase in brood production in both the parent and the new nests thereby increasing the genetic fitness of both groups. We argue first that this phenomenon is a reflection of reproductive competition and second that it provides strong circumstantial evidence for kin recognition and communication.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Current Science Association.
ID Code:23731
Deposited On:26 Nov 2010 08:57
Last Modified:17 May 2016 07:31

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