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Evolution of social behaviour in the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata: do we need to look beyond kin selection?

Gadagkar, Raghavendra (2016) Evolution of social behaviour in the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata: do we need to look beyond kin selection? In: PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 371 (1687).

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0094


Ropalidia marginata is a primitively eusocial wasp widely distributed in peninsular India. Although solitary females found a small proportion of nests, the vast majority of new nests are founded by small groups of females. In suchmultiple foundress nests, a single dominant female functions as the queen and lays eggs, while the rest function as sterile workers and care for the queen's brood. Previous attempts to understand the evolution of social behaviour and altruism in this species have employed inclusive fitness theory (kin selection) as a guiding framework. Although inclusive fitness theory is quite successful in explaining the high propensity of the wasps to found nests in groups, several features of their social organization suggest that forces other than kin selection may also have played a significant role in the evolution of this species. These features include lowering of genetic relatedness owing to polyandry and serial polygyny, nest foundation by unrelated individuals, acceptance of young non-nest-mates, a combination of well-developed nest-mate recognition and lack of intra-colony kin recognition, a combination of meek and docile queens and a decentralized self-organized work force, long reproductive queues with cryptic heir designates and conflict-free queen succession, all resulting in extreme intra-colony cooperation and inter-colony conflict.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the ROYAL SOC, 6-9 CARLTON HOUSE TERRACE, LONDON SW1Y 5AG, ENGLAND
Keywords: social behaviour; primitively eusocial wasp; Ropalidia marginata; kin selection; multi-level selection
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2016 05:46
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2016 05:46
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/53192

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