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A place for everything and everything in its place: spatial organization of individuals on nests of the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata

Sharma, Nitika and Gadagkar, Raghavendra (2019) A place for everything and everything in its place: spatial organization of individuals on nests of the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata. In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 286 (1911).

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.1212

Abstract

Non-random space use is common among animals across taxa and habitats. Social insects often use space non-randomly, outside as well as inside their nests. While such non-random space use outside the nest may improve foraging efficiency, inside the nest, it is often associated with the efficient division of labour. Non-random space use by adults on their nests has been hypothesized to result from dyadic dominance interactions, non-random distribution of tasks, differential activity levels, workers avoiding their queens or prophylactic avoidance of disease spread. These hypotheses are generally derived from species in which the tasks of the workers are themselves non-randomly distributed on the nest. Here, we study the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata, in which tasks are not distributed non-randomly, and show that 62.4% +/- 16.2% of the adults nevertheless use space on their nest non-randomly. In this species, we find that nonrandom space use may help optimizing nutritional exchange between individuals while prophylactically minimizing disease spread among nest-mates. We did not find evidence for the roles of dominance interactions, activity levels or location of larvae in non-random space use. Spatial organization appears to be a mechanism of minimizing the costs and maximizing the benefits of social life.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: copyright for this article belongs to ROYAL SOC
Keywords: social wasp; space use; spatial fidelity; social interactions; organizational immunity
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 10:34
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2019 10:34
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/63717

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