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And now... eusocial thrips!

Gadagkar, Raghavendra (1993) And now... eusocial thrips! In: Current Science, 64 (4). pp. 215-216.


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Eusocial insects (the only truly social insects, by definition) are defined as those that possess all of the three fundamental traits of eusociality namely, (a) cooperative brood care, (b) differentiation of colony members into fertile reproductive castes (queens or kings as the case may be) and sterile non reproductive castes (workers) and (c) an overlap of generations such that off- spring assist their parents in brood care and other tasks involved in colony maintenance. When this definition was formulated, eusociality was known to be restricted to the class Insecta and even there to just two orders namely ,Isoptera (termites) and Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). While all known termites are eusocial, the distribution of eusociality in the Hymenoptera is curious. The suborder Symphyta, consisting of several families of free-living phytopha- gous species is devoid of eusociality. In the other suborder Apocrita, the sub-group Terebrantia consisting of several families of parasitoid species is also speciacompletely devoid of eusociality. It is only in ttJe subgroup Aculeata that eusociality is seen. But even here, while all ants are eusocial, most bees and wasps are not eusocial. Nevertheless eusociality is believed to have originated at least eleven times independently within the Aculeata.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Indan Academy of Sciences.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Sumana K
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2007
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:33
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/9227

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