ePrints@IIScePrints@IISc Home | About | Browse | Latest Additions | Advanced Search | Contact | Help

Age-Specific Acceptance of Unrelated Conspecifics on Nests of the Primitively Eusocial Wasp Ropalidia marginata.

Venkataraman, AB and Gadagkar, R (1995) Age-Specific Acceptance of Unrelated Conspecifics on Nests of the Primitively Eusocial Wasp Ropalidia marginata. In: Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy, B61 (4). pp. 299-314.

Venkataraman and Gadagkar 1995-Proc Indian Natn Sci Acad.pdf - Published Version

Download (1MB) | Preview


To investigate the possible role of the age of an individual on its acceptance onto unrelated colonies, several individually marked foreign conspecifics that_ had been isolated immediately upon eclosion from their natal nests, were introduced into laboratory cages containing apparently healthy colonies of R. marginata. Foreign conspecifics, if less than or equal to 8 days of age, had a finite probability of being accepted onto unrelated colonies. Young wasps appeared to be accepted preferentially over older ones, both because young individuals made more attempts to join as well as because they met with greater success per attempt. The resident wasps vigorously nibbled and groomed young foreign conspecifics once they were accepted onto nests, just as they did for newly eclosed wasps from their own nests. In both cases, this may result in the transfer of nestmate discrimination odours from mature to young wasps. Three confirmed records of unrelated accepted foreign conspecifics becoming foragers in their foster colonies are presented. We hypothesize that although young foreign conspecifics may be accepted for the proximate reason they may not be efficiently discriminated from newly eclosed nestmates, such acceptance may have an ultimate adaptive value, or at least may not be detrimental to the accepting colony. If the basis of social life is mutualistic interaction among individuals with varying levels of relatedness, as has been postulated for sm;h primitively eusocial wasps, then the advantage of accepting a young foreign conspecific who can be subdued into a subordinate worker role with relative ease, is not difficult to appreciate.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy
Publisher: Indian National Science Academy
Additional Information: copyright to this article belongs to Indian National Science Academy
Keywords: Social wasps, Kin recognition, Mutualism, Eusociality, Hymenoptera, Ropalidia marginata
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2021 10:09
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 10:09
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/67912

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item