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Colony Fission in a Social Wasp

Gadagkar, Raghavendra and Joshi, NV (1985) Colony Fission in a Social Wasp. In: Current Science, 54 (2). pp. 57-62.


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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: Journal Article
Publication: Current Science
Publisher: Indian Academy of Sciences
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2006
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:32
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/8738

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