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Queen Succession in the Primitively Eusocial Tropical Wasp Ropalidia marginata (Lep.)(Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

Chandrashekara, K and Gadagkar, Raghavendra (1992) Queen Succession in the Primitively Eusocial Tropical Wasp Ropalidia marginata (Lep.)(Hymenoptera: Vespidae). In: Journal of Insect Behavior, 5 (2). pp. 193-209.

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Females of the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata can be classified into three behavioral groups: Sitters, Fighters, and Foragers. It has been speculated that both Sitters and Fighters may be hopeful queens and that the Foragers may have little or no opportunities for direct reproduction. Here we show that in 9 of 12 queen-removal experiments where such a behavioral differentiation could be discerned, the individual that became a queen (the potential queen) was a Sitter in 6 cases, a Fighter in 2 cases, and a Forager in only 1 case. Although potential queens spent significantly more time absent from the nest and showed significantly higher rates of dominance behavior compared to the mean values for nonqueens in their colonies, they were intermediate with respect to all behaviors and age when compared to the range of values for nonqueens in their colonies. Potential queens were not necessarily the highest-ranking individuals among the nonqueens. The pattern of queen succession in this species appears to be quite different from the temperate pattern, where an old and active forager of high dominance rank is the potential queen. Although somewhat similar to the tropical pattern of a relatively younger female that has performed relatively little foraging being the potential queen, it is perhaps more accurate to describe the potential queens of R. marginata as "unspecialized intermediates."

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Insect Behavior
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer Netherlands.
Keywords: R marginata;Primitively eusocial wasp;Queen succession;Potential queen
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:34
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/9472

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