Ancestral monogamy shows kin selection is key to the evolution of eusociality

Hughes, William O H, Oldroyd, Benjamin P, Beekman, Madeleine and Ratnieks, Francis L W (2008) Ancestral monogamy shows kin selection is key to the evolution of eusociality. Science, 320 (5880). pp. 1213-1216. ISSN 0036-8075

Full text not available from this repository.


Close relatedness has long been considered crucial to the evolution of eusociality. However, it has recently been suggested that close relatedness may be a consequence, rather than a cause, of eusociality. We tested this idea with a comparative analysis of female mating frequencies in 267 species of eusocial bees, wasps, and ants. We found that mating with a single male, which maximizes relatedness, is ancestral for all eight independent eusocial lineages that we investigated. Mating with multiple males is always derived. Furthermore, we found that high polyandry (>2 effective mates) occurs only in lineages whose workers have lost reproductive totipotency. These results provide the first evidence that monogamy was critical in the evolution of eusociality, strongly supporting the prediction of inclusive fitness theory.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Subjects: Q Science
Depositing User: Francis Ratnieks
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:29
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2012 10:28
📧 Request an update