Nest inheritance is the missing source of direct fitness in a primitively eusocial insect

Leadbeater, Ellouise, Carruthers, Jonathan M., Green, Jonathan P., Rosser, Neil S. and Field, Jeremy (2011) Nest inheritance is the missing source of direct fitness in a primitively eusocial insect. Science, 333 (6044). pp. 874-876. ISSN 0036-8075

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Animals that co-operate with non-relatives represent a challenge to inclusive fitness theory, unless co-operative behavior is shown to provide direct fitness benefits. Inheritance of breeding resources could provide such benefits, but this route to co-operation has been little investigated in the social insects. We show that nest inheritance can explain the presence of unrelated helpers in a classic social insect model, the primitively eusocial wasp Polistes dominulus. We found that subordinate helpers produced more direct offspring than lone breeders, some while still subordinate but most after inheriting the dominant position. Thus, while indirect fitness obtained through helping relatives has been the dominant paradigm for understanding eusociality in insects, direct fitness is vital to explain co-operation in P. dominulus.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: I am last of 5 authors
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Subjects: Q Science
Depositing User: Elli Leadbeater
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:49
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2013 16:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22337
📧 Request an update