Cues, concessions and inheritance: dominance hierarchies in the paper wasp Polistes dominulus

Zanette, Lorenzo and Field, Jeremy (2009) Cues, concessions and inheritance: dominance hierarchies in the paper wasp Polistes dominulus. Behavioral Ecology, 20 (4). pp. 773-780. ISSN 1045-2249

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Abstract

Hierarchies constitute the base of many social groups. Hence, understanding how they are established is critical. Here we examine how hierarchies are formed in foundresses associations of the common paper wasp Polistes dominulus. By comparing field data with computer simulations, we evaluate order of arrival at the nest, body size, facial color patterns, and within-group kinship structure as determinants of inheritance rank. Hierarchies (ranks 1¿5) were experimentally inferred for 53 nests. Overall, the order in which foundresses arrived at the nest and their body size were not significantly correlated with rank. A foundress's rank was negatively correlated with the number of full sisters it had in its group. Highly ranked wasps (ranks 1 and 2) were less likely to share a nest with their full sisters than wasps of lower rank. A wasp's rank was not determined by the relative rank of its nest-mate sisters. A foundress's rank was significantly correlated with the size of its black clypeal marks, but the number of foundresses with clypeal marks in each nest was small. On 15 of 20 nests where wasps with marks were present, only 1 wasp had such marks. Overall, our results suggest that within-group relatedness structure is important in the establishment of dominance hierarchies in P. dominulus foundress associations.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Jeremy Field
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:59
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2012 15:07
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28987
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