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Behavioural Castes and their Correlates in the Primitively Eusocial Wasp, Ropalidia Marginata (Lep.)Hymenoptera:Vespidae)

Chandrashekara, K and Gadagkar, Raghavendra (1990) Behavioural Castes and their Correlates in the Primitively Eusocial Wasp, Ropalidia Marginata (Lep.)Hymenoptera:Vespidae). In: Social Insects: An Indian Perspective, Bangalore,India, pp. 153-160.

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Abstract

Insects living in groups comprising of individuals from more than one generation, most of whom give up reproduction in favour of one or a few members of their group, but cooperate in rearing the resulting brood are termed eusocial (Michener, 1969; Wilson, 1971). In the highly eusocial insects such as all termites, most ants and some bees and wasps the non-reproductives are morphologically distinct castes who have little or no reproductive opportunities. Such morphological differences often extend to subcastes among workers as well. This leads to efficient division of labour and stable social organization. Such morphologically distinct castes are however absent in most primitively eusocial bees and wasps. Here adult wasps or bees are considered totipotent because the social roles, including that of the egg layer, that members of a colony can undertake are flexible. In the absence of morphological castes why do certain individuals accept the role of workers and how are the division of labour and social organization achieved?

Item Type: Conference Paper
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:34
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/9462

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