How work is organized varies in social insect colonies. Some investigators have argued that the queen plays an active role in regulating worker activity in species with small, simple colonies, but that work is self-organized in species with large, complex colonies. Here, we present data that suggest that two species of paper wasps do not fit this pattern. Polistes wasps are traditionally classified as primitively eusocial wasps, showing characteristics of simple insect societies, such as small colony sizes, lack of queen-worker dimorphism, and queen control of both reproduction and worker activity. Colony activity in Polistes is episodic; quiet periods are followed by periods of intense activity when most wasps in the colony are active. We tested whether queens in P. instabilis and P. dominulus controlled work by initiating active periods, goading workers into activity. Instead, we found that colony activity was initiated by the behaviours of workers arriving at the colony, walking across the nest face or, less commonly, antennating, leaving or gaster wagging. Queens initiated no more activity periods than the average worker. Furthermore, activity levels in colonies of P. dominulus in which the queen was removed did not differ significantly from activity levels in colonies with queens. Polistes instabilis and P. dominulus colonies showed characteristics of primitively eusocial insect societies, but also showed worker initiation of colony activity, suggesting that these two species represent examples of an intermediate level of colony organization in which queens control reproduction but do not control the organization of work.

The queen is not a pacemaker in the small colony wass Polistes instabilis and P. dominulus / JHA S; CASEY-FORD R.G; PEDERSON J.S; PLATT T.G; R. CERVO; QUELLER D.C; STRASSMANN J.E. - In: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR. - ISSN 0003-3472. - STAMPA. - 71:(2006), pp. 1197-1203. [10.1016/j.anbehav.2005.11.005]

The queen is not a pacemaker in the small colony wass Polistes instabilis and P. dominulus

CERVO, RITA;
2006

Abstract

How work is organized varies in social insect colonies. Some investigators have argued that the queen plays an active role in regulating worker activity in species with small, simple colonies, but that work is self-organized in species with large, complex colonies. Here, we present data that suggest that two species of paper wasps do not fit this pattern. Polistes wasps are traditionally classified as primitively eusocial wasps, showing characteristics of simple insect societies, such as small colony sizes, lack of queen-worker dimorphism, and queen control of both reproduction and worker activity. Colony activity in Polistes is episodic; quiet periods are followed by periods of intense activity when most wasps in the colony are active. We tested whether queens in P. instabilis and P. dominulus controlled work by initiating active periods, goading workers into activity. Instead, we found that colony activity was initiated by the behaviours of workers arriving at the colony, walking across the nest face or, less commonly, antennating, leaving or gaster wagging. Queens initiated no more activity periods than the average worker. Furthermore, activity levels in colonies of P. dominulus in which the queen was removed did not differ significantly from activity levels in colonies with queens. Polistes instabilis and P. dominulus colonies showed characteristics of primitively eusocial insect societies, but also showed worker initiation of colony activity, suggesting that these two species represent examples of an intermediate level of colony organization in which queens control reproduction but do not control the organization of work.
2006
71
1197
1203
JHA S; CASEY-FORD R.G; PEDERSON J.S; PLATT T.G; R. CERVO; QUELLER D.C; STRASSMANN J.E
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/206174
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