Social Insects Flashcards Preview

Entomology > Social Insects > Flashcards

Flashcards in Social Insects Deck (6)
Loading flashcards...
1

What are the types of sociality in insects? (5) Give an example of each

1. solitary - spider hawk wasp
2. communal - wasps and bees (digger bees)
3. quasisocial - Euglossine bees
4. semisocial - Halictid bees
5. eusocial - some wasps and most bees, all ants and termites

2

What four criteria must be met for a species to be eusocial?

- common nest site
- cooperative brood care
- reproductive castes/ reproductive division of labor
- overlapping generations

3

What are the advantages of eusociality?

- parallel vs. serial operations (fewer mistakes are made when labor is divided among specialists)
- concentration of energy through sheer numbers ( economy of scale) (contruct and maintain nests, defend colony, retrieve food and other resources)
- caste differentiation allows for divisions of labor

4

What are the disadvantages of eusociality?

- most individuals sacrifice their ability to reproduce
- colony attracts more predators
- large numbers make them more susceptible to picking up diseases

5

What is the haplodiploid theory of eusociality?

females are diploid and males are haploid. the queeen can control sex ratio by selectively fertilizing eggs.
- it is more effective to aid the queen in producing more sisters than in self reproduction ( own offspring would be less closely related than sisters who are related by 75% as opposed to 50%)

6

What are some communications used by eusocial insects?

- alarm pheromone - nest defense cause recruits workers en masse
- nest identification/nestmate recognition
- queen pheromones 0 regulate activity + suppress reproduction in workers
- propaganda substance - some ant species raid nests of conspecifics. invading queen produces alarm pheromone to drive workers out --> sits on the host queen for 3 days to acumulate her scent and then kills her so that when workers return they will care for raiding queens brood.