Research Article

Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 379-383

Genetic relatedness and population structure in the social wasp,Mischocyttarus mexicanus (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

  • J. E. StrassmannAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University
  • , D. C. QuellerAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University
  • , C. R. SolísAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University

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Summary

In primitively eusocial wasps workers often retain the ability to become queens, so their continued performance in the worker role is partly dependent on elevated genetic relatedness between workers and the brood they rear. In colonies of the social wasp,Mischocyttarus mexicanus, workers were related to female pupae by 0.29±0.12, a value that is significantly below the full sister value of 0.75, but not significantly below 0.50, worker relatedness to daughters. Though individuals often build new nests within meters of their natal nest, there was no genetic population structure discernable among four nest clusters, or inbreeding of any kind.

Key words

Genetic relatedness population structure allozymes eusociality wasps