Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 217–224 | Cite as

Analysis of two genetic models for the innate components of colony odor in social Hymenoptera

  • R. H. Crozier
  • M. W. Dix


We propose two models for the inheritance of the innate components of colony odor in social Hymenoptera. Under the Individualistic model, individuals are hostile unless they share at least one allele at all colony-odor loci. Under the Gestalt model, colony-odor pheromones are transferred between individuals, resulting in a ‘gestalt’ colony odor; colonies will not fuse unless they have the same genetic mix of workers. We analyze these models for the case of colonies founded by single, once-mated queens. The Gestalt model seems generally favored for most species, although some evidence suggests the Individualistic model may operate in some primitive ants. A single colony-odor locus is possible in the Gestalt model, but seems improbable in the Individualistic case. We propose a general inbreeding test to estimate the number of loci involved in colony odor.


Genetic Model Individualistic Case Individualistic Model Innate Component Colony Odor 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. H. Crozier
    • 1
  • M. W. Dix
    • 2
  1. 1.School of ZoologyUniversity of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia
  2. 2.Universidad del Valle de GuatemalaGuatemalaGuatemala

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