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Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 285–288 | Cite as

Ploidy of the eusocial beetle Austroplatypus incompertus (Schedl) (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) and implications for the evolution of eusociality

  • S. M. Smith
  • A. J. Beattie
  • D. S. Kent
  • A. J. Stow
Research Article

Abstract

In the hymenopterans, haplodiploidy, leading to high-genetic relatedness amongst full sisters has been regarded as critical to kin selection and inclusive fitness hypotheses that explain the evolution of eusociality and altruistic behaviours. Recent evidence for independent origins of eusociality in phylogenetically diverse taxa has led to the controversy regarding the general importance of relatedness to eusociality and its evolution. Here, we developed a highly polymorphic microsatellite marker to test whether the eusocial ambrosia beetle Austroplatypus incompertus (Schedl) is haplodiploid or diplodiploid. We found that both males and females of A. incompertus are diploid, signifying that altruistic behaviour resulting from relatedness asymmetries did not play a role in the evolution of eusocialty in this species. This provides additional evidence against the haplodiploidy hypothesis and implicates alternative hypotheses for the evolution of eusociality.

Keywords

Coleoptera Eusociality Diplodiploidy Kin selection Evolution 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Richard Frankham, Stephen Hoggard and anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on the draft of the manuscript. This research was partially supported by an Australian Research Council grant (DP0879229).

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. Smith
    • 1
  • A. J. Beattie
    • 1
  • D. S. Kent
    • 2
  • A. J. Stow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesMacquarie UniversityNorth RydeAustralia
  2. 2.Forest Science Centre, Forest Resources ResearchNSW Department of Primary IndustriesBeecroftAustralia

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