Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 241–249 | Cite as

Extended lifespan and overlapping of generations in a gall-forming social aphid, Quadrartus yoshinomiyai

  • K. Uematsu
  • H. Shibao
Research Article


The evolutionary relationship between sociality and extended lifespan has been studied in many taxa. We investigated the seasonal population dynamics and individual lifespan in a gall-forming social aphid, Quadrartus yoshinomiyai, whose wingless adults defend the colony after ceasing reproduction. The galls of this species are completely closed for over a year, which facilitates monitoring aphid mortality rates in natural galls. Gall foundresses, which were born before winter and formed galls in April, were alive until December, indicating that they can survive for a year. The second-generation wingless adults, born in May or June of the first year, were alive in mature galls collected in March or April of the second year. Morphometric analysis revealed an overlap of three generations in a mature gall; the appendages of the second-generation wingless adults were smaller than those of the third-generation wingless adults. Our results suggest that the extended lifespan, favored in a completely closed gall where extrinsic mortality is very low, promotes the overlap of generations and post-reproductive colony defense by the wingless adults. An extended post-reproductive lifespan might also be favored if the cost of death by the potentially rapid spread of infectious diseases in the completely closed space exceeds the cost of living without reproduction.


Social aphids Gall Evolution of aging Life history evolution 



We thank two anonymous reviewers for comments on the manuscript. This study was supported by a JSPS Research Fellowship for Young Scientists to K.U., and also by JSPS KAKENHI Grant nos. JP08J10171, JP20570016.

Supplementary material

40_2018_604_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (69 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 69 KB)


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Copyright information

© International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of General Systems SciencesUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

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