Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 62, Issue 9, pp 1489–1498 | Cite as

Cofoundress relatedness and group productivity in colonies of social Dunatothrips (Insecta: Thysanoptera) on Australian Acacia

Original Paper

Abstract

Facultative joint colony founding by social insects provides opportunities to analyze the roles of genetic and ecological factors in the evolution of cooperation. Although cooperative nesting is observed in range of social insect taxa, the most detailed studies of this behavior have been conducted with Hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps). Here, we show that foundress associations in the haplodiploid social thrips Dunatothrips aneurae (Insecta: Thysanoptera) are most often comprised of close relatives (sisters), though groups with unrelated foundresses are also found. Associations among relatives appear to be facilitated by limited female dispersal, which results in viscous population structure. In addition, we found that per capita productivity declined with increasing group size, sex ratios were female-biased, and some female offspring apparently remained in their natal domicile for some time following eclosion. D. aneurae thus exhibits a suite of similarities with eusocial Hymenoptera, providing evidence for the convergent evolution of associated social and life-history traits in Hymenoptera and Thysanoptera.

Keywords

Pleometrosis Evolution of cooperation Sex ratio Social evolution Life history 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioural Ecology Research Group, Department of BiosciencesSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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