The Behavioural Ecology of Ants

  • John H. Sudd
  • Nigel R. Franks

Part of the Tertiary Level Biology book series (DEVS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. John H. Sudd, Nigel R. Franks
    Pages 1-23
  3. John H. Sudd, Nigel R. Franks
    Pages 24-39
  4. John H. Sudd, Nigel R. Franks
    Pages 40-64
  5. John H. Sudd, Nigel R. Franks
    Pages 65-97
  6. John H. Sudd, Nigel R. Franks
    Pages 98-119
  7. John H. Sudd, Nigel R. Franks
    Pages 120-136
  8. John H. Sudd, Nigel R. Franks
    Pages 137-160
  9. John H. Sudd, Nigel R. Franks
    Pages 161-187
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 188-206

About this book


This book is concerned with two problems: how eusociality, in which one individual forgoes reproduction to enhance the reproduction of a nestmate, could evolve under natural selection, and why it is found only in some insects-termites, ants and some bees and wasps. Although eusociality is apparently confined to insects, it has evolved a number of times in a single order of insects, the Hymenoptera. W. Hamilton's hypothesis, that the unusual haplodiploid mechanism of sex determination in the Hymenoptera singled this order out, still seems to have great explanatory power in the study of social ants. We believe that the direction, indeed confinement, of social altruism to close kin is the mainspring of social life in an ant colony, and the alternative explanatory schemes of, for example, parental manipu­ lation, should rightly be seen to operate within a system based on the selective support of kin. To control the flow of resources within their colony all its members resort to manipulations of their nestmates: parental manipulation of offspring is only one facet of a complex web of manipul­ ation, exploitation and competition for resources within the colony. The political intrigues extend outside the bounds of the colony, to insects and plants which have mutualistic relations with ants. In eusociality some individuals (sterile workers) do not pass their genes to a new generation directly. Instead, they tend the offspring of a close relation (in the simplest case their mother).


Fitness adaptation behavior ecological community ecology evolution homeostasis insect insects mutualism parasites phylogeny predator reproduction social behavior

Authors and affiliations

  • John H. Sudd
    • 1
  • Nigel R. Franks
    • 2
  1. 1.University of HullUK
  2. 2.University of BathUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1987
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-7904-4
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-3123-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site