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Colonial Dynamics

  • Stefano Turillazzi
Chapter

Abstract

Colony cycles are influenced by several biotic and a-biotic environmental factors (climate in general, predators, parasites, pathogens, availability of prey and nesting sites). Nests can be founded by a single female or in association, and colony development can be determined by individual life histories which can, in turn, be influenced by contingent ecological, physiological or social factors. In any case, the choice of individuals can follow a three-step process, which determines their decision to leave or to stay on the natal colony, renounce or not direct reproduction and furnish or not alloparental care. Regulatory mechanisms of structured societies include the onset of dominance hierarchies which in most hover wasps are of the gerontocratic type. The main characteristics of these hierarchies in those species most studied are reported, as well as the possible factors influencing rank determination.

Keywords

Ovarian Development Dominance Hierarchy Social Wasp Dominant Female Subordinate Female 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano Turillazzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dep of Evolutionary Biology “L. Pardi”Università degli Studi di FirenzeFirenzeItaly

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