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Life History and Social Evolution of the Primitively Eusocial Bee Augochlorella striata (Hymenoptera: Halictidae)

Ulrich G. Mueller
Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society
Vol. 69, No. 4, Supplement: Special Publication Number 2: Proceedings of the Eickwort Memorial Symposium (Oct., 1996), pp. 116-138
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25085710
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Life History and Social Evolution of the Primitively Eusocial Bee Augochlorella striata (Hymenoptera: Halictidae)
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Abstract

Life history parameters of the primitively eusocial bee Augochlorella striata (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) are summarized for a population in central New York, and analyzed with respect to the evolutionary maintenance of eusociality in this species. High mortality (39%) of solitary foundresses and low mortality (12%) of social colonies indicate severe ecological constraints limiting independent (solitary) reproduction. Extreme relatedness asymmetries (3:1, due to singly-mated queens) and female-biased reproductive broods create genetic incentives favoring worker behavior (helping). In addition, workers appear to capitalize on relatedness asymmetries by biasing the sex ratio towards their more closely related sisters and away from their more distantly related brothers, because eusocial colonies (headed by a mother queen; relatedness asymmetry present) consistently produce more female-biased sex ratios than parasocial colonies (headed by a sister queen after queen supersedure; relatedness asymmetry absent). Both intrinsic factors inherent in the haplo-diploid system of sex determination (relatedness asymmetries in conjunction with female-biased sex ratios) and extrinsic factors (ecological constraints) therefore appear to modulate eusocial evolution in A. striata.

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