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Relative Inclusive Fitness in the Social Wasp Polistes metricus

Robert A. Metcalf and Gregory S. Whitt
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Vol. 2, No. 4 (1977), pp. 353-360
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4599145
Page Count: 8
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Relative Inclusive Fitness in the Social Wasp Polistes metricus
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Abstract

1. The average between-foundress relatedness for foundresses of Polistes metricus was estimated as 0.63. Both foundresses were assumed to be derived from the same nest. 2. The relative probability of producing a successful nest for two foundress: one foundress nests was estimated as 1.38, SE=0.022. 3. The relative reproductive success observed for two foundress: one foundress nests was 2.25, SE=0.35. 4. The inclusive fitness of an α foundress relative to its expected fitness if it and the β foundress act alone is 1.83±0.57. The inclusive fitness of a β foundress relative to its expected fitness if it and the α foundress act alone is 1.39±0.44. 5. The β foundresses who may have the option of founding their own nests would not appear to decrease their inclusive fitness by becoming a subordinate foundress on the nest of a foundress from their own nest even though they give up a substantial portion of reproduction and increase their chance of death. Thus the results presented in this paper are in accord with those expected for kin selection theory.

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