Saturday, October 22, 2011

Unrelated Wasps Help Others Breed To Succeed

The paper wasp Polistes dominulus is an example of an altruistic species that seem to counter evolutionary theory. Most altruistic species will help rear offspring produced by a related female, like their sister or mother so the offspring will share at least some of their genes. The paper wasp by contrast often helps non-relatives to breed, forming a social nest with other individuals, with one egg-laying female dominating and the other wasps rearing the offspring. The advantage to the wasp may be because they can sometimes rise up the ranks and become the dominant, egg-laying female themselves. So the short term "selfless" effort in the nest of others could pay off in the longer term.
Posted by Astrojenny


Sounds like a career path to me ;o)

You're in the wrong job Ant! ;)

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