Adam G. Hart

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Insect societies are vulnerable to exploitation by workers who reproduce selfishly rather than help to rear the queen's offspring. In most species, however, only a small proportion of the workers reproduce. Here, we develop an evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) model to investigate factors that could explain these observed low levels of reproductive(More)
A task is said to be partitioned when it is split into two or more sequential stages and material is passed from one worker to another; for instance, one individual collects a material from a source and passes it to another for transportation back to the nest. In this study, we review the existence of task partitioning in leafcutting ants (Attini) and find(More)
Despite recent papers on problems associated with full-model and stepwise regression, their use is still common throughout ecological and environmental disciplines. Alternative approaches, including generating multiple models and comparing them post-hoc using techniques such as Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC), are becoming more popular. However, these(More)
In social groups composed of kin, inclusive fitness benefits can favor greater cooperation. Alternatively, cooperation can be enforced through the policing of less cooperative individuals. Here, we show that the effect of policing can be twofold: not only can it directly suppress individual selfishness, it can also entirely remove the incentive for(More)
Mutual policing is an important mechanism for maintaining social harmony in group-living organisms. In some ants, bees, and wasps, workers police male eggs laid by other workers in order to maintain the reproductive primacy of the queen. Kin selection theory predicts that multiple mating by the queen is one factor that can selectively favor worker policing.(More)
Caste conflict theory predicts that worker-destined individuals in insect colonies may try to develop as queens in order to gain greater direct reproduction. In situations where females can determine their own caste fate ( self-determination ), this is expected to lead to overproduction of queens. Theoretical predictions are supported by patterns of queen(More)
We studied the organisation of garbage disposal and management in the leafcutting ant Atta cephalotes. The nest of this species has an internal garbage heap to which waste from the fungus garden is taken. The transport of waste from the fungus gardens to the garbage heaps is an example of task partitioning. Ninety-four percent of the garbage loads(More)
The task of nectar foraging in honey-bees is partitioned between foragers and receivers. Foragers typically transfer a nectar load in the nest as sub-loads to several receivers rather than as a single transfer. Foragers experience delays in finding receivers and use these delays to balance the number of foragers and receivers. A short delay results in the(More)
Hygienic behavior, a trait that may confer resistance to brood diseases in the honey bee Apis mellifera, was studied in two species of stingless bees in Mexico. Eight colonies each of Melipona beecheii and Scaptotrigona pectoralis were tested for hygienic behavior, the removal of dead or diseased brood, by freeze killing a comb of sealed cells containing(More)
Research using biometric data relies on consistent measurements within, and often among, observers. However, research into the relative importance of intraand interobserver variability is limited. More importantly, the influence of biometric variability on accurate quantification of biometric-based condition indices has not been analysed: it is unclear(More)