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abstract: 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(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 (Ôself-determinationÕ), this is expected to lead to overproduction of queens. Theoretical predictions are supported by patterns of queen(More)
BACKGROUND Monitoring change in species diversity, community composition and phenology is vital to assess the impacts of anthropogenic activity and natural change. However, monitoring by trained scientists is time consuming and expensive. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS Using social networks, we assess whether it is possible to obtain accurate data on bee(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)
We examined the occurrence, mechanism and costs and benefits of leaf caching in laboratory colonies of two species of leafcutting ants, Atta cephalotes and A. colombica. If foragers returning to the nest are unable to enter because of a temporary bottleneck caused by leaves building up they may deposit their leaf pieces outside the nest entrance, forming a(More)
Trail-making ants lay pheromones on the substrate to define paths between foraging areas and the nest. Combined with the chemistry of these pheromone trails and the physics of evaporation, trail-laying and trail-following behaviours provide ant colonies with the quickest routes to food. In relatively uniform environments, such as that provided in many(More)
Division of labor in social groups is affected by the relative costs and benefits of conducting different tasks. However, most studies have examined the dynamics of division of labor, rather than the costs and benefits that presumably underlie the evolution of such systems. In social insects, division of labor may be simplistically described as a(More)