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The expression and impact of antifungal grooming in ants
The systematic allo‐grooming of all individuals returning to the colony, be they contaminated or not, is probably a simple but robust prophylactic defence preventing the spread of fungal diseases in insect societies. Expand
Geographic patterns in the distribution of social systems in terrestrial arthropods
  • J. Purcell
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical…
  • 1 May 2011
This review of previous studies of social gradients that form along latitudinal and altitudinal axes describes several environmental factors that vary consistently along such gradients, including climate variables and abundance of predators, and outline their proposed role in the social systems of terrestrial arthropods. Expand
Convergent Genetic Architecture Underlies Social Organization in Ants
It is demonstrated that a large, nonrecombining "social chromosome" is associated with social organization in the Alpine silver ant, Formica selysi, which is consistent with recent theoretical studies suggesting that suppression of recombination plays a key role in facilitating coordinated shifts in coadapted traits. Expand
Altitudinal Patterns of Spider Sociality and the Biology of a New Midelevation Social Anelosimus Species in Ecuador
It is suggested that the absence of subsocial Anelosimus species in the lowland rain forest may be due to an increased probability of maternal death in this habitat due to greater predation and/or precipitation, while absence of a sufficient supply of large insects at high elevations or latitudes may restrict social species to low‐ to midelevation tropical moist forests. Expand
Gradients of precipitation and ant abundance may contribute to the altitudinal range limit of subsocial spiders: insights from a transplant experiment
  • J. Purcell, L. Avilés
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological…
  • 22 November 2008
It is shown that protection from rainfall enhances the performance of small groups of spiders in the lowland rainforest, and it is suggested that predation or disturbance by ants may influence the geographical range limits of this species. Expand
Functional diversity decreases with temperature in high elevation ant fauna
The absence of a mound‐building ant from high elevations probably results from a reduction in the amount of vegetal materials provided by coniferous trees, and an insulation experiment indicated that mounds are more thermally insulated against the cold compared with soil. Expand
Transitions in social complexity along elevational gradients reveal a combined impact of season length and development time on social evolution
Comparing the life histories and distributions of populations of 176 species of Hymenoptera from the Swiss Alps shows that differences in altitudinal distributions and development times among social forms can explain these contrasting patterns. Expand
Differential allocation and deployment of direct and indirect defences by Vicia sepium along elevation gradients
The findings show that plant allocation to defences are subject to trade-offs depending on local conditions, and point to a feedback mechanism linking local herbivore pressure, predator abundance and the defence investment of plants. Expand
Smaller colonies and more solitary living mark higher elevation populations of a social spider.
In comparing colony size at six different altitudes in north-eastern Ecuador, it is found that the lowland A. eximius populations tend to have larger colonies and few solitary females, while at higher elevations, many of the colonies are small and the proportion of solitary females is greater. Expand
The Evolution of Inbred Social Systems in Spiders and Other Organisms: From Short-Term Gains to Long-Term Evolutionary Dead Ends?
Using social spiders as a case study, it is quantitatively shown that the potential costs of avoiding inbreeding through dispersal and solitary living could have outweighed the costs of inbreeding depression in the origin of inbred spider sociality. Expand